Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lake Tahoe Trip!

I took my boyfriend to South Lake Tahoe for the weekend for his 30th birthday and just got back last night.  South Lake Tahoe is the part of Tahoe that borders both California and Nevada.  It's a very cool spot because first of all, it's beautiful, and second, it has all the winter and summer sports as well as the casinos on the Nevada side!

It was a rather short trip.  We flew into Reno (because the Tahoe airport is very small and expensive) on Saturday morning, got a rental car and drove to Tahoe which was about 50 miles.  It was a pretty easy drive, with a little bit of it on curvy mountainy roads which I'm sure is a lot more trouble when there's snow on the road.  But it was pretty nice when we arrived.  We enjoyed the nice views along the road!

We stayed at the 3 Peaks Resort & Beach Club which is a little boutique hotel in a pretty convenient location.  It's about 2 blocks from the beach, 2 blocks from the Heavenly Resort lifts, and 2 blocks from the casinos!  So you could say it's in the middle of everything.  The hotel itself is pretty interesting.  It was obviously built back in the day, but they have been remodeling the rooms.  We stayed at the Parlour Suites, which is one of their nicer, newly renovated suites.  It has a full sized living room with a nice fire place, a full kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom.  

The suite is renovated to a pretty modern and chic look.  It definitely looked like they hired a designer for parts of it.  For example, the valance matches the ottoman and the round decorative pillows on the bed, etc.  But it also seemed that they forgot / ran out of money for some of the simple things.  The phones still look like they are from 1980, and the kitchen appliances and counter tops weren't changed at all.  Also they could have fixed some light fixtures - just relatively cheap details they could have done to make everything tie together.  Regardless though, we really liked the place.  It's very cute and quiet, and the size was very good.  We enjoyed having a full kitchen as well because we went grocery shopping and cooked our own food so we barely spent any money!  

The front office is pretty nice, they have free computer and printer for use.  They also give you towels for the pool (which was closed in the winter) and hot tub.  The hot tub is awesome!  It is a bi-level gigantic tub!!  Possibly the biggest hot tub I've ever seen!  It closes at 11 pm which is an hour later than the usual 10 pm closing at most places.  We went after a light snow storm though and the water was not hot enough.  =(  We had to leave after only a little while and walk back to the room in the freezing cold weather with only a towel on which was NOT fun at all.  We heard from the couple that was also in the tub though that the night before, it was really hot and nice.  Too bad we missed it!

Anyway, aside from the hotel, we tried going up to Heavenly to go snowboarding or tubing.  We figured it would have been kind of lame if we didn't do something snow related.  Especially since I brought my snowboard and all.  But we found out that in order to go up to Heavenly, you had to pay $31 to get up the gondola!  So once you are up there, you have to pay another $30 or whatever for tubing.  That adds up quickly and is pretty lame since tubing usually costs $10 or so.  So we passed and figured we'd go to a less "prestigious" resort.

Well, we found the Sierra at Tahoe resort which is only $25 for tubing total so we went.  I had never been snow tubing before so I was curious to try.  Sierra is about 10-15 min drive from where we were.  It was already a little late when we got there.  But there were barely any people there so we found very good parking.  The tubing hill was very lame though.  It was not steep at all - definitely for little kids.  So we passed.  But we did find out that they have internet special for a 2.5 hour snowboard or ski lesson for $35 if you book online the night before!!  Such a great deal!  I've never heard of anything like it! Maybe it's the economy??  Well we went back that night and booked it for the next morning.  However, it was snowing really hard by then and they wouldn't let us up the road unless we had chains on our tires.  Since we had a rental car and were leaving that day, we didn't want to buy chains just to get up there.  Very sad.  =(  We will try to get our money back but they said no refunds when we bought online.  Well it will be worth a try anyways, better than throwing away $70!

Anyway, we also visited the casinos.  There were only 4 casinos on the main stripe.  I think one more somewhere down the road.  But the Harrah's and Harvey's were both pretty crappy and depressing.  They are old and looked like they weren't updated very well.  And they smelled like cigarette inside really bad.  Not the fancy schmancy Vegas type casino at all!  Montbleu was the nicest.  It had been remodeled in the past 5 years and 100000 times better than the others!  It smelled good too.  Oh and also we won there playing craps and poker.  Hehehe.  Maybe that fact also made me like that casino the best.  =)

So I wish we had at least one more day there.  But work has been pretty busy lately and I only wanted to take one day off.  I do wish we could have made it up to the mountain to go boarding though.  I have been a few times before but I'm not very good and I wanted to take that lesson!  I just can't transition from heel edge to toe edge and vice versa.  I just want to be able to cruise down an intermediate level hill nicely.  It was very empty that weekend and it was a Monday, so I think there was a very good chance that we could have been the only people taking that lesson!  Grrrr... damn snow!!!  

Well everything else was nice about the trip though.  It was very relaxing to just hang out.  I want to go back there soon, maybe in the summer.  We could lay out by the beach and go kayaking or jetskiing, or golfing or horseback riding!  Flying into Reno and driving there was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be since the Reno airport is so easy.  And the rental car companies are right outside and give really good rates.  I think we paid $25 a day!  So I think we will definitely go back more often than not.  I want to be a good snowboarder!

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