Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Adventures in Lake Tahoe

We just returned from a fantastic family vacation to Lake Tahoe. We were there for an entire week with some extended family, and it was quite an experience.

I have loads of pictures I'm dying to share, but I'm having some problems getting them to upload to flickr from Scotty's phone. I've always had great success with the app, but about a month ago, it started having problems. I have uninstalled/reinstalled and searched the forums for answers to no avail. I am devastated. I had a good thing going.

So anyway, this post will be severely lacking in photos for the time being. Hopefully my few low quality pics swiped from facebook will be good enough.

But no, they won't... You'll understand more fully in a moment.

So on vacation...

We spent a lot of time on the beach. On our first visit to the beach, Scotty and my niece went parasailing while I sat back with the kids and some of my in-laws. It is tough managing little kids on the beach. Nicky and Daisy were fine, but Zoe and Eva were a little more difficult. There were endless poopy diapers to change... in the sand, and endless binkies and bottles dropped... in the sand. Plus there was the need for constant sunscreening, and Eva, who isn't technically supposed to wear sunscreen yet, had to be kept in the shade. Zoe was clingy and tantrum-prone, as two-year-olds usually are.

Suffice it to say that babies and beaches aren't the greatest combination. Luckily our adult to child ratio was about 2:1 for the first few days, so that helped a lot.


Our next visit to the beach included kayaks and a paddle board. I got to watch Nicky set out on a kayak, which was really cool. He did a single kayak and then a double with his cousin. He looked so grown up, and he managed the kayak very well.

Nicky and I spent some time on the paddle board together. At first, I paddled, and Nicky was my passenger, but after getting knocked off the board several times, I was starting to get a little banged up, so I sat on the board and made Nicky paddle me around. He ran around the board like a hyper monkey trying to stay balanced. It was hilarious, but he was pretty good at it.

While we were in Lake Tahoe, the celebrity golf tournament was coming to town. Scotty and I usually watch some of this tournament on TV, mostly because we like Charles Barkley's golf swing so much:

We joked about going to the golf tournament, but we didn't think it was really a possibility. We assumed tickets were a fortune, but we looked at the web site to see who was playing this year, and it turned out, tickets were only $20, and two kids could get in free with each paying adult!

It turns out that the celebrity golf tournament was the most affordable thing to do in Lake Tahoe. We ended up going on Tuesday (Tues-Thurs were practice rounds with the actual tournament from Fri-Sun). We went with my sister-in-law, my niece, and Nicky and Eva (the "easy ones") while Daisy and Zoe (the "difficult ones") stayed with Grandma and Grandpa (and they truly were difficult).

The tournament was a lot different that I expected. I anticipated masses of people with very little opportunity to get close to a celebrity. I thought the spectators would be limited to certain areas. I imagined we'd be piled in bleachers and standing in large groups, barely able to see... so I was pleasantly surprised with how calm and casual everything was. The course was quiet and peaceful, and there weren't a lot of people there (this all changed as the days went on, so we picked the PERFECT day to go). We were able to walk around the course and go to any hole we wanted. The crowds were minimal, and we were able to see the celebrities up close. It was pretty incredible!

Most of the celebrities featured in the tournament were retired athletes we'd never heard of, but we tried to act like fans anyway because we wanted their autographs. Luckily we had a copy of the Official Program Guide ($5 for the program and a custom American Century Championship Sharpie!) that told us who everyone was.


Nicky was able to get a lot of autographs, and we got a lot of pictures of Nicky with various celebrities.

Nicky with Sterling Sharpe, formerly of the Green Bay Packers

As one would expect, some celebrities were kind and gracious (Brandi Chastain, Kenny Lofton, Colt Ford, and surprisingly, Larry the Cable Guy). Others were jerks (I'm looking at you, Jim McMahon!) Some fell in between, like Brian Baumgartner (Kevin from The Office) who snubbed us at first but later signed autographs and did photos.

In the afternoon, Justin Timberlake arrived, and while I was hoping to catch a glimpse, I was doubtful that we'd be able to get anywhere near him. He was supposed to tee off with Alfonso Ribeiro around 1:00, but we didn't have info about where they'd start (celebrities started at various holes). We asked some of the employees, but all of the information about Justin was kept pretty confidential, so they could only make guesses about what would happen. 

Just before 1:00, a crowd gathered near the clubhouse, and there were whisperings of Justin Timberlake's arrival. The crowd was surprisingly small, so I didn't really think Justin Timberlake was going to come walking out any second, but we stayed there anyway... just in case. There was increased security nearby, so we knew that, even if it wasn't Justin, something exciting might be happening. 

And there he was!

And I was all, "Oh my gosh! That's Justin Timberlake!"*


And then he walked past us all casual and whatnot.


And in my head I was going, "Ohmygoshohmygoshohmygosh!" but on the outside, I was acting like, "Justin Timberlake? Oh, the lad in the pink shirt? He looks nice."

Right after I took this picture, he yelled out, "I feel it!" and he did a fist pump, and he looked right toward us, so I had to wave. But I waved like a 31-year-old mother of four and not like a 14-year-old NSYNC fan even though, on the side, I was like, "He's bringing sexy back!"

Because, let's be honest, Justin Timberlake is not exactly ugly.

After he left the clubhouse, he practiced putting, then he went to the driving range. We noticed that the bleachers by the first hole had a lot of seats available, so we headed over there. We were able to see Aaron Rodgers (the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) tee off with Larry the Cable Guy (we ran into Larry a lot throughout the day, and he was one of the more friendly and social celebrities). Aaron Rodgers was one of the more popular celebrities. Ten minutes later, Justin and Alfonso teed off.

Justin, Alfonso, and Guy in Blue Shirt

Note the pink glove in Justin's back pocket. He obviously put a lot of thought into his outfit for the day.

After we watched Justin tee off, we decided we'd call it a day, and we started heading toward the exit. We had a brief run-in with Briam Baumgartner again, and Kenny Lofton almost ran us over with his golf cart (it was kind of fun to just walk around and see all of these famous people cruising by in golf carts). On our way out, we passed hole 7, and noticed that the bleachers were in the shade, so we decided we'd stop and hang out for a while. We were able to see a few more celebs play, and Nicky got several autographs (including one from a MLB player who said he was contractually unable to do autographs, but he gave in to Nicky). Nicky was also able to snag Aaron Rodger's autograph and get a photo - this is a pretty big deal.

We stayed long enough to see Justin come through. We were *right there* on the green so we could hear their conversations, and it was funny to listen to Alfonso Ribeiro analyze his shots. He was taking the practice round very seriously and had a little heated exchange with another player in which Alfonso was very Carlton-ish.


After that, we felt like we'd gotten our celebrity fix, and we left for real. We were so glad we were able to go. It was really cool, and the atmosphere was so different than I imagined. It was just so... calm and casual. When we drove by the golf course over the following days, it was no longer calm and casual, so we really lucked out.

The next day we went to the beach again, and I was able to go parasailing with Nicky and my nephew. Parasailing was a lot like the celebrity golf tournament... surprisingly calm and peaceful. We took off from the back of the boat and went 350' into the air. The view was incredible, Lake Tahoe is beautiful.


That night we went to the Nestle Cafe and had dessert for dinner (I opted for the banana split, thankyouverymuch). While we were walking back to t he parking garage, we saw Alex Smith (the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs). Alex used to play for the University of Utah, and Nicky happened to be wearing his U of U hoodie. We wouldn't normally bother a celebrity in that kind of situation (he was there with his family waiting for a table at a restaurant), but the hoodie! So Scotty approached him and asked for a photo. He seemed annoyed until he saw Nicky's hoodie, then he said, "Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!" and he graciously posed with Nicky. It was pretty darn cool. 

The next day, all of our extended family left, but we stayed one more night. We spent our time lounging around because we were too tired to do anything.

We had a lot of fun in Lake Tahoe, and we were so glad we got to go. A big thanks to our in-laws who let us crash their vacation yet again!

*I realized later that I have been to an NSYNC concert, so this wasn't my first glimpse of Justin Timberlake in person, but the back row of a football stadium doesn't compare to the front row view I had on the golf course!


BerlyCrow said...

Reading this makes me sad.

Feisty Harriet said...

My favorite part about this is how comfortable you are with being on a first-name basis with Justin Timberlake. :)