Sometimes we forget the beauty of .....

Sometimes we forget the beauty of the nature that surrounds us. 

Sometimes we fly far away to stimulate our senses and expore new cultures

Sometimes the crowds and traffic take away from the beauty of a place that sometimes is quiet and serene

Sometimes the weather suppresses the beauty or makes it shine.

Our past times at Lake Tahoe were for long weekends skiing in the winter or a holiday weekend in the summer. What that often led to was more traffic than we could bare. If you need proof that California has grown and gotten overcrowded just drive up to Tahoe on a Friday night or back on Sunday. As  a result we found ourselves driving up there less and less just for a weekend. 

And yet, we hadn't thought or given ourselves a week to enjoy it. A week when the summer vacationers started to return to school and the resorts, restaurants and swimming pools were full of empty lounge chairs and the hiking trails felt like nature should, quiet and peaceful. 

Our week in Lake Tahoe reminded us of our love of the summers hiking in the Alps and the mountain air. The long hiking and beauitful mountain lakes and the smell of the pines. Lake Tahoe in late August truly was representative of the world's most beautiful Mountain Lakes and scenery. Our hikes took us from the new Tahoe Rim Trail to Emerald Bay where in 1929 a wealthy woman built a grand home on the Lake where she lived for 15 summers entertaining friends. Our stay at a Condo in Northstar gave us access to the grand Recreation area with a huge pool, an adult pool, 6 tennis courts, a gym, and 3 jacuzzis. It was a perfect way to spend the late afternoon after a hike. The unique part was the week we picked (again helping to contribute to the tranquility was that most schools had started and the Recreation area was free the usual crowds at a pool). The new Northstar resort had restauarants and a rolling rink with cushioned chairs to relax and enjoy the scenery. In between we took a raft ride down the Truckee river, swam in Lake Tahoe, went to a jazz concert, met friends for dinner, and read a few books.

What amazed us was how Lake Tahoe is fantastic when we could see and feel the beauty of the area, when the sun shines brightly, the green trees glisten, the ride up without traffic was easy, you could easily get a swiming lane for as long as you wanted and the area was free of crowds.  This insight and glimpse of what we remembered and loved was renewed and at the same time the recognition that we hit accidentally the right time makes us sad that it can't always be that way -- the freedom to get away for an easy weekend (sans traffic)  like we used to when we first moved to the Bay Area.  

Final lesson - a weekend just doesn't make it anymore!