Email More Proof Tahoe is a Special Vacation Spot

January 10, 2012

Dear Sirs/Madams,

Hello! I just wanted to quickly thank you and your entire staff for a wonderful vacation! We always wanted to go to Lake Tahoe and we finally busted the move this past holiday season.

I have to say, that despite the lack of snow, the move was well worth it. I didn’t even know they could make snow in such abundance. Good thing since I don’t think a storm has come to the area in a month. Not that I’m an expert by any means, but the snow seemed just fine to me. It certainly looked, tasted, and smelled like the normal, natural stuff. ūüôā

Before we booked our vacation, we seriously thought about staying at a hotel. At the last minute, we decided that staying in a condominium would be better since we wanted to make our own meals – especially dinner. Plus, the kids really like to play catch and explore, so being able to open the door and step outside was much more appealing than the idea of taking an elevator up and down all day.

Also, while my husband and I do enjoy a little gambling here and there, it looks as though the only hotel in the area was also a casino. I’m sure it would have been fine, but we were a bit hesitant on how family-friendly that place truly was.

At any rate, I don’t want to bore you all, I just wanted to extend our thanks.

The condominium was so clean and spacious, it truly exceeded our expectations. Having all the comforts of home – a nice kitchen, living room with a flat screen TV, and multiple bathrooms – is the way to go while on vacation. The fact that we could walk to the shopping center and several really good restaurants was added bonus.

Suffice it to say, we will be back to Lake Tahoe and renting from you again. Most likely this summer as the kids want to swim in that gorgeous blue lake!  (My youngest son actually thought it was the ocean as we took a stroll along the shore.)

The entire family is extremely jealous of all you lucky people who get to live in such a beautiful, peaceful alpine location year-round. I will think of Tahoe often as I stare out my downtown office window at the honking cars and smog below.

Thanks so much again and see you this summer!

Signed,

Shirley (aka Tahoe Daydreamer)


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According to Twain, Tahoe one ‘Bigler’ Lake

September 28, 2011

When one hears the name Lake Tahoe, thoughts of stunning natural beauty come to mind. Supposedly when Mark Twain heard it, he got “disgustingly sick.”

Born Samuel Clemens in 1835, Twain was an avid traveler. He left his Missouri home at a fairly young age and crisscrossed the countryside working as a printer, typesetter, and master riverboat captain on the Mississippi River.

The gold rush brought him west to Nevada in 1861, where he tried to make it as a miner. He failed as a prospector, but soon struck gold as a reporter for the Virginia City newspaper.¬†That is where he first used his pen name, “Mark Twain” in a series of articles.

About that time, in¬†a small cabin in Tuolumne County, he also finished his work “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County,” which garnered him nation-wide success.

The beauty of the Sierra Nevada – particularly Lake Tahoe – immediately captivated Twain. In his book, Roughing It, he stated:

“We plodded on, two or three hours longer, and at last the Lake burst upon us — a noble sheet of blue water lifted six thousand three hundred feet above the level of the sea, and walled in by a rim of snow-clad mountain peaks that towered aloft full three thousand feet higher still! It was a vast oval, and one would have to use up eighty or a hundred good miles in traveling around it. As it lay there with the shadows of the mountains brilliantly photographed upon its still surface I thought it must surely be the fairest picture the whole earth affords.”

He ended up not only hiking down to the shoreline, but staying there for quite some time. “Three months of camp life on Lake Tahoe would restore an Egyptian mummy to his pristine vigor,” Twain wrote.

While the alpine scenery of Lake Tahoe overwhelmed him, apparently the name itself had quite the opposite effect. He did believe that most natural wonders and locations should bear Native American-related names, but ‘Tahoe’ was not one of them. To him, it sounded awful to the ear and Lake Bigler was the more appropriate title.

“I hope some bird will catch this grub the next time he calls Lake Bigler by so disgustingly sick and silly a name as Lake Tahoe…They say it means ‘Fallen Leaf’ – well suppose it meant Fallen Devil or Fallen Angel, would that make its hideous, discordant syllables more endurable?” he wrote.

It is true that Mark Twain is one of the most prolific, talented American writers. Just about every child remembers reading Adventures of Huck Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer in school. When it comes to his writing about changing Lake Tahoe to Lake Bigler, however, that may be one read better left on the shelf.

To think that the word “Tahoe” makes someone sick to his stomach is just downright comical. But, as one famous American writer once stated — “humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”

Perhaps that’s the big point.


Summer Vacations Heat Up in Tahoe

August 17, 2011

The city of Reno may have its nationally recognized vintage car show, but most people know Lake Tahoe is the place to be for hot August nights.

Not only is the high-altitude alpine setting the ideal place to escape scorching temperatures elsewhere, but the tourist action really heats up during the last month of summer.

While Christmas and New Years are extremely popular times to head to Tahoe, it is the mad rush to squeeze in one last vacation before school starts that brings vacationers flooding into the Tahoe Basin like the melting snow waters.

Fourth of July brings the most hotel and condominium bookings, but that is usually for a few days only. When it comes to a steady flow of crowds hitting the hotels, condos, rental homes, as well as the beach, casinos, hiking trails, and lake  РAugust, just like its namesake Augustus did before it, rules supreme.

To folks in the tourism-related industry, and to put a spin on a popular Counting Crows album title, there’s August and everything after. To those on vacation, it’s the last bastion of R&R before returning to a lengthy stint of work and school.

And what better place to do that than Lake Tahoe. If there is any place to find serenity and peace of mind to help revive the soul and raise the energy levels before the onslaught of duties once again befall most parents, it’s the Sierra Nevada.

If the giant pine trees and towering granite peaks aren’t¬†enough to immediately make one smile, the dark blue shimmering water of Lake Tahoe will.

Summer is quickly winding down, but the activities and fun in Tahoe are just heating up. With a little time left before most schools start, Tahoe is the perfect spot to enjoy a last-minute vacation. Then all parents can do as Augustus said, and “make haste slowly” back home.


Gambling in North Tahoe? You Betcha!

August 5, 2011

It may be illegal at Bushwood Country Club, but gambling is definitely permitted in the state of Nevada. In fact, since it’s the number one revenue generator for the Silver State, all visitors are actually encouraged to spend at least a little time in a casino searching for Lady Luck.

While the north shore of Lake Tahoe makes up just a tiny fraction of the 36th state to join the Union, it does have its fair share of gambling parlors. Most of which tourists can’t miss – no matter how hard they try – as signs and blinking lights bombard¬†them as they drive into Nevada from Kings Beach, Ca.

It’s not the Las Vegas strip, but the small community of Crystal Bay is home to four of the area’s five casinos: Cal-Neva, Crystal Bay, Jim Kelley’s Tahoe Nugget, and the Tahoe Biltmore. There are many restaurants and bars¬†that contain video poker machines, but the only other casino on the north shore is the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village.

Most come to this little alpine section of the Sierra Nevada for a little rest and relaxation amid the breathtaking natural beauty. To them, enrichment to their lives comes from enjoying the outdoors and spending time with family and friends –¬†not from any potential winnings at¬†a blackjack or craps table.

For those that do decide to take their full house and go straight to the casinos, each one offers a great chance to try to double-down on the vacation fun. There are a few common sense things everyone should keep in mind, though, that may help keep a few more cents in the pockets.

One of which is:¬†Do not gamble with money you can’t afford to lose. Gambling¬†should be viewed as entertainment and any extra cash that might be won considered added¬†bonus to an¬†otherwise fun outing.

All those twinkling lights one sees in and out of each casino amounts to one extremely hefty utility bill. Yet, it’s a tab the casino does not have any trouble picking up. The reason: the odds on all gambling games is stacked in its favor and most gamblers walk out of a casino with less money than they had walking in. Since the “house” has¬†every advantage, sometimes its wise to stay and have a good time at home.

Still, it can be fun and some people do in fact win.¬†Thus,¬†gambling might be something worth doing while vacationing in the area.¬†After all, as the saying goes:¬†“When in Rome.” Or, in this case, Nevada.

There are many different games to choose from, but the ones with the best odds – or the ones with the least “house” edge¬†–¬†are as follows: craps, blackjack, baccarat, pai¬†gow, and then roulette.

While that is a nice list to follow, it is a bit more complicated as the edge is¬†really dictated by how one bets in each game. For example,¬†bettors have¬†the¬†most chances to win at craps, but that’s if¬†they stick to the Pass/Come and Don’t Pass/Don’t Come lines. Roulette is also one of the best choices if gamblers¬†only bet¬†on red or black.

Then there’s Sports¬†Betting. While not quite the same as betting on whether Judge¬†Smails¬†will slice¬†his tee shot or not, it is just as simple.¬†Gamblers simply pick a team (or individual athlete) they believe will win a sporting contest.¬†¬†To make things more fair, a line or odds are placed on each game or match.

In the end, the important thing to remember is have fun. While the house does have the edge, just about everyone finds Lady Luck at one point. If not, though, best to just say “Gunga¬†galunga” and continue having a great Tahoe vacation.


North Tahoe Cuisine Worth Every Bite

July 29, 2011

Visitors to Lake Tahoe may be away from their humble abodes, but it doesn’t mean they have to stray from delicious home-style cooking. While some vacation spots may provide very little when it comes to restaurants in terms of quality and variety, the north shore definitely bucks that trend.¬†This may be the Sierra Nevada, but don’t expect any mountain oysters on these fine menus:

Formal Dining*

Lone Eagle – Soar to new food and libation heights at this waterfront gem. If the pine aroma doesn’t make you smile when you walk through the doors, the view of the lake¬†as you eat¬†and sip a cocktail certainly will.¬†Owned¬†by the Hyatt Resort & Casino, the quiet, romantic atmosphere could be the best on the lake. ¬†www.loneeaglegrille.com¬†¬† (Dinner & Buffet – Incline Village)

Jack Rabbit Moon¬†– The unique and contemporary menu will make anybody speed faster than a hare right on down to sample the savoring entrees. From steak and seafood to duck breast, this upscale dining experience will make all friends and family hopping mad that they didn’t join in. (Dinner – Incline Village)

La Fondue – Since technically this is the only fondue restaurant in all of Lake Tahoe, anyone fond of this cuisine and wanting to break bread should take a dip into this place. Be forewarned – it’s very cheesy! In a good way.¬†www.lafonduetahoe.com (Dinner – Incline Village)

Azzara’s Italian Cuisine¬†– Italians may be wrongly stereotyped as being a bit talkative as this place could quite possibly be the best kept secret on the north shore. The quiet, elegant atmosphere and scrumptious¬†pasta and antipasti¬†are “molto delizioso.” It’s no wonder this place has been around for more than 33 years. (Dinner – Incline Village)

Bite – Don’t let the name fool anybody – there will be multiple bites eaten at this popular location. The American Bistro menu includes a great selection of meat, fish, tapas, and wine that won’t take too much of a bite out of the wallet. www.bitetahoe.com (Dinner – Incline Village)

Big Water Grille – With quite possibly the best views of the lake, Big Water is a very apropos name. A romantic, elegant atmosphere with an upscale, eclectic American, French menu and a huge selection of fine wines means diners should bring a big appetite and will most likely leave with bigger smiles. (Dinner – Incline Village)

The Soule Domain – Considering this place has been voted the most romantic place to take a date for 15 years running, it may be the perfect place to take one’s soul mate. The eclectic menu of assorted organic meats and seasoned vegetables set in an intimate log cabin may be the ideal dining domain. (Dinner – Crystal Bay)

Casual Dining

Hacienda De la Sierra РTo steal from the Corona beer tagline РLa restaurante mas fina! Voted best Mexican food on the north shore for pretty much too many years to count, this is the ideal family place for almuerzo y comida. (Lunch & Dinner РIncline Village)

Tomaato’s¬†– Tomatoes, Tomaato’s? What’s the difference? Actually, one’s a fruit and the other’s an extremely popular pizza, pasta, and salad restaurant. Very well-known for its¬†tasty take-out. (Dinner – Incline Village)

Lanzas¬†– After enjoying the pasta and salad selections at this popular Italian restaurant, diners will be saying “Grazie!” over and over again. Voted one of the best Italian¬†restaurants on the north shore for 12 consecutive years, it might be time to say “Arrivederci!” to eating in. (Dinner – Kings Beach)

Mofo’s Pizza & Pasta – It may be a great pizza pie, but one bite will make everyone think of the Big Apple. This New York style pizzeria is known for its great thin-crust pizza and full salad bar. Perfect for a family night out or just take-out. (Lunch & Dinner – Incline Village)

Jason’s Beachside Grille – If no family member has a friend named Jason, everyone will after a trip to this casual eatery. Considered one of the most family friendly places to dine, it offers a great menu of hamburgers, prime rib, baby-back ribs, and a top-notch salad bar. The nice¬†pine-wood inside and quaint outside patio is the ideal Tahoe setting – the perfect “Landing.” (Lunch & Dinner – Kings Beach)

Austin’s – It may be a town known for its Tex-Mex and great music scene, but this place offers an unbeatable country American cuisine. Hankering for a hunk of meat like a chicken-fried or Salisbury steak? Or mashed potatoes, salad, baked macaroni & cheese? Then best to strum on over to this local favorite. www.austinstahoe.com (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – Incline Village)

Gar Wood’s Grill & Pier – While named after a power boat and pleasure craft ¬†inventor, this waterfront restaurant is mostly known¬†for¬†having its own pier and for the tasty rum-based drink it serves called the Wet Woody. A great family menu and spectacular views of the lake make this a well-known, yet fantastic place to wet one’s whistle. www.garwoods.com (Lunch & Dinner – Carnelian Bay)

Steamer’s Beachside Bar & Oven¬†– Despite the name, the only seafood this place serves may be anchovies – for those that actually like those on their pizza. Quite possibly the best pizza and calzones served on the north shore,¬†maybe in the entire Tahoe Basin. The nice outside patio and upstairs bar make this the ideal place to let off a little steam. (Lunch & Dinner – Kings Beach)

Crosby’s Grill – Not quite the posh place that Bing and his Rat Pack would hang out at, but the rest of the locals do. A nice menu for hamburgers, wings, chicken, and hot or cold sandwiches. TVs abound for the latest sporting event and there are video poker machines at the bar. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner – Incline Village)

Rookies Sports Bar & Grill РThis could be the number one sports bar in the area Рpossibly the entire Tahoe Basin. If the goal is to kick it in front of a TV watching a sporting event, play a little video poker at the bar, or chow down a hotdog or hamburger (not quite Joey Chestnut style), then this venue scores a touchdown. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner РIncline Village)

Of Special Note

Wildflower Cafe – The generous helpings here will make everyone want to go for a nice wildflower hike afterward to walk off the fabulous breakfast. A local favorite for breakfast after a wild or mellow time the night before. (Breakfast – Incline Village)

T’s Rotisserie¬†– One of the best places anywhere to quickly pick up a burrito, tostada, or taco. The salsa may just be the best you’ve tasted this side of the Mexican border. And possibly beyond. Grab the meal to go or stay and have your mouth water as you watch the savory meat roast right there on the spit. (Lunch & Dinner – Incline Village)

*Formal dining is Tahoe Style meaning children and a happy, laid-back attitude are most welcomed. Mountain-style oysters not so.


Fourth Brings Big Crowds, Loads of Fun

July 6, 2011

The north shore of Lake Tahoe witnessed one of the biggest crowds ever to descend upon the area during a Fourth of July celebration. The large number of people and the extra traffic around town, did little to stop all the fun and excitement.

When it comes to holiday festivities, the town of Incline Village literally almost had it all going on this go-around. From live music to barbecues to fireworks to a helicopter hovering over the beach, visitors were able to enjoy non-stop events and activities.

It started off with a dance and ended with a bang.

On the Thursday before the big weekend, residents and tourists alike flocked ‚Äď and boogied ‚Äď to the street dance at a local popular Mexican restaurant. It was all down the Incline hill from there in terms of exciting events.

Folks lined the streets on Saturday to cheer and show their pride as their fellow classmates, friends, family members, countrymen and women strolled down Tahoe Boulevard in the ‚ÄúAmerica the Beautiful‚ÄĚ parade. It was on to live music, great food and drink at the Village Green. The evening was topped with a fabulous ‚ÄúBeer and Brat‚ÄĚ celebration (many called it the ‚ÄúBeer and Hotdog‚ÄĚ celebration to make it more fitting.)

Sunday brought in a heart-warming, and heart-stopping, performance by the California Air National Guard. Pararescuemen dropped from a HH Pave Hawk Helicopter hovering just above the waters off Incline Beach into the lake in a mock recovery mission. It was an awe-inspiring tribute to the men and women who served¬† – and continue to serve ‚Äď this great country.

Independence Day brought just about everyone down to the shores of Lake Tahoe as the beach was filled to the mackinaw gills with towels, blankets, tents, umbrellas, canopies, and people. Those that were able to last into the night ‚Äď or came back to the sand or nearby Village Green ‚Äď were again treated to a beautiful fireworks display. (The reflection off the calm waters of the dark lake may make Tahoe one of the most elite locations to host the annual pyrotechnic show.)

The holiday weekend was nothing short of a huge success. Despite the extra large crowds, there was little to complain about. Perhaps a few tiny inconveniences, but in the end, nothing but huge smiles and enormous pride were had by all.

Note: Another fabulous Fourth of July holiday is behind us, but plenty of summer fun – Tahoe style – still ahead. Feel free to call Goldfish Properties to find out more about our great vacation rentals. (800) 948-7311


Fourth of July – Tahoe Style

June 28, 2011

There¬†may be¬†no better place on earth to spend the Fourth of July holiday than Lake Tahoe. The warm temperatures and crystal clear waters set among the giant pine trees and towering granite mountains is reason in itself to celebrate.¬†Throw in a weekend of fantastic events and it’s no wonder more and more people will be honoring¬†this great¬†country by showing off their red, white, and Tahoe blue.

Happy Birthday America!

While it may be an Independence Day celebration, the residents on the north shore have an extended weekend of fun activities planned. Actually, thanks to some local merchants the holiday party gets kicked off even before the weekend.

On Thursday, there will be a “Star Spangled Street Dance” held in the parking lot of La Hacienda. The event, sponored by the Optimist Club, features live music, a dunk tank, ¬†an “Uncle Sam Relay,” and lots of tasty food and cold beverages.

The All-American fun continues Saturday with a pancake breakfast at Incline’s main firehouse at 8 am. At 10 am, the town will host its “America the Beauty Parade,” which will run through the center of town to the Village Green. Later that afternoon, the excitement turns toward the sky – and while not for an early fireworks display, something just as amazing.

Pararescuemen will drop from an MC-130 and parachute down into the waters off Incline Beach. A HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopoter will then swoop down and hover over them – and a mock survivor – until they are safely brought aboard (mock survivor included).

On Independence Day, there is a whole slew of family events planned throughout the north shore. It all reaches its crescendo that evening with the annual fireworks show at Incline Beach. (For a complete list of events, visit http://redwhiteandtahoeblue.com/events.html.)

Tahoe City has its 65th annual fireworks show that evening as well. The bright lights can be seen from Incline Beach across the lake, so keep an eye out for a nice double feature. Neighboring community Kings Beach launches its pyrotechnic display the day earlier on Sunday evening – thus there will be plenty of eye- and ear-popping sulphuric enjoyment for all.

In the end, while extremely exciting, it’s not the pomp and circumstance that matters each and every Independence Day. It’s more about the quality time spent with friends and family and remembering all the men and women who have made the Red, White, and Blue so great. That in itself is reason enough to celebrate.

Have a great and safe Fourth of July.