Day 1 Jun30


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Day 1

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9 am on the road early but not too early

11:30 am driving break El Dorado Hills Welcome Center
Make pit stop and collect Tahoe tourist info at this California Welcome Center.

MarinToTahoe2  225 miles 3.5 hours

1 pm arrive Lake Tahoe and check in Lake Shore Lodge & Spa
Only sand lies between us and the lake. Perfect for enjoying the pleasures of Lake Tahoe. Our 3rd floor room looks out on the private beach, pool, lawn patch and lake. Won’t need our fireplace but every room has one. Best of all, we will hear tonight’s beach jazz concert from our balcony seats – no sand in our dinner! Very convenient location. The Bijou Shopping Center, with its CVS, shops and restaurants is just across the parking lot. Nearby are more restaurants, convenience stores, and area activities. Resorts, downtown casinos, shopping and nightlife are just minutes away.

3:30 pm take hour and half Rum Runner Cruise to Emerald Bay at Camp Richardson
To reach the Pope Beach dock, we drive through Historic Camp Richardson Resort. With big, old trees, brown wooden buildings it has an old village feel. There’s a general store, ice cream parlor, trading company, bar & grill. Vacationers lick melt on their cones, bicyclists meander without specific destination, folks shop for dinner ingredients, or walk to the water laden with towels, coolers, blankets and umbrellas. “Rough it” and pitch a tent, or be more civilized with indoor plumbing by staying at the historic hotel, lakefront cabins, beachside inn, or in your own RV.

At the full service marina, the Rum Runner awaits us. Boats, kayaks, paddle boards, peddle-boats float at the water’s edge and in the lake. Once we’re aboard, Captain Neal Tlumac heads out slowly toward the center of the lake. It’s a really nice craft, roomy and well maintained. The passengers distribute themselves: front deck, back deck, or below and inside. Air is humid, water sparkling, crowd festive.

We pass a rocky shore lined with tall pines. An especially tall tree seems dead but offers mama osprey a perch for her nest. Overhead an eagle circles but does a fly-by. The blue sky is interrupted with huge marshmallow clouds, spectacular but unusual this time of year.

The Runner circles left to enter Emerald Bay. The water is actually emerald green, so clear you can see down at least 25 feet. Fannette island in the center of the bay is the site of the Vikingsholm Tea House. On shore, the Vikingsholm Caste, built in 1929, is considered one of the finest examples of Scandinavian architecture in the US. Open in the summer, other times of year you can walk the paths and peek in windows.

Lots of visitors engaging in a variety of activities: some jump from the dock into the green, others try to mount a rolling log or meditatively kayak in the gentle waters. On the trip back there is a sky change – it is raining at the northern end of the lake. We join the Captain up-top for the ride back where we pry into his life on the water.

6 pm beach concert view dinner
We provision at Safeway, then dine on our balcony while listening to the jazz performers down on the beach.

7 pm watch Niall McGuinness and New World Jazz concert on the beach at Lake Shore Lodge & Spa from our room balcony
Niall McGuinness and New World Jazz perform this free concert on the beach literally just below our balcony. Beautiful scene. For two hours they play against the lake/sky backdrop as the sun sets and the sky beautifully color changes into night. People are even listening standing waist deep yards out in the warm lake water. A moon sliver adds a final touch. These are high quality, nice-to-listen-to musicians: Niall McGuinness (saxophones, flute, percussion) + George Tavoularis (piano) + Kyle Rothchild (bass) + Eric Finkelstein (drums) + Eric Middleton (congas, bongos, shekere, timbales and marimba). We can’t resist any longer and head down to the beach sand to enjoy close up. What a start to our visit.

stay Lake Shore Lodge & Spa
Leave sliding door open, turn on the fan, close the drapes, tuck in for the night.

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