"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Home is Where the Heart is ..................Challenge of Travel

Welcome to Erin Prais-Hintz of Tresori Trovati's  Travel of Challenge.  My name is Kelly Hosford Patterson and I'm going to be your tour guide today.  

  I was born in  Canoga Park, California, but I really don't remember much about it. I moved away from there when I was five years old.

    I grew up in Canyon Country, California. One of several small towns incorporated and now known as the City of Santa Clarita.
    I lived there for fourteen years, but I never much cared for the place. A little too "boonies" for my taste. I am definitely a city girl. And the place doesn't even exist as it did back then anyway. I don't even recognize where I am when I visit. There are now level housing tracks where there used to be rolling hills spattered with ancient oak trees. It makes me kinda sad, really.

    I happened to end up in Long Beach, California upon my life's journey. It's a City..... but probably not the one I would have chosen. I'd lean more toward San Francisco or Manhattan if I had a choice.

 So instead I bring to you my vacation Home.    

 My Home away from Home.

                        My Home where my Heart is. 

Welcome to Lake Tahoe!
Lake Tahoe
    It was named by the Washoe Indians who once lived here, meaning Big Water
    Known as "the lake in the sky". It's the largest Alpine Lake in North America, and the second deepest lake in the united states. It used to be clear up to 100 feet deep. Unfortunately, the logging and mining that took place in it's boom era, and the mismanagement of vehicular use in the basin today have polluted it. Now the clarity is only to about 50 feet deep. 
    Still amazing beautiful!
    It's so vast that it even has it's own "Lockness Monster" type legend, known as "Tahoe Tessie".
D.L. Bliss
  This is a hidden beach near Sugar Pine point in D.L. Bliss State Park. It is accessible only by boat, or hiking in several miles on the Rubicon Trail. We had a picnic on this beach once years ago. I've hiked this a couple of times actually. Almost 7 miles long from highway 89.
   It's mostly level running along the lakes shoreline from Vikingholm Castle in Emerald Bay and around Sugar Pine Point and ending at D.L. Bliss statepark campground.
    The beginning or the end is a steep climb out. Worth every step though. It's the only time in my life I've ever seen an Eagle fly.... 

    Vikingsholm Castle is an excellent place to start, with a tour of the 38 room mansion built in 1929. Vikingsholm along with the Tea House on Fannette Island are part of Emerald Bay state park.
    The Island was home to a hermit from 1863-1873, lending a little fun folklore.
    My Aunt Virginia tells stories of having tea parties with the Erhmine children when she was a girl. They went by boat into Emerald Bay for supplies and my aunt would play there while her father did the shopping.  

There's a lot of history
 for my family in this place.  

   This is My Clan. 

    My dad's family actually owned Meeks Bay resort back in it's hay day. This was in the time of the "all inclusive" resort. 
    People would arrive at the lake by train, that went straight out to the dock, where they would board a steamboat ferry to their resort location, and happily stay put for a week. 
    There were cabins and a mess hall, and a dance hall, a beautiful beach, and a marina full of ski boats, stables near by and I believe there might have even been a bowling alley. 
    If you really needed some more action you could take a boat across the lake to the casinos.
    What more could you ask for.  
    For probably the first 10 years of his life my father lived there half the year. From May until October they lived at the resort, and in the off season they moved back down to Southern California. 
    I believe it was when World War 2 started that they stopped spending the season at the lake. My grandfather, who was an electrical engineer, went back to work at Lockheed. 
    Meek's Bay is now state owned land and the resort is managed by the local Washoe Tribe. 
    The marina that my cousin dredged is still there, as well as the cabins and uncle George's house out on the point. 
    The dance hall, and the mess hall, and all the bells and whistles are long gone, but the beautiful beach is still the same, and memories remain....

    Meeks Bay is located in Tahoma, California. Tahoma actually means "Home Away From Home"

The Gathering Place...

    Once the gathering place of the Washoe Tribe, this is now our gathering place.
    My aunt Ginge joined us at the beach this year. I love listening to the stories she tells of my granddad. I never met him. My dad was just a teen when he passed. He probably didn't know him well either. His sister is older, and has a lot more memories to share.
    She told a story of how her father gave her the lake for her birthday the year she turned 8. They were snowed in early, and he couldn't buy her a present. He wanted her to have something that no one could ever take away from her.
Life's a Beach!
    This current family gathering started happening about 15 years ago.
    Riding along on life's crazy current, we all ended up in different places; Washington, Maine, Utah, Connecticut, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Texas, Switzerland, you name it.....and very far removed.
    This trip was trip was conceived to reconnect. It was an absolute success, and has grown beyond measure. Two sets of grandparents, three generations, and growing every year. Not everyone makes it every year. It isn't easy to coordinate 25 people, but we certainly try our best.
Mermaid Tales...
Building Sand Castles...
     There's always something fun and exciting to do. Activities change every year, depending on the age of the crowd. 
    Somethings are timeless, like a day at the beach, building sand castles, and rowing the kids around. 

There are simple pleasures like trips to the nature center on the "Jolly Trolley".

There are marshmallow roasts...
S'more Please

and learning to skip stones....
Skipping Stones

and connecting with nature. 
Getting in Touch with Nature...

There are more adventurous (and more expensive) outings like horseback riding.
Pony rides for the little ones.

We go rafting on the Truckee river.
Row, Row, Row your Boat....
  A slow 5 mile drift down stream really, playing football and Frisbee between the boats. Complete with water fights and lots of snack stops along the way to play in the river. 

    At 6,225 ft elevation, sunscreen is an absolute must here. I learned that the hard way, as a stubborn teenager, trying to get that perfect tan. I was in pain for a month.
Learning to Drive

    We've rented speed boats and jet skis, and even gone para-sailing over the years.

There's art and crafts...

          fun and games.

We celebrate birthdays...
Happy Birthday to You...
and new arrivals. 
Uh oh! Looks Like it's Nap Time.

    This year we celebrate an engagement announcement and a new little one on the way. Yeah!
    We also have another little one due anytime now, that I sure hope to see here next summer.
    3, 5, and 7 months in this picture. What a difference.
                   We just can't get enough of those babies. : )

Relaxing in the Shade...

But mostly we just relax in the shade, enjoy each other's company and reconnect as a family. There's a lot to catch up on.
Getting Re-Acquainted 
Now, none of us live here, mind you. I wish I did. This is my grandmother's vacation home where we stay.
But when I get homesick, this is the place I miss. This is the place that my heart goes. The place where I can get centered and re-connect.
The Lake even has a certain smell to it. I notice it when I unpack my bags at home. A combination of sunscreen mixed with the sand and the fresh air, and the alpine meadows that the snow melt runs through as it makes it's way down stream. A combination like nowhere else on earth. It's the smell of Heritage and History and Home.
Enjoying the View...

    So, now that you've fallen in love with my family home too.....
                  Let's get on with the art part.
Gone Fishin'...

    There have been a few early morning fishing expeditions over the years...........

     I actually started this necklace at the lake years ago. I didn't get very far, so it sat packed in it's travel kit for a long time. This year when I was packing in a hurry....."oh look-pre-packed jewelry kits- score!"
    I'm a night owl, and this crowd turns in early (for me). That's the perfect time for a little beading.

    The main focal bead is a 1 inch clear glass bead with a Chinese brush painting of a Koi pond scene inside the glass bead. It'ssandwiched between 2 corrugated copper beads, and dangles with "the catch of the day".          
    A strand of fish beads of carved Agate, Czech glass, copper and Italian mesh are accented by beads of blue and orange Challcedony, mother of pearl disc,Aquamarine, Carnelian, vintage green lustre glass beads, and pearls.
    Strung on orange silk cording, wrapped intermittently with swirls of tendrilly seaweed (Italian mesh), and a string of round Peridot beads (Znetshows BDS1461-01). The flowing waves are broken by watery blue faceted crystals and a few Salmon swimming up stream. Fastens with a vintage mother of pearl button and loop clasp.

    Thanks for visiting. I hope you have enjoyed you tour. Please don't forget to tip your tour guide if you enjoyed your visit today   ; )

    Make sure you head on over to Erin's blog Treasures Found for the list of participants. She's got all the linkz going on over there. Stop by her etsy shop,  Tresori Trovati to buy some of her lovelies and thank her for all her hard work scheduling this amazing world tour for us.


  1. Lake Tahoe looks AMAZING! How gorgeous is that?! I envy you. I love the necklace, it really captures the clear blue waters of the lake.

  2. You have a beautiful family! I am putting Lake Tahoe on my bucket list of places to visit. It's amazing to me how clear and blue the lake water is, ours are not like that here in Connecticut.
    Your necklace is stunning! Loving the "catch of the day" dangle!

  3. What a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing such wonderful family memories with us! I spent summers on a lake here in Maine and get so nostalgic when I go there, which isn't very often. Lovely, lovely necklace - the focal is so neat!

  4. I too, love the "Catch of the Day" dangle! And I loved reading about Lake Tahoe where a friend is holidaying right now! I can imagine it a little better. Thanks for posting, Wendy

  5. I have many happy memories of Lake Tahoe from the 10 years I spent living in Northern California (although most of them are from the winter season), and I reckon it is one of the most beautiful places I've been. The necklace is so beautiful and captures your lake very well indeed!

  6. I remember the clear waters of Lake Tahoe, but we didn't stay long enough to really relax as your family does. Sounds like a great family gathering. Great components gathered as well, to make your piece reflect a beautiful place and time you spend with family. Andrea

  7. Holy moly, Miss Kelly! That was some tour! Sign me up... I think I need to go pack a bag and you can adopt me! That sounds like a wonderful time. What memories you are making and with new little ones coming and engagements it sounds like it will go on for some time to come. My family has never had that experience, and I totally miss that. I have always wanted to see Lake Tahoe. My parents traveled there in the 80s and there is a picture of my mother sitting on the edge of the Lake that is so beautiful. Very easy to see why you love it. Your necklace is the perfect summer piece. It would go with everything you packed and I can see the inspiration, from the fishing, to the outdoors, to the water. I apologize for taking so long to come and visit. I have been spending a little time each day in someone's hometown. Thank you for joining me on the journey! Enjoy the day! Erin