Friday morning David and I drove from Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe for three lovely days of hiking, dining, and swimming. Neither of us likes to gamble so there wasn't much argument about what we would do with our two days and two nights. That was easy.
Tahoe is only 95 miles from Sacramento and leaving at 9:00 in the morning put us there at 11:00 with enough time to have a wonderful outdoor lunch on the charming tri-level deck of Freshies. David and I had their delicious fried shrimp tacos with mango salsa. Since David didn't really want dessert we split MY slice of coconut creme pie "David style": 1/4 for me and 3/4's for him.
Don't you hate it when the waiter brings two forks?
David wanted to show me one of his favorite spots, Fallen Leaf Lake, so after lunch at Freshie's (good food, but service ranges from indifferent to downright negligent) we took a 3 hour hike. Fallen Leaf is an easy hike with pretty scenery. We didn't go all the way around the lake but instead went back to the hotel, sat in the hot tub, then went to dinner.
Our helpful hotel clerk referred us to a restaurant right on the water. It had great food and a nice wine list but again, indifferent service and a surly hostess. How is it that service was friendlier at big, impersonal Harrah's?
Saturday morning involved some serious sleeping in. We had a quick breakfast on the balcony of Ezekiel English muffins and watermelon, picked up some provisions, and headed to Emerald Bay.
The trail begins from the highway above and continues down to the bay. We hiked all the way out to the input of Lake Tahoe. It is about 4 miles of easy to moderate hiking. Children can manage but not adults who are very overweight or out of shape.
The Rubicon Trail is nicely maintained and there are a few campsites available in the summer not far from Vikingsholm Castle. We saw a lot of wildflowers and several little waterfalls and grotto's.
This trail includes many downed trees and other interesting photo opportunities.
I chose our hotel from Expedia.com. Our room was nice with a third story view of Lake Tahoe. We especially loved the double decker hot tub and waterfall. Since there was no DVD player in our room I brought along my little portable player. We managed to fit in a movie one evening after dinner.
After a small altercation between David and I about where to park, we made our way into Harrah's. High heels triumphed over male impatience.
A trip to Lake Tahoe would be remiss without a buffet dinner, although we could have done without the 45 minute line. We bypassed the salad counter completely and filled our plates with overdone fillet Mignon (how could they), sushi, shrimp, and some uneaten tomatoes in a very dilly dill vinaigrette. They gave us a table for two in the family reunions section but the view of the lake was spectacular. A mediocre buffet turned out to be quite satisfactory for both of us. And good service too.
Shiree's Very Vanilla Homemade Ice Cream with Peaches and Brown Sugar
1 quart half and half
1 C. sugar or agave syrup
few dashes of salt
2 1/2 to 3 T. Madagascar vanilla (available at William-Sonoma)
2 to 3 peeled and sliced peaches
1 1/2 to 2 T. dark brown sugar
In a frozen yogurt-ice cream maker (mine is Cuisinart) combine half and half, sugar or agave syrup, salt, and vanilla. Process 25 to 30 minutes and transfer to a Tupperware container. Freeze overnight or to desired consistency.
Combine peaches, lemon juice, and brown sugar. Serve ice cream in parfait glasses and top with peaches and garnish with mint. Absolutely delicious!