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Road Trip Day 1: South Lake Tahoe | Don't Ever Look Back

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Road Trip Day 1: South Lake Tahoe

Road Trip Day 1: South Lake Tahoe

If you’ve been reading Don’t Ever Look Back over the past week, you’ll know that our exciting California Road Trip is underway. The first step on the road trip was getting from our San Francisco accommodation in The Castro to the San Francisco Airport where our Fox Rent a Car was waiting for us.

Simple, right?

The arrival of our taxi was punctual, however upon entering the cab we were greeted with a strong herbal smell and the sounds of Bob Marley blasting through the car’s speaker system. Okay, sure, we can deal with this reggae vibe I guess.

But that wasn’t all. Our driver thought he was a rally driver and when we hit 80mph on the freeway whilst he was still tapping away to his music, terrified is a word that best describes how we were feeling. We’ve caught taxis right throughout South East Asia and have felt a lot more comfortable in those!

Picking up our Rental Car

Once we finally planted our two feet back on solid ground, the next step was to check-in at the Fox Rental Counter at SFO and pick up the keys to our car. After initially getting off at the wrong level, a very helpful staff member Ed directed us to where we should have been and assisted us with finalizing the details for our rental car.

“Would a Chevy Cruze be okay with you guys?”, Ed asked.

Chevy Cruze

Our car for the next 12 days - a Chevy Cruze.

After hearing that we would be driving a Cruze, Amy’s face immediately lit up – the Cruze was Amy’s dream car before we departed on our journey around the world. Ed handed us the keys and off we went to pick up the car.

The drive from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe

Driving into Lake Tahoe

Driving into Lake Tahoe

We got the GPS on Kieron’s Android Phone working and began the 200-mile drive out to South Lake Tahoe. After seemingly getting through San Francisco, we encountered our first problems – there was an accident on the Bay Bridge and the right lane was closed off, meaning traffic was crawling across.

Once we got past this accident, our drive out to South Lake Tahoe was rather non-eventful. Because we had left San Francisco a couple of hours later than first planned, we opted against stopping anywhere along the way and just enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the Sierra Nevada Mountains as we drove into Tahoe.

MontBleu Resort South Lake Tahoe

Where we are staying - MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa.

Our lodging for the first two nights of our road trip is at the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe. We’ll be writing more about our stay at MontBleu in a future post so stay tuned for that.

MontBleu Resort Pool Party

Sundays At The Pool

MontBleu Resort Pool Party

One of the things we were looking forward to while at the MontBleu Resort was their Sunday Night Pool Party. We arrived at the pool party as the doors opened at 10PM and were only planning to stay for a short time to check it out before we got to bed at a reasonable hour to be ready for the next day’s adventures.

It’s funny how things never go quite to plan!

The party started picking up around 11:30PM and $1 drinks meant that as travelers on a budget, we could afford to have a few drinks without spending an absolute fortune.

Enjoying the $1 drinks

The two of us enjoying the $1 drinks.

We ended up spending a total $17 for the entire night on drinks (including tips) and both ended up quite tipsy, eventually leaving the club a little after 2AM just after the $200 bikini contest had wrapped up.

This was great for us! $17 in Australia would buy us a maximum of 1 drink each and after nearly a month of traveling, it was fantastic to have a few drinks and a very fun night out.

The MontBleu Resort Pool Party definitely didn’t disappoint!

We’re currently road tripping through California thanks to the generous help of Fox Rent A Car. Our time in South Lake Tahoe was made possible by the South Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority and the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.


  1. Posted August 24, 2011 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    Too bad you guys didnt get to stop along the way, but glad to see you guys enjoying the trip and taking some photos!

    • Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Yeah we would have loved to have spent a day in Napa Valley or elsewhere in wine country but that’s just the way it went unfortunately!

      If only we had unlimited time and unlimited budget!

  2. Posted August 25, 2011 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    great deal! 17 dollars on drinks for two is a budget traveler’s lucky day. nice find.

  3. Posted August 25, 2011 at 4:09 am | Permalink

    I imagine the drive was pretty scenic. Seems like you’re off to a good start!

    • Posted August 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      It was a beautiful drive… heading into Yosemite was even better but that’s a whole another post! 🙂

  4. Posted June 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    I love picking up a rental car and not knowing what you’re going to get. It’s fun getting to drive different cars. I’ve driven a few as rentals that I’d consider purchasing.
    Kate recently posted..4 Tips for Living in New Zealand as a Vegetarian

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