What We Ate Wednesday: Lake Tahoe & My Veganniversary

August 27th, 2014 - filed under: The Food » Food Styles

Tahoe beach


I celebrate my Veganniversary – the anniversary of going vegan – every year on August 1st. And I have written about my Veganniversary, almost every year, on this blog. See? // one // two // three // four – the year I wasn’t blogging // five //

This August 1st I was traveling with my son and my partner, and to be honest, I completely forgot about the celebration. I literally lost track of dates on this trip, so August 1st came and went without me even realizing it.

But you know what? I just so happened to decide to take a whole day of photos for a WIAW post on our last day in Tahoe. And can you even believe it? That day just happened to be August 1st. Serendipity.

So here it is, a day of photos from my 6th Veganniversary:

Tahoe casino

We find ourselves in a casino, at 8 am.

Waits woke up early – WAY early – on this day. And I wanted to let Jeremy catch up on some sleep, so I pulled on my jeans, grabbed my purse, grabbed my Waits as he grabbed his Junior Ranger hat, and slipped out the door. I figured we’d go for a walk or something. Find a Starbucks, stretch our legs, and give Jeremy an extra hour or so.

So I mapped a Starbucks on my phone, and we set out. And that Starbucks ended up being just a short walk away . . . inside a hotel/casino. Haha, okay!

Three shots of espresso over ice, please, with a splash of soy milk, and one for Jeremy as well. This drink is my JAM. And a 12 oz cold soy milk for Waits – his “latte”.

I also grabbed us an Evolution green juice to split later.

Thaoe casino arcade

Dude they had an arcade!!! Waits rode this car (over and over), and played his first driving game, and I won us a handful of rubber duckies with a grab claw game (I’m such a sucker for grab claws!)

Also, Waits and I got to do our first photobooth:

mom and son photobooth

We spent a few hours there, and Jeremy got some much needed extra zzzs. Such a strange (and surreal!) way to start the day.

Back at the hotel room, green juice for three:

green juice for three

And oatmeal for Waits:

hotel room oatmeal

And leftover Thai food for Jeremy and I . . . except Waits ate most of it! (and we ate his oatmeal)

hotel leftover Thai food

After breakfast and freshening up, we set out on a walk to explore South Lake Tahoe. It’s such a strange little town, reminiscent of a SoCal surf town but all elevated and airy, surrounded by towering pines. And right on the border – on one side of the crosswalk, California and no gambling. Just across the street, Nevada and casino after casino after casino.

We made our way down the California side, aimed at a veg-friendly lunch spot a few miles away. We took our time, enjoying the walk and the weather. A few miles with a 4-year-old is quite an adventure.

South Lake Tahoe

Finally we made it to the Blue Angel Cafe, and settled into a beautiful outside dining area.

Tahoe vegan dining

Toys! I sure do appreciate a kid-friendly restaurant that provides toys.

South Tahoe vegan food
French fries! Because vacation.

South Lake Tahoe vegan food
Jeremy and I split this kale salad, which was such a refreshing treat after a week of road and camp food. It looks boring but this thing was packed with flavor in a sweet and tangy citrus dressing. Also in the background you can see Waits’s pasta olio.

Tahoe vegan tacos
Blackened tofu tacos with avocado and salsa fresca.

All in all, a great meal, made even better by dining al fresco.

Afterwards we were pretty eager to hit the lake, and skipped the walk home in favor of public transit. I’m pretty sure that was Waits’s first time on the bus!

Back at our hotel we changed into our swimwear, packed up our beach bag, and hit the road. The lake was just another short walk away . . .


Beach reading. I’m loving – LOVING – this book. Bill Bryson – A Short History Of Nearly Everything. Bryson is a really great writer, and of course I love the subject matter. A few days later I was reading this book in the car and Waits asked me to read it aloud. So I did – I read the chapter on the origin of our Universe out loud to my 4-year-old. And he loved it, and Jeremy did too. I love sharing science.

And I love this writing:

It is natural but wrong to visualize the singularity as a kind of pregnant dot hanging in a dark, boundless void. But there is no space, no darkness. The singularity has no “around” around it. There is no space for it to occupy, no place for it to be. We can’t even ask how long it has been there-whether it has just lately popped into being, like a good idea, or whether it has been there forever, quietly awaiting the right moment. Time doesn’t exist. There is no past for it to emerge from.

And so, from nothing, our universe begins.

Ooh and also, this idea:

Incidentally, disturbance from cosmic background radiation is something we have all experienced. Tune your television to any channel it doesn’t receive, and about 1 percent of the dancing static you see is accounted for by this ancient remnant of the Big Bang. The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.

Okay, okay, now I’ll stop. But seriously, it’s a really fun book.


swimming lake tahoe

My Two.

lake tahoe shore
And Me.

post swim lake tahoe
And We.

We spent the rest of the afternoon there, relaxing. Waits found a little friend who was willing to share his Match Box cars, and he was just as happy as can be. Jeremy went with them to the playground, and I lasted reading for roughly 3.5 minutes before I put the book down and passed out. Mmmm nap.

Once the sun began to fade, we packed up our bag and hoofed it back to the hotel. We got ourselves cleaned up, and turned around to head back out in search of dinner.

simple bliss vegan south lake tahoe

We found Simple Bliss, a small organic, high-raw, all-vegan cafe. YES!

juice bar lake tahoe

A juice apiece: apple + greens for Waits, some super green and gingery turmeric-infused alkalinizing blend for me, and a carrot + beet blend for Jeremy. The three of us each pretty much stick to our same juice M.O.s, it seems.

juice bar south lake tahoe

Simple Bliss was super cute, and again we sat outside, and again they offered up toys for Waits so play with. So considerate, these Tahoe restaurants!

Waits had breakfast for dinner:

gluten free lake tahoe

Gluten-free vegan blueberry pancakes with fresh strawberry maple syrup. Because vacation.

Jeremy and I decided to split a pair of burgers:

vegan food south lake tahoe
BBQ lentil burger with guacamole, seasonal greens, and raw caramelized onions, on a gluten-free bun.

simple bliss vegan tahoe
Classic lentil cheeze burger with purple sauerkraut and ALL the fixins, on a gluten-free bun.

Aaaaand all stacked up:

amazing vegan burger



Okay, so maybe I didn’t get to consciously celebrate my Veganniversary in the moment, as it was happening. BUt even so, it was a long and lovely day filled with grand adventure, great food, and good times spent with the ones I love. And by the end we were all pretty exhausted. Satisfied, and exhausted.

hotel passed out

Passed. Out.

One more year of being vegan under my belt. Six years! One more year, and the rest of my life to go.

Thank you all for being a part of this incredible journey!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

  • Sonja

    Happy Veganversary! Great and delicious food!

  • laramarie

    super random, but I learned a while ago from my husband (whom I met at Starbucks!) to order a grande Doubleshot (doubleshot is just the name, so a grande still has 3 shots!). I was always asking for a triple shot over ice, with soy. with the Doubleshot, they shake the espresso over the ice first to help blend it. it comes sweetened so I always ask for it unsweetened, with soy. not sure where this lines up price-wise, but it’s my new favorite :)

    happy veganniversary!!

  • Lacy Davis

    Happy Veganiversary! Seems like a totally perfect celebration. ALSO- have you guys been to the stanford inn/ravens restaurant?! It’s an all vegan B and B in mendocino and its pretty much the best ever. I think you would like!

  • http://www.theveganchickpea.com theveganchickpea

    what an amazing veganversary, even if you didn’t consciously know it was the day! those burgers. omg. and i am seriously jealous by the fact that so many gf vegan options are available to you. those buns look unbelievable!

  • lleverman

    So interesting to read and the food looked amazing; but I love Waits junior ranger hat!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.naturallylauren.com/ LaurenGinger

    Umm.. that burger.. WOWZA! Can I get some of that! ;) Happy Veganversary!

  • vegancrunk

    Happy veganaversary! Even if you didn’t consciously celebrate, it looks like you still had a fantastic time!!

  • Keanna

    You and I have the same veganversary :D, I’ve only been vegan for a year but vegetarian for almost six :)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Thank you Sonja! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Interesting – I’ll price compare. Thanks for the tip!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    We tried to stay there on this trip but it didn’t work out! Definitely want to experience the Stanford someday though. That place looks AMAZING

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Totally, I’ve had really amazing luck in the g-f department lately. Sure made traveling easier. =)

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Haha, I know. He’s the cutest right? He takes that hat so seriously. Just a few days ago he was telling me about how he’s a ranger so it’s his job to protect the animals and forest. Sooo sweet!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I know right?! I could barely get my mouth around it, haha. Pretty amazing. And – thank you!

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    I did – thanks Bianca! ♥

  • http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/ Sayward Rebhal

    Aww, that’s so awesome! Happy Veganniverary to you too, then!

  • Veronica

    Happy (belated) Veganniversary!
    That burger looks incredible.
    I’m a long-time reader, occasional commenter, and… newly-minted vegan! I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 14 years, and the majority of my diet was vegan, but I recently made the conscious decision to quit on ALL animal products. I wanted to tell you, because reading your blog (& book) was a major factor in that decision!
    So, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’ve never felt so good (physically, mentally, spiritually) in my life.
    PS- I’ve got my boyfriend on the cusp of going veg, now too!