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Labor Day Weekend in Lake Tahoe

9/06/11 - Northstar-at-Tahoe, CA

Saying goodbye to summer with a holiday weekend of gorgeous weather and good friends in northern California's premier lakeside playground

Or was it gorgeous friends and good weather?  In any case, it was finally here - Labor Day weekend!  After many months of painstaking renovations, friends Jen and Tod had put the finishing touches on their beautiful and luxurious, 4-bedroom, mountain vacation home.  Located in the tranquil and scenic Northstar-at-Tahoe resort community, they are just a stone’s throw from the north shore of Lake Tahoe, along with a multitude of opportunities for outdoor fun.  And we, along with another couple, friends Mark and Christine and their two kids, were lucky enough to score an invitation for the weekend! 

Friday got off to a bit of a slow start with grocery shopping and some necessary work, but after Christine and Scott were able to put their computers away after working from "home" for most of the day, the weekend had a decadently relaxed and leisurely pace to it and much time was passed simply lounging around the house with the kids and the dogs.  Over the course of the weekend, one couple was responsible for cooking dinner each night.  Continuing the relaxed pace of  the weekend, we enjoyed three nights of delicious, home-cooked meals at Jen and Tod’s artistically rustic (and giant) new dining table after the kids were fed and tucked in for the night.  From start to finish, we simply couldn’t have asked for better weather and when we weren't "busy" lounging about, we spent the picture-perfect days taking the kids to the pool and hiking the beautiful trails around the house in the gloriously warm temps, dry air and sunshine. 


On Sunday morning, we struck off on own own for a bit of exploring further afield, driving the full circuit around the lake and stopping to hike a small section of the breathtaking Rubicon Trail near scenic superstar Emerald Bay.  Next time, we vowed,  we'll get out on the lake's crystal clear waters in canoes or kayaks!  A definite highlight of the weekend was the daily late-afternoon lounging on the deck, kicking back on the comfy furniture, drinks in hand, and taking in the serene vista of the golf course, flanked by evergreen and aspen trees that is Jen and Tod's view - when we weren't relaxing in the hot tub, that is!  Aaahhh, good times with great friends – the stuff that life is made of!  Thanks for a wonderful and memorable weekend, Jen and Tod!


Host Tod sets the table for dinner while Scott, our bartender, gets the lemon basil gimlets underway


...while the moms organize an adult hike with Caroline & Scott


Fit and energetic, Jen, Scott & Pablo take the lead


A post-hike toast to good friends!


Jen displays a new housewarming gift while Isha waits patiently for some chips


"To good food and good friends!"


Pausing for the view at Memorial Point on Lake Tahoe


Daring cliff jumpers on the lake-view Rubicon Trail


Soaking with friends, as a wonderful weekend draws to a close (and finally, no kids in the hot tub!)

Serene view of the golf course from Jen & Tod's spacious deck


Kicking off the weekend with a trip to the pool


On Saturday, the dads, Tod & Mark, take the kids to the pool...


Trying to read the darn trail maps: "Where the heck are we, anyway?!"


Christine, Jen, Scott & Pablo hike the stunning trails near the house


Hiking the beautiful trails of Northstar


After an active day at the pool and on the trails, the Gabbard Family - Christine, Nola & Evan - enjoys a soak before dinner


Christine & Pablo strike a pose while Mark & Scott get Tod's fancy grill going


One of the many picturesque beaches that ring Lake Tahoe


Caroline poses with the surreally blue and green waters at Sand Harbor


Enjoying a short hike on the Rubicon Trail - we can't wait to return to this beautiful trail when we have more time!