Lake Tahoe Travel Log

I know I promised a recap of our big Lake Tahoe trip over a week ago. I also promised I would be back this week with Meal Plan Monday. I honestly have no idea how last week got away from me! I really want to take my time and do our amazing trip justice but I’m afraid if I wait too much longer and put too much more thought into it I will let it fall into the archives of my mind and never get it down here. So without overthinking this too much, here goes…


When you think Lake Tahoe, you probably imagine the winterscape and ski slopes. Or you might even imagine summertime and water sports. We arrived in Tahoe right smack in the middle of these two seasons and while it was quiet, it still offered so much for adventurers like us!

We were in town for a wedding and so our lodging was chosen for us. Thank goodness because I would have never dreamed to choose the Ritz Carlton but man did I love every minute of staying there!

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I can’t imagine there is a single room without a view as this resort boasts 360 views of the amazing mountains. Nestled at an altitude of about 6600 feet we experienced sunny and warm days and cool evenings. The stars were absolutely magnificent at night and I was excited to finally bust out my fall capsule wardrobe for this trip.

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Upon arriving at the resort we settled into our room and began to unpack while family stopped in to welcome us to Lake Tahoe. We literally moved right in and got to work making the place feel like a home away from home!

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Waiting upon our arrival was my order from Rent the Runway (<affiliate link).  I was so excited to open it up and try on all of the beautiful dresses! I actually had a few issues with my order but their customer service was top notch and came through for me.

After settling in we walked down to the pool area to see Jacqui, the bride to be. The weather was gorgeous, sunny and warm. The heated pool was the perfect place to relax for the afternoon. I just dipped my toes in and enjoyed the sunshine.

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We were exhausted from an early morning flight but instead of taking a nap we opted for a run/hike instead. We laced up our sneakers and headed out on the trail to Sawmill Lake. We didn’t stay long because a swarm of bees began to attack every time we stood still for a second. We rushed out of there and back to the hotel to get ready for Thursday night’s festivities.

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Our first big event of the weekend was the Rehearsal Dinner. We were shuttled to Moe’s BBQ on the shores of Lake Tahoe. The restaurant was rented out for the event and wings and shrimp were on the tables as appetizers. I enjoyed several glasses of Pinot Noir and all the cornbread and fixin’s from the buffet line. The live music outside on the patio was fantastic but a little chilly so we nestled into a table with Alex’s family and some new friends and enjoyed the conversation that first night.

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By 9pm I was crashed and thankful the shuttles began taking us back up the mountain. I was never so excited for a giant, comfortable hotel bed as I was that night!

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Friday morning we were wide awake at 4am! Thank you giant time change. Alex and I both tossed and turned in bed until 6:30 when we were awake for good. I poured us each a cup of espresso from our in-room Nespresso machine and we relaxed in bed until hunger got the better of us.

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We attempted a quick workout in the hotel gym before breakfast until we realized the high altitude made any high intensity cardio nearly impossible. After a quick but miserable whiteboard workout we took to the trails instead. We made our way down a trail to the Village at Northstar and found a quiet cafe for breakfast. Alex’s family came to meet us and we ate a simple eggs, toast and bacon meal; the bacon was the absolute show stopper of the breakfast! We took our time walking through some of the shops in the village before heading back up the trail to the hotel (a one mile, 1,000 foot climb!)

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Back at the hotel it was time for the pool party. We suited up and headed out for cocktails and lunch and live Reggae music.

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A quick nap and shower later and we were up and ready to go for the main event Friday night. This is one event I’m going to have trouble recapping in just a few short sentences.  I’ll let this photograph do all the talking:

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The jumpsuit I rented from Rent the Runway was perfect for the 70s costume party. We bought Alex’s pants and shirt on eBay and my friend Angie found the denim jacket in her dad’s closet! The costumes were varied and wild and the 70s cover band was perfect for the event. The whole menu was themed with Salisbury steak and Chicken a la King as the main courses, Easy Cheese, fried Bologna sandwiches and Swedish meatballs as the appetizer, and Snack Packs and Pop Tarts for dessert. The wine was going down easy and Alex and I danced all night long.

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To reach the party we rode the chair lift (you could choose the Gondolas but had to wait in line) to the lodge at the top of the mountain. We were lucky enough to catch the lift with both Alex’s sisters and got to spend a few quality minutes with the very busy bride. It was incredibly cold heading up the mountain but worth it for the incredible views!

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As you could expect Saturday morning came quick and our bodies still wanted to be on Eastern time. We struggled to stay in bed until 7am but finally rallied so we could grab breakfast and head out on our biggest hike of the weekend.

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We met some new friends in the lobby of the hotel and rode with them to Donner’s Pass to hike to the summit of Mt. Judah. At its peak we had gorgeous views of Lake Mary. It was a difficult hike and incredibly windy and cold at the top, but so worth those views! We got a little lost on the way down and found our way back to the parking area via a few ski slopes and roads. Thank goodness for iPhones and GPS!

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Back at the hotel we made our way to the village for a quick lunch and relaxed until the wedding began that evening. Once we were dressed and ready for the event we headed to the fire pit for “Marshmology.” (aka s’mores)

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It was so cold outside but by the fire we managed to stay warm. At promptly 6pm we walked to the ceremony area and were handed glasses of Rosè as we entered. The ceremony was gorgeous. We laughed, we cried, we laughed more. I didn’t bring my phone with me so I don’t have a single photo from the evening except a few taken on Alex’s phone. I wanted to unplug and just enjoy time with family and the special event.

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While I don’t have any photos, I want to say a few things about the wedding. First it was gorgeous. I ate the most delicious short rib ever and drank way too much wine. The band was amazing and the company at our table was so fun. Alex’s sister Jacqui was a stunning bride and looked so incredibly happy. I wish I would have gotten a photo of her and her partner Britt. You could tell by the speeches, their friends, and the entire event that they are well loved, supported and celebrated. They both are the most interesting and exciting people I know and I loved being a part of their special day. I also loved getting to see our adorable nephew Cal, even if we didn’t get to spend near enough time with them over the course of the weekend!

By Sunday I was exhausted. I was also ready to get back to my babies. We had brunch with Alex’s family before heading to the airport. Our flight left late meaning we missed our connection in Phoenix and had to stay the night in a hotel. We were thankful the airline comped our rooms and dinner and got us on the first flight Monday morning, but I was emotionally drained and cried over not getting home to the girls. We reached Chicago around noon on Monday and I finally got to squeeze my babies and our little family was reunited!

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We had an amazing trip and I loved getting to spend all the quality time with Alex. We got to enjoy our favorite things including hiking, traveling, eating and drinking wine! It was such a refreshment to be away from the girls and just spend time with my husband. It was also fun to attend such fun parties. I don’t typically go to that many events in a year, let alone a weekend!

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