Friday, May 29, 2015

Heavenly; Sublime, delightful, enchanting, divine.

Fitting words to define the Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe, CA. I have been fortunate enough to travel here for many years with my family.  My parents are part of the Marriott Vacation Club, and own at the Timber Lodge Resort, which is located in the Heavenly Village and steps away from the Gondola that takes you the 2.4 miles up to the ski resort.

Marriott’s Timber Lodge is located about an hour and fifteen minutes from the Reno-Tahoe Airport. Our family catches the South TahoeExpress shuttle for $53/person round trip. (They are conveniently located near the baggage claim and have restrooms on their bus…always a positive for us!) The resort’s location is superb.Within walking distance you have restaurants, shopping, hot tubs/heated pool, fire pits, a cinema, ice skating rink, ski/snowboard rentals, the lake, casinos and most importantly, the mountain.
Heavenly has spoiled us…the view this mountain provides is breathtaking, and any wait to ride the lifts is almost nonexistent. You get your first glimpse of Lake Tahoe on the 15 minute ride in the Gondola. At the top, is the Tamarack Lodge/Express Lift and Adventure Peak if you’re interested in tubing or sledding. There are not many Green runs at this spot. (If you’re still learning, you may want to catch the shuttle to the California Lodge which provides many more greens.)  Some of my favorite runs have to be: Ridge Run, California Trail, Orion, Comet, and Big Dipper. (You may recall from my Breckenridge blog post, I like the wide Blues!) We enjoyed stopping each day at East Peak Lodge for drinks and a snack. It is located at the bottom of two lifts, Comet and Dipper Express. This helped allow some of our friends that wanted to ski longer to go on a few runs and meet back up with the rest of our group. Even though the snow this spring ski season was lacking to say the least, we had an amazing time on the mountain.
No one will go hungry while on this trip! There are so many restaurants to choose from and something for everyone. Here are the places we made sure to grab a bite:

-Fire & Ice: This is located in the Timber Lodge and my mom’s absolute favorite place to eat. (She usually has it at least twice!) They offer a unique dining experience. You simply grab a bowl, fill it with the ingredients of your liking, ranging from meats and seafood to fruit and veggies, choose the sauce, and head to a large, circular grill in the middle of the restaurant to be cooked by the entertainers, I mean chefs! (They always put on a good show while sizzling your dish.) Since it is very popular, make sure to get your name on the list, and then go enjoy a drink by one of their many fire pits outside. Speaking of drinks…their Fire/Ice Bowls that are literally served in a bowl and have more liquors in them they I can count, are fun to order for the table.

-Base Camp Pizza Co.: We sure love our pizza, and the atmosphere of this restaurant makes it that much better! They have live music, bag toss, and great outdoor seating (with heaters!) The Pear & Gorgonzola was delicious, and their Base Camp pizza was a hit too. Gluten free was offered as well, which my mom and girlfriend enjoyed.

-Kalani’s Restaurant & Bar: I had never been to Kalani’s on our other trips, but sure glad we tried it out this time! The ambiance was more serene than the other restaurants, which was good for a change of pace. Their sushi was mouthwatering, and they offer plenty of other Hawaiian dishes if raw fish isn’t your thing.

If you have a sweet tooth like me, be sure to stop in Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. We are always sure to grab some of their rich fudge. My parents enjoy the casual, American cuisine at Echo during our stay; a restaurant located in the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel next to the Timber Lodge. Or if you’re looking for a relaxing evening in, Raley’s Grocery Store is nearby for your convenience. Our go-to is either a taco or pasta dinner night. This also helps cut cost by cooking breakfast in our room…and they surprisingly offer decent alcohol prices!
When you’re not on the mountain skiing, or grabbing a bite to eat, there is a plethora of other activities. If you haven’t seen the crystal clear lake, it’s only a short walk down to the beach. (This always makes me want to come back in the summer season!) There is plenty of boutique shopping…Earthbound Trading Co., Dog Dog Cat, and Savvy are a few favorites. This was our first year to try out the ice skating rink. My girlfriend has been wanting to go ice skating since her birthday in September, and we finally made it happen! It was a blast! If a good movie is out, the cinema is always an option. (It's nice to sit for a couple hours after a full day skiing.)
Once again, we had an amazing trip in Tahoe with our family and friends skiing on the mountain, drinks by the fire, exploring the town, and staying up way too late playing card games. Tahoe vacations never let us down!