Girls' Weekend, Lake Tahoe

I have been away a bit.....perhaps you have noticed? It has been a busy summer working with wonderful clients, weekend getaways and a vacation thrown in for good measure
A couple of weeks ago, I made a yearly jaunt with my friend Lori to spend the weekend with our long time friend, Diane at her Lake Tahoe home. On Saturday, we headed over to the Thunderbird Lodge, where Diane is the Master Gardener, for a picnic on the beach. Old Omar Khayyam had it right:
"A book of verses underneath the Bough
A jug of wine, a Loaf of Bread - and Thou
Beside me singing in the wilderness-
O Wilderness were Paradise enow!"
Lake Tahoe is known for is crystal clear waters, and Lori and I took full advantage jumping right in for a swim. Meanwhile, Diane uncorked the wine and got the party started.
After a couple of glasses of wine, it was obvious to us that the clouds had formed into a giant Thunderbird in honor of our visit. Can you see the full wingspread? And then there is the head at center.

Here's a little help...this is the Thunderbird plaque above the door at the lodge....can you see it now?

Not more than a few minutes later, we saw original lodge owner's, George Whittell Jr.'s, yacht, also named the "Thunderbird" motor up to the boathouse. It had been out ferrying people back from the Oscar de la Renta fashion show that had been taking place on the North shore of the Lake. If you want to see more about that fabulous show, check out Tartanscot's blog HERE for another Lake Tahoe chic affair! (Although our little tete a tete was pretty chic, if I do say so!)
When we finished lunch we sauntered on over to check out the gardens and just happened to pass by the boathouse. Luckily, the captain and his mates were still there and let us in to have a closer look at this gem of a yacht. Truly a beauty to behold....all varnished wood and chrome buffed to a brilliant shine. conjures visions of movie stars making their way across the lake to the infamous poker parties thrown by George in the 30's and 40's.

It is only fitting that this stunning bird should have just come from Oscar's party! (Although I did hear that Oscar did not make an appearance! Ah..C'est la vie! There were still gift bags with sunny yellow umbrella's and stationary!)

After our well deserved "Oh"ing and "Aw"ing, we said goodbye and headed up the hill for a garden tour and a visit to the Lodge.

There is always another thing of beauty to see on the grounds, some occur all by themselves:
And others are the result of Diane and her volunteers' talented efforts.

There were also a couple rooms inside the lodge that had been re-decorated to better reflect the life and times of George Whittell Jr. and his wife Elia.

Front Door at Thunderbird Lodge
Great Room at Thunderbird Lodge
George's Bedroom
A brass bed was added in George's Room, along with a photo of George with one of his many pets. ( Some of which included lions and other wild animals.)
Elia's Room

Elia is pictured in her more feminine room with her pet cheetah.
A brilliant day to be sure.
On Sunday, Diane gave us a tour of her own beautiful Sierra Mountain garden. Diane carried every granite paving stone herself, creating a courtyard which overlooks the Lake.
This sprightly sculpture appears to emerge straight from the earth to breath in deeply the fragrant flowers in Diane's garden.

One of our traditions every year is to exchange gifts since we all have summer birthdays. It is always a fun challenge because we set a price limit on the gifts. This year I found these cute straw bags and paired them with pretty scarves from Cost Plus World Market. (I have to say....LOVE that store!) I will show you what I received in my next post! Stay tuned.
After our gift exchange, we headed out for lunch on the was another beautiful day, and we gorged on Hamburgers, Cobb Salad and Rum Runners at the Beacon Bar and Grill in historic Camp Richardson.
Fat and happy, we were all ready to head over to our favorite Plant Nursery, Aspen Hollow, to buy a few things before heading back home. The sky started to get a bit dark for a summer afternoon....and it started to sprinkle a little. As we got a little closer to the Nursery, we heard thunder. As we pulled into the parking hit! A HUGE hail storm with hail the size of moth balls and golf balls. We were stuck in the car hoping that the windows would not crack. This was our afternoon of winter in the middle of summer.
The hail eventually died down and we ventured into the Nursery. Sadly, they had a bit of damage and decided to close for the day. We will have to wait for next year.
Diane and I seeking shelter in the Nursery Hut at Aspen Hollow.
Another beautiful and adventurous trip to the Lake. Thank you to Diane, Phil and Lori for such a wonderful weekend!