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Saturday, June 17, 2006

Historic Camp Richardson

Camp Richardson Resort sits on the southwest shore of Lake Tahoe, about 15 minutes from the casinos in Stateline, Nev.

The rustic collection of winter and summer cabins is not what typically comes to mind when I think of a resort, but that doesn't mean that the place isn't without its charm. A haven for vacationing families, the resort features numerous cabins that can be reserved for a day or a week. Some families have waited years for a spot to open up, and once it does, they return year after year.

My husband's family has been vacationing in Camp Richardson every June for the last six years. All together, the family rents four cabins within close proximity to one another. Some stay a whole week, while others -- like my husband and me -- just visit for a couple of days over the weekend.

Today, we arrived shortly after breakfast. My in-laws had spent last night in the cabin and were quick to show us their incredibly uncomfortable bed. After a quick tour of their cabin, we visited Beau's Aunt Ramona in her cabin. Ramona's cabin, aptly named the Cadillac, is by far the most modern and spacious cabin of anyone in the family. Then again, Ramona has the biggest family, so the cabin is still close quarters for her brood.

Beau's parents took us on a brief walk around to help us get acquainted with the area. We walked down the water. Fun fact: The temperature of Lake Tahoe doesn't vary more than a few degrees throughout the course of the year, because it's the direct result of snow runoff. Today, it was a tepid 32 degrees. Beau waded in after what his mom thought was a dollar bill on the lake floor. Beau discovered it was just a rock, but not before getting chilled to the bone after about five minutes in the water.

Tour of the estatesCamp Richardson is actually a trio of sites, but the cabins are in the Tallac Historic Site, which features the Pope, Baldwin and Valhalla estates.

After Beau's refreshing dip in Lake Tahoe, his parents took us on a brief tour of the estates. For more information on the estates, click on the link in the preceding paragraph.

We enjoyed a leisurely two-mile walk among the estates and trails with Beau's parents before they turned back to the cabin for a nap. We continued on, walking about five miles before heading back ourselves for a bit of lunch and a nap.

Meal time and sleepy time
At the cabin, we scarfed down a quick lunch of ham-and-cheese sandwiches and laid down on the aforementioned rock-hard bed for a siesta. More than two hours later, I woke up, feeling as if I'd slept the entire night. Beau didn't wake up for two more hours.

Shortly after he woke up, we joined the family for a communal dinner of hamburgers, hot dogs and Polish sausage with macaroni salad, chips and fruit. I ate about half a polish sausage, cantaloupe, a bite of macaroni salad and a few chips. I usually steer clear of pasta and potatoes, but I made an exception today for no good reason.

Fun downtown
We left Camp Richardson around 7 p.m. to meet some friends in town for fun at the casinos. Beau and I are notoriously terrible at gambling, so our cash was quickly played out at the slots in Harrah's and Harvey's. We then met our friends at the Cabo Wabo Cantina inside Harrah's. We hung out there for a few hours. The cantina was a fun atmosphere with a live band. It's said that one never knows when Sammy Hagar, proprietor of the Cabo Wabo Cantina and creator of the Cabo Wabo line of tequila, will walk in. The Red Rocker was nowhere to be found tonight, but that didn't stop us from having some fun on the dance floor.

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