Late autumn in Lake Tahoe: Thanksgiving

Looking back at our Thanksgiving, I feel lucky that we got to catch one more view of the mountains before they’re blanketed in white. Cool mornings meant misty trails when the sun broke through; rivers, still full from last winter’s storms, fed a quiet lake.

We drove up to Lake Tahoe late Tuesday night, in hopes of avoiding any of the holiday traffic, and were successful.

We stayed close to the cabin for the most part, starting each morning with a walk toward Ward Creek. There’s a trailhead at the end of the block that crosses over some boardwalks to protect the meadows. I’ve taken pictures in all seasons, now. One day, I think, I’d like to put them all in a single book. It’s amazing how dynamic that little path is.

The kids are getting better at playing games together. We played Outfoxed—which is a cooperative game of elimination, like Clue, for kids; and Race to the Treasure, another new favorite.

When it came time to celebrate the holiday, we did more of the same, but added in some Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade and Dog Show viewing. Then, we drove about a half-hour to reach Northstar and to meet Aron’s parents for dinner at the Ritz-Carlton. Sadly, my parents decided to stay home this year.

The hotel is beautiful—sitting mid-slope in the ski resort. (I wrote a bit more about it after a babymoon Aron and I spent there before Skyler was born.) We had drinks, roasted s’mores, and spent some time in the kids’ arcade, before going to the restaurant for dinner. We also rode the gondola that takes you down the mountain to The Village at Northstar, but just up and back as the sun went down.

The next day, we returned to one of the kids’ favorite hikes—Eagle Rock. It was a bit crowded for my taste, but I think we all wanted get up there and see the views one more time before the trails become inaccessible over winter.

That night, we made some of our own Thanksgiving dishes and set out the kids’ centerpieces from school. Hudson had made a pumpkin with all of the things he is thankful for—including the color red. Skyler was most proud of her very glittery, sparkly candle.

And we also celebrated Sawyer’s 5th birthday! He hasn’t aged a bit.

On Saturday we visited the Resort at Squaw Creek to see their gingerbread village, but ended up staying for ice skating and a bit of snow play, too. I loved all of the Christmas decorations the hotel had set up and seemed like the perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

I was reminded that Hudson first tried ice skating at a Thanksgiving in Idaho!

Have you spent any of the holidays in Lake Tahoe? We will be going up again after the New Year, but it sounds like there are so many wonderful things to do—from ice skating atop Squaw, to dog-sled rides and horse-drawn carriages. Any tips?

P.S. Our cabin’s rental listing. Also, a guide to Lake Tahoe in the winter, and current snow conditions.

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