Showing Mom that Tahoe has Culture

My mother came up to visit us last weekend, and while we tend to steer towards hiking and enjoying the area’s natural attractions, I wanted to show her the other side of Lake Tahoe, that of the area’s culture (don’t laugh) and history. It’s a side I don’t usually explore, to be honest, but one I wanted to learn about.

Thursday night we had tickets to see a celtic duo, Men of Worth, at the Valhalla Boathouse Theater.   Being that the boathouse is located on the lake, I suggested a picnic beforehand, and the champagne, sushi & other nibbles at the lake’s edge set the mood for the evening.  The performance was surprisingly enjoyable for me, a non-celtic music lover, a balance of classical Irish/Gaelic songs and Irish banter.

The next day we drug Mom up to D.L. Bliss State Park, just north of Emerald Bay.  I’d never been there before, primarily because dogs are not allowed on the hiking trails, but we wanted to do a short hike with minimal elevation gain and maximum views, and the Rubicon Trailhead, located in the heart of the park, fits the bill.  We even climbed up to the anticlimatic lighthouse that looks surprisingly like an outhouse.

An outhouse lighthouse?

Part of the reason for the short hike was because we had tickets for an afternoon tour at the Thunderbird Lodge, a fantastic lakefront mansion built by an eccentric millionaire on Lake Tahoe’s east shore.

Lighthouse at the Thunderbird Lodge

Having only done this tour once before in the autumn, I wasn’t aware that it was so popular with the geriatric set.  The 3 of us (we met a friend of mine for the tour) brought the average age of the shuttle bus– including the deaf but adorable driver — down by about 25 years, and I’m still disappointed I wasn’t able to surreptiously snap some photos of our fellow tour-takers, as they were almost as fascinating as the lodge itself.  This news would no doubt disappoint our tour guide, an older snazzy gentleman who was concerned enough about his coiff to break out his comb multiple times during the tour to comb back imaginary stray hairs. He was able to keep his banter/schpiel going during this, however, which was pretty impressive.

I didn’t take many photos of Thunderbird, primarily because watching everyone else snap away fatigued me.  I did, however, capture the Thunderbird boat, a gorgeous mahogany yacht that has a story and history of its own.  It’s stunning.

The Thunderbird

Thunderbird is available for hosted parties and weddings, so I’m hoping that one day I get to attend something held here, as that’s the best way to enjoy the gorgeous location.   Anyone got a party coming up and need a venue?

After all this history and culture, I was exhausted – this is obviously something I need to work up to.  So I got out of cooking dinner and we instead watched the sunset on the patio of the Fresh Ketch over ahi tuna and drinks.  Definitely not a bad way to end a cultural marathon 24 hours!

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