In lieu of a honeymoon abroad, Scott and I thought it'd be much more fun to plan the perfect vacation for both of our families while we still can (ahem, before any little ones decide to grace us with their presence). Since December, we've been trying to pick the ideal locale, set a date that works for all, and make the trip of a lifetime happen. And with our parents' help, it all came together even better than we expected! Lake Tahoe won out as our first choice destination, and from the photos, it's pretty easy to see why.

The ten of us (parents, siblings, significant others and all) met up in Reno and then together made the hour and a half trek up the mountain to Kingsbury, where we stayed for seven nights in a large forest cabin with an incredible view. Mornings were spent hiking up rocky trails in the crisp, 50 degree weather—not a cloud in the sky—and afternoons saw some of us snorkeling in Nevada's breathtakingly cold waters. Evenings were for gambling at the nearby casinos, or grilling out on our back porch, roasting marshmallows for dessert, and playing card games around the dining room table. Late-night hot tub parties may also have ensued.

Some of Scott's extended family live near Tahoe, so we spent one of our first afternoons barbecuing at the house with the whole clan—most of whom he hadn't seen in years. I'd heard a lot of great stories about his cousins, and finally getting to meet them was definitely a highlight of our stay. Others included picnicking in Sand Harbor, sunbathing on the beaches of Emerald Bay, feeding the ducks on the shores of Fallen Leaf, and diving one at a time into the icy Eagle Lake. 

I especially enjoyed the day we toured Virginia City, an old gold mining town dating back to the 1850s. In the midst of exploring, we snacked on saltwater taffy from its darling candy shoppes, drank Sarsaparilla at the bar of a haunted saloon, and ran into a herd of wild horses behind the community's oldest (and loveliest) church. With each step, the deep-rooted history of the place became more and more palpable. The people, as friendly as could be.

While I won't soon forget the beautiful views, glorious weather, and many adventures wound up in our summer travels, the one thing I'll remember most is how our whole families joined together so effortlessly for the fifth time in little over a year. There's something really special about that, I think, rare as it is. And in the future—when our lives (inevitably) become busier, the distance between us grows wider, and our schedules align less frequently—I'll look back on Lake Tahoe in remembrance of where it all began. The unbreakable bond of this wonderful family, our family.