Saturday, October 12, 2013

Base Camp Pizza Co.

Another local restaurant that has become one of our favorite places: Base Camp Pizza Co. They are located right on Heavenly Village so, although it may seem a bit touristy, their food is really good, the staff is always friendly and, best of all (for us), they allow dogs (for outside seating only). They have a full bar which is nice - as opposed to your traditional wine and beer only - and the outdoor seating is equipped with heaters and blankets for those chilly days or nights. Also, on weekends there is live music and it's usually a musician playing amplified acoustic covers.

We've been here a few times and we've never been disappointed. It's standard fare so expect dinner for two to be upwards of $50 if you're ordering appetizers and drinks in addition to a main course. We haven't tried everything on the menu but what we have tried has always been quite tasty.

A few of our favorites dishes:

Appetizer: Hummus. Served with olive oil, kalamata olives, feta cheese and warm pita slices -this appetizer doesn't disappoint.

Salad: Pear and Walnut. Mixed greens tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette with pears, candied walnuts, red onions and Gorgonzola cheese. It's a nice variation of the walnut and raspberry vinaigrette version.

Pizza: Smoky BBQ Chicken & Hawaiian. All the pizza's are thin crust, not too overloaded with toppings but just enough so all the right flavors are there.  The Fire Roasted Medley was a little disappointing simply because we were expecting something spicy but in the end it was more of a traditional sauce with bell peppers. Looking forward to trying the Pear & Gorgonzola next. (*Note: You'll have to order a large pizza if you want a half and half type topping deal).

smoky BBQ chicken pizza

Drinks & Cocktails:

Water, lemonade and soda (I believe) are all served in large mason jars so you'll never go thirsty.
Minted Moscow Mule: very tasty and served in a traditional copper mug.
Minted Moscow Mule
Dark & Stormy: good but it reminded me of what a non-minted Moscow Mule actually tastes like.
Tahoe Sunset: very sweet and a perfect beach drink.
Margarita: not as sweet as some other margaritas and you can definitely taste the tequila!

Happy Camper: Alcohol is really subtle almost indistinguishable - it's actually more like an orange/pineapple smoothie. It'd be perfect for a hot summer day though!

Happy Camper

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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Poppy's Waffle House

When in Tahoe we usually end up going to the same places when we dine out. It's not that we don't want to try other places, it's that we just have to do it. Enter Poppy's Waffle House. We came upon Poppy's on one of those days when we were out searching for furniture. It's in Tahoe City and if you're in the area, it's definitely worth stopping by to try the waffles.

On the first visit to Poppy's, Ryan and I stopped by casually for a cup of coffee and a biscotti, nothing special. However, there were a couple of guys in front of us ordering what appeared to be a very tasty looking waffle topped with pulled pork. Needless to say the curiosity lingered. So, finding myself in Tahoe this week with a girl friend and a full day of leisure I decided to make the drive out just to see what these waffles were all about.

The location. Poppy's is located next to a kayak store, the counter is pushed back and there's a sign hanging on the front that reads "Poppy's Waffle Shop and Frozen Yoghurt" (note: the word Poppy's is kinda small). The establishment has outdoor seating only and the restroom is a port-a-potty. I am not certain if they are pet friendly but they were ok with my dog being there (she's a Husky).

The Waffles. We ordered two waffles, one savory and one sweet, so that we could share and compare. At first, I considered the pulled pork waffle for the savory choice, but as it was still early in the morning, I decided to order Poppy's Favorite instead.

Poppy's Favorite: your choice of bacon or sausage, cheddar cheese, chives and a light drizzle of sour cream. Waffle was crispy on the outside and just fluffy enough on the inside. All the ingredients were cooked in the batter they were not topped over the waffle. It was tasty but it felt a little weird to not have any kind of toppings - even just for garnish.

Chocolate Chip: Same idea, the chocolate chips were in the waffle except this one had chocolate sauce and powdered sugar drizzled on top with a dollop of whip cream in the center. Overall tasty but something was missing. The chips inside the waffle were very subtle the flavor was depending on the chocolate sauce a little too much.

Overall: 3.5/5 stars. The savory won over the sweet one, hands down. Will definitely go back to try the pulled pork next time and the frozen yoghurt.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bathroom Renovations

The Lake Tahoe Chalet has gone under some major renovations in the last five years, and we're finally getting 'round to finishing the bathrooms, yay! The cabin was built in 1976 so you can imagine all the linoleum and yellow countertops. Over the last two+ weeks we renovated the cabin's two bathrooms, the laundry room and one entry closet.

2800 LF of TnG Knotty Pine

We ordered 2,800 linear feet of tongue-n-groove knotty pine from skyline woods in Montana, which we then unloaded into the driveway. It would've been easier to unload and stack with a forklift but we don't own that kind of machinery so we unloaded and stacked the old fashioned way, by hand. We also had about 500 square feet of extra 12x12 slate tile from tiling the floors.

We then demo'ed and prep'ed the rooms, taking out all the bookcases, shelves, linens, washer, dryer, etc. and stripping the linoleum from the floor and tile from vanities and tub surrounds (which is easier said than done -- back in the 70s they still used chicken wire and mortar to tile).

Darnie, like in her VFX project management job, learned that we could go over the budget and "bid" our man days. Slightly different crunch time but still with some needed overtime to triumphantly complete our goal within the allotted time. There is an infinite amount of online resources and plenty of DIY information, but for a couple of amateurs the information can be overwhelming and sometimes downright scary. Put it this way, we learned way more about toilets than we ever wanted to know.

Yes, slate tile, Hardi-Backer, spacers, thin-set/mortar, grout and tongue-in-groove are all part of our lexicon now. We can't add it to our C.V.s or anything but it's an experience gained (let's hope it's not a frequent one) and one to be proud of. We hope you enjoy our newly renovated bathrooms during your stay at the Lake Tahoe Chalet!

And after all that was said and done:

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Emerald Bay & Eagle Falls

Another popular area, Emerald Bay contains a great overlook spot (perfect for those tourist pictures :)), hiking trails, a waterfall and even a mansion.

Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
photo credit: rsgalloway

We have been meaning to trek down to Vikingsholm but for one reason or another it hasn't happened yet. We usually just end up stopping at the overlook, snapping a few pictures and enjoying the sights. The hubby just purchased a new camera though so we're slowly venturing out into "new spots" to try and get some interesting photographs. I, on the other hand, am a little more on the fly and a little less techie so I just snap pictures with my phone for the blog (hence the crappy resolution).

First, we made the usual stop at the overlook and got a few shots. The image to the right is from the winter season but it's one of my favorites and a lot better than what I took this past weekend.  I think I just prefer the snow really, it always makes places look so much more interesting. 

Then we made our way over to another nearby spot in order to get a better view of Fanette Island and use for inspiration what other photographers have done around the area. We waited for nighttime to try an get a few star shots in the background but we didn't have much luck. 

We came back the next day and headed over to (upper) Eagle Falls. It was pretty windy and cloudy so the lighting wasn't the best but it was good enough for practice shots. It wasn't too busy so parking was easily accessible and the area wasn't too congested with foot traffic either. There was a girl working on an acrylic painting and a couple taking some pictures. They asked us if we where there to take some engagement photos, which I thought was pretty cool, looks like we still have that newlywed glow. 

Apparently there is a hiking trail that takes you to the lower part of the falls but we didn't explore it. It's about a 2 mile roundtrip so it's not too bad. At the time we weren't aware that we could go to the base of the waterfall otherwise we might have hiked down there as well. 

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Bonsai Rock

A little nature gem not easy to find but well worth it.

The hubby was on research mode looking for interesting locations to try out the camera with. Lo and behold he came across an area referenced to as Bonsai Rock and we were well on our way. This location is not on the Tahoe guide but luckily we had coordinates, otherwise it would've been difficult to find. It's located off of HWY 28 on the Nevada side past Spooner Lake just before Sand Harbor.

The site does not have designated parking so one must find a spot on the side of the road. Some areas are off limits so be careful not to park there otherwise you'll get fined and/or towed. Luckily it was late afternoon [we were there for sunset pictures] so it was pretty desolate. I did a quick walk along the road to try and spot the rock from atop and once located we descended. The short hike down is a little tricky though, there is a semi-steep area to get through and the sand/dirt is pretty loose. There are "paths" visible but they aren't exactly clearly marked so you kind of just have to follow the best way down.

After making our way to the bottom we set up and began snapping away. The main piece of attraction is the rock with the little tree growing on it. To the right of it there is a small cluster of boulders that also make for an attractive composition while the lake and mountains serve as an extensive background. We did not wait for a full night fall, although the hike back up is short we felt some light would be necessary since the way back up also requires some attention. Great little spot, curious to find out if it's accessible during winter.

"X" marks the spot. Point of ref of when to hike down

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Cozmic Café

Ok, so the Cozmic Café is not in Tahoe, per se, but it's on the way up there and it's worth a mention.

The hubby saw someone post about the café online (somewhere) so we decided that'd we stop by the next time we were up in Tahoe. It was pretty late on our way up to the cabin and it's a little far from Tahoe just for a quick drive so we decided to make the pit stop on our way back home. When we finally made it there it was also relatively late so we didn't get a chance to hang out for too long but we were at least able to get a smoothie and a tea and got to check out the inside.

The thing about the Cozmic Café, aside from the coffee, smoothies, the array of healthy options for breakfast and lunch, yoga classes, drinks and live music, is that it's built on an abandoned gold mine. It's kind of the main reason why we were interested in stopping by in the first place. Placerville was founded during the California Gold Rush and this little spot is one of the historic sites still left.

The cobblestone building is divided into two floors, the lower level contains the coffee shop and seating area that leads to the mine and the upstairs floor contains the "stage" area and the bar. The Cozmic is a favorite among the locals and it seems to be quite popular among us tourists as well. They offer quite a menu of events so it'd be worth it to check it out when one of those is happening. I'd definitely like to go back and try the food though but it was great to be there without the large crowds.

The Cozmic Cafe

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Echo Lake

We have rarely explored the different trails and locations among HWY 50, after we get into South Lake Tahoe we usually explore within and over into the Nevada side. This time though we wanted to find a hiking trail that we could take our doggy to and that we had not explored yet. So we headed for Echo Lake.

The Echo Lake Rd/Forest Route is narrow but it gets even more so as we get closer to the lake. According to Google maps it looks like there are two roads, one for heading in and one for heading out, but I don't recall this being the case. Cars were coming and going from both directions on the same road and it was a little tough to maneuver out since there were cars parked on both sides. There is a small parking lot near the lake but it gets full fast. We ended up finding a spot and made our way to the lake/hiking trail.

There are many cute rustic cabins around the area not sure if people live there year round or if they are vacation rentals. At the base of the lake there is a dock and a small convenience store/post office [The Chalet] to the right. There is a motorized boat [water taxi] that can take people across the lake if desired, cost is $12 per person and it appears that pets are allowed on it as well. To hike you must fill out a wilderness permit [free of charge] in order to enter the Wilderness Desolation Area. As always, it is recommended to keep properly hydrated and, in our case, keep pets under supervision at all times.

The trail is moderate, a little narrow and slippery at times but nothing too hard. There are some interesting trees on the path, some of them feel like they could be part of the shire, and some interesting rocks as well. We were there during summer so the water and weather were absolutely beautiful. There are some houses/cabins along the edge of the lake which are visible from the hiking trail and it is advised to not disturb residents. We did not reach the other end of the lake since we did a short hike only but we'd definitely like to go back soon a maybe try a hike during winter.

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