Wakeboarding, s’mores and hiking: My weekend getaway to Lake Tahoe

Photo of Lake Tahoe sunset
jackie amendola/Staff

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With the excitement of classes starting to fade and the reality of nonstop Zoom calls and assignments settling in, I was already craving a break from it all. I decided I needed to physically escape my apartment and Berkeley, to be fully refreshed. I convinced a couple of friends that we all could use a getaway, and we decided Lake Tahoe would be the perfect destination.

Even just one hour into our drive, the tall, beautiful trees made us feel like we were already immersed in a whole new environment. The sun was out, and the smoke was gone — a welcome change from the Bay Area smoke. We arrived at our adorable Airbnb and were ready to start planning the rest of our weekend jampacked with activities. On any short weekend trip, planning is vital to making sure you really make the most of your limited time there.

We walked to the local coffee shop and got to planning. We decided Saturday would be our adventurous lake day and Sunday would be spent enjoying all the serene nature that Tahoe has to offer.  We were able to find a boat we could rent for the day for a reasonable price and booked it immediately. Then we found the perfect hike for Sunday and called it a day. 

That night, we played games, made s’mores and enjoyed each other’s company — free from the smog and homework that had been bringing us down.  My favorite part of the whole trip was sitting outside and scoping out the stars together. There’s always something so centering and inspiring about looking into the vast sky sprinkled with stars. 

The next day, we woke up bright and early, ready to take on the water. Thankfully, one of my friends had their boating license, so we could safely ride and partake in wakeboarding and tubing. As a first-time wakeboarder, I just have to say that it’s way harder than it looks. And even though I never truly stood up, it was still such a fun experience pushing myself to try something new!

The second day of our trip involved much less falling and was overall a much more relaxing experience, to say the least. We went on a two-hour hike through the gorgeous trees that overlooked the sparkling water. We had a photo shoot at the top and had so much fun reminiscing old times while we trekked up the mountain. 

When we headed back to Berkeley later that evening, I felt like a new person. Sometimes a break from everything that is piling up is just what you need to keep pushing through it. Whether it’s a weekend getaway or even just a long walk to clear your head, getting away from the space where you now eat, sleep and work can be crucial. If you’ve been wanting to take a break, plan a getaway or do something to clear your head, go do it! This is your official sign.

Jackie Amendola is a deputy blog editor. Contact her at [email protected].