Growing up my family made annual trips to Lake Tahoe. I am thankful my parents took us city dwellers out into nature to experience camping, hiking and fishing. (I never liked fishing though and I’ll never forget the time our family friend cast their fishing line and the hook got caught in my little brother’s leg. Ouch!)
I’ll forever be a city girl, but I still love making an escape every now and then out to the mountains. The air is fresher, the sun shines brighter, the trees stand taller and the lake is picture perfect (which is a pretty blue that is always a bit too icy to actually get in to). When our friends invited us to spend the weekend at Donner Lake (in Truckee, CA), how could we resist a getaway like this, especially since it was Riley’s first time up to the mountains.
I was able to sit for a few minutes by myself to enjoy the peaceful, serene lake. Although I was soon joined by Riley whom was eager to sit with me once she saw that I had dipped my toes into the water, I was able to take in a few deep breaths of fresh mountain air and release the stress, worry and uncertainty I had been carrying around for awhile. I can’t explain why, but I instantly felt relaxed afterwards. Plus, with a view like this, how could you feel anything but at peace?
The kids were too small to do activities at the lake like paddle boating or go canoeing, so we spent time hanging out at the swimming pool. Although the weather was quite warm, there weren’t too many people up at Donner Lake this weekend. The crowds must really subside after Labor Day (something to keep in mind when planning future trips). This also meant that we were able to eat out at restaurants downtown without having to wait and deal with crowds. (Normally, with two kids in tow we call ahead and ask the restaurant if there is a wait, put our name down on the list, if they’re even willing to take over-the-phone reservations, and still come up with an alternate dinner option – Plan B – should our first choice fall through for any reason.) But this weekend, we didn’t have to worry about any of that! See what I mean when I said it was a relaxing weekend?!
Our hosts, the Lees. Thank you so much for inviting us on this trip!
We finally let Riley take off her shoes and dip her toes into the water too. This kid really is fearless in the pool and the lake, even without having had any swimming lessons. She really is in her element in the water.
If you head up to Donner Lake, here are a few places we enjoyed visiting:
// Donner Lake – many of the pictures above where taken here. This is the perfect site for watersports like canoeing, water skiing and boating. There are also bbq pits and lounge chairs set up along the perimeter of the beach to kick back enjoy the views.
// Trout Creek Recreation Center – we spent Saturday swimming at this gorgeous pool. The rec center also has a huge playground for the kiddos.
// Marty’s Cafe – for good ‘ol home styled cooking. Their portions are over-the-top, but so delicious! I highly recommend the sloppy joes on garlic bread!
// Morgan’s Lobster Shack & Fish Market – this place was recommended by Andy’s co-worker and it did not disappoint. We went all out with classic lobster rolls, fish and chips and steamed Maine lobsters.
On the way home, Andy and I kept talking about how nice it was to spend time away from the city, and how relaxed we both felt. We wished Donner Lake was only two hours away so we could drive up more often, but agreed that this will be a tradition we continue with Riley, just as I experienced as a kid. We can’t wait to go back!