Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Mini Vacation to South Lake Tahoe

Every two years I have the pleasure of accompanying my sister Lisa to a conference she goes to in South Lake Tahoe. For me it's a mini vacation. I get to spend time with my sister and I get an all expenses paid vacation to a beautiful ski resort, win-win!

Our favorite part of the trip is the drive up and the drive back. Those two days are just for us and Lisa doesn't have to worry about work or meetings, seminars or classes, it's all about the fun, food and shopping...not to mention "sister time!"

We headed out around 9am on Thursday, October 4th for a trip that Google Maps says should take us 5 hours and 56 minutes. We arrived at our destination at around 7 pm, which means it took us roughly 10 hours, I think that's hilarious! But we stopped for coffee and sat and enjoyed it along with a yummy danish. We also stopped and did some shopping in Fresno and pretty much maxed out our spending money!

Next stop was for lunch at our traditional lunch place, Mi Casa (which means My House) in Turlock, California where they make a dish called a Molcajete and it is out of this world amazing! It's like eating molten lava out of a stone bowl!

I don't know what all is in there but it was delicious and big enough that we were not able to finish it and we shared one! We ordered the chicken.

From there we just headed straight to Tahoe driving past some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Beautiful majestic pine trees and mountains. For someone born and raised in Arizona, seeing views like this is just surreal!

Lake Tahoe in the distance

We missed the meet and greet, but that was okay because we were dead tired. We checked in, put our stuff away and just went to bed. This is where we laid our weary heads that night, isn't it fabulous?

Photo Credit - Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel 

The next day (Friday) Lisa was up bright and early as she had to meet her coworkers for breakfast downstairs at 7am. I lounged around until 9am and then went downstairs for their complimentary breakfast which was delicious! I spent the rest of the day touring around and shopping the various shops.

We met up for dinner with the rest of her coworkers at the American River Cafe inside Harrah's Casino which is right across the street from the hotel and at the state line, just crossing the street puts you in Nevada!  The meal was delicious and the company was great. Lisa works with the nicest group of people and I've gone on several of these conferences with them so I fit right in. We shared a yummy Asian Salad that had Apples in it, a first for both of us with apples and we loved it!

On Saturday I decided I was going to give my FitBit a workout and let the car have a rest. I walked all around the area of the hotel and into all the cute little shops. I found a  beautiful bracelet for my sister Lisa, which was great because it was her birthday! I picked up little souvenirs for my mom and my son and daughter. 

I headed back to the hotel to meet up with Lisa who was all done with her meetings and we did more walking and finally stopped to have dinner at one of our favorite places in South Lake Tahoe. We literally have dreams about this place called Base Camp Pizza!

To celebrate Lisa's birthday we started off with some adult beverages. Lisa had the Happy Camper which was a yummy concoction of Don Q Pasion Coco and Limon Rum blended with fresh mango puree and pineapple juice finished off with a float of Whaler's Dark Rum. I had the house red, I have no idea what winery it was from but it was delicious. We sipped our drinks enjoying the ambiance and the beautiful view of the mountains just outside and waited for our pizza!

That's me in the purple sweater...it was so nice to wear a cozy sweater! You can see my wine glass with the mystery Red wine. We ordered the Hawaiian with Red Onions which included Canadian Bacon, Juicy Hawaiian Pineapple and Fresh Red Onions. I could have this every day for the rest of my life with no complaints. We had two slices left which we had cold for breakfast the next morning while getting ready to check out of the room and it was even better cold!

On Sunday morning, October 7th, we checked out and had already planned that on our trip back we were going to stop for lunch at a little place we had stumbled upon on the trip up. We knew it was in Placerville, California and that the exit for it was Bedford. 

On the trip up our GPS led us through Placerville and we came to a stop sign and when we made the turn to head to Tahoe we turned on to the most beautiful street we had ever seen! It was like something out of a Hallmark Movie. Ton's of lovely little shops all lit up (it was already dark). 

I kid you not...it looked exactly like this photo from the website of The City of Placerville except that they were celebrating Breast Cancer Awareness Month so all the windows had bright pink lights in them. We didn't even think to take photos we were so in awe!

Photo Credit - City of Placerville

We just knew then that on the way back we had to stop and have lunch at one of the cute little shops. It was day time when we went through again, so even though it was still a very pretty little street, it wasn't as magical as the night we just drove through.

We walked around checking out the restaurants and you can see in the photo above way out in the distance on the right side a sign that looks like it says Mels...well it does. It's a Mel's Diner! Remember Mel's Diner from the movie American Grafitti? Lisa had to eat there and I'm glad we did because it was so fun and delicious. It was packed for a Sunday afternoon but everyone was so nice and patient. I had the Cheeseburger Plate and the fries were fabulous, Lisa had the Chorizo and Egg Breakfast which she said was very good.

On the wall right behind where Lisa was sitting were photos of famous people that had eaten there. One photo of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz even had a copy of the personal check they paid with, I guess the diner never cashed it so they could have the souvenir. Their meal was for $60! They must have fed their whole entourage for that kind of money. I don't know why we didn't take a photo! But we will be back!

Then our adventure in Paradise was over and we headed home. From an elevation of 6,287 feet to an elevation of 348 feet...hard to imagine that we had traveled so far! But we made it home, safe and sound with some great memories made.

Happy Birthday Lisa and I'm ready to go again whenever you are!


  1. Road trips with sisters are the best. It sounds like you made the most of it.

    1. Lisa and I have shared many great road trips and I have to give credit to her husband for letting me borrow her on occasion :)

  2. I've always envied your relationship with Lisa, your sister. Happy belated Birthday to her! Your trip with its scenery and food, was definitely "something to write home about".

    1. Thank you DUTA, it was definitely a worthwhile trip!


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