When I was a kid my Aunt Aud and Uncle Ray owned a house in Tahoe. Just as you come down the summit into Meyers, there is a golf course on the right. Their house was on that golf course. Well, the HOUSE is still there. But they sold it many years ago.
Nearly every summer, if not every summer, we would spend a week at that house. It wasn't a large house. Plenty of beds, but only one 'great room' and a relatively small kitchen and dining room. All meals were eaten around the one table. Sometimes the cousins would be there. See, Aunt Aud and Uncle Ray were actually my Great Aunt and Uncle. Aud and my grandmother were sisters. There were 12 in their generation. Eleven of whom lived to adulthood. My mom was an only child, but I have oodles of cousins. Cousins I don't even know. Heck... they could be living down the street for all I know....
So sometimes cousins would be present. It was extra special when the Texas cousins would be in residence too. Lori and I would spend all day outdoors....hiking about and hunting golf balls for Uncle Ray's collection, in coffee cans, in the basement. Which was more "really big crawl space" than traditional basement.
Sometimes that house would just be stuffed with people. There wasn't bickering or annoyance with the cozy quarters. Everyone had a bed and we didn't spend much time inside anyway. I think my immediate family went up there in the winter twice. Once before Aud and Ray moved there full time and once after they couldn't do winters anymore. For me, Lake Tahoe was always synonymous with summers. Most people equate it with winter. Skiing and all other winter sports are what makes Lake Tahoe famous. That and the clear blue water.
Our family didn't ski. When we went up in the winter, we got out sleds and made a couple of snowmen. But mostly we stayed in and enjoyed the beauty of the snow white golf course, undisturbed.
We live 2 hours from Lake Tahoe now. It's a day trip. Easy to go up in the morning and come back in the evening. But we don't. Not often. When we do, we wonder why we don't do this more often.
The first weekend of July found Normy and me in Tahoe. Zephyr Cove specifically. Again, we wondered why we stay in the hot smoggy valley instead of driving up the mountain to the cool clean air of Tahoe.
When I got out of the car the smell of summer washed over me. Ah.... THIS is the smell of summer. Most just smell the pines. But I've been other places with pine trees and it doesn't take me back in an instant to summer vacation on the golf course.
As soon as we unloaded our luggage in our room, I went immediately to the water's edge. Now that house on the golf course is FAR from the water. We had to pack up and drive to the beach to dip our toes in that melted snow. So the water wasn't the main memory for me. I grew up miles from the Pacific Ocean and so the "beach" of a lake was such a disappointment. Sand was course, waves were wimpy.
Now, however, I crawled over the rocks and listened to those wimpy waves against the rocks. I live far far too far away from the ocean now. I breathed the clear lake air into my lungs. Those pine trees are so kind to scrub away the nasties from the air for me. I was sure to bring my camera.... I took that photo up there from those rocks along the shore.
In my "money is irrelevent" ideal world, we would have a house in Lake Tahoe. We would be up there frequently. We would spend a week just being there. Doing a whole lot of nothing and enjoying every minute of it.
We live 2 hours from one of the Earth's greatest treasures. Lake Tahoe is on people's lists of "100 places to visit before I die". I take it for granted. It's just up the road. So close. So easy to access. I can go "later".
I'm still not fond of Tahoe in the winter. It's AWFULLY cold. And snowy. But the other three seasons? I should be there.