Yes, we are still in California and only half way through our 40 day vacation. There is so much to see and taste here in this diverse state, that filling up our time is definitely not a challenge. We just got back from a family mountain trip up to the Sierras, Graeagle to be exact, up near California’s beautiful Lake Tahoe.
Our first stop on the way up was my dad’s favorite place, Machado’s. He will probably write a guest blog post on this “slow food type’ “no frills” pie shop and orchard that has been around since the 1920’s.
Machado’s homeade pies on the way to Tahoe
 As you work your way up the hill…you are reminded of California’s gold rush history as you see old western storefronts, open fields and beautiful barns. When you go up to a place like Graeagle, it is all about enjoying the outdoors and relaxing. Fortunately we were lucky enough to stay in my Aunt and Uncle’s amazing “cabin” up there in Plumas Pines. But who wants to stay inside all day? We got right out to a couple lakes:
Mill Lake, Deer Lake, Lake Tahoe
You can’t come up here without trying a hand at golf! We stuck to the driving range at Plumas Pines, and played a nice par 3 course nearby.


The next day we hiked off to find two swimming holes in Jamesville, a nearby ghost town.I’d like to say that those guys jumping off were us, but after I felt a pins and needle-like sensation from the icy cold water, we declined. Laying on the rocks like lizards was more our style!

After a relaxing day at the swimming holes, we grabbed our favorite golf cart in the garage and drove down the hill for some wine! We just couldn’t resist this wine tasting opportunity at a funky old pre-school which was turned into a tasting room for Indian Creek Vineyard. Who would have thought that I would be tasting Cabernet in the Sierras…but they were pretty darn good and the staff was extremely hospitable.

will be writing a separate post about this most memorable experience!

After all that exercise and wine, you can’t forget about good food! We spent the first couple nights cooking at home in their awesome hightech professional kitchen and ate fresh veggies, Italian Barbera D’Asti, pasta and all American apple pie. However, we chose to spend our last night out at the fancy clubhouse restaurant Longboard’s where we brought out a ’95 Gundlach Bundschu Cabernet Savignon Reserve to open. A little anxious about making a “brutta figura” (bad impression), we were pleasantly surprised to watch it evolve as we savoured it with our hearty meals. This evening meal was a spectacular way to close out our mountain holiday.

A little bit of Piemonte with us…drinking a bottle of Braida Barbera D’Asti with dinner
Fresh flown in fish, Gundlach Bundschu ’95 Cab Sav Reserve (I picked grapes at this childhood friend’s winery!)
Well that just about concludes our trip! Don’t forget about California’s natural beauty when visiting. There is plenty of fishing, rafting, hiking, and always plenty of wine to drink! Happy Labor Day Weekend!
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