Good morning — from the happiest place on earth. I am currently back in the Bluegrass, sipping my pumpkin spice, and watching the leaves fall like embers from the trees. How crazy is it that it is November y’all? This year has been the crappiest, weirdest year known to man and it has still flown by – painfully SLOWLY – if that makes any sense at all.
I have officially been unemployed for 36 days, 4 hours, and 32 1/2 minutes, and lemme tell you I have been through ALL the stages of grief. Last week, I legit chucked an Ipad charger across the room with brute force. The penny size hole in my drywall is evidence for EXACTLY how well I am doing. LOW point. low point. THIS WEEK, I cried like a baby for an hour in my boyfriend’s arms. It’s been a little bit of a coaster y’all… to say the least.
Aside from my making holes in my walls for no apparent reason (It only happened once I swear), and bursting into bouts of uncontrollable tears, I have honestly been taking this transition really well. At this point, it just seems like just an extended vacay where I get to do all of the things that have been on my “to-do” list and spend an obsessive amount of time in my jammies. No shame – mamma loves her pj’s… Never will I EVER wear them to Walmart though… If I do… I am tasking you personally to find me, stick me in the nearest pair of jeans, and put me in time out.
One of the things that have been on my “to-do” list for the past year or so, was to go visit one of my good friends in Tahoe. Her name is Katie, and she is a “retired” fly girl as well – a free-spirited, hippie-kind-of-soul, whom you can’t help but fall in love with from the moment you meet her. She was my roommate for a while back in the big CLT, and we spent many-a-nights eating homemade pan nachos and binging the Handmaid’s Tale. I have been promising Katie for the past year that I would come visit her in her hometown of Carson City, Nevada, and just a few weeks ago I finally made it.
Let me tell you a little known secret about Nevada: It includes MORE than just Las Vegas!!! Actually, quite a lot more… and IT. IS. BEAUTIFUL. Flying into Reno at sunset nearly took my breath away. The burnt red, yellow, and orange sky glowing over the deep purple mountain ranges, reflecting up to my eyes from the mirrored lakes – I thought for a moment that it couldn’t get more beautiful than that. Then Tahoe up and changed my mind.
On the first day of my mini-Tahoe-cation, Katie and I drove the quick 30 minutes from Carson City to Tahoe and proceeded to be complete beach bums. She took me to Sand Harbor Beach, a $10 per vehicle fee beach that was worth every penny. If you plan on visiting Lake Tahoe anytime soon, there are free beaches as well, but many of them you will have to hike down to get to the beach or fight to the death for a parking space. Sometimes it’s a better plan to just go early, pay the fee and have a designated spot to park. There is also a nude beach for you cray-crays out there… 😉 Katie and I didn’t end up going to that particular beach (you’re welcome Mom and Dad).
After we had gotten as toasty as the Nevada sun would allow, we threw on our cover-ups and went down to Gar Woods Grill and Pier, for lunch and to try the world-famous Wet Woody. A Wet Woody is Gar Wood’s version of a rum runner, and if you have one, I guarantee you will NOT be running anywhere afterward. Stumbling perhaps?? We also ordered the lobster deviled eggs and two Gar Woods burgers which I would happily eat for every single meal until the day I meet my maker – it was all just that good. We spent the rest of the day like beached whales (we were so full!! ;)), laying out on the pebble beach outside of Gar Woods, catching the last few delicious rays of that Cali-Nevada sun.
Day two in Tahoe started as every day should, with breakfast at Heidi’s. I am going to premise this by saying that Katie and I literally ate ALL THE THINGS in the Tahoe-Reno area before I left. Katie is a foodie, and every time I am in her presence my stomach is the happiest. The buttons on my pants… not quite as happy. Heidi’s is a pancake house in South Tahoe that literally will knock your socks off. I was feeling a little bit guilty from the gluttony of the night before so I ordered the ham and cheese omelet, which surprisingly came with a side of pancakes, and also a complimentary muffin *No regrets – we were okay at ham omelet then we went a little hog wild… Katie got the corned beef hash and the diner’s famous fruit crepe that has sour cream on top instead of whipped. In no universe does that sound like a good idea. The joke’s on me though – because I took one bite and I was in crepe heaven.
After our mouth-watering breakfast, we headed to the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains to – wait for it – ride horses!!! EEK. Y’all I have legitimately wanted to ride a horse my entire life and Katie made it happen. We were both a little nervous because neither one of us had ever ridden before. When we got to the horse stable, I was kind of expecting, you know… some DIRECTION. That is not what I got. An instructor called Katie back to help her get onto her horse Sally, and I could vaguely hear him start to go in the monologue about what to do with the reins, etc. My instructor waved me forward to the most stately horse I have ever seen. I was walking up thinking, “Lord please help me not to need the stool.” I really wanted to just get up there on my own, but he was towering! The moment of truth came, and I swung myself into the saddle like a seasoned pro. I think I did it too well though, because the instructor said, “Okay, let’s head out!” and she started leading her lead mare up the mountain without giving me a single word of instruction. I had a moment of sheer panic when I realized I was sitting on a 1000 pound animal and I had absolutely no fig of an idea what to do with him. I hissed loudly to Katie behind me, “Katie!! Did he tell you what to do!?” “What in the heck DO I DO!?” She told me quickly from behind some of the basic instructions.” BUT Y’ALL thank the good Lord Almighty I watched Heartland for all those years, or else I would have been totally clueless. I took a deep breath, gave my horse a light tap on the sides and we were off.
My horse’s name was Pendleton. He was curiously named after a Canadian whiskey because A) Pendleton stumbled a lot – tis’ the truth… I thought I might fall to my death a time or two, and B) The woman who broke Pendleton in was apparently drunk on Pendleton whiskey the night she broke him in. Quite the scandal at the dude ranch I am sure. Just a tip: If you are ever planning on going horseback riding, literally up the side of a mountain, you don’t want a horse that stumbles. He did fine and every time he acted like he was going to fall I rubbed his neck and told him, “You’ve got this Pendleton. C’mon boy.” Inside I was thinking, “Dear Lord, please help this horse to not dump me into this ravine.”
On the last full day of our Tahoe adventure, Katie and I drove up in the mountains. I wish I had taken more photos, but I was just so enamored by it all. Sometimes I am just amazed by this world y’all: all of its artistry and subtle beauty. The pure fact that there are hidden gems literally all over the world that will completely leave you breathless and with a heart brimming with wanderlust. That was exactly how I felt on my last day in Tahoe as we hit all of Katie’s favorite spots. We drove through Camp Richardson and Emerald Bay State Park, and we finished it off with a drive through Hope Valley, where we stopped for some cocktails and fruit and cheese at the most magical resort I have ever been to. It was called the Wylder Hotel Hope Valley, and it was like a fairy village tucked away in a grove of flaming birch trees. I sat there amongst the trees drinking my margarita, listening to the sound of live music drifting through the falling leaves, eating the most beautiful cheese plate I have ever laid my Kentucky eyes on, and I was full of wonder. Even in this crazy world that we find ourselves in, there is still wonder and awe to be found. Isn’t that amazing?
Day four in the Sierra Nevada mountains was “go-home” day for me, so Katie and I loaded up the Jeep and headed back to the Reno area so I could catch my flight back to the queen city. I hadn’t quite eaten enough on the trip 😉 so Katie decided to take me to her favorite breakfast spot in Reno, an artsy little diner called Two Chicks. If any of you have ever seen the movie Runaway Bride then you know that choosing your favorite type of egg is a very important passage in life. Well, I have known for a long time that my favorite has always been and will always be poached eggs. So I decided to order the eggs benedict on a veggie fritter – a Two Chicks specialty ** I just need to note that I have never had a better breakfast in the entirety of my life, and I have had some amazing, life-altering breakfasts. I nearly stuffed the homemade blueberry butter and my leftover toast into my purse for the plane ride home, but I figured TSA would not share my enthusiasm for gourmet spreads.
So there you have it. Tahoe was about as golden as it could be. It honestly is one of those rare places on earth that can make you feel like everything is going to be okay, even when nothing really feels okay. Now, it’s back to reality as I start my search for a new career and navigate each day one day at a time, one minute at a time ;). Until next time my lovelies. Stay safe and always remember you are not alone! We really are ALL in this together.