TWITL – week twenty-six – my summer break

Last year, I didn’t take any chunks of time off from work during summer break but this year I decided I wanted some time off. Once noon hit on that last Friday in June, I was off for eleven whole days.

latest buy from 1888 Design
earrings from 1888 Design

My vacation started rather lowkey. Lots of tv watching and mostly just lazy stuff. My latest buy from 1888 Design arrived on Monday– earrings! They came just in time for me to bring them on our few days away from home. On Tuesday, I went to the salon for a bang trim and eyebrow wax– my first time going to the salon in over a year without wearing a mask. It felt a little odd at first but it turned out to be indicative of the rest of my vacation.

driving along

Wednesday – We headed out to Lake Tahoe in the morning. We arrived in the early afternoon and had brunch at Emerald Bay Bar and Grill, then took a drive in the hopes of checking out Emerald Bay. Alas, there was no where to park so we headed to the hotel to check in.

view from our room
view from our room at the MontBleu

After we took our stuff to the room at the MontBleu, we walked to South of North Brewing Company for drinks. From there, we walked a bit and stopped in at Flatstick Pub for more drinks. One our way back to the hotel, we stopped at Lake Tahoe Aleworx . We were back to the hotel in the evening and I ended up going to sleep. The altitude and warm weather (and yes, probably the alcohol) definitely wore me down a bit.

Sooo good!
early lunch at the Lucky Beaver

Thursday was our one full day at Lake Tahoe. We started it off at the Lucky Beaver for an early lunch. The burger I had (pictured above) was really good! After eating, we decided to head out to Carson City for a change of venue. We knew we wouldn’t be gone too long since we had dinner reservations.

The Fox Brewpub
The Fox Brewpub

The drive to Carson City wasn’t too long and the city itself just seemed to appear. It didn’t look like much until we got into the historic area of the city. We stopped in at the Fox Brewpub for drinks then decided to check out the Nevada State Museum.

the mine at the museum

I enjoyed the museum. It had an interesting mix of things like a mine in the basement, coins that were once made there, historical artifacts. It was a lovely way to pass the time and learn a few things about the history of the state.

the lovely view

On our way back to Lake Tahoe, we stopped off so that we could enjoy the view and take some pictures. It really was rather beautiful there, though the weather was a lot warmer than I expected though this was probably the first time I’d been to Lake Tahoe in the summer.

mmm, wine

We had dinner at the hotel, at Ciera Steak and Chop House. It was a bit fancy but super nice. Dinner was delicious and filling and the service was excellent. I would definitely recommend it.

on our way out

The next morning, we packed up and headed out. We originally planned to go straight home after our couple of days away but then Tyler Rich announced a show in Folsom and I thought, hey, why don’t we go to Folsom for his show, stay the night, then head home? The husband was cool with that idea so as soon as the tickets went on sale, I bought a pair then he booked us a night at a nearby (walking distance!) hotel.

chicken salad

We passed some time before checking in at the hotel by walking down Sutter Street. We had a light lunch at a cute place called Reset: Cafe by Day. The chicken salad was very good and the mimosa was delicious. After lunch, we walked a bit further and found the Folsom Hotel, which was the venue for Tyler’s show.

Tyler on the window!
found the Folsom Hotel and fliers for Tyler’s shows on the window…

We checked in at the Lake Natoma Inn, cooled off a bit, then headed out for a drink at the nearby Folsom State Slickers. After our drinks, we walked to the Folsom Hotel for the 4PM show. The music was going to be outside (it had been inside the previous night), which was a good thing even though it was blazing hot. I found a place up front and stayed there until the end.

Elana Jane
Elana Jane

Elana Jane was the opening act. I confess, I’d never heard of her but she was a treat to watch. Good voice, good songs. I enjoyed her performance. It’s always cool discovering local talents when they come back to entertain…

Tyler Rich
Tyler with Joe, Tyler, and Ben…

Tyler Rich is always going to be one of my favorites. He’s gotten so good on stage and he always sounds great. When he started his set, it didn’t feel like almost two years ago since we last saw him. When he saw us, he gave us a little extra smile and of course, my heart warmed. It was great being so close to the stage (bales of hay gave a bit of a separation) and everything sounded good. I love acoustic shows though I might have missed hearing real drums.

Tyler Rich

Tyler played most of his more recent songs but there were a couple of “oldies” mixed in, like “California Grown” and “Turn It Up.” I loved hearing them all! It was great to finally hear “Better Than You’re Used To” live, as well as “Real Love” (one of my personal favorites). The songs played, according to the playlist, were:

  • 11:11
  • Turn It Up
  • Real Love
  • Heaven is Your Hometown
  • Billie Jean (cover)
  • Feels Like Home
  • Better Than You’re Used To
  • Have You Ever Seen the Rain (cover)
  • The Difference
  • Made for a Small Town
  • California Grown
  • Boot Scootin’ Boogie (cover)
  • Leave Her Wild

It was so great being outside, singing along to Tyler’s songs with other fans. Sure, it was HOT but the music and the energy just pushed that away for a bit. The 4PM show was all ages so it wasn’t too wild. It was just good fun. Sabina was in the crowd, singing along and interacting with everyone. When our eyes met, I think we probably both lit up and she made her way to me and we hugged and told each other how much we missed one another. She is really such a sweetheart. It always makes me so happy to see her.

with Sabina
She’s just so lovely!

After Tyler’s set, Sabina and I chatted a little and took some selfies. She’s so cool. I really do love seeing her and having those little moments. How is someone so genuinely sweet like her?

with Tyler
with Tyler

There was another show at 8PM and everyone at the 4PM show who kept their wristbands on would be able to check out the evening show (since it was outside and not inside as previously planned). I wasn’t sure that we’d come back so I had to take my chance to say hello to Tyler before we left. We hugged and he asked after the hubby (who was up at the bar). I told him I had left my letter to him back at the hotel and he told me that I had to come back for the second show. We took our pictures together (because of course).

Mutton Busters!
Mutton Busters!

Our next stop was the Folsom Pro Rodeo. We ordered an Uber that took FOREVER and we thought we were late but we got to the rodeo just before it started. It was full! We headed to our seats just in time to watch the National Anthem. The big drama was during the opening when the rider holding the California state flag was bucked off her horse and landed badly. They had to use the stretcher to take her out! It was a little scary but she seemed aware though in obvious pain.

Tyler in JumboVision
Cowboy Karaoke with Tyler

Tyler was there! He did the Cowboy Karaoke then the Painted Ladies came out to entertain us with some great riding. The last thing we saw was the Mutton Busting. It was so darn cute! A girl won, staying on the longest. She was so good!

winner of the mutton busting

We left after the mutton busting with the thought of maybe catching Tyler’s evening show. We stopped in again at the Folsom Hotel and we were definitely in time to watch Tyler but we were hungry and hot and decided to go across the street and eat some burritos. After dinner, we walked back to the hotel.

We were on the road the next morning and back home before the afternoon. Isn’t it funny how you always want to get away but when you’re back home, it feels like such a relief?

4th of July plate

For 4th of July, we headed to Pleasant Hill for hanging out with the cousins then watching fireworks from up their hill. It was great doing something “normal” and just talking and eating and drinking together. I love that we can watch the fireworks from behind their house, on a hill. We get to be together without a bunch a strangers around us. Always such a good time and even better because no one had to work the next day!


And now it’s Tuesday morning, my last day of vacation. It was so great not having to wake up to an alarm all this time. I really did enjoy being away and checking out new places. I thought it would feel weird not wearing a mask but I got over it pretty quickly (though I kept a mask on me just in case) and it all just felt “normal.” I’m glad that Tyler was our first show since lockdown. I loved hanging out with my cousins and just relaxing and talking with them. All good times.


If you actually made it through this whole post, good on you!

Take care and be well, dear reader. Stay safe. You know the drill…