One of my favorite group chats, correction: the only group chat I don't hate, is with two of my best friends who, until July of this year, had never met before. Ever. This group chat and those two friends are also two of the only people that don't instantly irritate me when they send 3-5 messages back to back, but that's a topic for another day.
This year Jenna & Spencer were able to come and see me in Reno for a week over Fourth of July thanks to my work schedule and them both being able to work remotely for their jobs. In a nutshell? It was a BLAST. We went to coffee shops, we ate so much good food, we chilled, and my favorite part - we went up to Lake Tahoe for a day. Living close to Tahoe and the in the Sierra Nevada mountains was a HUGE part of why I chose to settle in Reno for the next few years and stop travel nursing so soon after starting so that I could transition to Emergency Department nursing and follow my career dreams. I'm definitely more of an ocean kinda gal, but Lake Tahoe is beautiful and an amazing alternative, so I can't complain, but I digress.
Lake Tahoe is mesmerizingly beautiful. It's one of those places that I can sit in silence and watch nature all around me for hours and never get bored. I love it so much. Getting to enjoy it in the summer with two of my best friends was a dream. We spent the morning at the beach just soaking up the sun and relaxing and it was glorious.
After a couple of hours of sand and sun we braved the freezing cold water and went for a swim. When I say that I'm more of an ocean kinda gal, it's because I'm a lizard and I need the heat and warmth of the ocean in warm places like Hawai'i. I hate being cold. It's easily in my top five things that I hate the most. Okay, maybe top ten, but you get the point. The absolute best part of our Tahoe day was definitely all the epic thirst trap pics I took of Jenna and her content that she shot for Arq. I occasionally post thirsty photos for fun, but Jenna is the Queen of thirtsy photos and helping to capture that content was fun in an unexpected way. I think it's because now when she shares them I can be all "I took that photo" and "you're welcome thirsty men" and it makes me laugh every single time. It's the little things my friends. It's the little things.
Another super rad part of the day was Jenna & I's horseback riding adventure that we went on after the beach and a bomb AF lunch at Sonney's BBQ Shack Bar & Grill. Technically our horseback ride was in Zephyr Cove, but that's still basically Tahoe, so it's fine. We had an absolute blast on this ride! We chose to do the 60 minute ride because the dinner ride ended up not having enough reservations and they don't do that ride without a minimum amount of people, but it was still a blast! I 100% recommend exploring the Tahoe area on horseback if you get the chance. It allows you to see the forest and lake from a different perspective and it's just beautiful and peaceful. We went with Zephyr Cove Stables and they were great. Our trail guide was super knowledgable and even took the time to take photos for us which was so sweet and unexpected. When I made the reservation the staff also took the time to ensure that we reserved the ride that would give us the most bang for our buck as well, which was great. I also truly appreciated how they kept me informed when we had to change reservations due to lack of participation in the dinner ride and that they followed up with me to make sure that we got our reservation changed and that everything was okay on our end.
I'm not normally one for the more touristy activities, in fact I tend to avoid them like the plague, but this was one activity I highly recommend and I'm glad that I did. I'm not so glad that it makes me want to start riding regularly again and I don't have access to that, or more importantly, time for that, but I am glad that it got me back in the saddle (HA) and out into nature in a way I haven't done in over a decade.
Going up to Tahoe over a holiday weekend was not our best decision, there were so many people and so much traffic, but I wouldn't have traded this experience with two of my best friends for the world. Seeing Tahoe in all of her summer beauty before the smoke rolled in from all of the summer fires was magical. I can't wait to see Tahoe in all of its winter glory here soon now that snow has finally fallen and ski/board season has begun. Here's to hoping I remember how to ski and I don't end up injured TOO badly!