Lake Tahoe Travels!

HAPPY SATURDAY!

I am so excited to share this travel post with you all. There is a ridiculous amount of pictures and detail in this post, but Tahoe deserves nothing less! I also love my travel posts to be super informative for anyone that might go to one of these places in the future. It was one of the most gorgeous places I have ever been. I tried to capture the beauty, but the pictures do not even do justice! 🌲

DJ and I discovered early on last week that we both had last weekend off (6/10). It’s the first weekend we both had off at the same time since I started my job in March. We took full advantage and planned a trip to Lake Tahoe. It just sounded like the perfect, most peaceful location to go to get away from the chaos of our everyday.

The drive in alone was a special experience. The views were awe-inspiring. With every turn, ascent, and descent, we were accompanied on either side by an endless sea of trees, waterfalls cascading in the mountain sides, and snow comfortably resting atop the vast mountains illuminated by the Tahoe sun. I half expected a greeting from bobcats, rams, and fox as it felt as though we had stumbled upon a real world Cabelas.

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We had dinner arrangements, but wanted to drop off our luggage at the hotel first. I use the word hotel lightly here. With my improptu planning, I found somewhere on Groupon for dirt cheap. Ya’ll know I swear by Groupon. I haven’t had many, or any, bad experiences with Groupon. I found a place that looked decent on their site, but didn’t do too much research (A. I didn’t have any time and B. Everywhere else was $$$$$).

Welllllll—– when we arrived it was…. *dramatic pause* not quite a “romantic getaway”. The entire building was entirely dilapidated, the sketchiest of folk were hanging out in the corridors, the lobby smelled of a mix of cigarettes and mildew. I sent a quick text to DJ at check-in, “I am so sorry!”. He assured me it was fine, and we just had to see our room before making any judgement. Once we finished checking in, which took an hour in and of itself, we lugged our luggage to our room (We had to take an elevator that I was convinced was going to break under the weight of my skepticism). The whole way there I was panicking, What have I done, I thought. DJ was being somewhat optimistic, and just kept saying, “let’s just see what the room is like.” When we stepped into what I was expecting a cozy, romantic lodge with an overlook of the lake we were blasted with the most horrendous smell, a moldy bathroom, dusted furniture, and bent curtain rods with haphazard curtains that looked as though they were bought from a garage sale…. a garage sale from the fourties. I broke down in tears, not sure from emotions or from the severe allergens in the room. Our one weekend we finally had together I was convinced I had ruined. We had a reservation at our restaurant at 6:30 pm, and it was currently 6:00. We brainstormed what to do, going back and forth between staying or finding somewhere else. We finally decided that since we didn’t know the next time we would have this time together, it was worth it to make this trip something nice and decided to swallow the money.

We quickly booked another hotel at somewhere nearby and took a deep breath. Time for dinner. **PS. I hear Air BnB is a great option for Tahoe!** **PSS. One day we WILL get the full on camping gettup!**

I put on my forest green laced dress and finally had the chance to paint my nails! I don’t ever have my nails painted for nursing, but was so excited that I finally could pull out some of my favorite dark brown Zoya polish for the occasion. Naturally, I painted my nails in the car, because that’s what ends up happening 99% of the time.

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I even put on my fern earrings to really get in the spirit 😉 DJ always slightly pokes fun at how “all in” I get about encompassing the idea and essence of different events/holidays/etc.

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We headed to Edgewood Restaurant, which provided one of the greatest meals of our entire lives. That’s a bold statement ya’ll.

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The snow capped mountain and icy blue water views alone were fabulous. I felt like I could breathe for the first time since starting my job. It was as though the earth was back on it’s axis and I could actually be, exist, in the moment.

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We joked that they knew I was coming with Himalayan salt readily available, an assortment of olives, and sea salted herb and ciabatta bread. Olives, bread, and salt. OK- all we need is red wine, and this girl is set!

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It was the most tremendous start to any meal I have ever had.

Next, I know most times when we go out we avoid the meat based appetizers (considering I’m pesce). I told DJ I wanted to order something that had a meat base since we never usually do. (I also mayy have been trying to make up for the minor hotel fiasco). A bit surprised, but obliging, we ordered the lamb ragu with gnocchi and wild mushrooms.

Excuse me…

I needed to go get napkins to wipe the drool off the corners of my mouth as I reminisced..  🤤 This dish was heavenly. I didn’t try must of the lamb, but the gnocchi and mushrooms alone blew me away. The flavor was dynamically savory- bringing that word for me a whole new meaning!

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DJ and I both followed the appetizer with the Chilean Sea Bass over lobster bisque with fingerling potatoes. Basically all good things on earth on one plate. HOW. I told DJ on the spot this was hands down the best fish dish I have ever had.

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There was a couple that was looking to get their picture taken at the table next to us. I jumped in to ask if they would like us to take it for them since the waiter seemed busy. We headed outside and chit chatted briefly. It allowed for us to grab some pictures of the brilliant sunset as well.

They asked us if we had the halibut for dinner. I excitedly said “Yes! It was SOOO good”.. I went on and on about how it was the best dish of my life only for DJ to whisper to me that we had the sea bass. Whooops. 🤷🏼‍♀️😂

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When we left Edgewood, we headed to our new hotel. This one did not disappoint, not one bit. We HIGHLY recommend The Landing, voted the #1 Boutique North American Hotel, with good reason. It was absolute perfection.

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I loved the detail and care that went into each room. It was unusual, eclectic, modern, and yet cozy. The fireplace was my favorite part.

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Nowwww I may have created one more dilemma, which thankfully we laugh about now. I decided before bed I wanted to try to use the Jacuzzi, so while it was running, DJ and I stepped out on the balcony and see what views we could see from the room. When we stepped back in, I saw water overflowing from the tub. Then the phone rang. The front desk asked if we had any kind of water leaking. The tub literally filled in .5 seconds. We couldn’t have stepped out for more than 3 minutes. We frantically used every single towel we had to sop up the floor. Apparently it was leaking through to the room below. It was one of those moments where I didn’t know if I should laugh hysterically or cry.😂

To make it worse—- when we called back to see if it was taken care of below the lady informed us it was a bride and groom below us, that apparently were too inebriated to care at the moment, but we still wrote them a note apologizing and tried to compensate them for any issues. Maybe I was just trying to help?! Don’t they say rain on your wedding day is good luck?! Rain into your bedroom must be like the BEST luck, ya?!?

Two strikes in one day for me guys. ROUGH. DAY. 🙌🏻

Just kidding.. it was an absolutely amazing day, I simply share these mishaps because I think they are hilarious!

After getting a  fantastic night sleep, I got up a bit earlier than DJ and headed down to squeeze in an eight mile run before the festivities ensued for the day.

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This was the view from the Treadmill. GORG.

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On our way out of the hotel, we asked one of the employees where the best breakfast spot was. He recommended Heidi’s, and if a local says this is the place to go, count us in!

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This pancake house was super quaint, 50s/60s vibin’ with Christmas lights strung year round. I loved it. The line was out the door, and clearly was the place to be for breakfast. We only had to wait about 20 minutes, surprisingly.

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We tried their homemade blueberry muffin and biscuit.. yurm. Not quite on Cracker Barrel level (which we have lately been craving since there are none out here).

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However, this Veggie Omelette blew my taste buds away. The waiter recommended their house potatoes with onion and garlic- I understood why quickly- suh guuuuud!

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DJ ordered their short stack and said they were some of the best pancakes he has ever had. He is always on the hunt for some doggone good cakes, but it’s hard to find ones that he loves! Soo for him to say these were some of the best was both shocking and demanded that I try an obnoxiously big bite nibble.

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They were light and airy, and yet full of buttery, sugary, and delicious flavor. I agree- some of the best! Also makes sense why they deem themselves a pancake house!

After breakfast we headed to Eagle Falls Trailhead to hike and soak up some views. There are endless trails to go to in the area, but EFT seemed decently close to us (about a twenty minute drive) and had good reviews.

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After passing a renaissance fair (which I hard core tried to convince DJ to go to with me, but it was a no-go…. not even the lure of giant turkey drumsticks could get him to go, darnit)… we scoped out for a place to park the car.

Parking was a boogar, but we lucked out and found some right near the trailhead after searching for a few minutes.

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We had a blast exploring. Being in nature is 100% relaxation time for me. I love getting my adrenaline up with climbing and jumping through the cliff sides, over waterfalls, and feeling like a child again, exploring the earth’s crevices- the most magnanimous playground.

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I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves, although like I said, they still do not do justice!

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We were wrapped by the chilling, yet soft, breezes that at times carried snowflakes. I haven’t seen snow in wayyy too long. I thought I would never miss the cold moving out here, but the cold brought me solace, and I absolutely relished in it.

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After our wilderness exploration, we decided to explore the downtown area as well. To start off, we needed to refresh with some throwback sodas from the Old Fashioned candy store- Rocket Fizz (love that place. I always have to stop in when I see one!).

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I adored all the shops and downtown stores. DJ and I had fun perusing the boutiquey stores, art shoppes, and became quite inspired for Christmas gifts in this year to come.

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There was live music playing always within ear shot, and chair lifts occasionally would fly above our heads. I can’t imagine what this is like in the winter! I also love that the city seems to keep up it’s Christmas lights year round. It felt like we reverted back in time to a little Christmas vacation with the chill in the air, the lights, the chair lifts, the lodgy hotel, and the magic of the snow capped mountains.

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I keep mentioning Christmas, but it REALLY felt like December!

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After exploring little downtown Tahoe, DJ and I went back and snoozed for a couple hours. We were exhausted from the early start and hike.

It felt soooo nice to turn up the fireplace and take a NAP. Guys, I cannot remember the last time I actually took a nap. Seriously, I cannot remember.

In the evening, DJ and I took off to go to a Wine tour.

Funny story… when the Uber dropped us off at the pier from Google maps, we could not find where we were supposed to go. I watched the clock tick closer and closer to our departure time. I started freaking out and when the time hit ten minutes to departure, I went into full on panic mode. I just looked at DJ and realized we could not find the pier and I took off in the only direction we hadn’t explored. #FLIGHTORFIGHT. Literally- I was running in the opposite direction like a chicken with its head cut off. In the meantime, DJ kept his cool, called the boat, and found out exactly where to go. As I was in my dedicated sprint, I called the same number hurriedly.

Me: “HI!.. My husband and I booked a wine tasting tonight, and we can’t find the pier, and I know we are supposed to be there now!”……

Staff member: “I think we just spoke to your husband, are you by him by chance?

Me: “I am running back toward him right now”

Staff member: “Ok- see you two soon!”.

Lemme jus say- DJ gave me a hard time about that one. Heck, I can’t help it- I’m a runner. When I don’t know what to do, I just run!

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We boarded the intimate Golden Rose. There were three other couples with us, two from NY and one from Redwood City, CA. We actually ended up exchanging numbers at the end and are potentially grabbing some dinner together soon!

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The wines we tried were phenomenal, but even more intoxicating were the serene views of the lake.

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The rainbow clouds, mountains, and eagle nests all in one landscape were unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

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Just hours before we were looking down on Emerald Bay, and now we were actually on it!

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We packed cheese, crackers, and hummus as we floated along.

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Naturally, I was convinced we should move here. I inquired about the nearest hospital in our Uber. I am still pushing for it… *cough cough, hubby*….

After the tastings we had to have some good dessert. I did some serious research and found that Riva Grill had some flame options.

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We stopped by and placed orders for some insanely delish cheesecake and deep fried oreos- Hello all things good.

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We ended our evening with the hottub, which luckily we got to ourselves. I think most people headed home Sunday night because it seemed pretty quiet come Monday.

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In the morning I ran a quick 9-miler and then we headed to the Driftwood Cafe, a notoriously yummm place for brunch.

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I ordered their veggie omelette with parmesan and sprouts on top with cottage cheese and their bran blueberry muffin on the side. It was the quintessential hearty & heathy breakfast.

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DJ ordered the Carolina Connection which included two potato pancakes topped with grilled ham, two over-medium eggs, and country gravy served a buttermilk biscuit. I tried a bite of the gravy which was annoyingly good.

Let’s just say we both left with beyond satisfied tummies.

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And then it was time to head back to the real world. This trip gave me the rekindling and energy to move forward. I needed this time desperately with DJ and feel even closer to him after this trip. It also helped put things just a bit more into perspective. Life is still good. I can’t wait for the next time we can explore the world together.

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Blog Birthdays: (I thought I would have this post out last week, so I’m a bit late to sending out my love to these ladies!) I’m so thankful for all your friendships! ❤

K.M. from AnkhorYou on June 13th. Happy FREAKING birthday to this lovely lady who constantly inspires me with her vulnerable, beautiful writing, her endless pursuit of adventure, fashion, historical knowledge, and sage advice. She encourages me and those around her and spreads magic in this world with her mermaid glitter. Thank you for being here and being such an amazing friend. I LOVE YOU, dear!

Allie Zotola from LivingMyFullLife on June 14th. Ahhh- Sweet girl, Happy Birthday! I love how you share your beautiful life with us and how you always find joy in the every day. You have your priorities straight to me and are a role model of mine! Also you are the grandest cake baker and I get all my Aldi fixes from you sharing your hauls with us 😉 I hope you had the BEST day!

Tara from RunandLiveHappy on June 15th. Where to begin?! Yours was one of the first blogs I have ever followed, and I always wish we could hangout! We are kindred foodie spirits, and we must do a race together one day! Thank you for all your encouragement, especially in this last marathon! I love all your delish recipes, keeping up with your lovely family, your zest for life, and of course, the cutest pup ever- Jake! I hope this was the most perfect birthday yet 🙂

Katy from KatysLifeStory in the month of June. Katy, you are an incredibly strong and lovely woman! I am constantly amazed by you and your courage, determination, love, empathy, and ability to embrace life even when you have been through some of the hardest things in life. Thank you for your friendship and always inspiring me. I hope your birthday is perfect and you feel loved and celebrated as you certainly should be!

Last but not least,

Kori from GypsyRD on June 17th (TODAY!). HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I know we are just recently friends, but I feel like you are a kindred spirit! I love your posts, your sweet cats, your adventures, and your food combos! You are so authentic and kind and have a truly beautiful soul. I hope you have the most fun celebrating with your sister today!

Questions for you:

  • Favorite Old Fashioned Candy?!
  • Anyone been to Tahoe?!
  • What’s your favorite way to relax?

xo ❤

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54 thoughts on “Lake Tahoe Travels!

  1. Lake Tahoe is one of the prettiest places ever! So sorry to hear about that hotel hiccup – good thing that you left and went to another one! I’ve never stayed in a hotel in Tahoe; we always camp or stay in a cabin! But I always like to peruse AirBnB so that would be my first choice! Looks like you had a great time!

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    1. Isn’t it amazing?! One of the couples we talked to on the boat tour said they stayed at an air bnb and we were like why didn’t we even consider that?! What are some of your favorite things to do/ places to go in Tahoe?! I love hearing suggestions! Thanks for stopping in!!

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  2. Hello Sunshine!!

    It was great catching up with you and DJ 🙂 As usual fabulous pictures and mouth watering foodie stuff 🙂 I am glad you two had such a great weekend!

    To me, Lake Tahoe rhymes with this scene…

    I wish I had more time, but I am in a bit of a rush… Have a great weekend 🙂 🙂 🙂

    *love*

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      1. Awwww I definitely will check it out! I actually have been in the mood to sit down and watch a good movie lately, so this sounds perfect💕 sending big weekend hugs ! XOXO

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      2. Let me know what you thought about it, if you decide to watch it 😉 I’d love to have your opinion!

        *hugs*

        P.S. have a tissue box ready if you are a weeper… I sure shed a few tears watching it 😛

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      3. YESSSS! I definitely will!!!!! And ohhh shoot, Imma need like three boxes, haha. Have such a good rest of your week. It is really SO good to chat with you in spite of both our busyness! XO

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  3. Call me crazy but I think the parts of vacations that you remember the most are the parts that don’t go perfectly. I think the parts that went smashingly well more than made up for a roach motel and a little bit of indoor rain. Glad you guys had a chance to get away and chill.

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    1. Haha for sure- they make for the funniest memories! I learned that going through wedding planning- “anything that goes wrong is just a good story in disguise” 😉 . Thanks for reading about our trip! The chill time was SO needed. How is your week going?!

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  4. Great pics, Mack! Wow, I’m truly impressed! I need to go there sometime. I don’t like the cold that much but I wouldn’t mind it right now. It was 105 today. Sorry about the problems you ran into at the hotels! Looks like you still had an amazing time!

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    1. Hi Lisa!!!! How are you?!?! Tahoe is a dream- you MUST go! You would love it. And SHEEESH! 105! It’s gonna be a hot summer for sure! I mentioned this to another blog friend, but I always say the bad memories are just a good story in disguise. We totally laugh about it all now and the rest of the trip certainly surpassed all the hiccups. Thanks so much for reading and saying hello 🙂 SO good to hear from you!

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  5. Awesome place Mack !! You seem so happy and jovial and funny too. Rain into your bedroom must be like the BEST luck, is it?? 😅😁 You have relieved all the stress of your work, I can understand it from your funny lines in this post !😊
    Cheers !!

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    1. Hey Sijo!!! I am so glad you enjoyed this and you picked up on my sense of humor. Hahah. Sometimes I’m not sure people will get it. But yessss it was the greatest stress relief. Have such a great rest of your week, friend. I so appreciate you stopping in!

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      1. Its always fun reading your posts. Its your life updates. So many pics, food,travel.. I always find time to read your posts whenever I see it. It will definitely suck up your time, but worth reading ☺😉.

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  6. Wow, what a trip! So sorry about the sketchy place you almost stayed at. That will be a funny memory!!

    It looks like you two really made the best of your trip and had fun! I am so jealous of that hot tub! I could go for a dip right now!

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    1. Hehe it is such a funny memory for SURE! That whole day was SO good and yet filled with so many blips. It was definitely a much needed trip. Thank you tons for stopping by. How are you?! Do you have any big plans coming up for the summer?!

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  7. Can I just say you are the cutest, & while those mishaps would’ve been awful in the moment, it’s awesome you can laugh about them now! I would’ve already been crying in the lobby before making it to the room. As for the drunk bride & groom, you certainly rained good luck upon them! And maybe helped sober them up a bit. 😂 These pictures literally had me sitting with my mouth hanging open in awe. Each picture I scrolled to was more breathtaking than the last. What a wonderful getaway! Thank you so much for the sweet birthday wishes! I love your blog so much & am thankful we “met” in the blogosphere. Hopefully one day we’ll be able to actually meet. ☺️ XO

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    1. AWW! You are the sweetest!!! And yesss definitely we laugh about them now hard core. I’m so glad you didn’t think I was overreacting- I was afraid to share because I didn’t want to sound over dramatic!

      Ahhh I love that you understand my humor! At times when I’m like, “Hmm I wonder if anyone will get this”, I know you will! Hahha.

      Thank you, thank you for your loving compliments. I love photography recently so you have no idea how much that encourages me! I can’t wait to read all about your birthday festivities! SO thankful to have met you here in blog world too and YES- one day for sure 🙂 Have a great rest of your week, Kori! xoxo

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  8. I have never been to Tahoe, but all your gorgeous pictures make me want to go! Your pictures always make me want to go on a trip! 🙂 Your little mishaps made me laugh! That’s real life and I’m glad you shared them. It looks like you had so much fun, and I’m glad you got to have a whole weekend together!

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  9. I’m sooo excited to be reading this post (esp because I knew a little in advance that you guys were going 😉 ) I can totally sympathize with you on the whole hotel thing…. do not fret I’ve done something like that before too- long story short when Andrew and I went to DC, our flight home was early in the AM in Baltimore so we figured staying in Baltimore the night before would be a good idea. I told Andrew I would take care of the hotel etc…Found what I thought was a cute decent hotel, it was actually called a “Microtel” which I should’ve been suspicious of but by the pictures it seemed quaint and nice. NOPE! Scariest, creepiest place. It smelled probably very similar to what you guys experienced and to turn on the lights they would flicker and make that weird warehouse lighting buzzing noise, or as if we were in like a cellar of some sort. We were extremely uncomfortable and I felt so bad lol But NOW we can laugh about it (since we made it out alive) But seriously whats a trip without the mishaps! Those memories are just as good (and funny) as the good times! Like I’m sure many people over flooded that Jacuzzi tub before lmao NBD girlfrannd!!!
    But anyways, I’m in love with the looks of Lake Tahoe; the trees, the mountains, the water, all so majestic and breathtaking! I obsess over the natural wonders of nature, its crazy that these places are among us! You and DJ are the sweetest looking couple, I’m so happy that you two were finally able to have this getaway together! And DJ the real MVP for always being so cool, calm, and collective. I’m the anxious one too especially when it involves me being late to something so I feel you girl. I was actually really sad that this post had to end, I just wanted to read more!! But okay, till next time!! ❤ ❤

    xo, JJ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww! I am SO glad you can relate! That makes me feel a lot better honestly!!! The visual you painted of the place you stayed made me laugh ahha. It definitely sounded like a horror film. BUT YOU SURVIVED! And YES- what is a trip without mishaps?! Just a good story in disguise 😉 Girl, I don’t know what I’d do if DJ wasn’t so calm… We truly even out each other tremendously in that way cause I’m pretty much the opposite. Hahah. And Thank you so much for sharing in this trip with us. You’re the best and beyond encouraging always. I haven’t been the best blog fran lately, but thank you for being so faithful! Sending u a big ole’ hug. Have a great rest of your week, love! XO

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  10. Hi Mackensie , you really are doing your part for tourism California! Its nice you both had the weekend off, I know how busy your schedules are. it looks like a really lovely drive in! i feel so bad that your hotel experience was not up to par. How do these places get a license? I love the line where you thought the elevator would break under your skeptism! You made the right decision to get out of there. It was nice you got to paint your nails for a change, they look great, the dress looks nice from what i see in pics:) The edgewood looks amazing! The views are so pretty just from seeing pics, and I am glad the food was good to help you forget about the bad earlier experiences. I have to do my comment in two parts, got to go get the little boys up for daycare! Take care Dear, Terri xo.

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    1. Hehe I am trying! I’m trying to take advantage of everything out here because who knows what life will bring (from moving to kids etc. etc.!) Have you been to Tahoe?! The hotel fiasco was hilarious, I just felt bad I totally butchered that one! I’m glad you appreciate my sense of humor 😉 and thank you tons! I should have gotten a better picture of the dress as a whole! I thought of you actually because I think it’s one you would really like (I think it was from Revolve too!). I’ll have to wear it again soon to share. You are too kind- I hope you and your family are doing beautifully this week!!!! *huge hugs* 🤗

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Amy!!! It was a tremendous trip- I bet you would love it, and so would your kids! There is a ton to do in the summer and winter. And it was MUCH needed relaxation. Thanks for sharing in our trip with us! XOX. How is your week going?! Any big plans for the summer?!

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  11. What gorgeous pictures, the scenery reminds me of Vancouver & Whistler! I enjoyed my “trip” to Tahoe and hope to one day explore it as well as you and DJ did! I’m so glad you were able to get away together and have such a lovely getaway!!

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  12. I’m so happy you enjoyed your trip and booked a new hotel! Your pics are fab and I love hearing about your life. I haven’t been to Tahoe in 9 years and it was for a lovely wedding. We all split a cabin though, before the days of AirBNB. Group rates in the spring are fab!!! You also make me want to move there. Google Bear Valley, Tehachapi. Seriously I have so many random mountain towns in mind that I just want to escape to one day…especially when I’m in a crowded subway in Buenos Aires hahaha! We do have Mendoza across the country…

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  13. Part 2 of my comment! The newly booked hotel looks magnificent Mackensie! Did you check out the spa? The fireplace is warm and welcoming . I really love your bathroom! The jacuzzi incident is something you can tell your grandchildren some day! You are such a trooper, 8 mile run on on vacation! Heidi’s looks like a cute place to visit. Dj must have been really impressed with pancakes! Eagle falls is so pretty, I love the nature pics and of both of you too. I really like the close up of you and DJ below with lake in background 🙂 It is so fun exploring new downtown’s, I love that they keep Christmas lights up all year! It is good to nap and after the hectic day you had you deserved one. Its funny when you don’t know what to do you run! Its nice you exchanged numbers with the other couples . I like your cough, cough, to hubby! Its nice you got the hottub to yourself. I am glad you both got the time together, your schedules required it i think. I have not been to Tahoe, A friend who used to live in San Francisco talked about being there and your pics verify how pretty it is. I like to relax with some wine and watching some good tv, I do need my Me time . Have a great day Mackensie, Huggs, Terri xo.

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