Sunday, May 14, 2006

Lake Tahoe, Day 4

Mothers Day(TM)

We skipped the "Biltmore Breakfast" today, and after giving Jennifer her cards, met up with Julia and Jared, and Laura and Graham and headed across the street to the Crystal Bay Club

Why there? Because they had a sign advertising their $12.95 Mothers Day Buffet. The rest of the family ate at the Lone Eagle Grill, part of the Hilton (or Hyatt?) where Jonas works, where they had a $60 Mothers Day Buffet. Now I enjoy good food as much as anybody, but I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that The Lone Eagle's buffet was four times better than the Crystal Bay Club's. If you've read my travel journals before, you'll recognize that everything comes down to food and money with me. $240 breakfast (plus tax, tip, and a cut of Laura's too, since she is Jennifer's mother) would have bought us an additional plane ticket to Reno. The breakfast we did eat was great, and even came with champagne. And to top it all off, they only charged us for one of the kids. (I tried to get them to correct the bill, thinking it was a mistake on their part, but they assured me that it was intentional.) Bonus!

After a brief period of indecision, we met up with the rest of the family at the other buffet, where a coherent plan of activity for the entire family could not be agreed upon. The Traveling Roths decided that we were going to Kings Beach, California, maybe a mile down the road from our hotel. Everyone but Joe, Pam, and Nonna followed suit.

We stopped at Raley's, the supermarket in town,to load up with picnic supplies, and headed to the beach. This was a public beach, so it had a lot more people there who didn't look like us. But it was a beach with water, so that means Tristan and Zoe were going to get wet.

None of the grownups (unless you count Jonas) went in, because as you can imagine, if you see a lake with a background of snow-covered mountains, the water is probably freezing. That never stops T&Z, much to their credit, and they only came out long enough to lay on the hot sand to re-heat. The lake had somewhat of a muddy bottom, which meant one thing; mud fights. I guess Tristan must have won.

Next to our picnic table was a Spanish-speaking family, and they offered us some of their food. It was some kind of grilled, seasoned beef, with fresh salsa, avacado slices, and a squirt of lime juice on a warm tortilla. It was definitely up there as one of the best tacos I've ever had. I just wish I knew what cut of meat that was, and how they seasoned it. There were plenty of fresh jalapenos in it, which put me into somewhat of a pardox; it was so hot that I could barely eat it, yet so tasty that I could barely stop. I did finish every bite, then had to go on a search for some kleenex.

After a long day at the beach, we went back to the hotel and got cleaned up, and then headed out to Truckee, California which is near Donner Pass.

Here's a nice shot right by the train station in Truckee of three of the four extant generations of the female lineage of Jennifer's family.

Since some people were leaving the next day, this was our last opportunity for a big, everybody meal. And if you know the Saias, you know that restaurant meal = Italian food. (Actually, nearly every meal equals Italian food.) We ate at Pianeta Ristorante on the main street. It was pretty good, and as much fun as a large Italian family meal usually is. Tristan ended up falling asleep before we left, but we did manage to get this photo beforehand.


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