At the end of October/beginning of November we visited our dear friends the O’Reilly’s in Reno!  They had moved to Reno about a year and half prior in order for Shaun to attend graduate school there.  We had an awesome time, enjoying getting to be with them, taking in BEAUTIFUL sights and falling in love with Reno! (and all without even visiting the inside of a casino…can you imagine?!)

At an overlook on the way from the airport:


The Truckee River winding it’s way through downtown Reno…


very cool outdoor art installation…


Heck, yeah!


That night we made awesome vegetarian chili (in spite of my marked inability to successfully use their super cool ergonomic can opener) and Kyndra made the best biscuits I’ve ever had in my life while we handed out candy to trick or treaters at the door (including some really bizarre/scary adult trick or treaters with large backpacks – and you just don’t go around getting stingy with candy in the face of that).  And the sweetest part…Kyndra made an amazing cake for my birthday!!  What i had really wanted for my 30th birthday was a trip somewhere, so this was my “birthday trip”!  The cake was UNREAL and I was so touched!!


After a morning walk to get coffee, we saw Shaun’s school! beautiful campus!


We had breakfast at a cool spot in a little mountain town on our way to Lake Tahoe.  As you probably know if you know me at all, I drink a LOT of water.  Like, I can easily go through 64 oz. in any given meal, and usually several of those in between meals as well.  I tend to drive waiters crazy because they’re always having to refill my glass and I feel really bad about that!  However, this restaurant – this place – had it figured out!!!  Brian ordered water and coffee and I just ordered water…he got basically a shot glass, and I got basically a pail.  It cracked us up (esp since that is about how much water Brian drinks in a day). I was soooooo happy!


Squaw Valley…site of the 1978 Winter Olympics.  We hoped this was a much smaler sized replica of the torch…otherwise, come on Squaw!



overlooking Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe…which the pics do no justice to — it truly was “emerald” and all kinds of beautiful greens and blues…


Hiking down to the lake…beautiful yellow aspens and gigantic evergreens everywhere…


Down by the bay!


You know Brian…he dreams of swimming in alpine lakes…and while this one isn’t “alpine,” I would argue the water in november has to qualify it for something along those lines! eek!





treehugger :)


After the awesome hike (with an arduous hike back up, that made me seriously wonder why anyone goes down into the Grand Canyon) we continued driving around the lake and just taking in its changing beauty, listening to great music and having great talks.  We had lunch at a GREAT vegetarian restaurant (it is so fun to travel with other vegs), had drinks at a place overlooking the lake and then caught sunset on a beach.  It was getting chilly, the yoga people were making
weird barking noises and stars were beginning to twinkle.  we sat on a bench just watching the lake change and feeling the cold settle in…it was magical.

(I love how obviously tickled Brian is in this picture)



We headed back to Reno and dinner at a great local pizza place along with a very funny game of Apples to Apples…


Brian tried not to take the cards he was good at winning personally….


next day – beautiful hike through some valley… yup, that’s snow!


the girls…


overlooking a misty lake Tahoe…


California!!!  (half the lake is in CA…which made for a great discussion about the “state line” (that’s for you, Brian ;))


(we’re “hanging 10″ just in case you’re wondering what that awesome gesture is we’re making)

And then back to Nevada!  doing the most “gambling”, ironically, that we did the whole visit…


walking along the lake again…great little walk


We drove out to the site of the Donner Party tragedy.  There was a great little museum and it was so intersting to learn all the history of that event as well as about life during that time…wow, so much respect.  I would so not have made it as a pioneer!  This stone behind me actually made one of the four walls of one of the 3 cabins that people lived out the winter in.


great little guided nature walk…


that night we found a great little campsite for a fire alongside the Truckee River…


The next day…packing up….booo hooooo :(

I can’t believe this is the only shot we got of their super cute house.  They have such incredible taste and we were taking all kinds of mental notes! It was such a sweet and warm home and Shaun and Kyndra were such kind, gracious and generous hosts.


But before we had to be at the airport, we picked up incredible sandwiches from Rubicon deli (once again, perfect for vegetarians!  seriously loving Nevada by this point) and headed to Pyramid Lake.  This was north, rather than south, which made for some different and beautiful scenery.  Instead of the mountains, greens and huge trees we found near Lake Tahoe, we were in the middle of the tans, beiges, and browns of the dessert, and in the middle of no where was a super deep, turquiose lake!  This lake was ANCIENT and had neat history.  We visited a museum that talked about the Native Americans who made their life around there for centuries as well as currently…very cool.


picnic on the beach!






Brian doing no justice to “the shaun”



thanks for a great visit, O’s and Reno!  Hope to see you again really soon!


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