Exploring the west side of Lake Tahoe

Over the Memorial Day weekend, we took a quick family trip up to Lake Tahoe. We always stay in Truckee when we visit Lake Tahoe, and we tend to visit the same hiking trails, beaches, and attractions every time we visit. This time around, we decided to explore the west side of Lake Tahoe; and we are so thrilled we did!

Anywhere you go in Lake Tahoe, there is natural beauty all around. So when I say my breath got taken away in Emerald’s Bay, that says something. It has to be the most beautiful hike I have ever done in the Lake Tahoe area. The hike we went on was at Vikingsholm.

Vikingsholm is an early 1900’s estate which has been turned into a public attraction. Initially I thought we were going to tour a mansion; much like the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. I was wrong! When we drove down highway 89 and approached the parking lot for Vikingsholm, I realized this was not your usual fancy house tour. The parking lot is quite small, and if you do not arrive when the lot opens at 10am, then chances are you will not find a parking spot. We snagged one of the last two open spots in the lot. Score!

While my husband was purchasing a parking pass, my kids discovered some huge rocks behind the parking lot office. They climbed up the rocks and discovered the beautiful Emerald Bay, and a roaring waterfall. It was beautiful!

I had no idea how long the hike from the parking lot, to the Vikingsholm mansion, would be. I thought it would be quick and easy, boy I was wrong! My daughter slipped on some rocks on the hike down, bruising her knee, and all of my kids started to complain about how long the hike was. Thankfully, we packed water and snacks for the kids, so that helped us get down the hill without too many complaints from the kids. Despite their tired feet, they were amazed at the beauty of the bay as we hiked down the hill.

At the bottom of the hill you are rewarded with a pretty, private beach and the Vikingsholm house. Unfortunately for us, the house wasn’t open yet for the summer season! We had to peer through the windows to see inside. I cannot believe I was able to get this shot of the dining room! Aren’t the details on the ceiling amazing!

The hike at Vikingsholm continues past the house, along the beach, and up a small hill where it meets a beautiful, roaring waterfall. To hike down the hill, be a Peeping Tom at the house, walk along the beach, hike over to the waterfall, and back up the trail to the parking lot took us one hour, and forty-five minutes. We were a little slow-going up the hill since the kids stopped a few times for water breaks and to rest their feet.

If you are looking for a beautiful hike, with a beach, and pretty house, then I highly recommend Vikingsholm on your next Tahoe trip! You can learn more at their website Vikingsholm.com.

Treat a visit to Vikingsholm as you would treat any hike. Be sure to wear hiking shoes or boots, wear pants to protect your legs, wear a hat to guard from the sun, wear sunscreen, and bring a first aid kit, snacks, water, a whistle, and anything else you pack when you hike.

We normally cook most of our meals at the cabin in Truckee, but sometimes we do venture out and enjoy a restaurant here or there. We ate at two restaurants this trip, Thai Kitchen and Sunnyside.

We have eaten dinner at Sunnyside a few times now and love the water-side ambiance, and delicious food. If you want to enjoy a meal by the water, at a buzz-worthy spot, then be sure to book reservations at Sunnyside a few weeks in advance; especially if you would like to dine on the patio! They are also a popular brunch spot. Parking is limited so be prepared to valet or park on the street a couple blocks down from the restaurant.

Thai Kitchen was a new spot for us. We were coming back from our hike at Vikingsholm and discovered it on our way back to Truckee. Thai Kitchen is located in Tahoe City, and has a small, shared parking lot. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, so if we were not starving for food, we may have walked past it. We are so glad we didn’t! Despite the dated decor, the food is fabulous! Seriously, I lived in San Francisco for ten years and have enjoyed a lot of different Thai food, so I feel like I can confidently say this is some of the best Thai food I have tried! LOVE it!

They have a lunch menu, and a dinner menu, so it is a great spot for either meal. Love!

Of course, when the weather is warm, the beaches at Tahoe cannot be beat. We enjoyed a restful day at Meeks Bay Beach over the Memorial Day weekend, and we loved it! The beach is tucked off the highway, so you don’t hear any street noise. Before you reach the beach, there is a general store where you buy a day pass for parking. It is really quick and easy. Then, you continue a few feet behind the building and park in the lot. There are picnic areas, camping sites, and a beautiful beach!

If you want a serene beach area, which is less busy then King’s Beach, then check out Meek’s Bay Beach. You will love it! Plus, if you have a raft, they have a pump you can use for free to blow up your raft. Love that!

Have you ever been to the west side of Lake Tahoe? If so, where are your favorite spots?

My round beach blanket can be found online here.

Thanks for stopping by!



Outdoor summer fundraiser outfit

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Wearing: Hat: Eugenia Kim / Sunglasses: Chanel / Lipstick: MAC Tendertalk Lip Balm / Earrings: Kendra Scott / Dress: Nanette Lepore / Handbag: vintage Chanel (also love SAVE or SPLURGE) / Bracelet: Kendra Scott / Nail Polish: Tom Ford Black Sugar / Ring: Kendra Scott / Shoes: Saint Laurent

Bottom photo: myself, my beautiful twelve-year-old daughter, and my mom 🙂 (I’m not really that tall, these shoes make me tall! )

Earlier in August, I attended the League to Save Tahoe’s annual Tahoe beachfront fundraiser. This fundraiser is presented by Saks Fifth Avenue and features the Oscar de la Renta resort collection which was designed by Peter Copping. This year, the event raised over $860K for lake conservation efforts! That is a staggering, amazing number!

It is the most enjoyable fundraiser I attend every year! Although the event is held at a private estate on the beach in Incline Village, NV, the majority of attendees are from the Bay Area. It is really fun to meet people, and find out they live close-by, or have a common ground with me. The crowd is both philanthropic, and into fashion, so conversation focuses around helping the community, saving the lake, and fashion! It is my people 🙂

This was the first time my daughter attended a grown-up fundraiser. She has modeled in the Junior League fashion show before, but has never attended a fundraiser as a guest. She did really well! She enjoyed looking at the silent auction, the view, and the fashion show. She even ate the very grown up food! I was so proud of her!

She really is growing into a nice young lady before my eyes. Oh I wish she would stop growing up! My baby is almost taller than me, and she is one shoe size away from me! It seems like just yesterday she was a little baby girl, now she is a young lady! Thankfully the braces keep her looking young 😉

When deciding what to wear to the League to Save Lake Tahoe annual beachfront fundraiser, there is a strategy involved. The event is held outside, on the beach. When you are in elevation, the temperature may be seventy or eighty degrees, but the sun is more potent than at sea level. This means sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses are a must! When choosing a hat, it must be low lying so as not to block other guests from properly viewing the live auction and the runway show. This is usually easy to accomplish, but something to keep in mind while deciding on a hat.

The first time I attended the event, I wore a brown and white cotton dress. This kept me cool, but since you are sitting in part shade during the event, you can perspire a little bit. I do not recommend wearing white cotton to this event. I don’t need to explain. 😉 The best type of dress to wear to the League to Save Lake Tahoe fundraiser is one which is lightweight, offers a print or dark color, and does not show perspiration.

Shoes are an important factor in deciding what to wear to an outdoor, beachfront fundraiser. They must have a flat sole or you will find yourself sinking into the sand. My favorite type of shoe to wear is an espadrille, but any flat or wedge, which is not too narrow, will do.

If you love the environment, and Lake Tahoe, as much as I do, please check out The League to Save Lake Tahoe’s website online here. To see all the beautiful designs on Oscar de la Renta’s resort 2017 runway, please click here.

Thanks for stopping by,



Things to do in Tahoe during spring break

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The Lake Tahoe area is one of the most beautiful natural environments in the country. For those of us who live in Northern California, we are blessed with the ability to drive to the Lake Tahoe area during any season. For those who live farther away, Lake Tahoe is a plane trip away. Although most people think of Tahoe as a place to go during the ski season for snow activities, there are actually a lot of fun things to do in Tahoe during spring break.

Spring break is usually in March or April, and falls between the end of the ski season, and just before the summer season. The summer season in Lake Tahoe includes beach activities, lake activities including boating, hiking, river rafting, and more. Unfortunately, most of these activities do not start until May or June; after spring break has ended.

Oftentimes, people do not think of heading to Lake Tahoe for spring break because they fear there isn’t any snow, and the summer activities haven’t started; they think there is nothing to do! Well, this isn’t true-there are plenty of things to do in Tahoe during spring break!

Our spring break took place at the beginning of April. We were blessed this past winter with a great snow season which left plenty of snow on the mountains for skiing, and snow play. Although we were fortunate to be able to ski over spring break, there were plenty of other activities to partake in during spring break in Tahoe too.

Here is a list of all the fabulous activities we enjoyed during spring break in Tahoe this year; and they are activities you can enjoy next spring break too!

Skiing and Snowboarding:

Although the snow does not last through spring break every year, this year we were lucky. Most of the ski resorts were still open, and still offering lessons. If you are traveling to Tahoe during spring break, look at the resorts which are at higher elevation, away from the lake. They have the best remaining snow, and the most runs open. If you have children who are beginners, Tahoe Donner is a great ski resort to check out during spring break. It isn’t crowded, so chances are you will not have to wait in line to get on the chair lift.

Other resorts to check out are Squaw and Northstar. They had great snow during spring break, and they have fabulous runs for more experienced skiers and snowboarders.

things to do in tahoe during spring break

Sledding, Tubing, and Saucering:

Most of the tubing parks, and snow play areas at the resorts, were open. The state owned snow play park was closed. Make sure you call a snow play area before driving over, just to make sure it is open. You can also find a clean hillside, which is safely away from traffic, and make your own, free snow play area.

Be careful with saucering. The weather during spring break in Tahoe can reach moderate temperatures during the day. This means the snow melts, and then freezes overnight; causing icy conditions which can be too fast for a slippery saucer. Proceed with caution.


Hiking is a free activity which is usually associated with summer activities in Tahoe, but it is also great in the spring season! Spring break is the perfect time to hike in the Lake Tahoe area. As the snow melts, you can see beautiful landscapes filled with streams, snow, and greenery. It is truly breathtaking. The snow-capped hills, balanced by the green growth, makes for a beautiful hike.

Picnic at the Beach:

The lake water is freezing, but this doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beauty of the lakeside beach. Pack a picnic, and enjoy the fabulous scenery that Lake Tahoe is famous for. I recommend enjoying a picnic at King’s Beach. There are picnic tables, and a play structure for the kids. Think of all the beautiful pictures you can take on the beach too! I hear a family photo opportunity coming!

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Silver Mines:

If you were educated in California, you know everything there is to know about the Gold Rush; and the gold mines! But, have you ever visited a silver mine? They are similar to gold mines, yet different. If you drive 45 minutes east of the Lake Tahoe area, you can tour Silver Mines, and take in the history of Virginia City.  It is a history lesson, and a fun, unexpected activity for you and your family. We set aside one day during spring break for our silver mine excursion. I recommend planning to visit one day during your vacation. Hey, maybe you’ll strike it rich!

See a Show!

The Lake Tahoe area is right on the border of California and Nevada. This means the casinos are just on the other side of the state-line. Many of the casinos in both north and south shore offer big names on stage. You can see your favorite singer, band, or show!

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Relax at the Pool or Hot Tub:

Depending on where you stay during your visit to Lake Tahoe in the spring season, you may or may not have access to a swimming pool. If you stay at a hotel, you can enjoy the swimming pool or hot tubs after skiing. If you stay at a house with pool access, you can do the same!

There you have it! The list of activities of things to do in Tahoe during spring break is not as long as winter or summer, but there are still enough activities to fill up your spring break calendar. Another reason to visit the Lake Tahoe area during spring break is the fact that a lot of other people don’t! This means the Tahoe area is not crowded, so enjoying your favorite activities is extremely easy-and crowd-free! Love that!

If you have any other suggestions of things to do in Tahoe during spring break, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I am always looking for more things to do with the kids, and I am sure you are too!

things to do in lake tahoe over spring break