Sunday, August 1, 2010

I left my heart in Lake Tahoe…

We’re finally back from our annual "same shit, different place” adventure in South Lake Tahoe.

As always, Tahoe was beautiful...gorgeous blue skies, crystal clear water and crisp clean mountain air.

I'm telling you, there is nothing like being up in the mountains that clears my head and makes me feel like everything is going to be okay.

I was feeling so good that one night I told Tim, "Feel free to go see a movie with my brother and my dad and I'll take the kids to the beach".


See what I mean. It's makes me a nicer person.

However, traveling with various family members had its downside. But I want to keep this post light and fun...I'll save the family drama for another post.

Day 1...we went to Virginia City, where the kids anxiously waited to ride the diesel train. We had to stop at the candy store first because there is no fun to be had when you're not flying higher than a kite after devouring pure sugar.



Yeah, people stared at me and my kids. Ask me if I care.

My stepdad took this next picture of Bella and me on the train. Not sure what's going on with all the boobage but now I can see why Tim likes when I wear this tank-top.


Awww, aren't all the kids adorable, as they calmly stare at the beautiful countryside?

I don't recall anyone on the train actually commenting about how adorable they were...rather I think they were just thrilled that the sugar high wore off and that the kids were still for a short period of time.


The cowboy in the next picture was walking around town, announcing that there would be a gun fight at 3:00 sharp. Garrett asked him, "Are you Woody?" and the cowboy replied, "Am I WHO?"

Garrett screamed, "Woody! Are you Woody?" Finally, the cowboy got it and he answered, "Oh, from Toy Story? No, but I know Woody!"

That answer was sufficient enough to make the cowboy cool enough in Garrett's book. He asked me to take a picture of him with Woody's BFF.


This dude below is the smoking baby. And, yes, the baby does smoke...for real. We named him Eugene.

You may recall we bought Bella a smoking baby last year but unfortunately its head got knocked of its body and we had to lay it to rest. All year long, Bella's been talking about going back to Virginia City and buying another one.

Imagine her delight when we managed to find the very last smoking baby in all of Virginia City.

Eugene was itching for a smoke so we broke him out of the box and my stepdad lit a cigarette for him. While Eugene smoked, we read the warning on the box..."Remove and extinguish cigarette before it reaches baby's mouth. You don't want to burn his lips!" don't want the baby to burn his lips but it's okay to let him smoke. Just so we're clear.



My kids are such weaklings. They really need to start eating more spinach.


Day 2...we went to Cave Rock Beach and caught crawdads. It was serious fun.

Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures. The kids kept me pretty occupied...what with grabbing crawdads with their bare hands and tripping over the slippery rocks.

We caught 25 crawdads overall...and we ate those suckers after boiling them and sauteeing them in garlic butter. Yum.


From there, we hit the Trout Farm. This place is like a hooker at the Bunny Ranch...a sure thing. Within 5 minutes of throwing your line in the water, you'll have a bite.


The trout farm requires you to hit the fish over the head with a steel pipe, upon catching it, supposedly to prevent it from dying a slow painful death.

I guess a quick painful death is more humane.

The kids fought over who would get to hit the fish on the head. My stepdad had to keep yelling over them, "Enough already! Each of you will get a turn!"

Then I heard Tim say, "Geez, Bella, calm down...". I looked up in time to capture this picture...


I said to Tim, "I'm gonna have a hard time erasing this image from my mind." He agreed.

Day 3...spent the day at Sand Harbor Beach, which is the most beautiful beach in Tahoe, in my opinion.

Look at how clear the water peaceful it seems. You can be up to your shoulders in the water and still see your feet at the bottom.


You know the saying "heaven on earth"? Well, this is my heaven on earth right here...


And we caught more crawdads. It's an addiction...just sayin'.


Day 4...spent the morning at Glen Alpine Falls at Fallen Leaf Lake. You want to see the beauty of nature? Visit this gorgeous waterfall.



Yeah, that's Tim...wandering around the other side of the waterfall. I think he was trying to escape my clutches but soon realized there was no way out. Poor guy.


From there, we went over to the Stream Profile at Camp Richardson. Kinda boring, after having been at the waterfall...but it was still relaxing and the kids found some cool rocks to bring home.



Day 5...after having dinner with my brother, my dad and his wife, and my sister and her kids, Tim went to the movies while I took the kids over to Lakeside Beach and let them burn off some energy.



A mama duck and her babies kept approaching us, looking for the kids were kind enough to share their snacks with them.


Day 6...our last day in paradise. We spent a few hours on the beach at Camp Richardson.

Bella happily and willingly buried Cole in the sand...I had to convince her that it was not a good idea to bury his head.

She asked, "Why can't I bury his head?"

I replied, "Uh, because he won't be able to breathe. Isn't that a good enough reason?"

She answered, "No, not really."

I warned Cole that he should probably start sleeping at night with one eye open.


Look at my sweet babies playing so nicely together in the water....and the naive, innocent duck heading their way.

Don't worry...the duck came to his senses when he realized the boys had no food to share and that if he got any closer, he would more than likely become a meal himself.


After the beach, we headed back the valley in the middle of nowhere, where it's hotter than hell.

I'm already counting down the days until next summer's adventure...


Dysfunctional Mom said...

Look at you, hot mama! I thought you were some young babysitter or something.
That smoking baby is extremely bizarre!

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

What a beautiful place and such a fun time you had! I liked seeing all your pictures and yes, I agree about waterfalls. They are very relaxing!

Rebecca said...

I have to admit that I'm not a Lake Person, but you may have converted me. Tahoe is beautiful! It may make me a nicer person too! The pictures are priceless (especially the sledgehammer and Bella...yikes!). Glad you had fun and of course there was could there not be as Family is really the other F-word???

Marcia (123 blog) said...

Can't wait to hear the family drama - am I bad for saying that?

BEAUTIFUL pics!!!! And what a gorgeous tan you have :)

I am definitely a water person - calms me right down!

Eva Gallant said...

I've never been to Tahoe. Your photos make me want to go. My favorite is the four kids holding hands at waters edge, viewed from behind with their shadows on the ground stretching behind them. Great photos. Glad you had a good time.

Yellow said...

Sounds like it was a great vacation! I am sure the people on the train will get over the sugar high the kids had. After all how elese is one to keep busy on a train?

Merri Ann said...

I think it's the sight of the mountains and the water together that are the calming thing for me. Tahoe is soo beautiful.

Ditto for me on the photo of the kiddos holding hands ... how sweet is that? And, ditto about the tan ... have to say the boobage didn't catch my eye but the tan did ... great photos.

So glad you had a good vacation :))

The Mother said...

I always figure that if you return from a vacation with the same number of kids you started with, not only was it a success, but you are a saint.

Feel free to request a statue be erected.

Twins Squared said...

Looks so gorgeous! And looks like you all had a great time - how nice to just get away. I really like the picture of you and Bella (and no it isn't because of your tank top!). :)

Marianne said...

Tahoe is one of my favorite places I've ever been to. It truly is unlike anywhere else. So glad you guys had such a wonderful time, I know you needed it! You can tell it was relaxing and enjoyed by everyone!

In other news: You have the most gorgeous skin I have ever laid eyes on. I looked at that picture and didn't even recognize you. Actually, I thought it was some 20-year-old babysitter and then I got pissed that you didn't take me up on my offer! Ha, kidding (about the babysitter, not the 20 year old bit-- you look wicked young!)

In more news: The smoking baby is the creepiest and most hilarious "toy" I've ever seen.

Kristina P. said...

I have never been, even though I grew up in Southern California. It looks so beautiful.

Stefenie said...

Loved your comment on the smoking baby. Who in the world came up with that idea? Jeepers!

The best pic....for me anyway...was the first fish clubbing pic in which your boy looks like he is out for blood. LOL!! Gotta love the strange things that kids get excited over.

Brooke said...

gorgeous pictures! :)

and i noticed your tan in the picture of you more than the boobage :P

Jen said...

I want to go there on vacation. How fun.

Kim said...

Ha! That picture of Bella about to strike is hilarious!

Now that you're home from "vacation," you can recover and get some rest ; )

Megan said...

AWESOME pics. It looks like you guys had such a great time! You look gorgeous in that pic of you and Bella, btw.

I am seriously laughing out loud at the trout butchering....OMG. Bella is hilarious.

Donna said...

Man - I was all "She freakin' took a BABYSITTER on HER vacation!" jelly - then you said it was YOU! No wonder Tim chases you around! You're beautiful and you somehow managed to pull off a "clean, not un-kempt or frazzled look of serenity on your face!" I am Impressed!!

Clubbing the fish?! For the sake of the fish! That's pretty hysterical! And I fully expect that one to come back 'round in a future kid argument/fight - right?

Again, breathtaking views! Love the four of them holding hands in the water - that's a framer for sure!

Welcome back/home! THanks for sharing the pics with us!

Oh - and um, (insert bashful look) golly-gee, thanks for the shout out during your interview. Kinda solidified my gurl-crush on ya! bwahahaha ;-)
Seriously, I was beaming for days!

Happy Mommyin'!

MiMi said...

Oh, you have SUCH a beautiful family!! Virginia City is so much fun, I bet my kids are the perfect age for that. :)

Nezzy said...

Dang if I'm not missin' out here. All pics are opening for me 'cept the XXX rated boob and the cowboy pic. I've tried several attempts....sorry, it's just the stubborn in me.

I can certainly see why you left your heart in Lake Tahoe. It looks just marvelous. I admit I'm just a little jealous...we rarely get away from the Ponderosa, although we are havin' a little Branson ditty this weekend. We've been tryin' this getaway since the first of the year. Things are always happenin' 'round here.

Rest up and have a glorious week with the fam! :o)

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

Graet pictures! Love the one of you & Bella. That was nice of the cowboy. Haven't y'all been to that trout farm before? I seem to remember hitting the trout with the pipe. I'm glad you had a calm relocation.

Jenny said...

Look at you, you are so tan! LOL about the tank top.

It really looks like you all had an awesome time! Welcome home!

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I need a smoking baby! OMG! What a riot. I would totally put it in a stroller and walk around the block. That would pretty much cinch it that I would never have to make small talk again!!!

What an awesome vacation! So peaceful.

Kate said...

Looks amazing! I'm glad y'all could get away :)

Crossed Fingers said...

Your pictures are beautiful! I love the one of you and Bella! She looks so much like you.

I was cracking up about hitting the fish with the steel pipe...what the heck is that all about?! haha!

Erin said...

That photo of you and Bella is seriously GORGEOUS. Two amazingly beautiful girls. All of your photos here are wonderful, and I fell in love with that clear water. I might even be convinced to swim in it (I don't like to swim in large/open bodies of water where I can't see) looks incredible. I'm so glad you guys escaped and had a blast!

Elizabeth said...

The Lake agrees with you... you look beautiful.
Im glad you had some nice times with your family.

Heather B said...

Looks like a fabulous vacation! Of course anytime there's a beach AND mountains involved I'm in heaven:)
The smoking baby??? Well, I can only imagine what your "anonymous" commenter would have to say about that - or perhaps she would get stuck on Bella next to the boobage;) lol!
Glad you all enjoyed yourselves:)

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

I love Lake Tahoe! Your pics brought back a lot of memories for me. I am looking at a painting right now, that I painted years ago, of my youngest son, when he was about 7 yr. old fishing for crawdads on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. I also got my Christmas card photo for that year right on that lake. I can see a good one for yours in your pics. How about the one where they are all holding hands looking out to the lake? They are such beautiful kids and you are a beautiful mama. I love the picture of you and Bella. Actually, the picture of the kids on the train would make a great Christmas pic too. But, I've got to tell you. The ones smashing the trout over the head? "I'm also going to have a hard time erasing that from my head!" Thanx. I do love that smoking baby - I need me one of those. All in all it looks like you had a great vacation and as always thanks for sharing your awesome sense of humor and your adorable family.

shortmama said...

Looks like a great time in a beautiful place!

Jenna said...

What a wonderful trip, so glad you guys enjoyed yourselves. I am laughing that they enjoy hitting the fish so much, ha ha.

Ms Bibi said...

Lol, the smoking baby little creepy.

Great pictures.I love the four of them holding hands and looking at the precious.

Yes, tank tops are husbands best friend.

Zeemaid said...

Beautiful photos! That smoking baby was very, very strange. It smokes real cigarettes?

Sounds like you all had a wonderful time. It's funny but everytime scrolled past your photos, O kept saying there's O, there's O. *L*

You looked great btw. Awesome tan and yes husbands love all tops showing off a little cleavage. ;)

Alicia said...

LOL, you always have a way of making your pictures so animated!!!! I can just hear your voices!!

And you look awesome, and so tanned! You have nice skin! LOL

Aging Mommy said...

Lovely photos, really lovely picture of you and of all those lovely spots you found on your vacation. Sounds like a wonderful time, one day I shall have to pay a visit to Lake Tahoe myself I think!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! Looks like you had a ton of fun! I live about 3 hrs or so from Tahoe, and I havent been there in years.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

ahh, perfect! we stopped in lake tahoe on our way to Cupertino and spent only a short day there. I can't wait to go back, and this didn't help! It was so beautiful!

Dianna@KennedyAdventures said...

I don't know which picture I like the best --

-- the titty shot -- and why did I think you were blonde?

-- the views are spectactular!

-- I laughed my butt off at the fish clubbing and the smoking baby

So glad you had a great time!

The Lane Family said...

What a wonderful trip and what fun adventures you had!!

We also love to catch crawdads and I agree it is is fishing for crabs :)

The picture of you and Bella was great and you both look so tan...awesome~!!!

Mimi and Tilly said...

You made me spit tea today! I love the pic of you and Bella, you both look beautiful. Your comment about boobage made me laugh, my significant other loves it when I wear a certain top too. Have a geat day Helene. xxx

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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