Archive for June 2014

There’s Music In The Air…   Leave a comment

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The Deck Heads . Truckee Regional Park

The Deck Heads . Truckee Regional Park

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Summer season at North Lake Tahoe and Truckee means music concerts – mostly free – throughout the basin. With musical styles running the gamut, you can sit back and enjoy as the band is ‘Singing the Blues’ or you can ‘Listen to a Country Song’, rock out to the ‘Rock of Ages’ and get down with your bad self when they ‘Play That Funky Music’. (Ten points if you can name all the artists who sang those…)

Most of these venues encourage you to bring a picnic along with your low backed chairs and blankets. Sip a glass of wine while you relax for an evening of open air entertainment. (decant beverages into plastic bottles if you can. Broken glass on the beach is a real buzz kill).  Don’t feel like cooking or packing picnics? Some venues offer food and beverage vendors on site that can sate your hunger pangs and wet your whistle.

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In Truckee, The Truckee-Donner Recreation & Park District hosts the Truckee Summer Music Series on  Wednesdays from 6:30-8:00pm at the Truckee River Regional Park. For more information on their full schedule, the bands and the type of music they play, click their link above. Also note all the many local businesses that sponsor this event to bring this wonderful music to you. So shop local, these businesses will appreciate your support. Donations to help fund this event are also appreciated and donation boxes are available at the park.

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The Blues Monsters. Photo from the Concerts at Commons Beach website.

The Blues Monsters. Photo from the Concerts at Commons Beach website.

 

In Tahoe City, The Tahoe City Downtown Association and the Tahoe City Public Utility District hosts the Concerts at Commons Beach. Concerts are held on Sundays and start at 3 or 4 pm and go until 7pm. Once again, local businesses and community groups sponsor this event too. Click the link above for more information, and there is also a place for you to donate to ‘the cause’ on the website.

 

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In Kings Beach, The North Tahoe Business Association hosts Music on the Beach every Friday from 6-8:30pm at the Kings Beach State Recreation Area. What makes this particular venue even more enjoyable is not only its vast sandy beach, but its sandy lake bottom and warmer water temperatures that make it perfect for a before concert afternoon swim. Kings Beach also has many restaurants and food purveyors in quick walking distance to the beach. Come early though, as there is road work being done in the area which can slow you down. Parking is available for a fee at the beach, but parking here can fill up early, so plan accordingly. As always, support your local sponsors of this event.

 

 

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If your tastes run more towards classical music and sumptuous orchestral arrangements, The Lake Tahoe Music Festival starts in July. Dubbed ‘Serenades at Sunset’, the locations, days and prices vary from venue to venue, so be sure to check out their website as to what is being played where and when and for how much. Links on the website allow you to buy tickets for these concerts in advance.

 

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From the Lake Tahoe Summer Music Festival website. Venue: The West Shore Cafe

 

And if you still haven’t gotten enough of your groove on, many of the local ski areas like Squaw Valley and Northstar also often have free music and events. Be sure to peruse their websites for upcoming events. The links to their websites or in the column to the left.

Sing. Sing. Sing!

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June Kicks Off Wedding Season At Lake Tahoe and Truckee!   Leave a comment

Contributing writer: Michelle Portesi

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Wedding blog post 1

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The Lake Tahoe area becomes Wedding Day Central during the summer months. June Brides (July, August and September too) will find a plethora of picture perfect places to have their special day in the scenic Lake Tahoe region. Outdoor and indoor wedding venues abound, whether you want a casual outdoor garden wedding or a formal sit down dinner in opulent indoor settings…and everything in between.

The area also has no end of caterers, restaurants, florists, musicians, wedding planners and photographers, rental purveyors, bartenders, bands and bakers…well, just about everything you’ll ever need to host a memorable and exquisite wedding and reception. Interview your choices for venues and purveyors of services that interest you and be sure to book them early. Our warm but wonderful season is brief, so those in the industry have their calendars fill up fast.

buttonhole-63985579 Fancy an outdoor setting? I’m partial to Sugar Pine Point State Park on the West Shore of Lake Tahoe myself. I’ve been to several weddings at the historic estate, and with the vintage Ehrman Mansion as your backdrop, weddings there always  feel like you just strolled into an opulent  garden party a la the Great Gatsby Era.  Most state parks don’t allow amplified music, but fear not, wonderful 4 piece string quartets play lilting melodies while you overlook the spectacular grounds along the waters edge, completing the bygone era appeal.

Sugar Pine Point however, is not the only vintage style wedding areas at the lake, There are other state parks that also cater to the soon to be married such as Valhalla at the Tallac Historic Site. Whatever area strikes your fancy, be aware that some areas of the park may stay open to the public, and be sure that the park’s stipulations can meet all of the criteria you want for your wedding and reception. If you prefer a DJ or live band with a dance floor, inquire if your favorite venue will accommodate your needs. You will also need to submit a wedding date application in advance. Go to the California State Parks Website to download forms and learn more about other places in the area that offers wedding facilities. Feel good about the fact that the revenue raised from weddings and events helps to fund our state parks.
http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=510

Though not part of the state park system, The Thunderbird Lodge is also a favorite historic wedding site as well. http://thunderbirdtahoe.org/

Also be aware that our weather is very changeable, and for outdoor weddings, rented tent awnings…or a backup plan B are always a good idea.

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If you would prefer a nice restaurant or other popular indoor venue for your wedding, June is the perfect month to plan for it. It’s still considered the shoulder season at the lake. The summer high season doesn’t officially kick off full tilt until July 4th. As a result, many restaurants don’t have as much steady business and are willing to close their doors to the public for weddings and other special events.  Lodging is also more plentiful and often less expensive that time of year for you and your out of town guests.

Hope for warm and sunny days, but plan on some chilly ones (it’s not unheard of to get snow in June!). Do remember also that no matter how warm it is during the day, even in the middle of summer, temperatures can drop drastically once the sun goes down. Outdoor heaters are common for evening weddings and should be planned into your budget.

Don’t overlook ski resorts as an option. We have the most ski resorts concentrated in one place in the entire U.S.   Most have large banquet facilities that are still open for business during the summer, even when the majority of the ski area is shut down. You can find their links in the column to the left.

Charming chapels with tall windows and scenic views are also scattered throughout the area if you prefer a church wedding.

282812051570564235_q1QiFhbs_fObviously these are more traditional weddings that require months of planning. If you decide on a whim that you’d like to tie the knot, don’t discount the ever popular impromptu weddings that also make Lake Tahoe a popular wedding destination. (The close proximity to Nevada helps get a quick marriage license in hand.) There are private lakefront estates that are available to rent, scenic beaches are everywhere and even the Emerald Bay Tea House Island has often been a site for small nuptials. A few family, friends and a parson and you’re good to go.

In short, Lake Tahoe can accommodate everything from the most over the top extravaganza to an intimate budget minded affair.

While the following list doesn’t even begin to cover all the possible options, it’s a good place to start to peruse some of the areas many wedding day charms.

 

After all, it’s your day. Do it your way!

 

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VENUES:

http://lakefrontwedding.com/lake-tahoe-wedding-venues/historic-venues/

http://laketahoe.hyatt.com/en/hotel/meetings-and-events/weddings.html

http://www.riverranchlodge.com/wedding-services

http://tahoetreecompanyweddings.com/

RENTAL EQUIPMENT http://www.eventmastersusa.com/

MUSIC: The String Beings. I love these guys! http://www.thestringbeings.com/index.htm

PHOTOGRAPHY
(Gabi does mostly sports photography, but she’d love the opportunity to do weddings. It’s a safe bet that the bridal party won’t be racing at 50 mph! However, if such a themed sports wedding is part of your plan, she’s your gal!)  http://delilahfotography.photoshelter.com/#!/index

 

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The Wildflowers are coming…well actually, they are already here!   Leave a comment

By Tim Hauserman

 

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This week I set aside a few hours and hiked through Page Meadows. The meadows, which are criss-crossed with a network of trails including a bit of the Tahoe Rim Trail, are prime hiking, dog walking, trail running, and mountain biking terrain, located near the Talmont and Alpine Peaks neighborhoods in Ward Canyon. They are a great place to find both springtime wildflowers and the aspens turning to gold in the fall.

Even given our mild winter, as I approached the meadows in the middle of June, I didn’t expect much in the way of flowers, thinking it was way too early. Instead, I found thick waves of purple meadow penstemon. In amongst the aspens, patches of orange paintbrush shown up brightly. The aspens were thick with green leaves, and the trails throughout the meadows were dry as a bone, even the section of Tahoe Rim Trail that is built up above the meadow to avoid the long lasting pool of water that is usually found there.

The other interesting thing I noticed was the lack of mosquitos. It was a cool and windy day, but in Tahoe usually wildflowers and skeeters come together like Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps all this dryness has led to the bugs taking the summer off, or they have already lived and died without us even noticing.

So what is the point? The wildflowers are already out in full glory, perhaps a month ahead of schedule…so don’t dilly dally. Get out there onto your favorite spot soon and enjoy the blaze of color.

Tim Hauserman wrote the official guidebook to the Tahoe Rim Trail, as well as Monsters in the Woods: Backpacking with Children.

 

 

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