Something that we have been looking forward to for a whole month, is finally here... our Tahoe trip! We have been wanting to get away and also explore this place for future plans. Nick has been here several times before but only for vacations. He never considered living here. I never did either, because we both thought that Tahoe for sure must be expensive! It's such a big tourist place after all and it looks super fancy. But recently we found out that it's way more affordable than San Jose. A house in San Jose generally cost about 900,000 dollars and in Tahoe they cost around 400,000. After doing a lot of research we realized that we would be damn stupid to try and settle down in a place where rent will constantly be a struggle. Going on vacations, even just to Sweden, would be almost impossible. That's how expensive it is where we live. Right now we are lucky and don't have to pay rent, but even with two paychecks we'll be struggling a lot. In San Jose we'll never have enough money to buy a house, but in Tahoe there is a good chance for us to buy one at least within 15 years.
We have slowly had to get used to the thought of moving, because it is a big decision after all. It's the hardest for Nick of course since his whole life is there. But he also knows that this situation is impossible, if we are going to start a family in the next couple of years. We have a lot of friends in San Jose which made us hesitate about moving. But the truth is that everyone is at the age where they are going their own way. Three of our friends are already in L.A. One is in Texas. Two are thinking about moving to Seattle. Two others are thinking about moving towards the Tahoe/Reno/Sacramento area as well. So why the heck would we put a stop to our dreams and future plans when no one else is? We deserve this and we need this, really bad. We both feel like we want a change and a fresh start. We are looking forward to a calmer family life and not so many drunken party nights. So we simply had to start somewhere. Go to Tahoe! That way I can see it and Nick can look at it from a "should we move here?" point of view. I have been dying to visit this place my whole life so I was more than excited. I already knew that I would fall in love with it.
Our day didn't start off great though since I woke up with a very sore throat. I know that the high elevation of Tahoe can get you sick, but this happened while we were still in San Jose. I felt sick all night and through the whole weekend, blah. Bad timing! The drive there should just take 4 hours, but because of traffic it took a horrible 5½ hours. We just wanted to get out of that damn car. But getting closer to Tahoe was such a blast because it really lived up to my expectations + more!
The trees were even closer and more compact than in Sweden. It looked like one big cozy, green pillow. I have really missed forests and the green colors of Sweden - and here it was right in front of me! A bit different of course. Bigger pine cones. And lots of mountains with forest on them. We have mountains in the north of Sweden too but normally we leave those areas alone and don't make pavement roads. At the most you'll see graveled paths. But since you have to drive through the mountains to get to Lake Tahoe, I am assuming that is why they built these roads.
In San Jose fall has just barely started. The mornings and nights are colder and a few leaves have changed colors. But in Tahoe they had gotten much further. It wasn't full on fall yet but close! The first snow started falling in Tahoe on October 2nd last year but I don't think they will get it for another few weeks. One of my favorite things about this place is that the weather is very similar to Sweden. They get snow, spring and fall at the same time. The only difference is that they get more sunny days and definitely warmer summers. In other words - exactly what I have been looking for! I am so BORED with the constant sun in San Jose. And thinking about Christmas makes me depressed because it will be grey and rainy. Not cool! Me and Nick want to raise our kids in a beautiful place where Christmas is magical. When I was a kid the winters used to be wonderful in Sweden. The sun and blue skies would warm me up as I was playing around in the snow. But lately the climate change has really put a stop to that. But in Tahoe the sky remains bright and blue about 300 days of the year which is great. I love the changing of the seasons and to look forward to one after the other. As much as we would miss the ocean, Santa Cruz and Monterey when living here... we can go there at least once a year to visit. Been there, done that. We want new adventures and a new enviroment.
Wherever you go in Tahoe there are houses that look like perfect cabins spread out in the forest. Not forced together, one feet apart, like most other cities. Everyone gets their own space. In San Jose there are 1 million people... here it's 20,000. But on the weekends and holidays that number doubles thanks to tourists. Which I don't mind one bit. I love meeting new people, especially happy tourists who are excited about their vacation.
Arriving in South Lake Tahoe was amazing and at the same time bittersweet. It was so cloudy that the lake looked grey. We certainly wasn't sure how to feel about that. Was this trip going to be a complete bummer and not at all what we had hoped? We had booked two nights at the Fairbridge Inn and we did not regret that at least! For a very cheap deal we got a beautiful suite with a fireplace and a jacuzzi! The only annoying thing was the lousy TV and how cold it got in the mornings. But we had my laptop to watch movies on and a fireplace to heat up the room :)
We got there so late that it was already dinner time and sunset...
As soon as I saw that downtown area, I loved it! o quaint and cozy but yet full of life and nice restaurants with live entertainment. We ended up walking into the first best restaurant that we saw and it was an immediate hit! Stateline Brewery & Restaurant had amazing service. The waiters were beyond friendly and the food was served in record time. They had lots of guests and only three guys in the kitchen and yet the food was fresh and perfectly cooked. No idea how they did it. When we arrived we also got their homemade chips with a sweet balsamic glaze. Yummy!!
Afterwards we checked the only real nighttime entertainment they have - the casino! There's two of them on the Nevada stateline so technically I have now been to Nevada as well ;) that is how they make it legal to gamble. Our first night wasn't so lucky. Harrah's was mostly full of old people.. not exactly a party in there. We lost our money pretty fast and went back to the hotel, haha!
Of course the jazzuzzi was put to good use! Luxury for us!
I had been looking forward to my cat allergies getting a ton better while on vacation, because lately it's been absolutely horrible. But instead I had this bad cold which made it hard to breathe and sleep. And Nick didn't feel good either because of his leg. So on the first night we were tired after the long trip and pain, not sure how we felt about Tahoe and generally overwhelmed. We needed a good nights of sleep to take it all in and regain our energy.