Archive for May 2014

22nd Annual Valhalla Renaissance Faire!   Leave a comment

A Celebration of Magic, Mayhem and Merriment –

May 31- June 1  and  June 7-8, 2014 ~ Camp Richardson, South Lake Tahoe


"Good Day to you M' lady! (photo by Michelle Portesi)

“Good Day to you,  M’ lady!
(photo by Michelle Portesi)


We all know that summer is soon upon us when the return of the Renaissance Faire comes to town. It is truly one of those events that has historically kicked off the upcoming summer season for us.

If you have ever had the hankering to gnaw on a bulbous Turkey leg a la King Henry the 8th, or just wanted a good excuse to dress up in a corseted frock, this is just the event for you.  Costumes of the period abound (and these people REALLY get into it!), strolling minstrels entertain with popular tunes of the day and every sort of eating, drinking and making merry can be found. And you get to join in the fun! Dressing up and participating is fully encouraged.

(I do recommend those of you who have seen ‘A Knight’s Tale’ one too many times to stay away from entering the joust however. You’ve been warned…)


Now THIS is a face mask! Woodland nymph edition. Just perfect for when you throw that next masquerade ball! (Photo by Michelle Portesi)

Now THIS is a face mask! Woodland nymph edition. Just perfect for when you throw that  next period piece masquerade ball. (Photo by Michelle Portesi)



Held underneath the pines at Camp Richardson in South Shore, you’ve just entered a twilight zone time warp into the days of Queen Elizabeth I – the one, the only, the original. These were the days when men were men (while in tights), and women were women (a fact highly visible via the generous decolletage often on display). And both looked exceedingly uncomfortable if gloriously historical…

You might even see a character or two from a Mid Summer’s Night Dream.  There was even Pirate Extraordinaire Jack Sparrow wandering around one year. I’m still not quite sure what that was all about…

(Sadly no, it was not THE Johnny Depp).




Photo by Michelle Portesi

Photo by Michelle Portesi



But I digress. It’s a real hoot and a lot of fun, not to mention, very educational for you and the kids. In our highly automated, modern day world, it allows us a small glimpse into a much simpler – and yet more difficult time, where even the most mundane everyday task was often extremely labor intensive. (Tell that to your kids the next time they moan about doing their chores. They could be swabbing out the pig stye instead. By which I mean the one the pigs sleep in…not their rooms.)

You, on the other hand, just get to experience the fun parts. Eating. Drinking. Dressing Up. No worries, as someone else is minding the outdoor kettle/rotisserie spit/barbie for you.

In addition to food, there are also puppet shows, parades, trinket booths, clothing purveyors and period craftsmen of every kind and much more.



Well this is just perfect! Why just yesterday I thought to myself that I needed a new set of chain male. And look! Here someone has gone and done all the tedious crimping and bending for me! (Photo by Michelle Portesi)

Well this is just perfect! Why only yesterday I thought to myself that I really needed a new set of chain male to wear around the castle. And look! Here someone has gone and done all that tedious crimping and bending of all those little wire rings for me!  I’ll be totally stylin’ at the next Norman invasion!
(Photo by Michelle Portesi)


Mandolin’s anyone?


ren 6

Photo by Michelle Portesi


For more information on the Valhalla Renaissance Faire, here’s the link:


See you there!

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Happy Memorial Day. New and Updated Pages on the Blog   Leave a comment


Happy Memorial Day everyone. The holiday weekend is usually a sneak preview of our upcoming season.  While summers here can be brief, they are in a word: spectacular.  If you have never truly spent any time in our fine area, this weekend might just be the time to come up and see all that the area has to offer.




In getting ready for this busy season, I’ve updated the *About page so that you know a little bit more about me personally. I’ve also added a new page *Homes for Sale. While the blog is mostly about enthralling you with the Tahoe Truckee lifestyle and all that we have to offer, the *Homes for Sale page are my listings of current properties for sale and some pending or sold properties. While this by no means is the full breadth of the properties I am selling or have sold, they are a compilation of the most recent. I’ll be updating the page as new properties become available and others are sold.

More information and photos on all of these properties can be seen on my website.  Links are listed under each property on the blog.

Here are the direct links to the new and updated pages (or you can just click on the menu tabs above)


So enough about business. There are a few fun things to do this weekend.


May 24 & 25, 11:00am – 7:00pm – Made In Tahoe Festival, Squaw Valley

Join us in celebrating our local arts, culture and music. The festival includes a vendor village, community stage and sidewalk sales. For more info:


Sunnyside Celebrates 27 Years

Here’s to another ring on the tree – Sunnyside is turning 27! Celebrate the official start of the Tahoe summer at the Sunnyside Deck Opening and 27th Anniversary Party on Friday, May 23, 2014.
Mountain Grill Opens at 11:30am | Live music from 3 – 9pm.  For more info:


Opening Day at the Lake –

Memorial Day Weekend is always considered the official opening of Lake Tahoe’s Summer Events Season. State and Federal Parks gear up for the season, Restaurants open up their patios and folks start opening up their summer cabins and getting their boats in the water.  For more info on what’s happening in the area, go to this link:

Calendar of events


So come up and see us this weekend. The Lake is calling…


The lake is calling blog post

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Focus on local businesses: Tahoe Oil & Spice   Leave a comment

Contributed by Michelle Portesi


Tahoe Oil and Spice

Tahoe Oil and Spice


In my travels here and there, I have often come across what has become a prolific and popular food trend: high end oil and vinegar purveyors. Always intrigued with new twists and creative flavors in standard recipes, I bought my first bottle of fancy flavored, high end olive oil at the quaint little beach town of Ventura in Southern California, and I was immediately hooked. My purchase of a blood orange infused oil added a wonderfully subtle yet  flavorful addition to any number of baked goods and pancakes, and I was soon adding it to everything, until my bottle of oil was soon gone. Not wanting to make numerous trips to S. Cal. just to feed my new oil fetish, I sought out local purveyors closer to home, soon becoming a connoisseur of oils sporting what has become one of my favorite go to flavors. Some hit the mark, others didn’t, and I became familiar with my own personal favorite players in the field. But I still had to do some traveling to get them, even if it was a trip to Reno or Grass Valley.

Local gourmands (and myself) can now rejoice! We finally have such an oil and vinegar store right here in town. Situated next to what was at one time an old vintage style gas station in Old Downtown Truckee is Tahoe Oil & Spice.  Think of it as a tasting room for oils and vinegars instead of wines. I was treated to one of the store’s favorite combination for salads: Blood Orange Olive Oil with Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar. Odd as it sounds, it was truly amazing with just a touch of richness and decadence. Just the ticket to dress up any salad and take it from the mundane to fantastic.


Tahoe Oil & Spice

Tahoe Oil & Spice


My penchant for baking and searches for interesting salad dressings aside, there are also herb infused olive oils that are great for everything from dipping oils for breads to sautes for pasta dishes. Towards that end, Tahoe Oil & Spice also carries gourmet pastas to compliment your oil and vinegar purchases. You can substitute balsamic vinegar as the acid component in dishes, or use them to create a demi glaze for sauteed meats and vegetables. Think outside of the box and you will find dozens of uses for these wonderful oils and vinegars.  Extra Virgin Olive Oil has also been attributed with a wide range of health benefits from ancient times through today.

Did you know that the ancient Greeks used olive oil as a personal cleanser instead of soap? Their process sounds like a rather messy endeavor, so instead, our modern day equivalents are soaps and lotions made with olive oil, reaping the oil’s benefits without the muss and fuss. Tahoe Oil and Spice also carries a wide range of soaps and lotions so your outside can benefit as much as your insides from this wonderful oil.

Tahoe Oil & Spice also carries spices and rubs, in addition to many other products.

Visit their website for more recipe ideas and to learn more:

Or better still, stop by the shop, and be sure to pick up one of their brochures for a list of all of their oil and vinegars, in addition to suggestions for pairing combinations and uses.

Tahoe Oil & Spice is located at 10091 Donner Pass Road, Truckee, CA 96161
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10-6, Sunday: 11-6











Original recipe makes 8 pancakes


  •   3/4 cup milk
  •   2 tablespoons cranberry pear balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons blood orange oil
  • blood orange oil for griddle


  1. Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and blood orange oil into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with blood orange oil. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.


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Lynn Richardson . Coldwell Banker Real Estate . Lake Tahoe & Truckee

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