Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Weekend adventures

Dave and I took a short getaway to our favorite place, Lake Tahoe.  It's so nice to live so close to so many amazing places like Lake Tahoe, Monterey, San Francisco, and Bodega Bay.
We drove up one morning, and we made a stop in Placerville at Z-Pie.  We had always seen this place, and were intrigued, but never stopped. 


This place is not gluten-free, or even allergen free (for me at least), and was full of everything I shouldn't be eating. But I ate anyways.  And I suffered....but actually kinda worth it.
Z-Pie is a gourmet pot-pie restaurant.  The menu was small, but appealing.

I chose the southwest chicken at the recommendation of our server and Dave chose one that was on the seasonal menu.

The crust was flakey and crunchy, and the filling was flavorful.  The filling was rich and creamy and full of "goodies."  I found a deal that if you check in with Yelp, you get a free glass of their house red or white wine.  It wasn't the greatest wine I've ever had, but free wine is free wine! 


This trip we stayed with some sweet friends of ours who are lucky enough to live in Tahoe.  They have such beautiful surroundings. We BBQd steak and asparagus, and I made quinoa salad and fruit crisp.  Yummy!
I don't think I could ever get tired of this view.

No trip to Tahoe is complete without a stops at Sprouts Natural Food Cafe.  It's mostly vegetarian food, but I sure don't miss the meat when I'm there.  Their nachos are some of the best I've ever eaten.  But for this trip, we went for breakfast.  Once again, I'm not supposed to be eating this food, but my stomach actually handled it really well.  This is a sprouted wheat organic tortilla filled with black beans, brown rice, steamed eggs, jack cheese, homemade salsa, avocados, and green onions.  I'm finding that sometimes foods that are on my "no" list agree with me more when they are in a "healthy" form, as opposed to junk food.  Like spouted grains agree with me whereas a white flour cupcake does not.  Trial and error right now.  It's such an adventure learning what I can and cannot eat.  I want to recreate this breakfast every day, except a little smaller!

We spent one of the days with our friends at the beach at Emerald Bay.  The view there is so majestic.  I couldn't stop staring at the mountains on one side, the water in front of me, surrounded by a forest of green trees.  It was a picture perfect day!

The next day, Dave and I went to Heavenly Ski Resort to do some hiking.

This was a huge deal for me.  For the past several years, back injuries and being sick have left me enjoying the beauty of Tahoe from the car, the hotel or the beach, never really being able to hike or explore like I had wanted to.  I think Dave was a little skeptical when I said that I wanted to hike.  Probably because last time I couldn't make it more than a few hundred feet without being in horrible pain, chest pounding, unable to breathe.  I couldn't go on, and was upset and it just put a horrible damper on the trip.    

We went to the top of the Gondola, then went up one of the ski lifts to where the hiking trail was.  

I love this sign.  When I was first learning to ski when I was about 7 or 8, I would forget to keep my tips up.  On more than one occasion, I face-planted trying to get off the lift, and shut down the lift while the poor employees tried to get me up and out of the way of the real skiers. Although, nothing will beat the time my friend accidentally kicked off her ski while on the lift and had to be taken down the mountain to get her ski by the ski patrol on an emergency toboggan.  Oh to still have that as the biggest tragedy in my life...

It was amazing.  I haven't been up on ski trails since my dad and sister and I used to ski before he died over 20 years ago. It was such a bittersweet, healing moment for me.  Old sad memories meshing with new happy memories.  I had forgotten how much I love it up there.

Looks so different without the snow!
As we hiked higher and higher, the views got more and more amazing. 

Overlooking Carson Valley

Overlooking Lake Tahoe

I wish this was the view from my bedroom every morning

We got to about a half way point of our hike that was also the start of a ski run.  The view was breathtaking. 
Pinnacle.  The highest point.  A lofty peak.

We stopped right by the sign to take a little rest.  I sat on a bench while Dave wandered into the danger zone to take some pictures. 

As I sat on the bench, enjoying the view and the silence of the mountain, and all the sudden this wave of emotion overcame me.  I was sitting on top (well almost) of the mountain of one of the most beautiful places, and my favorite place, on earth.  Somewhere I have previously not been able to go because I was always in so much pain.  Because my asthma was always so bad.  Because I was always having some sort of stomach distress.  I sat there sobbing.  But these were tears of joy. 

 I could finally go somewhere I had always wanted to go.  

I was finally feeling better enough to do something so physical.  

I am finally starting to reap the benefits of working so hard at my healing.  
I am finally getting my life back. 

We kept on hiking, all the way to the top of the mountain, enjoying so much of the natural beauty that the Sierra Mountains have to offer.

More dead trees

Dead trees are so pretty...
We finally reached our destination.  

The top of the mountain, elevation 10,400 feet. 

Sky Express ski lift

The top of the mountain!

We made it!!! See how happy I am???
The "You are Here" sign at the top of the mountain showing skiers all the different trails. We were up at the very top where the red circle is. 

We stayed at the top of the mountain for a while, just enjoying the view.  Visited with a couple from Kentucky who were very jealous that we live so close to such beauty. 

As we made our way back down the mountain, I felt such a sense of pride and accomplishment.  Sure, to most people this was a short hike, but to me, I conquered a mountain.  It was tough for me, but I didn't have an asthma attack, I didn't feel like I was going to pass out.  I felt tired, yet invigorated.

Walking down back towards Pinnacles.
I can only imagine how beautiful this trail is to ski each winter!!!
On the mountain, I made myself a challenge:  to ski one more time.  Not this season, but hopefully the next...the '13/'14 season.  I don't care if I am in the ski school with 4 year olds, learning how to pizza and french fry all over again, but I'm gonna do it again! 


  1. Thanks so much for participating in the GFC Hop on ModaMama! I appreciate you linking up. Please remember to follow your hosts.
    I look forward to getting to know you.


  2. It looks like you had SO much fun! I love all these pictures! I've never been there before but it looks so beautiful! Found you form the blog hop! Hope you have a great week!

    1. Thanks! It is one of my favorite places. Hopefully, one day, we will get the privilege of living there!

  3. oh wow that is beautiful! I've never been to lake Tahoe but I've heard it's one of the best places to visit! newest follower :) oh and by the way, you and Dave are so cute together :)

    1. oh and I found ya from the link/mingle! haha forgot to say that.

    2. Thanks for stopping by! I highly recommend visiting here! It truly is magnificent!

  4. Beautiful photos! I'm a new follower from the Link & Mingle, and I'd love a visit back at http://www.two-in-diapers.blogspot.com when you get the chance! :)