Happy Birthday, Lauren!

For Lauren's birthday this year, she decided she wanted to go camping.  We reserved a spot along the coast in Big Sur and planned to rent a camper but then she and Doug started talking about Tahoe.  Doug did a little research and found that we could rent a Coast Guard cabin right by the water.  They both opted for that one and when the time came out we headed up to the snowy lake.  We weren't able to check into the cabin right away and so we stopped for lunch at "Jake's On The Lake".  Anna has been reading the Lemony Snickets'  series and we got a kick out of all of the "eyes" on the trees.  They made us think of Count Olaf. 

 I ordered the Rubicon Sandwich and it was so good.  It was a vegetarian take on a Reuben with grilled zucchini, roasted red bell pepper, homemade sauerkraut, swiss cheese, and Thousand Island on swirled rye.  Yum.
 Such a beautiful setting, especially in the snow. 
 After lunch we moved on to a sledding park. To see more pictures from the trip, make sure to click "Read More". 

 Lauren taking the plunge.

 Daddy and Jake came down together...duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh.

 Duh, duh, duh, duh, duh, duh.

 Crash, boom, bam.

 Jake got up and said, "I got snow in my face."

 Anna and Jake take the plunge and so does my heart.

 Contemplating his next big hill...

This moment took my breath away.  The sledding area was a lot of fun but it was completely unmonitored by staff.  There was no one up top making sure the path was clear before new sledders went down.  We saw several people get taken out and I was at the bottom to get the kids moved out of the way.  As  Anna and Jacob came down, Anna kept going but Jacob came to a standstill right where you see him in the picture below.  I started running along the side which was ungroomed and quite deep.  I was sinking and trying to get to him and get him off the hill when I saw a little boy come zooming down straight toward Jake.  I'm yelling for Jake to get up and move out of the way but as he starts to get up, the little boy yelling "Look out!!", slammed into Jacob and knocked him for a loop just as I got there.  Thankfully, he was absolutely fine but it still scared us both enough that he decided he was done with the big hill for the day.

 After that, he moved on to a smaller venue.  :)

 It's hard to believe our little girl will be 8 years old!

 Her cake was made by a local lady who did a fantastic job.  Lauren wanted a lemon cake and it was absolutely delicious. The cake design was based on this camping illustration that we just adore.

 This was the view of the lake from our cabin.

There were two cabins with two floors each.  Each floor is rented out to a different family.  Very bare bones but fantastic location.  Unfortunately, since it is a Coast Guard station you're not allowed anywhere but at the cabin.  You aren't even supposed to walk to the lake without an escort.  The walls and floors were paper thin and so you could hear everything going on above or below.

You know our kids are always up at the crack of dawn and so we were very concerned about waking up the family below.  We shushed and entertained and hushed and silenced until we were blue in the face.  Still though, at around 0640, a guy from downstairs came up and knocked on the door.  When I opened it he said, "We have a family of 5 downstairs."  I responded, "Well, we have a family of 5 upstairs and we have been doing our very best to be quiet."  After that Doug tried to get Jacob out of the cabin and take him to Starbucks but the gate was frozen shut and no one manning the gate so they could get out.  Also, the fridge wasn't working and so we had to use nature's fridge to cool things off and so, of course, everything was frozen.  After all was said and done we decided to enjoy our second day and then head back home instead of staying for the entire time we had booked the cabin. 

Doug captured a few beautiful shots of the pier and lake in the early morning as the sun was coming up. I think it was about 8 degrees outside.

 We all oohed and aahed over the huge icicles in the area.

 Doug had attempted to set up a sleigh ride for us but it didn't work out and so we started our second day at Squaw Valley.

 One of the special treats for Lauren's birthday was a snowmobile ride.  The snowmobiles are kid size and oh so cute.  That's Lauren in the purple and Anna standing next to her in the pink.

 Getting ready to head out...

The girls rode their snowmobiles like they live their lives, one wild and crazy, and the other careful and thought out.  Can you guess which is which?

Lauren was in it to win it.  She was passing people left and right, and she would even take a secondary path to beat the crowd.  Anna would putter along and come almost to a stop in the turn.  She'd then apply just enough gas to get her going again and the field would slow down behind her.  I was just so tickled by it.  We love our girls so much. 

 Since Jacob was too little for the snowmobiles, he got to go on the sky jump.

I mentioned how much we were enjoying the icicles.  When we were outside the warming station, we found some massive ones that had fallen from the eaves.

The girls collected them and lined them all up.  I didn't realize until later that Doug and Lauren brought the biggest one (right by Lauren) home with us and stuck it in the garage freezer.  It must have weighed about 20 pounds.  

 Time for more sledding...

 There they go...
 There was a little mouse that the kids saw every time they went up the hill.  He or she was just hanging out inside the covered area, probably trying to stay warm.

 Lauren was the first to go down.  I was much happier here as Squaw Valley has staff up top and at the bottom to make sure the lanes are clear.

 They even deliver.

 Anna just taking it easy...

As we were leaving we saw a bunch of folks walking on the roof of this building.  We were surprised that no one came out to make them get down.

So, fun time in Tahoe for our baby's birthday.  It was a bit sad as that could be our last trip out that way as it appears that we may be moving this summer.


Elaine said...

Great Great Time for you guys....

Emily said...

Happy birthday Lauren! Love the pictures. :)

Emily said...

PS I gave you an award on my blog: http://replicatethendeviate.blogspot.com/2013/01/liebster-award.html

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic way to spend a birthday! Miss you guys! Let's catch up this week! Love Trish

Nana and Poppy said...

Happy Birthday Lauren

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