Fun on Friday
We had to keep reminding ourselves that today was the point of this mini-vacation trip... we’re just relaxing.  No packing, no new destination in mind...  Once we switched gears and slowed down, the day was lovely.
Breakfast at the hotel was good and bad.  The food is fine, mind you, but we went late and the place was crowded with pushy tourists stealing chairs from each other.  Oh, well, we finished our juice and pastries and left.
Next on the agenda was a walk on the beach -- right outside our room, remember.  We took in dog walkers, a family of ducks, and a whole flock of geese.  Every once in a while, we also caught a glimpse of a golden-mantled ground squirrel scampering through the hotel grounds.  They apparently have no fear of humans -- unless they know you’ve seen them, when they quickly scurry away.
Before the temperature got too warm, we decided to take a tour of the area on Harley.  We rode around town and explored scenery, history, and Ron’s memories of living in the area.  After an hour or so, we had to relax again.
For lunch, we took advantage of another hotel discount and ate at the Blue Water Bistro, which is actually located on the hotel pier.  The food was interesting, if expensive.  Cathy tasted crab cakes, and Ron discovered that some people consider mayonnaise a salad dressing.
We spent the afternoon walking, napping, watching television, and generally vegging out.  Because we had a big evening planned, snacking was kept to a minimum (smoothies at Starbucks).
Our dinner reservations had been planned weeks ahead.  This was to be an anniversary celebration (although a week ahead of the actual date).  There was to be an extravagant dinner at Nephele’s and a private hot tub afterwards.
Because the restaurant was a mile away, and we wanted to walk, we left about an hour early.  We made better progress than expected, so, halfway there, we stopped for coffee at a local marina, and watched the Tahoe Queen depart.  Then we finished our walk.
Nephele’s is sort of a local landmark -- one that Ron had enjoyed 20 years ago.  It is a jewel of a place with about eight tables in the dining room and a few more on the patio.  The service is extremely attentive and the food is exquisite.  We started with an heirloom tomato salad, with lemon cucumbers and a roasted beet an blackberry vinaigrette.  Then came two bowls of Thai curry seafood medley soup.  For entrees, Ron had monchong (a Hawaiian fish) with a spicy pepper sauce.  Cathy had roasted elk with an espresso rub and a peach cabernet sauce.  Dessert was strawberry shortcake for Ron and mixed berry crepes for Cathy.  All the produce in the meal was fresh from the farmers’ market that day.  It certainly makes sense that Nephele was chef to the gods!
After dinner, we spent an hour in our own private hot tub at the restaurant.  I know, most people would prefer the hot tub before dinner, or after an day of skiing, but we wanted to see the stars from our roofless enclosure.  It was amazingly relaxing and decadent at the same time!
Between the late hour, the mile walk back to the hotel, and the advanced state of relaxation induced by the hot tub... let’s just say sleep came quickly.
Friday, July 24, 2009