50 Shades of Blue?

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe. 9th & 10th August 2013
There are brilliant places in this world;places that make you fixed in that one place in all of time and space. I’ve been to many places in the world: Cornwall (UK), Isle Capri (Italy), Coorg (India), Lake District (UK), Amsterdam (The Netherlands) – all beautiful and magnificent places. Lake Tahoe (California, US) certainly made it on my ‘Top 20 Amazing Places’ list.

This was yet another trip with my family, like all my trips, and this time things were very different. Of course, we have all grown as individuals, and in age over the years, but this trip to Lake Tahoe was different. We had all become completely aware of where we were, where we came from, and where we were headed. But the biggest difference was that I was in charge of the trip.
I was to organize and manage the trip, keep an account of our expenses, and decide the places we were to go. An interesting bit about the whole process was the revelation that my likes and urges to visit certain places were the same things that my parents would’ve wanted to visit. That was a very scary notion; I was like my parents? Huh. Who knew? It’s not so bad, now that I think about it. We have been to countless trips and traveled more than any average family would. I am grateful to my family for that. The exposure to the world I benefited in those trips, through all my years, all seem to lead up to that point in time when I was standing at the edge of Lake Tahoe.
Lake Tahoe is, as everyone knows, a very scenic place. I could write about statistics and facts about Lake Tahoe but I’d rather not. There’s so much more I wish to tell. The trip turned out to be one of the best I’ve ever had. I might be biased, since I came up with the entire itinerary. But, none the less, my family and I enjoyed our time out at Lake Tahoe, and maybe I’d visit again in the winter season. Check out the hype about skiing. God knows I won’t be any good at it.
Travelling to Lake Tahoe, for me, meant two things: keep drinking coffee, and keep the phone charged. I don’t have a DSLR camera. I doubt I ever will. I was content with my 8 MP camera. All of us had smartphones and decent in-built cameras. We took a lot of pictures (some of them uploaded on here) and we came up with a good selection of pictures collaborated from all our phones. The clicks and shutters began an hour into our drive from Sunnyvale to South Lake Tahoe.
My dad loves to drive. Having transitioned, from the Right-hand drive to Left-hand drive, didn’t falter his resolve to drive the entire trip but it did scare the rest of us time and again. We still engage in light banter when it comes to driving on the “wrong side of the road” and having to “follow traffic rules”. We got off the I-680 at Sacramento and continued on to the I-50, a single carriageway woven into the pine trees and valleys of Pollock Pines. I love the drive through a valley. You get to see so many colors, and you come across some wonderful sights along the way.
We saw a stream running along the I-50. The moment we saw the sunlight dancing off the beads of water, we parked at an emergency stop (oops), got off the car, climbed down the less trodden trail, and stood in the tall grass. We were in a valley; the stream flowing along the foot of the hill, the noise of cars quietly whizzing behind our backs, and the mild clippity-clap of the dancing water tapping on the rocks. I didn’t want to leave.

Nature has a subtle influence over us. It’s the one thing you can drown your soul in and won’t feel hurt. This was just the beginning of the trip, I said to myself, and there’s more to come. And, was I right? We were driving along a mountain pass and at the first glance of Lake Tahoe I jumped up in my seat, almost wrenching out my seat belt. All I thought was, “WOW! It’s so blue!”.

There were several instance throughout this trip when I felt that my eyes should’ve been a camera. It’s easy to be frustrated about the pictures that are taken on our phones. They never seem to match up to the sight in front of our eyes. It wasn’t until I got on top of the Observation Deck, via the Gondola, 9,231 feet above sea level, the full-blown impact of Lake Tahoe hit me square in my chest.

It was so much to take in. I was breathless but felt so alive. I soaked in all that blue, and all that sun as if I were a blind person able to see again. It was so much blue; there were so many shades. I could swear I saw more than 6 shades of blue. I jokingly said out loud, to nobody in particular, “Forget 50 Shades of Grey. This is much better.” Honestly, I didn’t expect anybody to hear that. A woman standing next to me laughed, and said, “Right?! Man! It is beautiful up here!” Couldn’t argue with her.

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I intended it to be a relaxing trip. We’d been on too many tours where waking up at 6 AM was mandatory and there was a packed schedule. After our little trip on the gondola we decided to eat some pizza, and drink some beer. Next, we went to a miniature golf course! It may not be much of a surprise for many, but for us this was something we’d never done before. Not only was the experience entirely new to us, but also something we wouldn’t include in a trip. But it was fun. It was relaxing and very amusing. I should go to miniature golf courses more often. As my friend read this, he is going to text me about taking me to the one on El Camino Real.
The highlight of the trip didn’t come until the evening that we got to the beach and saw the sun setting over the many mountains engulfing Lake Tahoe (second picture on this post). It was surreal. I felt as though time had stopped and all that mattered were the colors in the sky dancing over the glistening water body that lay silently in front of me.

There were many more sights I drowned myself in. The Instagram link on the first picture should give you a general idea of the treats you’ll encounter when you visit Lake Tahoe.
All in all, it was a wonderful trip. A friend said that she’d been living in the Bay Area for 20 years and never had been to Lake Tahoe. I hope this makes you want to visit L!
R, we better plan a skiing dig at Lake Tahoe in the near future. We need to get some stuff going for our outdoor-sy projects.
Finally, to my family, thank you. This was a wonderful trip. We laughed, we took a lot of pictures. Mom you looked beautiful. Devi, you are a pretty girl and you should appreciate nature more than the shoes that you were. Dad, the next time, I’m driving.
To the people who’ve never been to Lake Tahoe: Go! There’s so much to do out there. If nothing, just take a bunch of pictures by the lake and cross the border into Nevada. There’s a few casinos out there that one can indulge in.
I’m extremely lucky to be able to go to all these fantastic places in the world. I hope to write more about the places I visit. Maybe, the next one will be my Miniature Golf Course experience with my friends. I’m off to practice swinging a golf club!
Godspeed.

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