Lake Tahoe

Trip Start Jun 14, 2008
Trip End Jul 05, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We had a fairly sleepless last night in San Francisco, mainly due to some random students making a lot of noise at 3am.  We ended up getting up around 7:30am and I had a shower and then went down to book our shuttle to the airport.  We faffed around a bit and packed, before waiting outside for our 9:30am shuttle.  It arrived almost 20 minutes late so we didn't get to the Hertz rental depot until around 10:30am.
After picking up the car - a light blue Hyundai Accent - we drove into downtown and grabbed a quick McDonald's.  We then drove through town until we came to the top of Lombard Street - the crooked street.  We drove down it very slowly and enjoyed the view.  We then headed out towards the Golden Gate Bridge, getting lost in the exclusive Presidio Park District.  After finally finding the entrance we drove across it - the top of the bridge was enshrouded in mist but the drive was still pretty cool.  We stopped on the far side of the bridge for some photos and we discovered how bloody cold the wind was.  We stayed out of the car for all of 3 minutes before diving back in and setting off on our journey to Lake Tahoe.
The Interstate took us over the top of San Francisco bay, over Oakland and towards Sacramento.  We decided to take a detour into Sacramento and were very glad we did.  It was such a pretty place.  We parked up the car and put 50c in the meter.  We wandered around the park in front of the city hall - another domed building replicating the Capitol - where there were displays of cactus, a rose garden, a replica of the Liberty Bell and various statues.  Apparently there is a replica of the Liberty Bell in every state capital in the US - I must look out for these in future as this was something I never knew! It took us some time (and three trips around the same block) to find our way out of Sacramento but we finally made it.  We were almost glad to leave just to get our air-conditioning back.  It had been 93 degrees in town and quite humid.
On leaving Sacramento we headed along a different highway, passing through El Dorado National Forest.  This covered a vast expanse of land and parts of it were affected by the forest fires.  According to the radio no fewer than 845 fires were burning in California at the time. The smoke was everywhere and made everything incredibly hazy - fortunately there was no smell of smoke but it did make visibility quite poor and photos not so sharp or clear.  We stopped at Bridal Veil Falls Park where we took a track down to the river.  It was beautiful along the river's edge and would have been a peaceful and relaxing place to chill out, but for the loud family splashing about having a party.
We continued on through the town of El Dorado and then through a cute little town called Strawberry.  We had to stop and take a picture of that!  We finally arrived at Lake Tahoe at around 6:30pm and checked into our hotel (Harvey's).  We went straight out to catch some photos of the sun-setting over the lake.  The sunset was amazing - not only for its beauty but for the rapidity in which it happened.  It took less than 5 minutes to be above the mountain and then behind it.
We returned to the hotel, via the Hard Rock Café for a pin badge, to have a shower and then we headed down to get dinner.  I had an omelette again, which was equally nice as the one in San Francisco, although considerably bigger.  We then headed back to the room to finally go to bed.
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