{Journal Entry} ~ South Lake Tahoe

This last Saturday it was going to be 107 degrees at our place. Great timing actually, because we had already planned to not be in the area. Instead we were headed to South Lake Tahoe with friends for a fun day.

South Lake Tahoe is a special place for our family. When we first moved to this area 19 years ago, it was one of the first day trips we made.

That was way back in 2006.

And I absolutely love it that we are only an hour and a half from this amazing beach. We found it early on, and have come here ever since. But the problem is that it has become extremely popular, especially on the hotter days, like this day. So we left our home around 8:15 am to get up there. Sweet girlies in the back.

The drive up is one of my favorites. Our particular highway follows the river for part of the way.

We go up in elevation to over 7,300 feet at the top, at Echo Summit.

Then the best part of the drive: the descent into the Lake Tahoe Basin.

You are driving on the edge of a cliff, with sheer walls going down on one side, sheer walls up on the other, and a view of the lake ahead.

I so love the patterned rock that the Sierra Nevada is made up of.

Only about 20 minutes later we are there.

Only we weren't there......yet. Like I said this place has gotten quite popular. We got into the line on the side of the road at 9:45 and were in line for 35 minutes. After we got in they closed the lot at 11 am. Cray Cray. We vowed that the next time we come up we are leaving at 7:30 am.

But even though it is crowded, the way this beach is makes it so that it does not seem crowded at all. It is a very long beach and has lots of trees and foliage on it.

And we know of a few spots that people don't go down to, and almost always get a great area. This time we got a good area and had a big middle spot for our chairs and umbrellas, and then a couple of corn hole sets on one side.

And on the other side we had space for the volleyball net too.

But no table. This is the first year we did not get a spot with a table, so next time up here we are bringing our own.

All of us had gotten up early to get up here, so we ate lunch at around 11. And my family had begged me to make our traditional Tahoe lunch: a Japanese picnic.

I made Japanese potato salad (with soy sauce on top), karage (Japanese fried chicken) sesame spinach and bonito rice balls. YUM.

It was in the low 80's up here which was perfect.

The girls headed in.

The guys started some corn hole games.

We were here with three other families for a total of 23 people.

I played some volleyball for a bit.

All the kids piled themselves under the umbrellas to talk. If you weren't wearing sunblock you were definitely getting burned, so I was happy we had some shade.

Good friends.

Happy people.

The ladies and I had some wonderful conversations together. We stood out on the water for at least an hour, talking and laughing.

And in the heat of the afternoon a bunch of us swam out to the boat marker. We don't swim past it because those boats are going super fast. And if you want you can climb up it and jump off. There's My Sweetie, way out there, standing on the top.

I swam out but was happy to just watch the jumpers.

It was getting later.

We all brought up things to share for dinner. We had hot dogs with the fixings, potato salad, a green salad, and chips.

Yeah, we made do without a table. And because charcoal grills aren't allowed on Pope Beach, we brought our propane camp stove and grilled the hot dogs on that.

We all gathered together to pray.

The weather was perfect today - lots of times in the summer there are afternoon thunderstorms up here.

It did start to get chilly, but we all bring jackets. I do love these ladies.

We always take a photo of everyone:

The kids:

The guys:

The ladies. (With a couple of photo bombers.)

The sun was headed down.

And our lovely day was done.

I am so thankful we live close enough to do this as a day trip and for precious friends to enjoy this amazing beauty with.


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