Winter Escape

By Kate Riley January 2, 2011

Before the holidays, I made myself a promise that I would take some time off to be with my family after Christmas and I kept it!  I wrote up a few posts, set them to publish over the course of last week, then off we went with some friends to escape to one of our most favorite destinations, gorgeous Lake Tahoe. 

lake tahoe

Have you ever been?  It’s just about my favorite vacation spot in all of California (although it shares part of the geography with Nevada).  I love being in the mountains.  I love vast forests covered with snow as far as the eye can see.  And I love a tranquil lake sitting in the middle of it all.

Whenever we caught a break in the weather, we went exploring.  Snowy woods always remind me of this Robert Frost poem.

snowy bridge


snowy road


frosted tree


snowy branch


open gate


branches with snow


We found this guy along the path and named him “Wilson”, look familiar?



Our kids never complained when we told them to “Go outside and play!”

kids playing on snow


On our way to Lake Tahoe, we always stop in charming downtown Truckee to stretch our legs and grab a bite.  If you’re ever passing through, we recommend either the Bar of America and Jax’s Diner (seen on the Food Network)

bar of america




jax wreath


Downtown Truckee has the most charming row of shops, worth an afternoon stroll.

downtown truckee shops


truckee shops 1


truckee shops 2


I love the classic Victorians with their gingerbread trim nestled next to the mountain style homes. 

truckee homes


river street inn


Speaking of rustic homes, have you seen the HGTV Dream Home in Vermont?  Hop on over to Julia’s place for the full tour.  My favorite feature are those interior barn doors! 

Finally, in the true spirit of thankfulness and all around blog love, I’m extending the most heartfelt appreciation to these incredible and inspirational sites:

Top Referrers for 2010

Thrifty Decor Chick

My Sweet Savannah

Hooked on Houses

The Lettered Cottage

The Nester

One Pretty Thing

320 Sycamore

Southern Hospitality

Making It Lovely

Apartment Therapy

Ana White

Brooklyn Limestone

Better After

A Soft Place to Land

Isabella and Max Rooms

A Beach Cottage


And another gigantic THANK YOU to all of you who visited here this past year.  Sending out a virtual hug and raising my glass to toast “To 2011 and all the good things it brings!”  

best is yet to come via thisisglamorous




  1. It is absolutely beautiful :))) One of the places I would love to visit one of these days :) Glad you had a wonderful time! May you have a wonderful 2011!

  2. Lucky Girl!!!
    The pictures are gorgeous, what a perfect time to go!
    I used to ski there and it was so much fun! Can’t wait to visit again!
    Happy New year

  3. OH my goodness! Those pics of Lake Tahoe sure are gorgeous!! I went a few years back and LOVED it! But it wasn’t as snowy as this! I’m a mountain girl, but I would love to live in a BIG mountain town like Tahoe ((One day!)) Happy New Year, I’m gonna check out those links you posted now! ;)

  4. Wow! Those snowy photos are breathtaking! Looks like a perfect place for some wintry fun.

    Thanks for the shout-out, and for sending so much traffic my direction in 2010, too. What would I do without blog friends like you? Happy ’11!! :-)

  5. Seeing snow piled up that high seriously makes me happy :] It’s like that here in Minneapolis and it makes the super frigid temps more bearable. So glad you were able to escape on a trip! xoxo

  6. It all looks amazing. Happy 2011. I am looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve for the new year.

  7. Oh… I love Tahoe and Truckee. We spent our honeymoon there. During the summer it does look a bit different than your pics. Beautiful pictures!!

  8. Kate, it looks so beautiful and tranquil! One of my hubby’s old rock climbing buddies lived in Truckee and we drove through one night in the middle of a winter snowstorm. I was convinced I was going to die on the side of the road in the mountains. Your trip looks much more relaxing than ours was! :)

    Happy New Year!!

  9. Ohmygosh… it’s summer here and our winters are NOT like that! It looks just magical!!! What an awesome place to holiday, and I don’t blame the kids for not complaining.

  10. YES, my husband and i have been there a few times. it is the most beautiful place i have ever seen. your pics are beautiful. i have been to Truckee too, but we did not go shopping there.

  11. What a beautiful place! The snow makes it look like a winter wonderland! Great for you and your family to get away together! Happy New Year!

  12. So glad that you got to take a little vacay time with the family–much deserved! Lake Tahoe is so gorgeous. I went for the first time a couple winters ago and it was really breathtaking!

  13. I am soooooo jealous!! I recently sold my cabin. It was in Kings Beach (North Lake Tahoe). I miss it so much!!! I’m glad that you that you made time to spend enjoying your family, and I hope you had a good time over the holidays. Your pictures made my heart skip a beat…I love Truckee and have some great memories of times gone by. I hope to make it up there to see the snow soon.
    BTW…I love your blog, it’s one of my favorites, and I always look forward to your posts!
    Susan : )

  14. Oh my goodness, that’s my neck of the woods. I live on the North Shore of Tahoe and it is beautiful here all year round. You have to try to visit in the Summer months. It’s amazing!

  15. Wow – what beautiful photos! Such a dreamy winter getaway! You all must’ave had such a great time! I can’t believe the amount of snow that’s on the ground there already! Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    xoxo laurie

    ps please check out my post today – there’s a blog friend there who needs our help

  16. Lucky!! Your pictures are beautiful it sounds like a wonderful vacay and such a great tradition. I love your blog and am looking forward to what you have to share this year!

    Mrs. W

  17. my mom’s (who’s in her late 80’s) older sister and family lived in lake tahoe but alas i never had the opportunity to visit. i had heard of its beauty and your pics capture that perfectly. the brilliant blue skies against the sparkling white snow takes the breath away.
    after the record-breaking snowfall we’ve had here in the northeast, we had an unusually warm weekend and now the snow is but a memory. just glad we had a white christmas ;)
    thanks for sharing your winter escape.

  18. What a great getaway…and surprised to see my blog on the list of your top referrers! Awesome, you certainly are at the top of my list! Thanks right back at you!!!

  19. How fun! We love Tahoe, in fact, my grandparents live right past Trukee. Isn’t it a wonderful little town? Did you go in the handmade candle store? It’s great! We went to Tahoe for Thanksgiving instead of Christmas this year and it was so fun. LOTS of snow, that’s for sure (: Glad you had fun, Kate!

  20. Happy New Year!! Love, Love your photos.
    I am not a blogger, (yet), but sort of accidentally came across blogland
    and have become a follower. I ALWAYS love your blogs and want to tell
    you what an inspiration you are. I’m a do-it-yourselfer, but not to your extent.
    You have inspired me to tackle two refinishing projects. One an old dresser,
    the other makes me a bit nervous, it’s an antique desk that was my father-in-laws.
    I’ll let you know how they turn out. Probably won’t tackle these till spring for ventilation
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  21. whose woods these are I think I know…
    one of my favorites. Beautiful, beautiful pictures and I am so honored to be on the list!! Can’t wait to see what you have up your sleeve for 2011!

  22. Lake Tahoe looks dreamy. I came close to going there once but the meeting got canceled and so did my trip! Thanks for sharing your beautiful pics….maybe one day.

  23. Wow what beautiful photos. Love the shops along the street…it is amazing seeing snow when it is summer in Australia and we are all at the beach. I do miss snow though.
    Hope you have a sensational start to the year. Michelle

  24. Such beautiful snow photos!!! I need to fly out and take a Nikon class from you. ;) I’ve never been to Tahoe, but it’s on my list. Maybe someday. :) I love quaint little shops like the ones you pictured. Glad you had fun!

  25. Minus the mountains…this looks like my neighborhood before our 50 degree New Years’s Eve! {The neighborhood just north of me is filled with old Victorians with front porches to die for}

    I’ve been loving the snow and cold here in Chicago…{normally I am ready to hightail it south for the winter}

    Hope you had a restful holiday…back to our regularly scheduled programming…

  26. Your photos are so beautiful _ some day my husband and I and the kids are going to make a trip to CA -but I want a month to go from the North to the Southern tip :-)

  27. Beautiful pictures of my old stomping grounds….many, many years ago. Ooooooh…. how I miss it. I remember many Christmas’s praying for this kind of snow. Thank you posting them.

  28. Gorgeous. I’m not a fan of snow (although I live in the NE) but those are beautiful photos! I’m glad you had a relaxing and fun getaway with family.

    Wishing you a peace-filled, happy, health and creative 2011, Kate!

  29. I so appreciate the pictures of Truckee. My granddaughter from New Jersey lives and works there. Thank you for showing us her town. We love your blog.

  30. The pictures are gorgeous! The snow in Truckee is CRAZY! I had a friend in HS whose father lived there and the pictures she had of her winter vacations were AMAZING! Snow as high as the house!

  31. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Tahoe!!! I did a semester in Reno, and absolutely fell in love with cute Truckee and Tahoe! Your pictures are incredible!

  32. Kate, those pictures of Lake Tahoe look like a fantasy land! So glad you had a little down time with your family. Thanks for your wonderful, idea filled blog, I looked forward to reading it all year long.

  33. My daughter and her boyfriend have lived in Truckee for about 3 years now. They love it! Thank you for featuring the town on your blog :o) Next time make sure you go to the Full Belly Deli…great sandwiches and breakfast!

  34. Gorgeous photos, Kate. The snow is beautiful! Tahoe is one of our favorite getaways, too. It’s fun to hop into the car and be there within 4 hours. I grew up going on family vacations there. Tahoe holds a special place in my heart. I love the little shops in Truckee. I’m glad you were able to get away and have a wonderful relaxing time with your family.

  35. Amen, SISTA! HAPPY NEW YEAR, to YOU and your lovely, darling and dear family! I cannot WAIT to see what you do THIS YEAR! Yeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwwww!

  36. Gorgeous! Picture perfect! I’m sooo dreaming of snow now, and can’t believe I haven’t seen it yet :( Happy New Year!

  37. I live in Reno, was born and raised here, so Tahoe is my most special place on earth. It’s where I spent my first date with my now husband and where we spend our anniversaries. My boys learned to ski in the Sierra mountains and we go to a wine festival every year and then have brunch in Truckee. That lake and those mountains are to me what the ocean is to people born on the coast. It’s a little bit of heaven just a few minutes from my front door.

  38. Beautiful shots of one of my favorite spots as well but noticed not shots on the ski lifts?! Looking forward to your fun posts this year.

  39. Great memories! i lived in rocklin CA for about 5 years and every winter we went to Tahoe and its absolutely absolutely beautiful !!! Thank you Kate!

  40. Beautiful images! Lake Tahoe was one of the first places I visited in America but unfortunately when I was there it rained non stop so I never saw anything like this. Happy New Year!

  41. Beautiful pictures !! I can only imagine how much fun it was being surrounded by local charm and nature’s beauty !!

  42. Found you via Pinterest – I’m completely smitten with your blog! Especially love your Tahoe shots – they’re Heavenly (sappy Tahoe humor, I couldn’t resist).

  43. Hot Dang! I’m so excited to be on the list. Thank YOU for such a fabulous blog that helped inspire my blog! You truly are one of my very favorites. I’m sure my family members are quite sick of me starting out every other sentence with “Well, Centsational Girl does it like this…”

  44. I LOVE Truckee!! My in-laws have a vacation home there and my husband and I get up there as much as we can. (We’re actually going in a couple weeks with some friends!) It’s such a wonderful little town and your pictures capture it so beautifully!

  45. These are beautiful pictures. My grandma lives in Grass Valley CA and I just drove through Truckee a couple weeks ago. I had no idea it was so cute in Truckee, the name is not very glamorous. This makes we want to go back. Love your website!

  46. Oh I love Lake Tahoe! This was our winter vacation spot when I was growing up in Santa Cruz, too. I’ve never stopped in Truckee, though after seeing these beautiful pictures I’m anxious to check it out next time we drive through.

  47. g’day!

    thanks for the thanks, what a good idea to spread the love!

    wowza what amazing photos, I *wish I could visit….one day….here it is stiflingly hot ;-)


  48. Beautiful, beautiful pictures! I love Tahoe, it has been years since I’ve been there, thanks for sharing!

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