Reno, Lake Tahoe & Co

 

Shortly after our Bahamas trip - we had an option to take a free trip to Reno, Nevada for 5 days. 

It was awesome to see not-flat-stuff outside the plane window (Florida joke - it's pancake flat here). 

We were supposed to rent a Camaro (it was only 20 bucks more for 4 days than a standard car), but when we arrived at the airport - the guy at the counter said: "Your Camry is ready"... I'll spare the unpleasant back and forth - we ended up canceling the order and got another one at the hotel, but only for a couple days instead of all 4. The lady said we'd get a Hyundai, but ended up in a nice Volvo S60 with Monique's new favorite feature: heated seats (and navigation for me). And in Sport mode it deactivated the Stop-Start feature which I have no love for, so I left it there the entire time.

So we immediately took it to the majestic Lake Tahoe. Well, first we bought some warmer clothes, because we were woefully under dressed, especially Monique. 

Incredible views in all directions. It was sunny the entire trip with highs in the 40's and lows in 20's. 

I love the nice scenic areas with parking & bathrooms - instead of just pulling over on the side, creating chaos. 

Onwards! Another scenic area. So organized and lovely. In the shade and with trees around - it was quite slippery and snow everywhere. It was also December, so what did I expect?

Monique in her new boots and jacket with fuzzies.

Definitely "the pictures don't do it justice" kind of situations.

Not a bad place to park. This was the opposite side of the Emerald bay bay - near Vikingsholm Estate.

Turn around and more epic views open up!

Since we missed the Mt Rose Scenic Byway on the first day it was time to go off into the mountains yet again!

The drive was very twisty with lots of snow and ice and on all season tires it never got hairy, but we didn't push our luck. Between that and the rapid elevation gain both of us ended up with a bit of a headache and slight motion sickness however.

Worth it!

What's there to say really?

On the way back we stopped at the Nevada State Railroad Museum that we spotted on the way out. It was pretty small, but had a few cool things to look at.

Look at that doodle! Incredible ironwork.

I need all those signs in my life. I'm a huge sucker for heraldic shields.

Up next we drove to Virginia City - old mining town. The change from blues, greens and whites of the lake high in the mountains surrounded by forests to a 50 shades of yellowish/brown was pretty wild in a mere hour or two of driving.

Love this shot.

Santa riding the Comstock Lode Wagon. 

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Our plan was to drive straight to Pyramid Lake from here, but we saw a sign for "Six Mile Canyon" and off we went! It was worth the detour!

Stunning! So many different shades of yellow. There was a little brook and wildflowers everywhere.

Another hour or so drive away, we're approaching the Pyramid Lake. At this point the terrain switched to mostly desert with hills all around in the distance. Such a drastic change in only a couple hundred miles!

Looking back. Americana! 

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"Pyramids" getting closer. 

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I was mesmerized by the landscape. 

The next day we were waiting for the shuttle bus to take us on a complimentary trip to Lake Tahoe. It ended up being a limo. Also, no one else went on the trip, so it was just us for about an hour ride and great views. It was pretty unreal and a first limo ride for both of us. It was a great trip until this point but was quickly getting out of hand in a good "pinch me" kind of way. So we rolled with it.

We've already driven through Lake Tahoe, but didn't stop other than for a snack since we knew we had another trip coming up.

Lots of buildings had giant timber columns surrounded by stone. Amazing look! I'd love a house like that for us!

Monique posing next to a cute alpaca (not real alpaca).

We had quite a bit of time to kill, so a hot beverage next to a fire pit with live music seemed like the right choice.

Drive back was in a much newer and nicer limo with a fireplace and complimentary drinks... 

Quite an experience!

On our last day we were pretty tapped out, so we just spent the afternoon lazying around downtown Reno. There's definitely a homeless problem there unfortunately.

The river in the middle of town made for a cool walk.

It was pretty cold outside, so we headed to the National Automobile Museum and were greeted by gold plated DeLorean to get the ball rolling.

Most cars were older than I'm really interested it, but it was still very impressive. Some cars looked like they had 30 inch or larger wheels on them. This copper Rolls Royce was neat.

Add some wings on the back and take it straight to a Batman movie set.

My two favorite cars at the museum: the "Moby Dick" Porsche and the Jaguar. 

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Christmas is coming! Or "was" coming rather.

The rams at the airport - time to get back to warmth. Couldn't have wished for a better trip! I did realize that I no longer want to wear shoes all the time and flip flops are life. Such a Floridian.

One last peek at Lake Tahoe's beauty.