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Tahoe Life

Upon moving to the west coast, I noticed the liberal use of the term “cabin” when anyone referred to a place to stay while visiting Tahoe.  Being somewhat of a clumsy literalist, I had conjured visions of what Webster’s denotes as “small roughly-constructed houses” dotting the forests surrounding the lake. I soon caught onto the fact that “cabin”, “lodge”, or “bungalow”, according to native and tenured Tahoe-ites, could very well be a loose interpretation of any place to stay - ranging from the terms’ actual definitions; to ultra-modern ski-in/ski-out condominiums; to 10,000 square-foot lakefront estates.   

This conjured childhood memories of the term “camp” and “cottage” to describe a similar range of "places to stay" along the east coast. In 2004, I met a 78-year-old woman who referred to her lovely Tahoe lakefront home as “The Shack." The Shack sits all of a breath from the shore and is filled with beautiful decorations. “This wasn’t always here, you see,” she told me. “When my dad first started bringing us here, I was just a little girl – nine years old. We’d arrive using the single-lane dirt road which is now West Lake Boulevard. We slept out under the stars on little wooden platforms we’d made. With every trip to this very spot, we’d create a little more of this home - a little at a time,” she remembered.

“The Shack” itself, as well as its beautiful interior, was crafted without electric saws or drills – instead, hewn from nothing more than a family’s minds, hands, and hearts. “My entire life is filled with wonderful memories of this place.” More than recalling this story, she smiled it. It was then that those less-than-representative terms truly began to make sense: “cabin”, “cottage”, “camp,” and others don’t describe the structure at all. They describe the comfortable, easy feeling that’s felt in the presence of family and friends; authentic lifetime experiences; and unconditional friendship and love.

Many of our homes offered as vacation rentals possess similar stories: owners with impeccable taste who, above all else, cherish well-lived time with family. “The Cottage”, for instance, is available to rent for the first time ever.  Its lakefront location, seven bedrooms, and opulent style beckon a multi-generational family reunion. “The Carousel” follows this recipe too. Steeped in history dating back to California’s Gold Rush, guests will not necessarily find a merry-go-round at this lakefront estate; but they will feel like kids again while wandering through the home’s arched threshold leading to the gardens, hand-crafted stone patio, and lawn which skirts towering, vanilla-scented Jeffrey Pines. Denoted, a lodge is “a rustic house or cabin used for seasonal or temporary dwelling”;  however, “Après-Ski Lodge” in Northstar offers year-round, warmth – a haven of modern-mountain beauty, hoping the visiting kids and kids-at-heart will bake S’mores, tell fireside ghost stories, and ski from its slopeside door to create a day to remember for generations. One could even surmise that Tahoe Luxury Properties’ term, “Vacation Rental” shares in this theory.    

Less than descriptions of homes, these are terms of endearment.  So live on, Lodges!  Hurray, Cottages!  And cheers, Cabins and Bungalows!  There are many more with such magical names.  Which one suits you?

"The Cottage" "The Cottage" vacation rental