Sunday, February 22, 2009

Breakfast Nostalgia

As you might've guessed, I grew up in a family that wasn't big on snow or winter sports. By the time I tried to learn to ski at the age of 21, it was far too late. Perhaps it was always too late and I've always had a good portion of stodgy, thrill-averse old lady in me.

My parents took my sister and me up to the snow only once during our entire childhood (although we later moved to England where it snowed with some regularity and we did plenty of sledding around the house). I suppose they wanted to make sure we knew what snow was, at least.

That doesn't mean my family didn't like Tahoe though. As one of the premier vacation destinations from the San Francisco Bay Area, we did make a yearly trip up there. We always went during the summer when we could swim in the very cold lake, fish for crawdads, rent jet skis and hang out by the pool, playing bingo with the other vacationing kids.

I have a lot of fond memories of the little traditions our family had on our Tahoe vacations...bringing bacon fat as crayfish bait, getting ice cream at the pool snack shop, my dad's morning trip to the 7-11, when he never failed to bring back donuts. But one of my fondest memories is of the place in the picture above.

This is the Old Post Office Coffee Shop in Carnelian Bay. As the name suggests, it was once a post office. But by the time my family was spending a week each summer in Carnelian Bay, it was already a cute little breakfast spot and we went there at least once each trip.

During our last Tahoe trip, I learned that this place was indeed still open, but we didn't have the chance to go. I was way more disappointed than I should have been. It's not really a secret that this trip was, in part, just because I had to eat there again. It's not that the food is so amazing, although it was yummy. I also felt an inexplicable, urgent need to share that part of my childhood with my own kids.We went on our first morning out and I'm happy to say that it didn't disappoint. It was just as I remembered, right down to the cute little dining room with the old-fashioned postage stamp wallpaper.That's the waitress there with the red hair and the black "Go Postal" T-shirt. All the staff had these shirts. It's funny to think that slogan would have been totally meaningless when I first went there.

The kids devoured their pancakes and I savored my blueberry pancakes...something I discovered for the very first time at the Old Post Office and have loved ever since.

Although our summer is already full of vacation plans, I'm already plotting a summer trip back to Tahoe. I'll drag my sister and SPENCER! with us too. This nostalgia was too good not to share!

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