I'll eat just about anything while drinking wine, but I hadn't ever really thought about the value of actually pairing wine with the snacks I enjoy. Laura Burgess of Laura Uncorked introduced us to Dare to Pair and now my mind and senses are racing.
Swirl, Sniff, Swish
Wine tasting is one of my favorite things. It is a classy way to spend a weekend and fill up your rack, refrigerator, or cellar with wines that you curated yourself. I never learned how to taste wine. I swirl it in my glass, look at the color, sniff it a bit, and then sip it down. If I like it, I have more, if not I move on to the next.
During Dare to Pair Laura gives a brief, but comprehensive introduction to actually tasting wine. Afterward, you will never taste it in the same way. She guides you as you smell, savor, and explore the flavors of each wine. Note taking is encouraged. After tasting all of the samples I struggled to remember exactly what made the first two or three unique.
.We all know what potato chips taste like, right? Or do we? After exploring the flavors of wine so deeply we transitioned over to foods. This first Dare to Pair included potato chips. Plain, Sour Cream & Onion, and Barbeque. Have you ever actually tasted these foods, like really tasted them?
In a similar fashion to the wine tasting we explored the flavor of each chip. Being that these were more familiar we didn't spend quite as much time exploring the flavors. It was fun to hear how each hit our palettes. Not everyone tasted the same things while sampling the chips.
Dependent upon how technical you want to get, the next step is to explore the various combinations of wine and food. Of course, there were those of us who took a bite, took a sip, and took another bite. Some of us tried one flavor and went through all the wines with it.
Discussions began, arguments and disagreements occurred. Some found a match immediately. There were lots of "Hmms," and "Ewws," and even some, "No's." Most interesting was that not everyone agreed on the flavor pairings. There were some unanimous votes, though.
Curated or Customized
The great thing about being in charge is that I get special treatment. When asked what I wanted as a "twist" in the experience I suggested salt and vinegar chips. Adding in this flavor surprised us all! If you want to choose the twist, or the foods you can book a private Dare to Pair for your group and request your favorites for the event. Laura will know exactly what wine to pair.
We've curated a series of Dare to Pair events that are open for all. You can reserve your space for Grilled Cheese, Barbeque, and Tomatoes. Space is limited, so book early.
Experience Bliss in body, energy, and mind. Retreat with us. We create customized and curated experiences for connection with nature and your Self.
Virtual or Live; this is the question. Each has it's merits, but which is the Right choice for you?
Seeing, hearing, watching, and engaging in real life with others provides us with opportunities to connect in a multitude of ways. As we interact we collect all types of information from each other. Whether we notice it, or not, we are gathering details about personalities, preferences, comfort levels, and more.
At Bliss Experiences we consider all of these aspects when curating our experiences. When you join one of our classes, workshops or lectures, our intention is to create opportunities for you to feel noticed and understood as well as to connect with your guide. Our in-person experiences are more than guided tours; they are chances for all of us to experience Bliss and union.
Developing the skills necessary to present and participate in virtual experiences takes time. During the pandemic there was much to be learned in regard to managing virtual rooms on Zoom, behaving appropriately while presenting, making sure the perspective from the camera to the screen was accurate, recording, editing, being patient with sound delays, and dealing with internet & tech issues.
Now that we have become professionals at virtual presentations and as participants these skills will continue to remain useful. We can attend classes, workshops, lectures, and more live and on-demand with the people we choose no matter where we are. There are countless opportunities to learn from others and experience new things.
Some things will never be the same virtually as they are in real life. Experiencing a room, location, or space is one such thing. There is nothing quite like floating on the lake on a paddle board. A hike in the woods is more full when you are there in person. A room looks very different when you can see all four walls, the ceiling, and floor with a turn of your head.
Spaces hold energy and Bliss Experiences is designed to do so. Every color and all of the décor was specifically chosen to create a sense of peace, calm, and relaxation. Whether wine tasting, checking out the latest styles, painting Tahoe, or practicing Yoga, we hope that you'll experience of sense of reconnection with nature and yourself while sharing our space.
The Magic of Connection
Sweet and salty, Peanut Butter and Chocolate, Pasta and Cheese; some things just work well together. Creating experiences that include both live and virtual attendees is no easy task.
Our new space is outfitted with a 10' projection screen, camera, and video equipment. You will be able to attend workshops, lectures, and classes in-person as well as virtually in real time. We hope to help you connect with teacher, guides, and presenters, as well as the other participants from any distance.
We're looking forward to seeing you in 360* and sharing Bliss Experiences with you outdoors, in our new space, and virtually.
We have lived through an historical moment. Has it changed you? It has certainly changed me and reinforced my desire for Bliss.
Less is Good
The transition from "stay at home" to "normal" has an interesting vibration to it. There is an energetic buzz and a sense of exploding excitement over the opportunity to return to doing all the things we did before the pandemic.
While following the directives to stay at home I learned a valuable lesson: I don't need very much. I don't need fancy food or cocktail service. I don't need live concerts (although they are fun) or pedicures. I don't need to go shopping for new clothes, toys, or belongings. I don't need to be doing things all of the time. Less is more.
I grew up playing with whatever was available. We would run around the fields, climb trees, build rock & tree forts, and build mud pies. Our imaginations allowed us to create anything out of anything.
The first time my sister visited me in Tahoe she said, "You live in a postcard." When I guide tours and classes people ask, "do you ever get tired of this?" My answer is, "Never." I get to live the dream and value that I do it in Lake Tahoe and recognize how the choices I made in life helped me to get here. At Bliss Experiences our intention is to help you develop similar values for your life.
Every day I get to look at a beautiful lake, run through the forest, walk on the beach, stand on top of a mountain, hike through the desert, bike, ski, paddle and play. The pandemic has added stress to my life, but enjoying Tahoe has helped me to manage it.
Patience & Empathy
People fled the cities when the pandemic hit. There was a general perception shift that the mountains are safer than the seaside. Our tiny community became inundated with visitors and new residents. The lack of infrastructure, staff, response teams, inability to educate, and enforcement became increasingly evident and the impact has been significant.
Tahoe runs on tourism. We have gotten better, throughout the years, at supporting and sharing information with the influx of visitors that come to the basin every Winter and Summer. This year was a new opportunity for us to learn and change our practices.
As a business owner I had to become more patient. Messaging from my business had to change. I had to constantly remind myself to try to understand the perspective others have; they are just trying to do something "normal" The pandemic has helped me become more patient and empathetic with myself and others.
Sense of Community
Small businesses are the soul of our country. As businesses began to shutter it was obvious that the corporations and larger ones would survive. Small, individually and family owned business needed our patronage.
Bliss Experiences promotes and partners with the small businesses and professionals in our community. The pandemic further reminded me to remain in touch and to continue to bolster them. As we emerge from this historical moment we will continue to grow our list of providers so that you can continue to experience Bliss with them.
I believe that when spending time with someone it is important that your full attention be dedicated to that experience. When teaching classes, guided lessons, or out on a tour I am fully focused upon making the experience special for those joining in.
Now that we are using more virtual tools including live video streams it's easy to be doing many things at once: live feed while recording for later while doing an Instagram live and chatting over text.
I chose to continue to practice focusing upon the task at hand even while learning to use new formats for teaching. I have noticed that, as I venture back out into the world, I would rather be with a small group and have dedicated conversations than in a place where there is a larger crowd and many distractions. Being present and enjoying the moment makes for a far better experience.
When Bliss Experiences opens we will continue to honor quality of experience over quantity of participants so that we can be dedicated to making yours the best.
There are so many things to love about Tahoe, and a few that are not so loveable. Learn more about the things that bring us Bliss and the stuff that we could do without.
We Love Those Big, Blue Skies
One of my favorite views is that of the sky in Tahoe. The color changes daily. I love it on a crisp Winter day when the tree branches are tufted in white. During the Spring the flowering trees can make the blue seem even deeper. In the Summertime the sky sometimes appears tuquoise. Daily, hourly, even by the minute, the color of the sky can change.
But the Traffic. . .
A noticeable effect of the Covid-19 pandemic was a reduction in pollutants due to decreased travel. In Tahoe, it wasn't the air pollution that we noticed had decreased, but rather, how few vehicles were on the road and how quiet our town had become.
As the pandemic continued to limit activities in other places our town became more and more inundated with visitors in need of a mountain escape. The traffic increased and, soon, the roads were as packed as they become on Independence Day Weekends. Before you travel to Tahoe to get yourself a view of our beautiful blue skies take a moment to learn about how to travel safely to and around the basin.
Check out these resouces:
Tahoe Road Trip
Parking In Tahoe
Winter Driving In Tahoe
The Dangers of Parking for Snow Play
Fields of Fluffy Snow
A fresh snowfall leaves everything blanketed in white. It is one of the most quiet times to be outdoors. Walks in the woods, cross country skiing, backcountry tours, and resort adventures are "in." The forest colors and smells are a little different. The beaches have a different feel to them. It can seem like there is endless space for play. It's just magical.
But the Disprespect. . .
Now, I have only lived in Tahoe for a dozen or so years, but I have never seen what I have seen this Winter before. The meadow near my home is a lovely place to enjoy a walk or snow play. There is a small parking lot nearby that provides all you need including bathrooms and baggies for dog poop. Instead of accessing these amenities visitors parked on highway shoulder to access the meadow and even created fires which could have easily gotten out of control and put our homes at risk. Trash from broken sleds, packaging and food was picked up by the pounds.
It's important to look for signage before stopping to take photos, a walk, or play in the snow. If there isn't a parking lot or sign that indicates you can park, don't do it. If you don't see a fire pit you probably shouldn't have one. If there aren't trash cans available be prepared to carry out that which you brought with you. Look for and read the signs posted. They are there to help you know how to respect and protect the area.
All That Open Space
Living in Tahoe is not easy. You have to earn the lifestyle. We pick and choose our days off, where we play, what we do, and who we do it with. Yes, we have secret stashes and hidden spots. Sometimes we choose not to go to a place we love because it's better to allow those who can't always get to it to enjoy it. Timing is everything. We know exactly where to be, when, so we can experience Bliss.
But, the Evidence of Humans. . .
Leave no trace is an important practice. Like staying within the ropes at a ski resort or putting away your toys at home; leaving no trace is a way of demonstrating integrity. Remember those big blue skies and fields of fluffy snow? You can be the one who let's everyone else enjoy them when you leave no trace.
-Carry out your stuff (and whatever else you find that doesn't belong)
-Leave stones, sticks, logs, etc. where they are (unless they are dangerous)
-Leave the snow as it was before you arrived
-Clean up after your pet
Bliss is Everywhere
Bliss can be shared among all of us if we are all considerate of each other wherever we are. Whether you are enjoying the views, playing in the snow, exploring a new spot, or spending time in your favorite place consider how your behavior could be effecting others. Can you make the change to have a positive effect?
If you're seeking more information about planning a trip to Tahoe we're here to help. From experiences to resources and classes to guides our intention is to shared Bliss with you.
Tahoe is a wonderland. Every season creates not only beautiful landscapes, but also new opportunities to get outside and play. For those of us that enjoy playing in the outdoors there are some simple practices we can all engage in to spread cheer all year and everywhere.
In the show “The Crown” the queen educates Margaret Thatcher on proper behavior while stalking a stag. She mentions the importance of dressing properly, speaking quietly, and avoiding wearing perfumes. The same is true for spending time outside while visiting Tahoe.
Before heading outdoors consider your clothing; are you dressed practically for the temperature and weather? Have you dressed up as though going out to dinner or spending time in snow, dirt, and potentially changing weather conditions? Feel free to skip putting on scents that distract from those naturally occurring in the forest and you’ll be able to enjoy the smells of juniper, ponderosa, and sage.
Listen to the Silent Trees
There are so many magical sounds to hear while you are outside. From unique birds to the whisper of the wind and the crunch of snow beneath your feet the opportunity to fully experience the outdoors includes listening.
Leave your personal speaker or stereo at home. If you do choose to listen to music do so with one headphone only. Not only will you be better able to hear the sounds of the next osprey or eagle that flies overhead, you will also be able to hear other people as they approach you.
Leave Only Footprints
As you travel take notice of the naturally occurring flora and fauna around you. Banana and orange trees do not grow in Tahoe. Plastic bottles and wrappings do not grow on any of our plants.
Help to decrease litter in the basin by not only carrying out what you have brought with you, but also by grabbing any trash you find while outdoors. In addition, leave the outdoors outside. Building cairns, taking pinecones, or gathering other items from the forest impacts the basin. Take only photos and leave nature in its place. Leave the place you visited just as it was before you arrived.
Not all parking areas have parking spaces delineated. When parking at a trailhead or in a backcountry access area take a moment to consider the shape, how other cars are parked and how your vehicle can fit while taking up the least amount of space.
It helps to check out the license plates. Look for a car with local plates and take note of how they parked. They may know some unspoken rule and following their example is likely a good choice. Remember to get out of your car cautiously when parking in outdoor access areas and be sure to keep your person, pets, and belongings out of the way of other vehicles. Be considerate and aware of your surroundings at all times. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to turn off the “beep” sound that your car alarm makes when you lock it up.
Share the Space
You are unlikely to be the only person exploring Tahoe’s outdoors. With every step you take, imagine that you are about to walk into a stranger’s home. After all, you aren’t in yours anymore.
While adventuring into this new territory remember that all of the animals and plants call it home. Not only are you likely the only animal in the area, you are probably not the only human. Allow others to enjoy the sights, sounds, and scents.
Show your respect for the wilderness and it will show you it’s magic
We're always happy to share Bliss with you! Allow us to be your guides when you visit Tahoe. Our inside knowledge and connections will make your trip blissful.
Tahoe is a small mountain town. We have limited resources and limited space, but an unlimited love for the outdoors. Our goal at Bliss Experiences is to create connections between local experts and professionals with residents and visitors. Every experience is intended to create Bliss for all.
We create custom curated experiences for luxury wellness seekers. Don't stay in a hotel, get cozy at Black Bear Lodge; a locally owned, bed and breakfast with whom we partner. Sip wine by the fire, tuck into their comfy beds, watch the snow fall on the back yard, and enjoy the company of fellow travelers seeking peace of mind.
LET'S EAT THIS
If you choose to stay at a rental home we can arrange for a personal chef to prepare your foods or one of our favorite caterers to drop off tasty treats. Snacks and treats can be requested during outdoor or indoor experiences. Our services even include taking care of reservations or delivery of food from our favorite local restaurants. No need to read any Yelp reviews or search online. We've tired it all and can recommend the best flavors to suit your taste.
WE'LL DRINK THIS
Tea, smoothies, wine, beer, or spirits are all available by request. Perhaps your mornings require coffee. Your request is ours to honor. We'll arrange to have some to brew from our favorite local roaster, Refuge Coffee. If tea is your thing, allow us to customize yours. Blend Bee Tea is always happy to create custom blends.
An afternoon tasting or evening cocktail hour can make the day just perfect. We'll make the reservation at South Lake Brewing or Idle Hour and you'll receive VIP treatment at our favorite local rooms. If you'd rather stay in or enjoy the space at Bliss we'll set up a private tasting just for you.
WE'RE GOING TO DO THIS
Relax, reset, restore, play, explore, adventure, learn, and grow. There is no limit to the experiences we can create for you. We have some favorites that we know will make your stay amazing. Share your desires with us so we can customize Bliss for you.
Every season opens a new door to adventure. The Summer is our favorite time for being on the water for kayaking and paddling with South Tahoe Stand Up Paddle. Winter paddle tours are for those with experience on the boards. During the autumn we can hike and bike (we'll arrange for those). Winter and Spring are seasons for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and creating.
When tasked with finding the best providers for wellbeing we were totally up for meeting the local providers. Our recommendation is to allow us to book your restorative session. Experience a Private Yoga Session with Lake Tahoe Yoga. Restore with a massage by Tahoe Magic Healing and experience the magic of their locally sourced remedies. We are happy to recommend providers for Reiki, Ayurveda, body treatments, mindfulness practices, and more.
YOU CAN TAKE THIS HOME
You'll have plenty of stories and memories to carry with you when you depart. A tangible reminder of your time might help your mind to revisit often. We know the best local vendors who will create customized trinkets and unique items that you'll be able to enjoy as reminders of your stay.
MAKE YOUR REQUEST
Join our scheduled experiences or request one just for you or your group. We're ready to share Bliss with you.
Travel might not be in the plans, or the budget, but that doesn't mean you can't have Tahoe while staying home. Learn more about our virtual experiences.
Come Together From Afar
Many of us are working from home. With services like Slack, Zoom and Teams making it easy to do our work and connect virtually meetings, training, and team building is changing.
Virtual experiences are customized to meet your needs as a team. We curate the best providers from Tahoe and beyond to help you to bring your team together no matter where you are. We organize everything and host your event on our applications. We can even record your sessions for future use and review.
Avoid the Crowds
Traveling is stressful. The energy, cost, time, and frustration involved in trying to get somewhere can deplete your enthusiasm about where you were headed. Virtual experiences eliminate travel time allowing you to enjoy experiences from home. You can even spend time with friends or family who live internationally without the hefty price of an airline ticket.
Set up your lawn chair or hammock and get ready for guided meditation practices, experiential workshops, and engaging activities. You can practice Yoga along with our guides from your living room, backyard or deck. We'll create a list of materials you'll need to get creative and even cook along with our providers.
Stay Home, Stay Safe, Be Well
If you're not feeling quite your self, but you still want to join in the fun, a virtual experience is a great way to include everyone with reduced risk. Virtual experiences can also be recorded and shared later. Those who are unable to attend in person can watch at a later time.
A wedding video provides you with the opportunity to experience your special day for the rest of your life. Our Virtual Bliss Experiences allow you to do the same with your bachelorette party, birthday celebration, milestone event, family reunion, and countless other reasons for coming together. So, even that person who missed out while sick can feel virtually there.
We Have the Best Views
As curators of experiences we have sought out some of the best spots from which to offer our experiences. We have exclusive access to hidden meadows, cassidyboathouse.com/boathouses and on-water access. We won't be sticking you in a conference room or office space. You'll have the best views of Tahoe while you practice, learn and engage with our providers.
We've become skilled at setting up the perfect shot and know how to adjust our sound and yours to create peaceful practices, engaging conversation, Q & A moments as well as quality workshops and lectures. Your experience can be adjusted to suit the needs and desires of your group.
Experience Virtual Bliss
Our curators have chosen specific topics, experiences and providers that align with the needs of a variety of organizations and groups.
If you're interests lie in quality time and connecting with others on a more personal level then allows us to honor your requests and create a custom experience.
Ready to experience Virtual Bliss? Take the next step and request your experience.
The way in which we celebrate events is changing. Learn about the newest trends when you choose Tahoe Bliss.
We Love Mornings
Since 2011 Lake Tahoe Yoga has been offering Stand Up Paddle Yoga classes in collaboration with South Tahoe Stand Up Paddle. As with any practice, we learn the most when we try things. LTY has offered classes at every time of day and season. They've even guided Full Moon Paddle Yoga and studio owner, Jenay, is often out on a board in the middle of a Winter.
What has been learned from years of experience? The morning is the most blissful time to be out on the water. If you like glassy waters, expansive views, peace and quiet, this is the experience for you. There is no experience necessary, but you must be comfortable with water and have fairly steady balance. Not interested in trying Yoga poses? Book a Stand Up Paddle Tour instead.
Sunset is for Champagne Toasts
In Tahoe you can see the sun rise from the West shore and set from the East. Our favorite evening viewing spot is Nevada Beach. It is the most expansive beach on the lake. There is so much space that everyone can claim their own sandy zone. Most of the beaches around Tahoe are open from sunrise to sunset. We like to arrive early or after dinnertime to avoid the crowds.
Including a trip to the beach to walk, picnic, some relaxation or a Yoga session is a must. No matter the time of year, the beaches in Tahoe beautiful. We recommend an afternoon picnic during the Springtime, catching a Summer sunrise, enjoying an Autumn sunset and a mid-day cross country ski during the Winter.
Toast the Town
The casinos are always a good place to begin. Twenty-four hour fun is available at every turn when you are in the corridor. There is more to see than slot machines and clubs. If you are looking for something different we would be happy to reserve seats for your party at some of our local drinking holes.
We know where to find the best cocktails, tater tots, wine and pizza to suit your pallets. Whether you are looking for a scene to join, a private table, views of the lake or a speakeasy, your wish is our honor to provide.
There's Always Time to Relax
There is magic in those moments of peace, quiet and body treatments. Caring for yourself is just as important as bonding with your buds. When your body feels good you are able to have fun. Celebrating with cocktails and dancing is great, but the recovery can be a bitch. Be sure to plan a follow-up to your party-down. We suggest including pedicures at our favorite local spot, partner facials with a local treatment goddess and a massage by the best therapist in town.
Brighten Your Life with Tahoe Retreat
Tahoe's weather is fairly predictable. From the winds to rain, the sun and snow, we usually know what is going to happen today, tomorrow and even three days in advance. This makes Tahoe a great place to visit when you need a getaway. We can plan, well in advance, the activities that will help you to get out of the hustle and help you reset.
Our Mild Winters
Pack your puffy coat, a cute beanie and your mittens. You won't need much more for your Tahoe Bliss Retreat. Rarely do the Winter temperatures in Tahoe drop below 20* and even when they do, the air is so crisp that you don't get very cold.
You'll warm up easily while we snowshoe, hike or cross country ski. If you want to adventure onto the resort or are more of a cozy fireside type, we'll be sure to schedule based upon you and your group's requests.
Every season is magical. The colors of Winter are some of the best. When the deep green and brown trees are coated in clean white snow, the lake is as calm as glass and the sky the brightest blue you've ever seen, it can be mesmerizing.
Allow us to guide you out onto the beaches and mountains surrounding the lake. Let's take some photos and enjoy the views. We can even wander up to the North Shore and perch atop Chickadee Ridge for a bit.
Relax, Reset & Refuel
Let's sit fireside and enjoy a glass of wine or enjoy a meal with lake views. We can celebrate a milestone with champagne and cheese or crawl from club to club to celebrate your bestie's upcoming nuptuals.
Tahoe's mild Winter weather rarely keeps us indoors. You'll notice that those of us who live here adventure throughout the year. No need to be rugged to explore our playground. We'll create adventures that encourage you to explore while keeping you within a close range to your comfort zone.
For Every Turn. . .Change
Everyone and everything changes. As it does we can choose to fight and battle the change, let go and allow it to take us along for the ride, or steer ourselves through the change with intention. Be careful, it can be easy to get swept up in change. . .
Farewell to a Decade
As I write this blog, two months remain in this decade. 2020 will soon be upon us. Change is happening. For the longest time I assumed that what I had would come again. I blamed my apparent failure upon others. I was angry. . . I still am angry.
I have become driven. As I look toward the future I see how I have been fighting against the changes of the last few years. As I let go of the past, of what I did from my arrival in Tahoe until now: a career, a business, a life all grown from scratch, I realize that the future holds so much I have begun to steer myself through.
Bliss is Available
Tahoe Bliss Retreat Center is more than a place. It is a space for health, healing, well being, adventure, exportation and connection. I want to share with you that which I have learned, all that I love and the best of the basin. As I endeavor to create Tahoe's best retreats for you, I invite you to release your past and steer yourself forward toward whatever it is that lies ahead.
Join me, my friends and local connections for a retreat in Tahoe. Have fun, eat well and enjoy the company of good people. You deserve it.
Jenay Aiksnoras, Experience Curator