Day 3 of #Laxico2016 – Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe

See my strategy is to have you all on the edge of seats wondering “What did Emma do on her holiday??” It has noting whatsoever to do with the fact that I haven’t made time to post these… or perhaps even write them. Suspense dear Watson. That’s the name of this game! ENJOY!

Day 3, Wednesday 24 February 2016.

SKI DAY!! Snow Snow Snow! Woke up and leapt out of bed, pulled back the curtain and greeted by snow covered rooftops, tall mountains all around, a lake view and blue bird skies. Perfect day!


I was like a kid at Christmas and jumped on Matt to get up asap so we could get snow ready. We planned to go to Heavenly on this day so that we didn’t have to travel far. It’s also the mountain we had heard the most about. I went online though to checkout tickets and see how we did that… $125 USD!! I was in shock. I mean I know it’s a famous mountain, but what, that’s about $170 AUD – almost 1.5 times what we pay in Australia. Well in Australia it’s about $110 – $120 at most mountains, but with the sucky dollar, this was hurting!


We got out into the town and It was fresh but really not too cold. It’s a really lovely little area and we had everything we needed within walking distance. Matt hired his skis and decided to give some demo skis a go, why not! It was then off to the ski lifts. Both of us were getting excited now.. we almost forgot about the pain that was about to hit our credit cards!



The first thing you do is hop on the Gondola and head right up, turning around to see the most incredible views of the Lake.


Ok! I can see where the expense of the ticket comes in, this was absolutely spectacular. We were two very happy ski bunnies.



Matt hadn’t been skiing for about 5 years and when we got to the top of the Gondola and actually onto the snow, he did a little happy dance. It was adorable! We asked the helpful man near the giant map where we should start. He gave us great advice on a cruisey area to begin on and where the sun had already hit so the snow will have softened up. We were off.


We got to the run and Matt said he was going to just take it easy to start. I said “sure, ok see you at the bottom.” And took off down the run, cruising along and loving being back on my board. Then out of the corner of my eye goes a flash of yellow pants and then Matt skis off in spectacular style down the hill. WHAT! I mean he said he was good but seriously, the boy can ski! I was attracted to him before but this just added a whole new level. Talent on snow is sexy. Yes, I had a crush on my boyfriend!




Absolutely perfect skiing conditions. Couldn’t have asked for better weather with warm sun, bluebird skies and the snow was soft and even. The California Run down with the lake view was absolutely epic. Pretty cruisey and flat, but just to be able to look at that view the whole way down, worth it!

But now, I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.


We took some time out to chill out a couple of times on the deckchairs in the sun. It was a perfect day for people watching and such a great setup by the lifts. We spent $20 on coffee, Gatorade and two chocolate bars. Definitely need to pre-plan food and shop at the market. Good to be able to take a rest and enjoy the scene.


We lasted until about 2.30pm. We ski hard and fast, and pretty sure we were still jetlagged. With five days ahead of us, we decided to take it easy. The gondola ride down facing the lake was just incredible. Seriously how has it taken me so long to get here. A friend of mine in California goes every year and has been raving about the region. Since staying with him 4 years ago, it’s been on my list of ski holidays. To share it with matt and to be able to enjoy skiing together was a dream!



Shattered from our day on snow, we really appreciated being able to walk to our hotel and having all the facilities within the complex. We opted for an easy dinner again. Showered and fresh, we walked to the lift, out of the lift and about 30m into the Hard Rock Café!



We knew this would be a more expensive dinner but we also know what to expect, we knew it would be all American food and just easy. Big burgers, lots of fries and beers. We then were tempted by the dessert menu. We chose a hot fudge sundae after a tough decision making process… aka scissor, paper rock.




This happened. Urghhhh we dug through the mountains of whipped cream and discovered ice cream, hot fudge and not one, but TWO brownies under all of that. Needless to stay we waddled to bed and slipped into a food coma!

#Laxico2016 – Day 2 – Driving from LA to Lake Tahoe

Yes… this may be a month overdue… shoosh!

Tuesday 23 February, 2016

The day of the big drive! We were pretty out of it in the morning, our first night in the US, so the jetlag was kicking in pretty good. We packed up and had a nice breakfast with my Cuzzie and a cuddle with the dogs. Our goal was to hit the road after the traffic around 10am and then get there just after dark or not too late.

Success! On the road at 10am and we had minimal traffic heading out of LA on the freeways. As soon as we got past the major areas, it opened up into rolling hills as we entered the “…” valley.



It was such an interesting area, kind of mountainesque but not quite. There was a massive lake on one side and just an interesting scene. The first few hours went really fast.



Lunch stop, our first tiff of the trip. I had predicted that the two things we would fight about if we fought were driving directions, and what to get for lunch, Of course these two things combined when you’re driving around trying to find something to eat. Carls Jr, Del Taco, Starbucks… urgh is it better the devil you know. I said I wanted something “healthy” and my boyfriend was leaving it up to me…. Hmmm. A deli! That’s “healthy” right. It was pretty much a fancy subway. We got a small… 8 inch sandwich! What is a large then – look at this monster!!


Tasty lunch and back on the road. Loving this ‘Winter’ weather here in California. It’s such an interesting state. Around Bakersfield we drove past what we thought might be cherry blossoms, we later realized they were probably oranges. I decided to save the debate but tweeting the photo and a friend came to our rescue with an answer, almonds! Fascinating.



Driving in the USA is totally fine. My boyfriend was doing really well with the whole other side of the road thing and as long as it’s not LA, you’re all good! I felt safe in his abilities. After lunch, with the warmth of the sun and the gentle humming of the car, my jetlag took over. My darling man decided this was an opportune moment for a happy snap. Yep… I was tired! Passed out cold for a good hour and a half and this is the result.


We got into the mountains area after Sacramento around 5ish. The drive slowed down from there as you wind around single lane roads through the mountains and around the enormous pines. I nearly made Matt swerve off the road when I saw the snow capped mountains for the first time and pointed out across the steering wheel …. My bad!


Arrived into Lake Tahoe around 7pm. Lovely little town with twinkle lights around and wooden cabin like buildings. We were staying right on the Stateline in South Lake Tahoe and as our hotel, Harveys Casino is one of the tallest buildings in town, it was easy to spot. Couldn’t see the lake or mountains, as it was too dark, keen to explore the town the next day.


Check in was unpleasant at Harveys I must say. We booked through Expedia and I was happy to have booked and paid for the hotel upfront so we wouldn’t have to worry when we got there. Not only was the front deskman gruff and short with me, perhaps been in the service industry about 30 years too long, he also informed me of a $22USD per day charge for resort fees, including internet and the health facilities. I wasn’t happy but accepted it as apparently it’s mandatory.



We went to our room, which was lovely and spacious and we had a decent view over the city. Big bathroom, walk in closet and change area and a nice big bed. I then checked my bank and had $424AUD gone! I was outraged! Luckily I had a large amount on my credit card. I also checked my booking to see where it said about resort fees, and it didn’t.


Back to Grumbly McGruffman who looked equally unimpressed to see me again. He couldn’t understand my accent or was hard of hearing as I had to repeat everything I said. I asked why such a large amount was taken off, he said that’s the damages they hold on my card of $50 per day… umm ok. Maybe it’s good to tell me that when you’re taking that charge off my card. And then I discussed why there is a resort fee when I had already paid in full. He explained that this was the issue of the company I booked through for not telling me, not their’s so, nothing they can do. Excellent service… America and its hidden charges drives me crazy! And it’s only Day 2!


Tired, weary and now a little hot headed, we went out to seek food. The good thing about staying in a casino, plenty of choice and you don’t have to go far. We had $2 beers and some tasty burgers from Straw Hat. It was easy, cheap and good food. Served us well! P.s. O love RANCH! So much Ranch! Give me all the RANCH!!!


In bed by 9pm, absolutely shattered and now ready for our first big days at the snow!!!


Oh and because I love them, sunset from the drive!