July 4th is one of my favorite holidays. Each year I try and go somewhere fun and scenic to celebrate – (my favorite memories are with my family watching fireworks at West Point) – and even though I just moved across the country, I knew I wanted to get out of the city to Lake Tahoe for the long weekend.
Organizing group trips are never a cinch, but I’m SO glad I took the leap because the entire weekend couldn’t have worked out better: 4 days filled with lots of time by the beautiful lake, crazy nights out, lazy R&R, and most importantly sharing quality moments with this down-to-earth, wild group who, in a very short amount of time, have become my SF family :).
Friday: road trip up north
Friday evening after work, we took two cars to drive up to Tahoe. I rode with my Marina pals since we are practically neighbors: 4+ hours of driving through sunset, jamming to some tunes, stopping for In-n’-Out (of course)…and before we knew it, we arrived!
When Anna and her boyfriend got in a little after us, the whole crew was finally together. We all ran to the grocery store at 1am to get some errands out of the way so we weren’t food/coffee-less the next morning.
Afterwards, I was set on calling it a night…but leave it to this energetic group of guys to get us all bonding over beers. I’m so glad we stayed up because it was the first time these two circles met and they couldn’t have meshed better :).
Saturday: paddle boarding/kayaking + lazy pool + crossing state line
Our first day started with sleeping in (we really needed it for what was ahead for the day) and a light breakfast at home. Then, we were off to the LAKE!
The guys rented out some kayaks, but since I had kayaked a few times before, I opted for paddle-boarding with Anna. Balancing on the board was pretty intimidating at first; we stayed on our knees for the first hour getting use to paddling and riding the waves, and after some practice, we were up on our feet! The tricks to standing are 1) resign to getting wet 2) don’t be scared to take a fall, and 3) just commit and go for it!
The water was so clear and blue; you could even drink it!
We had the boards/kayaks for 4 hours. We would paddle a bit and then relax and float around, swim, nap…super relaxing.
Overall I LOVED paddleboarding. It’s super empowering and made me feel like a princess warrior 😀
After 4 hours out on the lake, we were beat. We got a late sit-down lunch and then back to the Airbnb for napping and pool time. This pretty much sums it up:
After recharging, we got ready for our night out. I brought along some flash tattoos (which I’m OBSESSED with) and got everyone else got hooked on them. Face tattoo squad:
We stayed in the southern portion of Lake Tahoe right by the state boarder to California and Nevada, which meant…CASINOS!! We were only 1.5 miles away from the state line and decided to cross over to a casino/club in Nevada called Peek.
The night was a fun one, filled with lots dancing and seeing what Nevada clubs had to offer. The place was roomy and had more of a top-40s vibe compared to EDM clubs we were all use to in SF, but we still had a fun time.
The night ended with all of us back chilling at the pool with the hookah set Anna brought along. Fantastic night in the book.
Sunday: hiking and evening in Emerald Bay
My next morning started bright and early – (I’m always the first one up on group trips) :). And so I enjoyed some alone time with my coffee on a short and easy trail right in our back yard.
Afterwards I made everyone a pancakes, eggs and bacon to fuel for the day. Moments like these definitely made me feel like the mom of the trip :P. Then, we were off to Emerald Bay, a beautiful portion of Lake Tahoe filled with hikes and super scenic spots.
We decided on the popular Rubicon Trail, a moderate 8-miler circling the entire bay. Since we got a late start to the day, we finished approximately half of the hike.
I just LOVED these tree-filled portions of the hike. The trail was the perfect amount of paved-ness and the shady portions kept us cool 🙂
Amazing views from the almost top!
Back down at the base, we had the most perfect evening swimming, picnicing, and enjoying the peaceful lake. This was hands down my favorite memory of the entire trip. Relaxing in wide open space, perfect temperature next to the water, great friends…it was pure heaven.
Feeding the ducks
These love birds ❤
Family photos 😉
When the sun started to go down, we hiked back up to our starting point and found a pretty bench spot where we watched the orange sunset disappear until it was dark. Words can’t describe how surreal the entire day was.
This perfect evening ended with movie night in our Airbnb; I only made it a few minutes in before passing out from exhaustion 😛
Monday: beach day + bonfire + final night
Several people were working remotely on Monday, and so I spent the morning studying by the pool. Not a bad way to hit the books 😉
After picking up some Mexican for lunch, the remainder of us non-workers went to Pope beach where my friend joined us for the day –> (we met my very first day in SF through Scott and he lives in Tahoe right now so we wanted to catch each other a bit!). The few of us spent time drinking high or hell watermelons (my new favorite beer since moving here), swimming, tanning, listening to music…aren’t beach days just the best? This blog knows how much I LOVE the beach.
After working hours, the rest of the family joined!
After a successful beach day, we drove back to the apartment, ate some food and got ready for our final night in Tahoe.
We started off at a local beer garden which turned out to be an super dope, open backyard-y spot with bonfires – I was SO excited!! Bonfires are one of my favorite things in the world; they bring me back to my high school days and I was so loved cozying up by the fireside. It definitely made me sentimental for home ❤
One more bar later and then we hung out at the apartment for the rest of the night. We all headed out first thing the next morning.
Lake Tahoe, I will DEFINITELY be back! This trip was everything I wanted for July 4th weekend – water sports, hiking, beach, nightlife, bonfires…the absolutely perfect destination. I’m so grateful to spend the holiday with this wonderful group. It’s been officially one month in SF and everything has surpassed my dreams, and I owe a whole lot to these caring, inclusive, and fun friends. ❤