California State Capitol

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We have visited approximately one-half of the state capitol buildings in the United States, however, until now we had not made the effort to visit the California Capitol.  During our summer visit to Lake Tahoe, we took a short “vacation” to the San Francisco Bay area.  On our way to the bay, we stopped in Sacramento to tour the Capitol.

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July in Lake Tahoe

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Lake Tahoe

We’ve had the great pleasure to spend all of July at Lake Tahoe, specifically, Zephyr Cove, NV, at the home of our friends, Steve and Wende.  Part of the time we were here alone pet sitting their two dogs and part of the time was with Steve, Wende and Brady.

Snow capped mountains, deep blue lake, clear skies and daily high temps of 80 degrees, plus or minus a couple of degrees.  It’s a near perfect combination.  We have taken many hikes and bicycle rides, shared a 4 hour ATV adventure through the mountains with Steve and Brady, spent a half day boating on Lake Tahoe and many enjoyable hours visiting with the family.  We even had the opportunity to attend the American Century Championship, an annual celebrity golf tournament featuring 60 to 70 sports and entertainment stars including, Jerry Rice, Marcus Allen, Steph Curry, Tony Romo, Charles Barkley, Justin Timberlake and many more.

South Lake Tahoe offers a wide variety of ways to spend a summer day from the beaches to the mountains.  There are all kinds of activities on and above the water and on the beaches.  The same can be said for the mountains.  The only downside is that weekends can be very busy, especially at the beaches.

We plan to stay here for the first 3 weeks of August as well, with the exception of a short side trip.

Six Years Ago Today–Machu Picchu

On June 12, 2013, we were visiting Machu Picchu.  This was part of an extensive visit to South America that began shortly after we got married in April 2013.

Machu Picchu

Visiting Machu Picchu is a terrific experience that we would heartily recommend.  For anyone wanting to make this trip, it’s probably best to do so with an organized tour company since the logistics can be tricky.  We used the city of Cusco as a base for getting to Machu Picchu.  Cusco is the foremost city of the Inca Empire and holds the claim as the oldest continuously inhabited city in South America.

Islas Uros

After returning to Cusco, we then made another trip from there, this time to the rain forest in an area called Puerto Maldonado in the southern Amazon zone of Peru.  Once we returned again to Cusco, we finally left the city to head south to the town of Puno and Lake Titicaca where we had the opportunity to explore some of the fascinating native groups living on the lake.

This time in southern Peru was a particularly memorable portion of our time in South America.

Berlin, Germany

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Berlin has an incredible history just within the 20th century.  This makes it an appealing and fascinating destination for people from all over the world.  It’s a history that feels accessible to us since only 90 years ago, Adolph Hitler was making his move in Berlin with the rise of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich.  The subsequent war ended with a crushing invasion of Berlin by 1.5 million Soviet troops and Hitler’s suicide in his bunker here.  Then the city, and all of Germany was divided up by the victorious allies, kicking off the Cold War with the Soviets eventually building a wall that would divide Berlin.  When the wall came down in 1989, Germany was reunified and there was a huge rush of development in the former East Berlin.

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