Friday, June 26, 2009

A Fun Getaway For The Whole Family

Over Memorial Day weekend, Mr. Pink Lemonade and I decided we needed to get away for a few days - but where could we go that wouldn't take up an entire day of driving, yet seemed remote enough to let us relax and shake the daily grind - spring fever was definitely hitting all four of us full throttle.

We searched the web for spots to visit and finally found The Resort at Squaw Creek - that was it... the search was over.

I had been to Squaw Valley as a child (my first horseback ride was in the meadow there in the early 70's) and again when Mr. Pink Lemonade and I were dating (we rode mountain bikes from the top of the ski slopes down to the valley floor - terrifying, yet fun!) Because we had always driven there from south shore Lake Tahoe, it always seemed terribly far away. Was I surprised to see that it took us just under three hours to get there - with no need for dramamine (me or the kids!).

When we turned from the main highway into the valley it was immediately apparent, not only that it had been quite some time since we had been there (17 years, to be exact), but that this place was somewhere special. The valley was lush and green, wildflowers blooming everywhere the eye could see - yet the mountains remained white with snow. It was definitely one of the most beautiful places I have been.

Walking into the lobby immediately gives you the feel for the place - laid back and casual - yet elegant at the same time. The huge picture windows that surround the couches and game tables are massively tall and bring the beauty of the surrounding mountains indoors. When we had a few minutes to spend while we waited for our dinner reservation time, the girls, Mr. Pink Lemonade and I had a great time playing checkers and teaching Little Miss Lauren how to play chess.

Our guestroom was gorgeous - impeccably clean, very comfortable. There are movies for everyone and video games for the kiddos. Vending machines are also close by the guestrooms. Little Miss Lauren was particularly fond of the super-plush robes and it took some serious convincing on our part to keep her from wearing it all night long!

The pool was awesome - much to the delight of my children! Three separate pools - a larger pool that hosts water volleyball and heated swimming, a kiddie pool only a foot or so deep and a middle pool which boasts a waterslide that Little Miss Lauren used so much I think she wore out the bottom of her swimsuit! There's also a hot tub and a sand play area for the little ones. Lounge chairs are abundant and there's also a poolside BBQ during lunchtime along with lots of great waitstaff to bring you something frozen and fruity to sip while you watch the kiddos swim the day away. The weather was perfect and even though we were surrounded by mountains of snow, we were in comfortable 75 degree weather, armed with sunscreen, sunglasses and a drink with one of those cute little umbrellas! I only wish I would have brought a novel with me - but then I would have missed the beautiful scenery!

The restaurants served fantastic food (even little picky miss Lauren was happy with the offerings) and were very kid-friendly. The resort was teeming with families - kids everywhere! The weekend that we visited, we happened upon a great deal - kids ate free all weekend as long as we ate too (including desserts! - that was a hit). If you're thinking of going, watch for similar deals as the savings can really add up.

The resort has so many things for every member of your family that you'll never have a moment with nothing to do. There's North Lake Tahoe's most luxurious spa - with a full service menu to relax and pamper every inch of you. A beautiful 18-hole championship golf course, horseback riding, tennis, fly fishing, hiking - you name it! They even have a great kids program called Mountain BuddiesTM. It is a year-round children's program that offers kids a safe and active place to play at the resort while parents relax. Children choose from a variety of fun activities each day and are supervised by an experienced, creative staff who maintain a 7:1 ratio of kids to adults.

Kids can participate in activities such as swimming and sliding, tennis, wildflower walks, nature hikes, biking, snowshoeing, and in winter, Nordic skiing, ice skating, sledding and snowplay. They can play board games, bean bag toss, hopscotch, computers, sports and an obstacle course. There's also exploration outings of Squaw Creek, the mountains, geography, animal life, plant life and star-gazing.

The kids are served great food featuring mac and cheese, chicken fingers, sandwiches, veggies, pizza, pasta and hot dogs - and every meal comes with fruit and juice.

When they're tired of the active opportunities, they can relax with creative arts and crafts like jewelry, painting, drawing, tie dye, mask making, puzzles, flower vases, wood creations, spin art, puppets and buttons

This active alternative to resort day care gives parents the option of selecting from full-day, half-day and evening sessions.

The resort also offers great activities for everyone, when we were there they were hosting a tie-dye party by the pool, people were lining up for their free afternoon ice cream cones and there was even a s'mores party in the evening.

Although we never had a free moment to check them out, there were also big name movies in the theater available to everyone along with many other activities.

If you're a winter sports enthusiast, Squaw Valley is the place for you! Located in Olympic Valley with lift service to Squaw Valley USA- site of the 1960 Winter Olympics - Squaw Valley USA is considered to be Lake Tahoe's best ski resort. Known worldwide for its deep snow (450 inches per year, on average), extensive network of 34 chairlifts, and areas for all ages and abilities, Squaw Valley is a must-visit destination for skiers and riders.

With Squaw Creek's own private, on-property triple chairlift - which gives you ski-in, ski-out access to Squaw Valley's 4,000 acres of world-famous ski terrain - you'll never have to spend your ski vacation standing in line to reach the mountaintop.

No matter what the season - or the reason... The Resort at Squaw Creek is a wonderful destination for family fun - Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall!

- Liz

Posted by Liz of Pink Lemonade

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