A Tahoe theme in threes: café, trail and theater

Lake Tahoe in the summer offers the perfect day adventures. In a single shot you can enjoy a steaming cup of Lake Tahoe blend coffee, followed by a brisk morning hike and an evening of Shakespeare by the lake.

My "Shot of Tahoe" day plan is easily accomplished by all skill levels, costs about $80 (per couple, not including gas) and requires a limited amount of scheduling.

• Starbucks Lake Tahoe Blend

This one is as close as your local Starbucks cafe. And, as we all know, they're everywhere. Costing about $12 for a pound, this coffee is a mixture of several blends and has a pleasing aroma. If you're like me and need to start your day with a caffeine kick, drink a glass of water before your morning cup and immediately after. This will keep you from getting dehydrated during your next activity.

• The Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Trail and Big Meadow

You may be glad you had the cup of coffee because I recommend arriving at Tahoe Meadows and getting that parking space from 6-7 a.m. The parking area is located off Mount Rose Highway, a half-mile southwest of the Mount Rose summit. If you pass the meadow, you've gone too far. This hike is beautiful, so it gets crowded after 8 a.m. Bikes are allowed on even days. You start out by going through high grasses in the meadow near the road. Put on bug spray. You then cut through the meadow (make sure to stay on the path) and then over a creek. Some people choose to hug the creek, but the trail actually goes through the woods. I timed myself for an hour out, but the trail is 21.8 miles total.

I followed this with a slow one-mile jog on the Tahoe Meadows Interpretive loop. The frogs calling from the pond are a highlight.

• Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor

Everybody talks about it for a reason: Shakespeare at Sand Harbor is a relaxing way to spend the evening. That is, if you remember to arrive early enough to get a close parking space, and remember to bring your own dinner (it gets a little pricey at the festival), and low beach chairs.

This year, "Twelfth Night," "Othello" and "The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged)" are playing. General admission seating starts at $22; children's tickets and season passes are also available. Good seats in the lower gallery are $37 on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday its $32.

This is the part that needs planning. Get those tickets in advance. Space is limited and the lower gallery fills up. Seating for all sections begins at 5:30 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. curtain call. The festival runs until August 20.

If you're in a light-hearted mood, I recommend "The Compleat Wrks." It's fast-paced and easily consumable for both those who are familiar with the Bard and those who got through high school lit class with the CliffsNotes. Ironically enough, that's the idea of a play that spans 37 of Shakespeare's works.

It has some deadpan humor that's a bit old. The spoof of "Romeo and Juliet" was tragic, and the "Othello" rap may have been entertaining to those with only a very limited grasp of urban lyrics. But it has some fairly enlightening takes on the greatest plays ever written. Scenes to cherish: the summation of the comedies, the heavily accented "MacBeth," a scrimmage of the histories and the "backing over" of "Hamlet." For information visit www.LakeTahoeShakespeare.com or call 800-74-SHOWS.

• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at bbosshart@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.


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