The last day.
Toby likes to end the vacations on a high note. This one was no exception. She made reservations for us to ride snowmobiles with Lake Tahoe Adventures. After breakfast, a shuttle took us to the office where we got our helmets. We misunderstood exactly what was included in the rental package, so we ended up having to rent goggles even though we all had goggles at the hotel. 🙁
The company’s bus took about 50 of us to Hope Valley in the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest. When we arrived the group was split up and we were placed in a smaller group of about 8 machines. Toby and Max rode double and Lucy, Roly and I were on a triple seater. We were on the snowmobiles for about 2 hours. We stopped for a couple of short picture breaks, but the majority of the time, we were moving. It was really fun.
The riders on the triple
A scenic break
The day after Christmas. It was so crowded in Heavenly Village yesterday that we decided to mostly avoid it if possible. Roly got a 3D printing pen for Christmas so he and I spent the morning figuring out how it works. He made a couple of cool things and I think he will enjoy it more as he gets better at it.
We went on a hike/walk to a different part of Lake Tahoe, and there was plenty of space to walk on the beach here. The lake was so calm and serene, the kids were struck by how quiet everything was. There experience of ‘beach’ always has pounding surf as the background noise. It was a clear, warm day at the beach.
As usual, Roly brought his new football with him. The kids and I got a passing circle going, and after making the video below, Toby decided she wanted join in. It was a lot of fun.
Lake Tahoe from the gondola
Toby did a good job of organizing our Christmas Day events. She brought up 1 small gift for each kid and their stockings.
Then we went over to Heavenly Village to catch the Gondola ride up to the top of the mountain for some tubing. There had not been enough snow for tubing until the snowfall the previous night, so it was all fresh when we got there. It was about an hour in line to get scenic gondola tickets, but the actual line to get onto the gondola was very fast and it was a fun ride.
We got onto the tube run a few times and then spent a while playing in the much deeper snow.
At the top of the tube run
A bit too excited?
What is that she is making??
Another relaxing day. We went to the movies. It seemed that everyone else in the village went as well.
Huge line for the movies
Later in the late afternoon it started to snow. Roly quickly got into his snow clothes and ran outside. There was probably 2 inches on the ground. The now was very wet and compacted into tight hard snow balls very easily. Lucy, Roly and I threw snowballs for a few minutes and then went to work on a snow man.
For Christmas Eve dinner we went to Blue Dog Pizza with some old friends from Max’s first play group, Jim & Kim Johnson (Jayden, Kylen). I hadn’t seen the Johnsons in at least 10 years, but it was a tremendously easy conversation to get started with them.
Blue Dog Pizza and old friends
Our past vacations have tended to be a bit over-programmed, so we are working to not have too much scheduled. On Day 2 of our vacation, the only thing we had scheduled was a magic show in the late afternoon.
Roly and I walked to breakfast at IHOP. It was a small walk over there and on the way it started to snow a tiny bit. Roly liked seeing the flakes come down, but nothing was sticking. When we returned, the family got together to head over to the beach (of Lake Tahoe). Toby had the idea that we would take a nice walk around a portion of the shoreline. It turns out, at least in our area, that most of the beach access is restricted private property that we can’t walk on. So we played football a bit and then drove over to explore the shops in Heavenly Village. The Sunday of a 4 day holiday weekend is not the best time to try to find parking here. So we skipped the village and had a pretty good lunch at Red Hut Soda Fountain & Ice Cream Parlor. After some down time, we *walked* back to Heavenly Village to see the magic show. For one of the illusions, Toby volunteered herself and me to be onstage (the call out was for an old married couple). The magician, Titou, put her wedding band into a sealed cup of Cup O’ Noodles that was inside a locked box that I was holding! Crazy. It was an amazing show, and I would pay to see Titou again.
On the beach
A good time