Monday, December 24, 2007

Skyland in Zephyr Cove, Nevada

Skyland in Zephyr Cove is a private residential area speckled with beautifully built homes, at the edge of Lake Tahoe. Rumah 'mat salleh' yang besar-besar & cantik-cantik. The house where we stayed had I think, 6 bedrooms, 2 big living rooms, 1 gameroom; and all the necessities for a large family. Thanks to Nana for her effort in exploring the net for us. Everyone was pleased with her for the good deal. Would like to share the view of a few with you...too bad I did not venture much within the area. Anyway, during this time of year it gets dark very fast. So daylight time is very short... belum apa2 dah gelap.


















The house on the right has external wood panelings...cantik! The villa below is huge... orang kaya mana la yang owns the place!














In view of Lake Tahoe's large size, the edge of the waters is called 'beach'. If I am not mistaken, I did mention before that Tahoe even has her own Coast Guard. A few pictures of Skyland's Private Beach below. No worries of dogs' 'poo-poo' catching you by surprise since No Dogs are allowed there.















Pat Mat with his neighbour ( forgot his name ), and my hero... Just watch the snow clad mountains in the distance... this place offers loads of picture perfect postcard pictures!























The Game Room downstairs..... with its own bar! Pool turned ping pong table..... I now have a new partner ... Faizal! :-)

I remember the times when the lift lobby at 21st Floor, Wisma Telekom and later the back corridor of Level 6, Menara Telekom became a favourite spot for a group of executives' to perform 'stress management' after office hours. The ping pong method! We tempted quite a few 'Top Management' as well. I hope the same kind of camaraderie still exists ...









the downstairs living room on the right...








Pak Mat's happy family...






The upstairs' living room...


















....and the fully equipped kitchen, which did not see much rest when we were there!


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Snow Mobiling at Tahoe

My hubby lives to please his children, especially his girls. I know he couldn't bear the look on their faces when they couldn't go ski-ing with Nana or even ice skating at Heavenly Village! Manja Atiqah menjadi-jadi when she saw her father stopping at the snow mobil park. She didn't mind at all being in line for one and half hours before getting ourselves a snow mobil. $50 for half an hour! Mahal...but, that was long enough for all 5 of us to get a turn on the vehicle. The route was short & sweet - doing laps around the park. So I figured there was nothing dangerous in that, and the vehicle was simple enough to manuevre. Pulas handle sebelah kanan to accelerate and press to break. There were no hard and fast rules to follow, but everyone had to watch others' backs. It looked like fun so I had my fair share of driving too. The best was Yasmin who didn't even as much as 'blinked' when sandwiched between her parents during their ride. Coool jer dia!

Atiqah & Anis adding another round to their turn!



Ingat kat Mak Cik Pidah pulak masa muda2 dulu bawa Pasola...




Whoaa.....



Anis slowing down for her pic to be taken..




Faizah, Yasmin & Salbiah on their snow mobil...

Yasmin all warm & cuddly...

Hmmm....




Gondola Ride at Heavenly, Tahoe

We were advised by those who have visited Lake Tahoe before, to take the ride up Heavenly Mountains on the Gondola or Cable Car ( like the ones in Pulau Langkawi ) to get the whole view of Lake Tahoe from above or else we'ld be truly missing out on our trip. The Heavenly Gondola provides visitors the opportunity to ski or view Lake Tahoe in all its glory. I can say that I have gone up many Cable Cars before this: to Telekom's satelite station in Gunung Kinabalu (pregnant pulak tu, a long2 time ago..), the ones in Cameron Highlands, the ones in New Zealand, the ones in Perth Australia.. but the cable car going up Gunung Mat Cinchang in Langkawi was by far the "scary-iest", to my own standards of course! However, my children enjoyed the ride and thought nothing of them when I recalled our trip to Langkawi a few years back. After browsing through Langkawi's websites, now only I know that the cable car goes over 2.2km up at a 42 degree angle. Nevertheless, the breathtaking view up Gunung Mat Cinchang beats anywhere else! Another info that's news to me is that the Langkawi's cable car was built without constructing any roads through the jungle and all the materials used were lifted into place using helicopters. I don't know how they did that but to me, that sounds impressive! Like the cable car ride in Langkawi, the Heavenly Gondola ride also has 2 stops; The Deck and The Top Station. The eight-passenger cabins take guests 2.4 miles (about 4.8km) up the mountain in 12 minutes arriving at The Deck - a 360° viewing platform located at 9,123 feet. The 2nd stop at the Top Station is for the skiers and for those who wants to see the view at a higher elevation. The 1st stop at The Deck was enough for us. Anyway, my camera was running out of batteries by then. Similar to the Oriental Village where the Langkawi Cable Car starts, the Heavenly Village -starting point of the Gondola Ride, is a "must-see" on the list of things to do in Tahoe. Architectured with a European flair, the "Village" located along Tahoe Boulevard in South Lake Tahoe has many unique shops, eateries, and entertainment venues. There were also many other tourists there too this time of year, mainly those who originate from Asia. I can't help noticing many distant relatives of Shah Rukh Khan, Hrithik Roshan, Amitabh Barchan, Kamalahassan (hero Tamil), Rani Mukherjee ..just to name a few ...:-) I am also not surprised if this place is in their list of sites for film scenes yang ada nyanyi2, keliling2 pokok Pine & terguling2 dalam snow. There are many kedai India, Pakistan & Afghan in San Jose that sells/ rents DVD filem Hindi because they have a big market for them here...but sorry, I am no longer one of their regular customer, I am now into blogging and browsing..... NOT shops..., the Net of course! However, I really wish I can make something more (like $$$ ) out of it, instead of just more 'bumper' in my seat! he..he.. Anis & Atiqah geram jer tengok skating rink - picture on the left - and wanted to have a go at it...but mahal sangat! Even the Gondola ride was already a leak in their father's wallet - although he paid under 18 years old tickets for both of them. Anyway, I think they can always skate somewhere else.. And the Gondola Ride will be a one time experience for them as well, since we are definitely not going up there again... I think once is enough to see views from above.


A few pictures of the hotels and the areas in South Lake Tahoe.......


















Maybe I should have a facebook account....























... or something of its kind!..





















for all my pictures....










Trip to Lake Tahoe..

Pak Mat's offer to join him, his family and friends for a trip to Lake Tahoe was very tempting indeed. Although my son was fretting on how he has had enough of snow in Boston, we couldn't resist! Anyway, it was Christmas holidays and everyone, including my hubby had a few days off. Most office workers in Malaysia pun ramai yang bercuti this time of year. That Saturday morning we stopped at Pat Mat's place in Stockton first before leaving with the whole team. It takes 2 hours driving from San Jose to Stockton and another 2 hours more from Stockton to South Lake Tahoe. So, Stockton was a welcomed stop especially with Kak Ros's steaming 'nasi lemak' waiting for us. Most parts of California doesn't snow in winter so we don't normally use snow tires. Sometimes, chains or snow tires are necessary on the roads leading to Lake Tahoe, but alhamdulillah we did not need them that day and our box of chains was left unopened. With Kak Ros leading the pack our travel was smooth and relaxing stopping only once at a gas station to 'relief' ourselves. We used Routes 88 and 89 - some what 'jalan kampung' and very scenic, but eventually re-connecting with Highway 50 into South Lake Tahoe. Highway 50 passes the Lake Tahoe Airport en route to shoreline communities and eventually Stateline, Nevada. Lake Tahoe is located along the border between California and Nevada. The border runs across the lake and two thirds of it is on California's side. Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada mountains of the United States. It is home to a number of ski resorts, summer outdoor recreation, and tourist attractions. The bungalow which Nana booked is located at Zephyr Cove which is a few miles more from South Lake Tahoe and crossing over into the state of Nevada. Since most cities in California tak ada snow so orang sini pergi ke Lake Tahoe untuk ski, main dengan snow or... gambling. Gambling is legal in Nevada, pernah dengar nama2 bandar seperti Reno... Las Vegas...Carson City ? Well, they are all in Nevada. One could identify the borderline between the two states once approaching the numerous hotel casinos - Harrah's, Harveys, Bill's Casino, MontBleu, Horizon, Lakeside, and many more smaller ones. Lake Tahoe is created due to earth's movements many, many thousands of years ago. So you have this vast mass of water about 22 mi (35 km) long and 12 mi (19 km) wide and has 72 mi (116 km) of shoreline - which makes it necessary for them to even have their own Coast Guard!. The lake is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. The area surrounding the lake is also referred to as Lake Tahoe, or simply Tahoe. MasyaAllah.... memang cantik! Hish...kalau orang punya, puji jer! he..he.. Warisan tanah kita pun cantik2 belaka..kecantikan yang tersendiri... tapi bila dah tercemar yang jadi tak seronok tuu.. Semoga Bukit Cahaya Seri Alam aka Bukit Cerakah dapat di jaga keasliannya dan tidak terus di terombosi. Google la tempat tu dan saksikan property agents making money out of it on the internet! Well, maybe I am becoming a sentimental fool! Anyway, back to my story... Lake Tahoe ni, is the second deepest lake in United States, with a maximum depth of 1,645 feet (501 m). Memandangkan tasik Tahoe ni sangat la dalam, para penyelidik berpendapat bahawa sekiranya terjadi gempa bumi di bahagian yang paling dalam, ianya boleh mengakibatkan tsunami yang mempunyai ketinggian gelombang dari 3m hingga 10m. Dan melintasi tasik tersebut dalam masa beberapa minit sahaja. Tsunami pernah terjadi di Lake Tahoe sehingga ketinggian 100m, .....berpuluh2 ribu tahun yang lalu.. Minta2 jangan la jadi lagi dalam zaman kita ni. Kami sampai ke 107, Skyland, Zephyr Cove dalam pukul 3.30 petang. I will tell you more about this house we rented and the housing area in my later posting. Nana, Pak Mat's daughter got it from Craigslist. It's a lived-in house but the owners are out bercuti and advertised it for rent in winter. Talk about making money while vacationing!Almost every year Nana and her friends would come to Lake Tahoe to ski. Tergedik2 la my children nak ikut but it's a NO - NO for now. Ski-ing is actually an expensive sport.. silap2 patah riuk pulak! That's me being over protective and a negative mom... Snow attire itself costs a small fortune! Thermals, winter jackets, snow pants, snow boots... gloves. Luckily, Haniza & Sharifah offered a few items for us to 'pinjam' when they heard we were going. And, I am thinking of returning the jackets we bought back to the store.. he..he.. Here, barang boleh return.. with no questions asked! So they ended up playing & sliding in the snow near the bungalow like crazyy... suka giler! The sky was still clear & bright at that time, maghrib masuk around 5pm. Actually, mak dia orang pun cuba jugak sliding a few rounds.. he..he.. Even little Yasmin was enjoying herself & showed no signs of being cold! :-)