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Trip Report Cinderella… not happening! (South Tahoe Report)

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My husband and I went to South Lake Tahoe with Amtrak – train to Sacramento, connecting bus to Tahoe. Everybody went to the lake on July 4th to watch the fireworks, it seemed, as we were 2 hours late on arrival, the traffic was just awful. Other than that, it was nice to relax and watch the mountains going by. We checked into hotel, and in the evening decided to go to watch the fireworks at the lakeshore.

We walked probably one block from the hotel when I’d noticed, only young people are going there. Not to feel out of place we went back to the hotel, pulled up plastic chairs that they have around the property, and comfortably watched the show. It was fantastic 25-30 minutes of oohs and aahs from the group of young people sitting next to us, staying in the same hotel.

After the fireworks were over, we saw what looked like a parade of young people, many with glow-in-the-dark thingies hanging on them; some were chanting “U-S-A”, “U-S-A”. I thought it should be “God help USA” – still very patriotic, very touching to watch the youngsters probably in their 20s.

We stayed at Alpine Inn and Spa on the California side, this place is behind Harvey’s bus station, half-way between the casino area and the lake, rather convenient to everything, walking distance from Amtrak bus stop. It has a nice pool area with grass, plenty of chairs and loungers, and the “spa” part is the hot tub.

The room was not too small, the bed was comfortable, 4 pillows on the king bed, shampoo and soap – better bring your own, same goes for coffee. We thought the small fridge and microwave were the best we ever had in a hotel. One out of 3 nights we didn’t have maid service, they just skipped our room, and I went to the office for towels. The young woman in the office was not surprised.

This hotel offers free passes to the private beach on the lake, don’t forget to ask, they don’t automatically give them out. I would certainly stay at this hotel again, nice place for people who don’t expect luxury. One thing that we brought and was not needed was the flashlight. The territory is well lit.

We spent some time on the beach, getting tanned by the pool, some gambling. My husband finally said, he got tired of the slut machines, so I don’t have to plan our future trips around casinos. Phew! Food was not an issue, combination of eating out and ordering to go to warm up in the microwave later.

The get-together with Fodorites was in Kalani’s, the Hawaiian food was as good as I remember, the drinks were not. This was the place were we first tried chocolate wine, they didn’t have it. Mimosa, I thought, was an insult to champagne, so Charnee and I shared a bottle. Linda and Giovanna drove up a little later, and all four of us had another marvelous get-together. And there was a vintage car show in the area.

We saw small horse-driven carriages adorned with flowers, and I said I would love to take a ride; I want to feel like Cinderella going to the ball. My oh so ever-understanding husband poured a bucket of icy water on me: at your age you should think of planning your retirement, not of running off with a prince. Some day I will murder him!!

On Saturday we turned the TV on – how horrible! A plane crash-landed at SFO, the airport is closed, they were landing the incoming planes from Sacramento to Los Angeles. Our older son was going to Asia that day, we didn’t know at what time. Of course the younger son did not pick up when I called his cell phone. After 2 hours of us worrying he had finally called back saying his brother left early that morning, and if something was wrong, he’d message or email, so all was well. Phew!

The city of South Lake Tahoe is 6,000 + over the sea level, and surprisingly I felt the altitude this time. Nothing bad happened; just the heart rate was a bit too high. We’ll be visiting other interesting places, have to pay attention to the altitude from now on. This is sad. On another hand, going on a cruise in October, something to look forward to!

And for the brave once who are still with me, the photos are posted here:

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