Our road trip kept going! We decided to continue driving in the northern direction to check out Emerald Bay. This is a beautiful area where the lake sweeps into a "dip" in the mountains. Right in the middle is where the lake's only island is located - Fannette Island. A man named Captain Dick lived here 160 years ago and swore that he would be buried in the tomb by the chapel that he had built, but instead he was lost in a storm. We actually thought that Emerald Bay was located by a beach, but the further up in the mountains we drove... we realized that was not the case, haha. This road sure is crazy. I am not surprised that it's closed off during winter time! Most of the drive consists of trying not to look down at the extremely steep cliff that is right next to you, without any fences keeping you safe! Not only do you need to be aware of other cars around you but also cyclists. At one point neither side of the mountain felt safe. It was just one small road, with one lane in each direction, and literally nothing but death on each side xD lol. Just scary cliffs and forest that I doubt would catch us if we fell. I tried staying calm for Nick's sake since driving on a road like that is nerve-wracking, but on the inside I wanted to get the hell out of there! For those who don't know, to get to Lake Tahoe you have to drive through mountains on about 7000 feet, then the city is located on 6000 feet. And this is one of those mountains that is surrounding the city so we simply had to go up it, to get somewhere.
As soon as we realized that this was actually not a beach, we turned the car around and went back to the Inspiration Point that we passed by on the way. This happened to be one of the places on my bucket list. And here is beautiful little Fannette Island!
When driving to Tahoe Nick told me he was worried that he wouldn't fit in here. We wanted this to be our future home so bad, but what if people wouldn't like us? Nick often gets weird looks (and also impressed) in San Jose because he is a typical rock n roll guy with tattoos, gauges and eyeliner. So why wouldn't a much smaller community give him weird looks? But everyone who we met were just like him and beyond friendly. At the Inspiration point several people kept surprising us by asking if we wanted our photo taken. This place brings out the best in everyone it seems like.
People in general seemed happy, healthy and easy going. Living close to nature kept them active and yet so relaxed and peaceful. They of course have every day stressed like the rest of us. But since Lake Tahoe is quite far away from the crazy big cities, you can feel the stress melt away in a different way. I never thought I would want to live in a smaller city but this is just our size. There is no litter on the ground and the roads are clean (probably since people don't want bears around, but hey, if that means keeping the city extra clean then we are SO down). There were plenty of park benches and trash cans too which is something that I have missed since leaving Sweden. Don't ask my why but for some reason San Jose and most cities in California don't have access to this and it's driving me nuts. As an au pair I would sometimes have to take one of my host kids for a 3 hour walk with the stroller for his nap, and my legs would get tired since there was nowhere for me to sit down! I couldn't get over how fresh that air was. I am tired of the warm and humid weather. I am used to fresh air in Sweden but there is something extra crisp and clean about Tahoe. It's like Mark Twain once said... "To breathe the same air as the angels, you must go to Tahoe".
Seeing snow on the mountains at this time of the year gave us such a rush of joy! We don't get that in San Jose so it was a different kind of pretty to us. At the end of the day it's about us switching environments. I was bored and needed a change so I moved from Sweden to San Jose. Now Nick is bored and needs a change, plus I have seen enough of San Jose and am craving a new adventure... so we want to move here :) Simple as that! I am used to traveling a lot so staying in one spot forever is very hard for me. It's like someone who we ran into in Tahoe said - "Go for it, you guys are still so young that if you ever change your mind you can always move again!".
After a fun day, that flew by too fast, we heated up our bedroom with this cozy fire and Nick spoiled himself with a bath ;) I took one later too while he got acquainted with our neighbors who were very nice!
Still feeling sick we thought that tonight would be a calm night at the hotel. But we got some energy in the last minute so we decided to visit the casino again ;) The only thing that is a bummer about Tahoe is the non existent nightlife. It's very rare that you see people out and about after 9 or 10 pm. I can imagine that it gets a little crazier during the summer and winter tourist seasons which I am looking forward to. But to be honest, this was an unexpected blessing to us. In the last 9 months we have not been very interested in going out as much. We do it once in a while but we prefer staying at home and inviting friends over. Growing older and trying to settle down has been very rewarding and nice. We don't need the crazy parties anymore, but we still want to live in a place that provides that once in a while. As for this time around, the casino was our only option. On this night we went to Harvey's instead. Saturday night here was awesome! There was a lot younger crowd and more people.
Me and Nick found a machine that gave us the best wins ever!! We had such a blast going from one shock to another. We ended up walking away with 170 dollars more than what we came with. My birthday had technically already started in Sweden at this point so birthday greetings started coming in on Facebook. Sitting here with Nick laughing at our good luck and winning money was a great way to start my birthday! ;)
I LOVE this new plaid jacket/sweater that Nick bought that day. I have a red plaid sweater so now we look like real Tahoe folks :P lol. It got very cold walking back to our car each night so we really needed good clothes!