Monday, January 23, 2012

South Lake Tahoe

A one day guided tour of San Francisco to Mehar and Anandan turned out to be two days trip to South Lake Tahoe at, quite literally, 11th hour.  By 10 in the morning, we were driving up north on SR237.  With short breaks for coffee and lunch, it took us a good five hours to reach South Lake Tahoe.  The roads get narrow and curvy as we approach closer to the city and the landscape turns rocky and piny.  We first stopped at the frozen Sawmill pond at the junction of Sawmill road and Lake Tahoe boulevard.  It was a new experience for all of us to walk on the fronzen lake, it was extremely slippery and fun I must say.  After few clicks there, we continued on Lake Tahoe blvd till the lake.  What surprised and disappointed me was the fact that there was no snow in Tahoe this year.  A place known for its snow resorts didn't have any snow except for a bit of it on mountain tops.

The lake looked splendid in the evening light - shimmering crystal blue waters, clear blue skies with fleecy clouds at horizon, mountains at the perhipery, flying gulls and wading ducks.  We then head to a different part of the lake (behind Harvey casino) which gave a feeling of beach with gold coloured sand and tourist friendly setting with benches and swings and restaurants.  We also stopped by at Harvey's casino to get a feel of a casino and it was opulent with colourful flashing lights and people busy losing their money.  The casino is huge and it houses various steak houses and bars and also Hard Rock Cafe, South Lake Branch.   I made one interesting observation on Lake Tahoe blvd - Stateline avenue demarcates California and Nevada states and right on Stateline there are a bunch of casinos on Nevada side!

We checked in at a more humble Best Western Inn, relaxed for a while before heading out for dinner.  We walked around in Crescent V shopping center where the boys bought the much needed gloves and cap.  Most of the casinos, which they call resorts, offer inexpensive buffets and we chose Montblue resort for our dinner.  For $12.95, we got awesome food which consisted of varities of steaks, pastas, sushis, noodles, tacos, soups and desserts all after waiting for 30 minutes in the line.  Montbleu casino also was brimming with crowd and the pool side was getting ready for the party which Anandan and Mehar enjoyed as I slept.

Early morning I woke the boys up and drove them to a mountain near Zephyr cove which gave a beautiful vista of the lake, though I couldn't click anything great since I didn't have tripod.  It was freezing and our finger tips went numb despite wearing gloves, the heater in the car was such saviour.   We then had a heavy continental breakfast at the hotel before checking out.  We wanted to check out a ski-resort before leaving Tahoe, we took SR207 off Lake Tahoe blvd and drove up all the way until we found a man made ski-stretch while we somewhere near Quaking Aspen avenue.  The guy in the parking told us that it was overcrowded today and we may have to wait for hours before we get a chance to ski.  We drove all the way upto Emerald bay which offers some terrific views of the lake with an island in the middle of emerald coloured lake.   We then head back straight to San Francisco for the guided tour, with me being the guide.  Stay tuned for SF photos...

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