What better way to get in the holiday spirit than spending a week in a snowy wonderland like South Lake Tahoe?! Both of my parents are teachers, which means they have all of Thanksgiving week off, so we took a vacation up to the lake. Fabian’s parents even flew all the way from Florida to join us! This was a great way for everyone to get to know each other and the perfect opportunity for me to finally learn how to SKI!
My parents had to stay at The Beach Retreat and Lodge, since it was one of the only pet friendly hotels. We brought along Buttercup, who actually didn’t seem to mind the snow at all. Fabian and I got a room there right on the lake, although due to California’s drought, the water levels were a lot farther back than usual. But that left plenty of room to build snowmen, which we got to wake up and see sprouting up every morning.
Fabian’s parents stayed at The Grand Residences by Marriot at the Heavenly Resort, which was very nice and right at the center of everything there is to do in Tahoe. Their room was like a studio apartment, complete with a full kitchen. If you want to do Tahoe right in the winter, this is where you want to stay. But if you’re visiting in the summer time and enjoy water sports, the Beach Retreat and Lodge is the place for you.
At Heavenly you can take a lift up the mountain where the slopes are waiting! If you don’t own any of your own equipment, we recommend renting some at Rip N Willies. The guys there were very kind to us and set us up with everything we needed. It’s also way less crowded than renting your stuff at the resort itself; no lines and no hassle.
Speaking of lines, there will be a LONG wait to get up the mountain, but you can buy your tickets ahead of time online if you plan on getting a ski/snowboard pass (this is information we wish we would have known before arrival, luckily Fabes worked his magic using his phone not long after we got in line). You can then redeem your tickets in a much shorter line and get more time in on the slopes!
As I mentioned before, I had never gone skiing EVER in my life and here I was with my boyfriend who had been going down slopes in the French Alps since he was a toddler. Not intimidating at all… But he was patient and hung out with me on the bunny hill. His dad was a lot of help too, he was definitely my ski coach. All in all I had a blast, especially once we started going down the intermediate hills.
I had my fair share of wipeouts though, as you can tell by my snow covered jacket in the picture above. Yes, I had fallen flat on my face moments before this was taken… but I’m still ALL SMILES! The great thing about falling while skiing is that snow is really soft, it’s like falling on a pillow…an ice-cold pillow… I will admit the second day on the slopes was a bit more difficult since I was feeling sore from the day prior. It was mostly just my legs though, I was using muscles I didn’t even know existed.
Even if skiing isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty to do here during the snowy season. One of my favorite memories from the trip was a walk we took through the forest. It was gorgeous! To see all the pine trees and other plants frozen and covered in snow was like a dream.
The snow never really let up during our stay, until just before it was time for us to head back home. Fortunately, we never had to put chains on our tires, but keep in mind this is definitely a possibility if you plan on visiting any time during this season.
Although it was freezing and I had to buy my first pair of snow pants and boots (which really aren’t that flattering or fashionable) I had the time of my life, spent with some of my favorite people in the world! Let’s just say I had a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.