Friday, September 16, 2011

Cali Vacation: Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, & Nevada

Okay, I'm finally getting around to writing the third {and final} installment of our vacation posts. In contrast to the busy and very on-the-move four days in San Francisco, the second part of our vacation was much slower paced and more relaxing. Chris actually had a Monday through Friday training in Lake Tahoe, so Brianna and I were left to entertain ourselves during the days. That's pretty much where the relaxing came in :-).

Sunday morning, we got up really early to leave San Francisco and drive to Sacramento (about two hours). In Sacramento, we went to church, then went to the California State Capital building. Those of you who know us well know that visiting State Capital sites is kind of our "thing". Cali's was impressive!
It was so warm in Sacramento compared to San Francisco. I think we may have even broken a bit of a sweat walking around the Capital site. 
We did go in the capital building, but just for a few minutes. This is the inside of the dome:
Brianna loved running around the Capital grounds after spending the morning in the car and then sitting through church. This tree was HUGE!
After our visit to the Capital, we hopped back in the car for another three hour drive to Lake Tahoe. The drive was really gorgeous - cutting right through the mountains - but unfortunately, the baby wasn't loving the twists, turns, and altitude climb too much. I was pretty sick through most of the drive.

So, after grabbing dinner at the hotel Sunday night, we spent an hour or so settling in our suite, then went to bed. We were all exhausted from the day!

Like I already said, Monday through Friday we had a pretty relaxed schedule. We would get up around 6:30am, go eat breakfast with Chris, then he would head to training. Brianna and I spent our morning walking around town, going to the hotel pool, and planning our evening activities. We were actually staying in South Lake Tahoe, so there weren't tons of things for us to do aside from a few tourist shops and a walking trail. In the afternoons, she (sometimes we) would nap, then Chris would be back between 4:30 and 5:00pm.

During the evenings, we tried to fit in all the activities we wanted to do before Brianna was ready for bed (which was generally around 7:00 . . . she was still on Central time). This means that we really didn't have time for much, but we did do a few things.

A few nights, we went down to the beach. It was so incredibly beautiful!
The water was pretty cold, but Brianna loved it once she got used to it!
She even started to really like the sand!
I think she would have spent hours on the beach. Of course, I'm sure it helped that it was warmer in Tahoe than in San Fran (until the sun set, then in got COLD).

Toes in Lake Tahoe :-).
Brianna refused to be in our photo with us, but I think this is cute of us anyway.
The sunsets over the Lake we AMAZING. Of course, there is no way to capture the beauty in a photo, but you get the idea.
This night, the sunset was exceptional!
This is probably my favorite family photo from the trip . . . even though it's not the best of us, I LOVE the background!
This was Brianna's favorite way to see the sites of Tahoe:
We stayed at the Embassy Suites. Brianna was pretty much obsessed with this bear that we passed on our way in and out of the hotel. Behind the bear is a fish pond that she loved as well. She also loved that we were staying on the 8th floor, and the elevator was made of glass. Every. single. time. we rode up or down, she would say, "Wow!" and "Whoa!". So cute :-).
Our hotel was right on the Cali/Nevada state line. Since we had never been to Nevada before, we took an evening and drove over to Carson City (also the state capital).

The Nevada State Capital was certainly less impressive than the California State Capital, but still pretty in its own way.
Brianna enjoyed running around these grounds as well. She thought she needed to pick up and pocket every rock she could find here. That was completely new, but she has remained rock obsessed ever since.
The drive back through the mountains from Carson City to South Lake Tahoe was breathtaking! These photos don't even come close to doing it justice.
God's works are truly wondrous! Isn't this exactly what you always pictured Nevada to look like? It was for me.
Friday afternoon, we left Lake Tahoe and returned to Sacramento (via a different route than we drove in). We saw some amazing views of the Lake:
Finally, Saturday morning we flew out of Sacramento and headed home. We had a wonderful time on our vacation and made some fantastic lifetime memories. We were all very ready to get home on Saturday, but it was sooooo worth it.

Brianna was so cute when we finally got home (which was at like 11:00pm). She just ran all around the house, checking out her toys and room and bed, and even just layed right in the middle of the living room floor. I think she was ready to be back :-)

1 comment:

Cayce, Sara, and Lily said...

My dad and his family live in a suburb of Sacramento (Elk Grove) and have a cabin at S. Lake Tahoe. I've spent so many summers there I can't even count them. He's a retired federal probation parole officer. My brothers and I hoofed it all over the capital area on days he had to work when I was visiting. It was awe inspiring even as a kid. I have great memories of trolly rides in SF, going to my first TARGET (this is 20 years ago!), bike riding all over Tahoe, pine cones as big as my head, my first time going to a TCBY, and street vendors in SF. I even still have a leather hair clip I bought 15 years ago from a bonafide hippy!I remember being 13 or 14 and flying by myself for the first time. As I was deplaning in Tulsa I asked myself if I would notice a change in the humidity, after several weeks in the beautiful dry summer weather of CA. My breath was sucked out of me when I hit the jet way. It's such a vivid memory! I haven't been to CA in years. Being married and living on the opposite coast kind of changes things. ;-) Reading your post really made me miss it. :-( I'm glad you enjoyed it, and got to take a break from the killer heat y'all have had this summer!