Don't Just Go On An Oblivious Fool
You're Not Alone in this World
How often do you look around at your fellow humans and just observe them? I try my best to put away my phone and, instead, look around. It helps that most of the time I am in a place where what is to be seen around me is way more interesting that whatever is on my phone. The beauty of Lake Tahoe is enough to draw almost everyone's attention.
What are you doing? What are the people around you doing? Why are you and they doing that? I find myself asking this question more often lately. It seems, to me, that more people are just doing whatever they want to do regardless of the effect it is having on those around them. Is this because humans are becoming less compassionate, empathetic and generally oblivious?
My husband and I enjoy traveling to places where we can connect with the local community as well as having space to explore on our own. One of our favorite locations is the Bahamas. During our first trip there we met the local fishermen who cooked us food and shared their homes with us. During our most recent trip we were famous before we arrived because our friends who were sailing around the island had let everyone know we were coming. I love traveling to the Bahaman islands because we are allowed to disconnect from technology and reconnect with our fellow humans.
No matter where you choose to travel, try doing so without the use of technology. Are you willing to take a walk or run around the area to get your bearings? Do you read the local newspaper and talk to the staff and owners of the local shops? If Lake Tahoe is a place you wish to visit or head to often, try this approach rather than using Google. You're likely to feel a stronger connection to the area.
Consider Your Impact
What you're doing impacts others. Your car, your body, your trash, your words all effect others. When you're driving in a new place and are trying to wayfind, get out of the way. Tahoe residents, in particular, will appreciate the consideration. Remember that every town has residents and workers that are trying to get to and from their homes, errands and work. They know the way and if you can get out of their's everyone will have a more pleasant experience.
It's fine to be a tourist. Stop, look, wonder, explore, enjoy and soak it all in. Before you do so, look around and consider if the place where your stopping will block or inhibit someone else from enjoying their experience. Be considerate of they way in which others are using the space you share. Consider not only the space you take up, but also the volume of your voice and the impact your presence is having on the space. Can you enter wihtout impact and leave no trace departing with only photos?
There's a Place and a Time
Spending time with friends and having fun is THE BEST! There is, however, a time and a place for everything. For example, we all know that the casino scene is almost always a party scene. Loud music, boisterous crowds, crazy behavior and wild parties are acceptable in that zone. The hike to the top of a high peak or well popular viewpoint is not the place for a speaker and shots. The majority of the people exploring the outdoors are seeking peace, tranquility and the opportunity to enjoy the sounds of nature.
Whether you're out on the resort skiing, wandering a well known trail, walking your dog or shopping for keepsakes consider the decorum expected in the area. These are the times to keep to yourself and be considerate of others. Look around you, listen to the sounds of the area and people, consider the impact you want to have on others. Quiet your music, silence your phone and be present.
P.S. Dog poop doesn't melt, so pick it up because the snow will.
To be "woke" is to be knowledgeable about whatever is going on. Before traveling to the Bahamas we researched the best way to get there, what we needed to pack, the value of renting a car, how to rent a car, proper driving etiquette, where the local market is located, which spots are the most recommended, expected behaviors and more. We do the same regardless of where we are traveling. We like to be woke before we arrive so we can be respectful while we're there.
There are times when you can't help not knowing. Those are the times when asking questions is invaluable. Do your best, before you travel, to lean as much as you can about the expectations and practices of the community. Just as travel to France is much easier if you speak French, so is visiting Lake Tahoe if you know that we have a turning lane so you can move out of the way rather than hold up traffic and that there is a certain etiquette for hiking, skiing, snowshoeing and biking. If you don't know, ask someone, so that you can make better choices. A great example is understanding the impact of snow or rain upon travel conditions or how wind effects the lake will help you to be more aware and make better choices while visiting.
Don't just go on an oblivious fool. Be here, now. Be present. Have fun. Participate. If we're all in this together, we'll all get to enjoy it. Before and during your travels consider the impact you wish to have on the place you're visiting. Can you depart with memories and photos while leaving what's there just as it was before you arrived? Can you be the type of visitor that chooses to be forgotten?
Tahoe is full of boss babes. When you're out on the town seeking the best things to see, places to go and spots to hit up keep these fabulous female businesses in mind.
Wildwood Makers Market
Wildwood is not only woman owned, but also supports local and independent makers as well as artists. Lisa, the owner, keeps Wildwood's Instagram feed up to date with the latest arrivals and fabulous finds she's discovered. You'll find coloring books, greeting cards, jewelry, stickers and more creatively displayed throughout the store.
Tahoe residents and visitors will find unique gifts for friends and family (and maybe yourself). You'll discover local artists like Ellen Nunes, Lisa Michele Studios, Bella Drops and Mountain Love Pottery. I've never failed to find the perfect gift and, often, something for myself when I've visited.
Since Tahoe sits on the line between Nevada and California there are a variety of dispensaries to choose from in the area. Only one is woman owned. Christy Wilson owns Embarc Tahoe and has committed to ensuring the cannabis ecosystem remains open and diverse. They prioritize shelf space for BIPOC, female, social equity, LGBTQIA+ and small and locally farmed brands, leveraging their platform to amplify their voices with consumers.
Embarc donates 1% of all sales in perpetuity to a local Community Investment Fund. This fund is directed by a Community Advisory Board – a group of local residents and community leaders that ensure they're focused on meeting the community’s needs.
Whether seeking a recreational experience or treatment for discomforts or ailments, visit Embarc and meet their incredible team who live right here in Lake Tahoe.
High Mountain Greenery
Did you know that plants in your home can help you to breathe better and feel healthier? They look pretty, too. Knowing how to care for indoor plants is important for their health and yours.
Drea approaches plant care and design with intention; ensuring plants & people alike thrive. From children’s Paint’n’Pot" parties to "Pot and Sip" events she creatively introduces people to plants and vice versa. You can visit the shop, book private consultations and catch them at the local farmer's markets.
From plant walls to succulent displays and living arrangements to business displays, HMG bring greenery to Tahoe in unique and beautiful ways. Drea curates a conscious botanical bazaar, growing community and the interconnection of flora, fauna & fungi.
Everyone knows that Tahoe is for dogs. There are few places you can go in the basin where you won't run into a four-legged friend. Visit any resident's home and they might have a few, and a cat or two, as well. If you plan on bringing your pet with you on some Tahoe adventures you're going to need supplies.
Julie Shaw, who owns Earthwise Pet Tahoe, has developed quite a following. Earthwise is a local neighborhood Pet Nutrition Center & Wellness Spa. They specialize in natural pet foods, raw foods, treats, toys, litter, leashes & collars. They also offer both a pet wash and grooming for all the dogs including my friend Baxter, a labradoodle with a wild coat.
Next time you and your pup or feline are at the Crossing at the Y, stop in for a treat. You're sure to find something that makes tails wag.
South Lake Brewing
You bet Tahoe has a brewery owned by a woman! I can't say enough about how much Nicole Smith and South Lake Brewing rock. Nicole is the co-founder and vice president of SLBC. She and her husband & fellow beer-lover, Chris Smith, have not only provided jobs for locals, but also support organizations in the area, and they host incredible events. From fundraisers to food trucks and parties to live music there is always something happening at SLBC.
Nicole thought she was going to enter into a career in engineering, but always wanted to start her own business in Tahoe. In 2017 South Lake Brewing opened and has continued to grow as a community meeting spot and provider of craft beers ever since. If you're seeking some hoppy libations and a connection with the locals pop in for a pint and grab a seat on one of their picnic tables.
Why Mountain Bikers Should Do Yoga
Check out the posturing of any athlete and you might be able to identify the activity they engage in the most. Road cyclists have developed calves and glutes. Tennis players have one arm that is more developed than the other. Horseback riders have developed hips.
What about mountain bikers? A forward chest, developed legs and arms. When I see a mountain biker's body all I want to do is help them adjust so they can stand in an upright position. Like so many activities we engage in on a daily basis mountain biking requires front body strength which can create muscular imbalances among our front and back bodies.
Yoga is a practice of, first, establishing awareness of our postural habits. A well trained guide will help you to become aware of the muscles you tend to contract as well as those you lengthen more often than others. Consistently practicing engaging in complimentary movements or "opposite process" will help you to become more physically harmonious so that you can keep riding for the rest of your life.
Develop Core Strength
You might not realize it, but you may be ignoring some of the most powerful muscles in your body while you're riding. I find mountain biking to be incredibly challenging. This is mostly due to my lack of upper abdominal strength. My lower abs are really strong, but my upper abdominal muscles aren't quiet as powerful. When I get on my bike I can feel this weakness.
I've seen plenty of mountain bikers who rely on their arms to do the work on the bike. As they climb they are pumping up and down like they're doing a push-up on the handle bars. When they descend, they muscle the bike around corners and over obstacles. Building strength in your core through a variety of Yoga postures is key to feeling more in control of your body and bike while riding. It can help you to reduce the work in your arms so that you don't get fatigued and can ride longer and more challenging terrain.
Bike geometry has certainly improved over time offering more balanced bikes, more travel, increased wheel sizes and more. Whether you are developing new skills or adjusting to a new bike balance can be what keeps you on the bike or dumps you off. Developing steadiness in your body and awareness of your breath can help you to remain calm and focused while riding even when on a new trail, in tricky terrain or while getting comfortable on a new bike.
Lake Tahoe Yoga guides practices in RajaHatha Yoga. What does that mean? Every movement is combined with a breath. Learning to breathe to move when going through poses on the mat can help you to do so while on your bike. If you can keep a calm and steady breath while balancing on one foot or moving through a flowing sequence of postures, you can likely do the same while climbing over rocks or riding a log.
At the end of every Yoga practice we rest on our mats in savasana (corpse posture). The intention is to offer an opportunity to "soak it all in." Your body has been moved, manipulated, adjusted, engaged, stretched and balanced. As you lay on the earth you get an opportunity to relax physically, energetically and, maybe, mentally.
Translating this sense of tranquility onto your bike can help you to feel more calm and at ease while riding. If you take the time to stretch and prepare before and after you ride, include a moment to sit or lay down and consider your ride. What do you hope to accomplish? What are you proud of? What are you going to work on next time?
Some of you may be into riding with music in your ears. You do you. Just make sure that you're also aware of what is going on around you. There are more people out mountain biking than ever. Sharing the trails means knowing the rules and being considerate of others. Your bliss experience may include your favorite playlist. Other's may find bliss through peace and quiet.
In a group class we have to consider how our actions might effect others. Falling over and onto your neighbor's mat could disrupt the entire group. Chatting with your friend would be distracting. Snoring during savasana might disrupt others, but it might also be out of your control. Hey, if you're tired, you're tired.
Yoga philosophy discusses practices that are for ourselves and that help us to be considerate of others. Many can be applied to mountain biking: be honest, be helpful, share, take only what you need, practice moderation, be content with what you have, learn from every experience and leave things as they were.
Ride Like a Local
Want to learn more about mountain biking in Lake Tahoe? The Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) brings the community together through rides, trail development and maintenance, mtb events and more.
Need guidance and gear for riding? Tahoe Sports LTD is one of Tahoe's best shops staffed with local pros who know about mountain biking from tires to trails.
Are you a mountain biker who wants to try Yoga? Lake Tahoe Yoga is a supporter of TAMBA and offers classes for you.
Do you travel to ride? LocalFreshies.com features articles and videos about the best places to ride and how to "Be a local wherever you go."
Winter Bliss in Tahoe for Non-Skiers
No need to step into ski or snowboard boots to enjoy Lake Tahoe in the wintertime. Check out some of our favorite Winter Bliss activities during your visit to the basin.
Restore Body & Mind
It's okay to take some rest during your visit to Lake Tahoe. A mini-retreat that includes massage, healing, mindfulness practices, and self care can work wonders for your body, energy and mind. Visit BioSpirit Day Spa for treatments that pamper your body. If you're seeking a deep energy healing massage we recommend Tahoe Magic Healing. Heidi's healing treatments address your body with natural healing salves and balms. You'll feel a full energetic reset after your treatment.
Bliss Experiences collaborates with BioSpirit and Tahoe Magic Healing to create min-retreats. Reserve our space or request that we curate treatments for you with our providers for a personalized day of pampering. Book a Yoga practice with Lake Tahoe Yoga, a mindfulness session, body treatment and energy healing for yourself or your group.
Cozy Spots for Cocktails
So, we're not just going to stick to cocktails here, but the alliteration was too cute not to use it as a title. Tahoe definitely knows how to party. From wine tasting to fresh brews there are a few local spots we recommend visiting if you're into imbibing spirits.
Our favorite place for freshly brewed beers is South Lake Brewing Company. Every visit is a chance to try something new. They are always experimenting with new flavors and styles of brewing. There is usually a food truck or caterer serving up warm bites. Check out their Events Calendar to discover new music, trivia knowledge and Bingo nights.
Improve your palette during a Food & Drink Experience or Wine Tasting at Bliss Experiences. Master Distiller of Sipsong Gin, Tara Jasper is always excited to share her knowledge and specialty cocktails during our Ginication events. If you want a private tasting we can arrange it. Our monthly Bliss Food & Wine: Dare to Pair experiences are a great way to meet new people. If you want to bond with your buds or get your family together for a special event we recommend requesting a private experience with Laura Uncorked, our house sommelier.
Make Tracks in the Snow
If you’re up for an on-the-snow adventure and a fitness-focused activity Tahoe Jacks offers both snowshoe and cross country ski tours. You’ll get to enjoy the views from above or at lake level, experience the peace and serenity of Tahoe’s forests, and make tracks alongside those left by the forest critters.
If you’re visiting Lake Tahoe to get away from the hustle of work, the city, or the daily grind we recommend reserving our guide, Felix, for a Forest Bathing Session. Spend some quality time looking upward at the towering trees, gaze upon bluebird skies, breathe in the juniper and sage. Felix will manage the time and knows the way. A walk in the woods can do you good.
Grab Some Local Gear
Lake Tahoe residents have a certain sense of pride about the basin. If you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that the shape of the lake, Nevada, and California are used just about everywhere. Visit Rise Designs for custom imagery created here in South Lake Tahoe. At On Tahoe Time you can buy home décor imprinted with the shape of lake and candles scented to match the mountains. Jonelle, owner of Lovin’ Lake Tahoe, is always adding new items to the collection that features Lake Tahoe with a heart in the center. If you stop in at Gailicious or Wildwood you can pick up jewelry, clothing and other locally made wares as gifts or keepsakes. You never know what keepsake you’ll discover or fabulous gifts you’ll find to bring home.
At Bliss Experiences we collaborate with Tahoe's best professionals and small businesses. If you're seeking something specific reach out to us for suggestions of places to go, people to know, and experiences to be had. We're ready to curate your custom experience while you are in Lake Tahoe.
Visiting Lake Tahoe during the Fall opens the door to places and experiences often too busy or inaccessible during the Summer and Winter. Leaf your stress behind when you join Bliss Experiences this Autumn.
Today is a Great Day to Begin Practicing Yoga
Bliss Food & Wine Experiences: Dare to Pair
There’s a perfect pairing for every meal, and Dare to Pair seminars will teach you how to find it, whether you’re craving a classic steak au poivre or spicy Thai takeout. In each interactive tasting event, learn the basic science behind food and drink pairings before experimenting with classic and innovative combinations. Discover the nuances of your palate, how childhood nostalgia affects even our most refined tastes, and learn how to create perfect pairings at home to suit any meal or event.
Bathe in the Forest
Taking a walk in an unfamiliar forest, on new trails, with limited time
can be more stressful than relaxing.
Join our guide; Felix. He knows the way along the path and will manage time so you can wander the woods and truly enjoy our alpine forest. Relinquish control over where and when you are. Instead, bathe in the sounds, smells, and energy of the mountains. Felix will share his knowledge of the outdoors while allowing you the time to reconnect with nature and your Self.
Relax Body & Mind
Reiki & Sound Healing is offered as a virtual experience you can tune into from anywhere. With the provided link you can attend from the comfort of your home and don't need to worry about logging out. If you drift away into a peaceful place you can remain there knowing you don't have to leave.
Harpist Anne Roos, longtime resident of South Lake Tahoe, follows the Siddha Yoga meditation path and has improvised live music to accompany relaxing yoga classes. Each session includes mindfulness instructions followed by relaxing harp music, and then a closing reflection.
Tour Tahoe from the Water
Confident Paddlers can enjoy the glassy waters of Tahoe all year long during our Stand Up Paddle Board Tours. Private Tours are available as long as the winds and weather permit. Experience Tahoe without boats and experience bliss on the water.
Retreats, Wellbeing, Yoga
We Create Custom Curated Experiences for Renewal and Reconnection
Our mission is to connect you with the best small businesses and professionals we can find who are passionate about Lake Tahoe, nature, and self care. Before you travel to the basin check out our curated experiences, customizable retreats, and connected providers.
We look forward to sharing Bliss Experiences with you.
It's most likely that during your trip to Lake Tahoe you will be provided service by the people who work and live here. Use these Lake Tahoe travel tips to help make your vacation the best one ever.
Patience Must Be Practiced
So much has changed in Lake Tahoe since the pandemic began. Businesses had to close due to loss of income and staff. Workers had to leave due to lack affordable housing. Employees who used to travel from abroad were prevented from arriving. We've had to learn how to provide the services and experiences we offer with fewer staff and supplies.
Be patient with us. If you are attempting to reserve or book an experience allow us the time to get back to you. It is likely that we are on another call or engaging with someone else when you call or email. Assume that your food might take a bit longer to be prepared or delivered. We're all doing our best to do all of the things that need to get done to make your vacation amazing.
Give Everyone Space
The practice of six feet of distance and shifting to virtual engagement has put us all in a new mindset. Lines appear longer and, with more people out and about, wait times have increased. On-demand may have made some of us more demanding. Many people are so happy to be freed from the restrictions of lockdown that they want to take advantage and make up for all that was missed.
Give us space to prepare your experience. Whether you are dining or boating, attending a Yoga class or parasailing adventure, going for a bike ride or relaxing on the beach, we're gathering the materials and setting up the space for you to enjoy.
Make sure you read all the information given to you when you book or before you depart for your location. Schedule additional time for travel and finding the business. Arrive tend minutes early prepared to wait until they are ready for you. Listen to all the instructions and directions. Give us the space to create an incredible experience.
Know Before You Go
Many of the experiences offered in Lake Tahoe are offered by professionals. Those that have survived over time are probably doing things right. Although you might find someone offering something new and even cheaper be aware before booking.
Did you know that charter boat captains on Lake Tahoe should be licensed by the Coast Guard? Concession permits are required on public lands. Massage therapists are regulated and all businesses should be licensed. Although many are, some services offered in Lake Tahoe are not following the rules.
Before booking any experience do your research. Make sure that you are receiving a legitimate service from a licensed company. Reach out and ask questions beforehand. Call around and compare answers before reserving or booking. By doing so you not only protect yourself, you protect the businesses that have done things right.
Keep Your Host Happy
If you're traveling to Tahoe for a celebration we are ready for you. Experiences like Tahoe Tastings, Tahoe Club Crawl, Private Yoga, Lake Tahoe Boat Rides, and Dare to Pair are designed for groups. We want to help you have fun during your visit.
Help us help you have the best time. You know your group better than we do. It's important that you consider your group's dynamics before you book as well as before you arrive. Make sure there is someone in the group who will step up and manage things before the situation gets out of control. Be prepared to tell your captain or guide that your group can't go on. When you take responsibility for yourself and your group you help us to focus on our job of managing the experience.
Before you called, filled out that form, or emailed to request your reservation time, energy, planning, and money went into creating your experience. This blog is a representation of the constant work and attention that Lake Tahoe businesses put in to the experience you receive.
Yes, everyone providing a service should be tipped. If you are being guided by the owner of the Yoga studio, led by the developer of the bar crawl, photographed by the owner of the company, it is a demonstration of their dedication to the business as a whole and their presence in it. They are just as deserving of recognition for the work they are doing as the teacher, chaperone, or server that they hire to support their business.
Know You're Not the Only One
Around 15 million people visit Lake Tahoe every year. That means we provide services to thousands of people. By the time you arrive in the basin we have probably said the same thing thousands of times. We have waited for thousands of minutes. We have answered the same question with the same response a thousand or more times. These repetitions can wear us down.
It may be your first time Forest Bathing. Maybe you're a beginner paddle boarder. This could be your first wine tasting. Remember that you're not the first first-timer we've guided. If the experience is not rated for beginners, don't sign up. If it's clearly stated that beginners are welcome trust that your guide knows what to do.
Your guide may not be all sunshine and rainbows when you arrive. Their job is not to be your friend, it is to create an experience. This could be the thousandth time they are doing it. They may be fatigued from working the previous day. Perhaps they are just having a tough go of it at the moment. Before you judge them or write a nasty review take a moment to remember that you aren't the only one they've served. If your service provider truly fails at their job be sure to let the manager or owner know how they fell short.
To learn more about what we offer and our providers at Bliss Experiences visit our website. Request a private event or reserve your space for a curated offering.
Jenay Aiksnoras, Experience Curator