Lake Tahoe 2010: One cabin. Six adults. Seven children. Five boats. Eleven chipmunks. Fifteen crawdads. Twenty hours of driving. Fifty-five stairs. Countless memories.
We recently returned from Lake Tahoe with the Stephens family. The Stephens clan is blue-blooded. As in Tahoe blue.
TJ grew up spending two weeks every summer at Lake Tahoe. His Mom grew up spending entire summers at Lake Tahoe with her Grandmother who had the lake-side cabin built in 1948.
This August, we joined Gram, Grampy, Uncle James, Aunt Cindy and cousins, for five days and four nights basking in the glory of God’s creation called Lake Tahoe. We breathed in the fresh mountain air and soaked up the clear, cool waters.
The lake was our picture window from the cabin and our playground just five-five splinterey stairs away. Swimming, floating, kayaking and boating, we were like bees to honey. (Or should I say bears to honey since I’m happy to report we had no run-ins with that species, and I’m a little paranoid of running into said species.)
We played on the beach and made castles in the sand.
They ran on the pier, ignoring motherly warnings of “Don’t run!” They set the traps, eager to find some friendly minnows and snapping crawdads in the morning.
(Jack helping Livy hold a little minnow.)
Speaking of fish, who cares if you don’t catch any fish when you’ve got a beautiful view in front of you and your favorite people beside you? We don’t.
Gram hosted the annual craft time and the kids got to paint their own backpacks, which came in handy for our family hike.
We all hiked to Eagle Lake where TJ used to camp with his parents and brothers. Jack was so brave to join TJ for a swim to the little rock island in the middle of the lake, which we don’t recommend for a skinny young guy. The poor kid nearly got hypothermia.
On the subject of hypothermia, TJ and Uncle James armed the crew with nets and flashlights and led the nightly crawdad hunting brigade. I don’t know how they can get in that freezing water at night, but they do. And they love it.
A fun (and messy) tradition, the kids helped Grampy make rolls.
TJ dug up another 30 pounds of “Indian clay” which was shaped, molded, fired and painted. Gram even saved last year’s clay creations to fire this year.
Olivia loved the speedboat and said, “Go faster, Daddy!”
(I just adore how Jack is holding onto his little sister in this shot.)
Sophia’s favorite part was eating ice cream at Camp Richardson while throwing sprinkles at her cousins. (Of course, I was too busy eating ice cream myself – Rocky Road to be exact – to take photos of the ice cream extravaganza.)
Jack loved molding Indian Clay and jumping off the pier.
I think TJ loved this nap.
I loved seeing all the cousins play together so beautifully. Abundant giggles and bonding the way only cousins know how to.
Olivia was showered with attention from her sweet cousins Emily and Caroline. Sophia and Anna bonded while creating their “shelter” under the pier – complete with a bed, table and pink bucket “sink” full of water. And Jack was joined at Ashley’s right hip, while kayak riding, pier jumping, clay molding and all. They all worked together to produce a Tahoe Talent Show, though it was interrupted by a certain five-year-old drama queen in tears.
By the way, it was not endearing when my five-nearly-six-year-old had a meltdown, but it was entirely adorable when my two-year-old threw a fit because she couldn’t have another ride on the speedboat.
Which, by the way, was happening at the same time her brother was giving her sister a noogie.
And please indulge my mamarazzi ways because I just can’t help myself when photo ops like these are calling my camera’s name. Disclaimer: I’m obviously a little obsessed with my little one’s little tooshie.
With or without photo ops, these are treasured memories. Full of the best things this life has to offer. God’s beautiful creation and people that love each other to enjoy it with. Thanks for the memories, Lake Tahoe. Stay blue.
And thank you, Gram and Grampy.