I COULDN’T FIND SOUP IN THE DESSERT

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You know the famous anecdote attributed to Churchill. An ugly and nasty woman from the opposing political party says to Churchill “Sir Winston, if you were my husband, I wouldn’t hesitate to put poison in your coffee ” And here was his answer: “And if you were my wife, I wouldn’t hesitate to drink that poison”.

Marriage is no easy feat. I look around, read it in the papers that youngsters can’t wait to get married and then think about how they can get a divorce. Reno, Nevada is a city that makes divorce easy. We saw in movies how easily couples divorce here without the need for questions and unnecessary formalities.

Donner, the place of easy marriage-divorce, show and gambling in Nevada is approximately 50 miles from Tahoe. I asked my son to take me there so I could see the desert, so we went.

The city only consists of 2, 5 main avenues. At the entrance of the city, you are greeted by a meaningless sign that reads “The biggest Little City in The World”, accompanied by two huge Ionian style columns. As you keep on going, you see that everything has been blessed by ugliness in this town!  There are casinos and show halls along the avenue, and in between, law firms that promise easy marriage and divorce.  I don’t understand why people come here to gamble or watch a show when there are places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Maybe this place appeals to nearby towns.

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In the desert, people chase water. That’s what we’ve seen in movies. In this small movie trailer set in the Nevada Desert, I was after soup because I was sick and had a fever. We saw countless restaurants along the avenue but I didn’t even like one of them. I suggested we return to Tahoe. We were near the lake in just half an hour.

Lake Tahoe is the invisible border between Northern California and Northern Nevada. Incline Village is right on the Nevada side; a town on the lake that boasts mansions. It is said that wealthy people own houses here for tax advantages. One of these people is Warren Buffet.  The population of this town is 8000-10000 and per capita income is 55.000 dollars.

There is a long and very beautiful beach near the lake. It is said that the beach is swarmed with people during the summer. The temperature of the lake is 18 degrees centigrade so it’s okay to swim. There are picnic areas, stands that sell food and drinks and parking lots. However, since Americans don’t like to sit near seas or lakes and enjoy long conversations, you can’t find any restaurants here.  We couldn’t either, so we decided head south and got to Gar Woods at Carnelian Bay after passing by beautiful settlements like Kings Beach and Tahoe Vista.

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Gar Woods was like an oasis after the Nevada Desert. It was a two storey restaurant by the lake. It had a terrace in the front, followed by a beach and pier. Even though it was December, we sat on the terrace under the sun. The food and drinks were typical American style. High calorie, creamy, greasy huge portions and sugary sodas. But we didn’t have the strength to complain because we were starving and the other places in the area were almost the same. I had a grilled fish taco, my wife had a Prime Rib French Dip, and my son ordered a Filet BBQ bacon burger. And if you ask me why, these were the lightest choices on the menu! We tried to make up for it with double espressos. And for dinner, we only had soup at home and even that was a challenge!..

And the fact that Gar Woods was on the water contrary to American custom, that had nothing to do with pleasure: that is something you can only find in the Mediterranean. Here is the reason :

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Mr. Garfield Wood, who gave the name to the restaurants, is a famous engineer and industrialist who lived in the 1930’s. He dedicates himself to the manufacture of speedboats and designs the most important boats of that era. His boats win many international races and in 1933, he created the fastest speedboat in the world (102 miles per hour). And this restaurant is built in 1988 after being inspired by this speedboat. They told us that the infamous boats of Mr. Wood sometimes dock at this pier. There are documents and objects inside the restaurant that exhibit this brief historical account.

I recommend that you visit this place if you’re every hungry while walking along Lake Tahoe.

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