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The mountains are calling: Lake Tahoe is worth the seven-hour drive 

It's about 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, and we're driving up the 101, on our way to perhaps my favorite place in the world: Lake Tahoe.

After a quick stop at In-N-Out for dinner we're back on the road with the audiobook Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown to sustain us for the long seven-hour drive.

click to enlarge THE BEACH Though it's not the ocean, Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe does have the requisite sand and water needed for summer fun. - PHOTO BY RYAH COOLEY
  • Photo By Ryah Cooley
  • THE BEACH Though it's not the ocean, Kings Beach in Lake Tahoe does have the requisite sand and water needed for summer fun.

I've traveled a bit, and if I had to move somewhere away from the Central Coast, I'd be tempted to pack everything up and head to the Lake Tahoe area. (Edinburgh is a close second. Scottish people are just so nice and they know how to make a mean gin cocktail.) Something about the air, the mountains, and that stunningly clear blue Tahoe water just brings me to life every single time. All the great breweries in the area don't hurt either.

The official cause for our trip this weekend is to see my cousin DJ and his lovely bride Ashlyn get hitched at the River Ranch Lodge in Tahoe City, with the scenic Truckee River rolling on by in the background, but we plan to make the most of our time up north.

click to enlarge SO BLUE This is not Photoshopped. When the sun hits just right, the pristine Lake Tahoe water shines a lovely shade of blue. - PHOTO BY RYAH COOLEY
  • Photo By Ryah Cooley
  • SO BLUE This is not Photoshopped. When the sun hits just right, the pristine Lake Tahoe water shines a lovely shade of blue.

Bleary eyed, we finally make it to the cabin in Kings Beach on the north side of the lake at 2 a.m. and promptly fall asleep. After sleeping in, we admire the view of the lake as the sun rises and then make our way over to Kings Café to inhale some yummy breakfast tacos and take advantage of their free Wi-Fi to get a little work done.

After a few hours the lure of the lake is irresistible. After stopping by Tahoe Central Market for a green juice we spend some time strolling on the beach and pier, admiring the beauty that surrounds us.

The clouds move in and we feel a sprinkle or two hit our heads. Time to seek shelter indoors at Alibi Ale Works in nearby Incline Village.

click to enlarge WHAT A VIEW From the pier at Kings Beach, one can see the snowcapped Mountains that surround Lake Tahoe. - PHOTO BY RYAH COOLEY
  • Photo By Ryah Cooley
  • WHAT A VIEW From the pier at Kings Beach, one can see the snowcapped Mountains that surround Lake Tahoe.

I fell in love with Alibi's saison when we came up last summer. Sadly that brew was seasonal and they won't have it back on tap for another month or so. After getting some kisses from the very friendly brewery pit bull, Abby, I make my way through a flight of their delectable beers. The rye IPA and porter become instant new faves and I make sure to leave with a few cans and growlers before we head back to the cabin to have a cozy dinner from Whitecaps Pizza with family friends who live in the area.

The next day we're up bright and early. After grabbing smoothies from Tahoe Central Market for breakfast, we grab a paddleboard and kayak and hit the water while it's nice and glassy. We move at a leisurely pace, stopping to admire the gazillion-dollar houses that line the lake. Once we return we hop in the shower and change into our finest duds. After a quick drive, it's time to see two people make their vows of everlasting love in one of the loveliest places on Earth. Δ

Arts Editor Ryah Cooley is already planning her next getaway to Lake Tahoe at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

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