A few weeks back we had our first vacation as a family of four! Over the past few years my parents have rented a cabin on lake Tahoe from some friends of theirs and this year we were able to join them. For many weeks prior we reminded them, “You remember we have two small children right? You know one of them doesn’t sleep through the night, right? You know they are attention hogs, right?”. Being the awesome Gaga and Grampy that they are though, they were excited to have us along and we were excited to get to spend the week with them!
We decided to split the nine hour drive into two days, you know, for sanity’s-sake. About five hours in we stopped at Lundy lake, a spot that holds special meaning to my husband. At least six or seven of his childhood summers involved a trip to Lundy with his grandpa and uncle. It was fun to watch him remember and experience this beautiful place with our kids, even if it was for just one night.
Day two, more driving, and finally Tahoe! We were so excited and blessed to find out that our little cabin for the week had recently been upgraded with beautiful new floors. These are the things you get excited about when you have a crawling child who is an expert at finding every little crumb, so the lovely easy-to-clean laminate floors made my vacation a little easier.
Within an hour of arriving we were down by the water. Our cabin came equipped with new floors AND a private beach! Score! What a beautiful lake! The kids loved collecting rocks (or in LD’s case, throwing them, but not far) and Squeaks had a blast on the nearby playground. Especially since it had a “twirly slide“.
Over the next week, we enjoyed walks along the Truckee River, nature walks, good beer and food at a few local spots, live jazz on the beach, and the Truckee farmer’s market. While vacationing with two small children isn’t entirely a vacation, it was so fun to watch them experience new things and have so much fun they literally passed out (although Little Dude still didn’t sleep through the night. Oh well.)
We had a wonderful time and look forward to making this a yearly trip.
Splitting the drive up into two days made things a lot easier. The kids both fell asleep just as we were leaving which made for an easy first hour. Squeaks got pampered with her own personal tray, movies on the iPad, and snacks. Little Dude held up about as well as you can expect a ten month old to. The drive home we did all in one day. By hour eight in the car I wanted to tuck and roll from the moving vehicle, but we did it! It was a fantastic first vacation as a family of four!
Our stop at Lundy Lake was only one night but it was well worth it to see my husband relive happy childhood memories. The spot where he and his grandpa and uncle would camp has since overgrown but the lake itself is just as beautiful and secluded as always. I tried to get a picture of all four of us together. I succeeded in a super cute photo of everyone except myself. Ha! I need longer arms. I can’t bring myself to buy a selfie stick. Just the name bugs me much less the concept. So for now, I look weird and everyone else looks great. Two thumbs up.
We arrived at our Tahoe cabin mid day with plenty of time to walk down to our private beach. Squeaks loved walking with Gaga and Grampy and both kids had loads of fun sifting through the smooth piles of rocks on the lake shore. As a mom of little people I almost prefer these smooth rock beaches. No sand in diapers!…Don’tcha just hate it when sand gets in your diaper?! I know it makes me cranky. 😉
Our main event for the next day was a gorgeous walk along the Truckee River. Josh and my dad enjoyed some man time while my mom and I kept the kids and went exploring. We found literally the most perfect spot along the river with a little shallow spot for Squeaks to wade into the water. Little Dude and I relaxed on the shore…well, maybe not relaxed. He kept things interesting by occasionally attempting to go head first into the water. Most of the time though we enjoyed sitting in the grass watching groups of people rafting down the river. It was just perfect.
There isn’t an inch of this lake that isn’t gorgeous. A nature walk the next day ended at the beach with our feet in the water. Little Dude fell asleep in his carrier on my back and slept the whole walk. He woke up super sweaty but happy. It was fun to watch Squeaks explore. She was very insistent that we were going to see monkeys and lions on our walk through the woods. She loved seeing the big pine cones, super tall trees, and elaborate spider webs.
The park just next to our private beach was a huge hit the entire trip. The picture on the left is proof of Squeaks first time swinging by her arms. She was very proud of herself and it gave her courage to attempt other “big-kid” obstacles on the playground (with Gaga spotting her). She felt very accomplished and grown up by the end of our stay. As she should. She played hard and slept like a rock every night. One happy kid.
While in Tahoe we enjoyed some local breweries. Fifty/Fifty is one of Josh’s and my dad’s favorites. A little place in Truckee called Mellow Fellow was also very nice. Both super family friendly and relaxed. Little Dude even enjoyed a quick nap in his stroller while we sat and talked.
Squeaks got her first purse while at the Truckee farmers market and also got to accompany a piano player on the sidewalk. His piano was covered in signatures and he let Squeaks add hers! She was very excited.
Little Dude and I got to enjoy some alone time at the beach for awhile too. He thought the small waves that the boats made were a little scary at first but soon he was splashing us both. A very sweet lady with her family offered to take our picture (bottom left).
Our last day included a jazz concert on Kings beach. We enjoyed live music, fantastic people-watching, and a visit with our cousin Stephanie who lives in Tahoe (lucky lady). Squeaks made friends with a very sweet little girl and Little Dude sampled his first fist full of wet sand (and made multiple attempts to go back for seconds). Both kids loved the water and got plenty dirty. Fun had by all!
It was a wonderful week spent with family and we look forward to many more trips like this. Although traveling with little people can be quite challenging (packing our car with the required gear was like a game of Tetris), it’s most definitely worth it. On to the next adventure!