(Fair warning- in this post I ramble, say "speaking of..." three times, jumble up the chronological order of photos, post way too many photos, indulge myself fully in the only few days of summer "vacation" I am likely to get this year, and philosophize- badly- about death and loss).
I spent the last Friday through Tuesday with my family in South Lake Tahoe, California (where I was born and raised) and Gardnerville, Nevada, just over the hill from South Shore and the town in which my mom and dad (now divorced) both live.
Luckily for me my sister Lacey still lives in Tahoe, so I still have a place to land when I go to visit my home land. The smell of Tahoe in summertime is my favorite in the world. At 6,000 feet elevation in the High Sierras, there's nothing like it.
Day One: Speaking of sisters... before we got to Tahoe we stopped in Placerville at the Cozmic Cafe to meet my friends Heather of Moonshine Junkyard and Adrienne of Windows To Green. Although I am lucky enough to know these darling sisters in "real life" the hour and a half distance between Placerville and Grass Valley means that we hardly ever get to see each other (and actually have only hung out in person one or two times). But we definitely stay in touch online, and I totally love everything about them, their family, their sartorial tastes, and the way they live their lives. It was awesome to connect in person, even if only for an hour.
Heather had just won my giveaway for the amazing Love Is Now book, and I was happy to get to deliver it to her in person!
She, in turn, came bearing gifts. A darling little red prairie dress to add to Myceia's collection of Vintage Dresses That Will Fit When She Is About Five, the cutest little figurine that includes three of my favorite things: pink, elephant, and accordion, and the most beautiful, perfect vintage summer dress for me! (Pictures way below).
We three snuck into the old caverns at the back of the restaurant to take some photos. Pretty dresses, pretty dresses, pretty dresses. We love 'em. I had just scored this pretty off white lacy number a few days before. Some of the lace is ripped, there are some slight stains, and the lining is torn. Which means... I can actually wear and live in it without worrying about fucking it up too much! My trip outfits seemed to be dominated by white lace, as you'll see.
Can I please be a Beatty sister?
Day Two: No, nevermind, I like being a Hill sister. And actually my sister was the reason for the trip anyway, as it was her 27th birthday. While she slaved away at her job that day Mycelia and I had some fun around town, starting at a rubber ducky race/fundraiser at the park in Meyers (in South Lake Tahoe) that Lace & I grew up playing at.
I saw some old friends there with their kids, including Brittan, who I have known since I was about 7. We had never met each other's kids before and were thrilled to do so. (Oh, and here is the 2nd white lace piece that I wore on the trip, over a little black dress from Target that is actually a nightie but that I've been wearing all over town this summer).
Here are Mycelia Violet and Ramsey Rose (Ramsey is Brittan's maiden name, isn't that cute!?).
The little creek that runs through the park is so dear to me. We have a home video of my four year old self wading "nekkid" out into the shallow part of it and sitting down. When I stand up my butt is covered in sand and my parents try to instruct me to go deeper to wash the sand off, but each time I take about half a step and sit down again to try and wash it off, then stand up with more sand affixed to my little bottom, and on and on. (I told you this would be self indulgent).
Tahoe is beautiful.
Canadian geese in front of a manmade lake at the park. Did I already say that Tahoe is beautiful?
After the park we hit the lake! Mycelia takes in the scenery...
And adjusts to the cold.
And feels the joy. PS how beautiful is this lake!?
Mt. Tallac. This spot is famous in Tahoe because the t shape never loses it's snow in the summer months.
View of the casinos from my sister's work.
After the beach it was time to a) go to Cold Stone and drown ourselves in sugary sweet coldness and then b) go to sushi for my sister's birthday! I wish I had gotten more photos- Lacey's boyfriend's entire family was there and it was awesome to spend time with them.
This was only the first of three birthday dinner celebrations Miss Lacey Maye had thrown for her!
Day Three: My dad took Mycelia to the park in the morning, and I gave them my sun hat in case she needed it. When they returned my dad had it on his head, and had seemingly forgotten about it. When he went outside to call his own dad I snuck this photo of him :-)
In the evening Lacey came over to my mom's for her 2nd birthday dinner, and our grandma Claire and her best friend Ismay drove down from Sacramento to join us. Here are Lace & Myc lounging in the front yard.
And the fam in the back yard.
My mom's husband Dave barbequeing and apparently being canonized by the gods of Unexpected Photographic Outcomes. I love how his joking face is almost identical to Ismay's reading face. (One really interesting familial development lately is that my dad, whose name is Gary, and Dave have become BFFs. My mom and dad still get along great and we all get together for family events often enough that Gary and Dave have really gotten to know each other. And since they are both fairly new to Gardnerville they don't have many friends, so they call each other up if there's a game to watch or something. While my mom and grandma were preparing dinner in the kitchen on this evening I walked into them laughing. When I asked what about my mom told me that my grandma had said it was like having two husbands around, and my mom had to agree!).
And speaking of grandma and mom... my elephants make strawberry shortcake.
Day Four: We all go to this restaurant in Gardnerville for Lacey's 3rd birthday dinner.
I had gone to Reno earlier in the day to do some vintage shopping and had gotten this adorable romper for Mycie (at Target).
Even though she was stoked to run through the sprinklers in her undies (we lost her bathing suit at the beach in Tahoe!) Mycie was very sad that she couldn't come to Reno with me :-(
I wore my new dress from Heather on this day- featuring the third installment of white lace. This barn was right outside the restaurant and provided the perfect backdrop!
Scalloped lace trim, so so pretty!
Scalloped lace pocket, so so so pretty! I truly adore this dress and have already worn it a number of times. THANK YOU Heather! (I can't believe you were willing to part with it!).
Day Five: My dad is awesome (and unemployed) and made the 5 hour- round trip- drive to get us both to and from Tahoe. On the day we were headed back he indulged my desire to go through South Shore again and around Emerald Bay on the Cali side of the lake, instead of the faster (from Gardnerville) Nevada side. We stopped for a smoothie at Sprouts Natural Foods Cafe and checked out some chipmunks.
Emerald Bay, the most photographed spot in Lake Tahoe. BEAUTIFUL! I can't believe I was lucky enough to grow up here. Going home these days makes me both sublimely relaxed and happy and deeply, heart-wrenchingly sad. I think of the loss of my childhood home (after my parent's divorce), my carefree days growing up, and especially of the friends who have died. I am reminded, more so than at other times, of how fleeting everything is. Of how everything changes and everyone dies. Jack Kerouac's piece of writing advice "Accept loss forever" has been playing on repeat in my head. But I don't know how to do it.
Speaking of those carefree days, my senior prom was held on the boat driving out of the bay here, the famous Tahoe Queen. Oh and did I mention that on this trip I was in Tahoe exactly one year after my ten year reunion? And that I got super sad about that too? Where are all my friends now? Why can't we have a reunion every year? Why can't everything be that fun?
Ah, well, the natural beauty of the world may not completely offset the grief of loss, but it does help, it does help...
and have I mentioned how beautiful Lake Tahoe is?