Thursday, July 26, 2007

Part 1.b Nelson Vacation: Fabulous Lake Tahoe.

Beautiful Lake Tahoe. We love Lake Tahoe. The lake is just this perfect deep blue in the deeper waters and a shimering emerald green in the shallower waters. It's beauty and amenities imediately bring peace to all who visit. At least the lake does this for us. Have I said how much we love Lake Tahoe? LOL And now we have even more to love. We stayed at Tahoe Taverns on the northwest shore of the lake. This was by far the best place we have stayed. We were walking distance to the Commons Park and beach, restaurants, shopping, the dam, and rafting on the Truckee river that we parked the car for almost the whole week. Plus, the condo complex we stayed in had a pool with a view of Lake Tahoe and a perfect sized little sandy beach for the kids and the kids at heart. ;-) You'll notice the fire in South Lake Tahoe was completely out except for hot spots by the time we arrived. Those firefighters did an awesome job keeping the South Lake Tahoe fire from getting to the waterfront. Thanks to those hard working firefighters, skies were a perfect blue. There was a little bit of a breeze the first couple of days, then high pressure built in and warmed things up. It was really hot for us thick blooded Alaskans, but we managed. LOL Here are a few of my favorite pics from Lake Tahoe. It was really hard to narrow it down. Lake Tahoe view from Tahoe Taverns pool:

Family photo. My boys are showing their true crazy personas in this one. We had just finished celebrating my sister's birthday at a nice restaurant on the lake. The kids were a little jazzed from the festivities and the spectacular mud cake that we all indulged in. Yum.

Here is a picture of the Tahoe Taverns beach. Perfect size and not crowded.

The boys playing at the Tahoe Taverns beach.

The boys playing at the Commons Playground in Tahoe City. Blake says "Yeeeeehaaaaaaw!

Wendy, my sister, wanted to go river rafting on the Truckee river for her birthday. We all thought that was a fabulous idea. I was a little worried about Blake, but he did fantastic. My sister, BIL, Dad, and Cedric went in one boat and Jim, Blake, my In-Laws, and I went in another boat. The float took around 3 hours and was mostly an easy float. There are a few rapids where you have to do a little navigating. one likes to get stuck on a rock. But mostly it was a calm little float. The water was quite refreshing. Luckily I was carrying a camera not designed for water, so I had the pleasure of metting out some wicked oar induced sprays on our partner boat and was spared return fire. HA HA HA! We saw lots of ducks with their little babies in tow. I got a pic of one of the baby ducks, but there is nothing like watching little strings of baby ducks swimming furiously behind their mother.

The rapids proved a little challenging for me since I was in the front of the boat with Blake. At first he stood between my legs, which was fine, but then he decided he wanted to sit next to me on my left side. This meant I couldn't paddle on the left side at all. On the last and biggest rapids, there was nothing I could do to help steer the boat and we got stuck on a big rock. Luckily, my sister's boat was right behind us and whether they wanted to or not, they ramed into us and knocked us right off the rock. Although, I could have sworne I heard them cry "ramming speed!" Nonetheless, we all were laughing and then it was all over.

Here are the pictures:

And we're off on our great little adventure.

Wendy's boat looking at ducks that swam right up to the boat. Picture of a baby cute! The 4th of July was the main reason we went to Lake Tahoe. In Alaska, it is too light for 4th of July fireworks. You can read a book at midnight outside, so fireworks really lose their spark during the long Alaskan summer "nights". Anyway, on the fourth my sister made this spectacular desert. It tasted better than it looked. Actually we noshed on fruit and cream cheese frosting all afternoon. Yum! After dinner and desert, we made our way to the Pier at Tahoe Taverns where we had a perfect vantage point to watch the Tahoe City fireworks. We could also see other firework shows going on around the lake. Cedric liked the fireworks, but covered his ears. Blake kept saying, "Ooooooh, aaaaaaaah, and Beautiful!" The boys and their flags. Aunt Wendy and Cedric. Papa Jim and Blake. Wendy, my InLaws, and my BIL on the pier waiting for fireworks. My Dad and his friends on the pier waiting for the fireworks. Grandma Pat was unable to join us for the festivities because her mother was on the verge of leaving this world. We kept Pat and her Mom in our thoughts the whole vacation. The pool also had ping pong tables. Cedric loved playing with Uncle Steve. Here Blake is getting a few pointers from Aunt Wendy.

Cedric got his first tennis lesson at Tahoe Taverns. The instructor asked Cedric if he had been practising. Of course, I'm proud of my athletic little guy.

Here is the Tahoe Queen and she is a real paddle boat. No visit to the Lake would be complete without a lake tour. There is no better way to appreciate the color of the lake. We rode out to Emerald Bay on the Tahoe Queen. The tea house and castle blend in with the surroundings perfectly and it's fun to fantasize about living in that bygone era and having afternoon tea in the middle of Emerald Bay.

And finally, we told our husbands to "GO JUMP IN THE LAKE"! And they did! Jim, Uncle Steve, and Steve's BIL Steve who flew in from Oaklahoma for the last two nights. The lake temperature is around 65 degrees in July, so it's refreshing to say the least.
"Are you ready?" "Sure...are YOU ready?" "Ummmm....I don't know....are you READY? "OK...ONE........TWO.........THREE"
"JUMP!!!!!!" Well....sadly that's it for Lake Tahoe.... BUT WAIT! Jim is going to jump in the lake AGAIN! And it's the Nestea plunge. Now THAT is refreshing.

All the guys were shivering but satisfied after their cool water plunge. Maybe Jim is ready for the polar bear plunge where they cut a whole in the ice and then people jump in? Then again.....maybe not.

Coming next: Part 1.c Nelson Vacation: Chicagoland

Monday, July 23, 2007

Part 1 Nelson Vacation: Sunny California Valley

The weather was hot and sunny, but not as hot as it could have been. We were in Vacaville, CA; my home town. Historic Nut Tree reopened recently as a small amusement park, so we had to check it out. My Aunt, Uncle, and Grandma trecked down from Oregon and enjoyed the new park with us. Here are a few pictures from the original Nut Tree train. It was just as I remembered it: Cedric and Blake laugh and cover their eyes at the waterfall: Here is a pic of the original rocking horses. They were just as firm as I remember...maybe moreso...ouch. LOL The kids didn't care. They rode every single rocking horse at least 3 times and there were about 15 of them: Here is a pic of my Uncle Ron taking a well deserved break under the mister sprayers. Yes that is a rocking chair. Nice, huh? I bet you want one of those setups in YOUR backyard. :-) The boys rode all the usual rides. Don't you love how intense little kids get on those driving rides with the cars? They look so serious as if they are really driving. So cute. I could post a million pics. After we were completely melted from the heat, we retired to Grandma and Grandpa Davidowski's house for some refreshing pool time. Cedric also discovered the joy of swimming around unassisted...well, unless you count his life jacket and swim noodle. I got video of it too...I may upload that later. Here is a pic: Ah the lazy days of summer. Jim is really roughing it in Grandma's pool. Cannonball anyone? Here are some family pictures. Picture of my Grandma with the boys: Picture of my Aunt and Uncle with the boys: Picture of Grandma and Grandpa Davidowski with the boys: Coming next: Part 1.b Nelson Vacation: Fabulous Lake Tahoe.

Coming soon...Vacation stories and pics

I know everyone is waiting for all those great vacation stories and pics. They will be coming soon, so stay tuned. I uploaded all the pics last night and was up late late late rotating and sorting them. I will have a hard time picking a few favs to post because there are so many fantastic pics....mostly of my adorable boys, but I'm not biased...Noooooo...Not me. LOL I'll probably be posting separate posts for the different phases of our vacation. I'll start with California Valley, then progress to fabulous Lake Tahoe. Next will be Chicago, then finally, stunning Seattle. So....stay tuned!