Monday, February 8, 2021

Keep Summer Blue: Lake Tahoe, the Perfect COVID Vacation - Part Two

Keep Summer Blue: Lake Tahoe, the Perfect COVID Vacation - Part Two

By Kat Thomas

Part Two in the Adventures of Tahoe Summer for the Thomas Gals!  When we last left our fearless sisters they were living the lake life while residing in the teeny tiny town of Tahoe City, CA.  We will now continue on the epic greatness that was their six-day summer vacation!  

Tahoe in the summer is all about water sports and thus Kelly and I, ocean babies that we are, were about to become something we would have dreamed possible: River Rats.  But there’s a first time for everything!  So we signed up for a Truckee River Rafting trip, the IRL equivalent of a waterpark’s lazy river!

The Truckee River Rafting trip is a self guided raft trip offering commercial grade rafts (2, 4, 6, and 8 person in size) allowing adventurers to idol the day away on the Truckee River.  The 2-3 hour trip floated us through tranquil stretches of scenic meadows, mountains, and small rapids.

We began our leisurely float in Tahoe City, along a peaceful stretch of the Truckee River, ended at the River Ranch Restaurant.  The website suggested you bring a small cooler with snacks and drinks (but no styrofoam or glass) for impromptu picnics along the way! 
I ate one too many edibles at the beginning of our ride and as a result my cat-like reflexes were not up to snuff.  READ: we hit a fallen tree because I was too Stoned.   Rest assured we were fine as we were in an inflatable rubber tube going a maximum boat speed of 3 miles per hour…  Let’s just say hilarity ensued and it was hysterical both in physical reality and the altered state of consciousness I was in! 

Luckily the edible’s effects lessened, allowing me to more consciously experience the numerous impromptu photo shoots of the Thomas Gals.  Adventuring included: pulling over to a side bank for our picnic lunch, swimming in a giant natural whirlpool where we lazily spun circles, pulling over for an al fresco glass of wine in our matching Seafoam Yeti cups (so Bougie, but at the same time such an amazing cup!), joining an impromptu riverbank dance party (a direct byproduct of a couple stationed at the water’s edge with a table, two beach chairs, a bottle wine, and a massive old school Boombox).  All of it was Absolutely Fabulous!!!

The ride finished with a bit of Level One Rapids (truthfully I’ve seen scary drops on the Log Flume ride on the Boardwalk, but it’s still fun to boast you did some Level One Rapids...).  This water adventure was fantastically fun with hints of Tom Sawyer, J. Crew, and a Moveable Feast.  

I guess you could say, it’s a Waterful Life!

Marg my words, after all the bumper boat adventures, it was time for Happy Hour! 

So for our post-tributary libation we headed over to the Pioneer Cocktail Club, a rustic-chic tavern serving innovative cocktails and an eclectic bar menu, including Amazing wood-fired pizzas.  Yummm!  This is as Hipster Bougie as Tahoe City (with its population of 2,100 people) gets.

Pioneer Cocktail Club’s cocktails are divinely simple.  Each craft cocktails is made with artisanal spirits (including Tahoe Blue vodka), fresh juices, and house-made syrups.  For our imbibing adventure, Kelly started with an Autumnal Mexicano cocktail: the Spiced Pear Mule crafted with Tito Vodka, Spiced Pear, Ginger, and Lime.  I chose something more Mad Men Hipster: the Oaxacan Old Fashioned made with Mal Bien Mezcal, Chocolate Bitters, and an Orange Twist.  The next round included the delightful Ta-Hoe’s crafted with Gin, Watermelon, Lime Juice, Apricot, and Serrano for Kelly.  Totally summer in cocktail form!  I went for the Tree Hugger’s Gimlet composed of Gin, Douglas Fir Brandy, and Fresh Lime.  (I told you it was Hipster Bougie…!)

Kelly and I went Halvies on the dinner splitting two showstoppers from the menu.  The Derby Burger with Pimento Cheese, House Pickles, Garlic Mayo, and BBQ Fries was the perfect blend of Americana and Down Home Southern.  We complimented it with one of Pioneer Cocktail Club’s famous wood-fired pizzas: Bitches Love Burrata concocted from Basil Pesto, Tomato, and Burrata Cheese.  They say money can’t buy you happiness, but those people have never had burrata pizza under the redwood trees while watching the sunset reflected in Lake Tahoe.  

The inside scoop on feeling like a kid again!  After discovering that Pioneer Cocktail Club didn’t offer dessert options (too Hipster Bougie to care about losing out on the dessert market share), Kelly and I sauntered next door to Poppy’s Frozen Yogurt & Waffle Shop for a summer ice cream nightcap (a rite of passage at the Jersey Shore).  Like every perfect cone shop, Poppy’s has a walk-up window for ordering and outdoor seating.  Their ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sorbet comes in a variety of flavors that change daily.  A few examples of their playful options include blackberry, cake batter and sparkling pink lemonade.  It turns out life is better with sprinkles!  

Home is where the sailboat is! Kelly and I finished out our Tahoe Summer Adventure with a sunset cruise with Tahoe Sailing Charters.  With a slogan of “turning winds into smiles,” we knew the two of gals were in for a fun time with this one!

They say that life is just a series of obstacles preventing you from sailing, which a philosophy the Thomas Gals thoroughly embrace having grown up on the shores of Long Beach Island, NJ. (Tahoe, with its plethora of water sports activities, constantly reminds us of a freshwater version of Barnegat Bay!) 

I like big boats and I cannot lie... At 5:30pm, we boarded the Santa Cruz 50 aka the “Tahoe Cruz” and headed for a sunset cruise on The Hoe’s blue waters!  Although there was not a ton of wind, just being on the water was the perfect cap to a delightful Covid-y socially distanced vacation. Plus, the bottomless Costco Champagne didn’t hurt either!

As Kelly and mine toes skimmed the sapphire blue water, Tahoe Sailing Cruises First Mate spun us tales of local Tahoe lore such as where Marilyn Monroe REALLY died (Hint: it was on Lake Tahoe) and whether or not there’s a fully preserved elephant from the 1940s named Mingo at the bottom of the lake.  BTWs, the later lore is a total falsehood (later Googled), as after residing in the area for a few years Mingo the Elephant returned to his first home in Woodside, CA because it did not like Tahoe’s mountainous elevation and hated to be away from his zebra love.

What a picture perfect way to finish off the Thomas Gals magical Tahoe adventure, gliding on towards a rose quartz sunset sky with the wind at our back and the waves playfully kissing our feet!  Here’s to life being delicious, all your moments being postcard worthy, and summer adventures that go on forever!  

Kat Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Edible Skinny, a site dedicated to making your life postcard worthy. She is also the CEO of the creative media company This Way Adventures. You can find more about both brands at

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