Visiting Lake Tahoe with GMC

First, let me take the time to say HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you!  I’m very excited for this new year and can’t wait to see what the new year holds for all of us.  A new year and a new chapter in life.

With Christmas last week and a whirlwind trip the week before, I’m just getting my thoughts and pictures together on the very fun trip I recently took,  hosted by GMC in Lake Tahoe, CA.  It was my very first time to the area and wow, was it spectacular.  I would love to go back!  We don’t get much snow here in Georgia, so to see the entire ground covered in the white stuff just a week before Christmas made my heart sing.  The temps were about the same as when I left Atlanta, mid-40’s in the day and not that cold at all to enjoy being outside in the crisp air, as long as you are bundled and have gloves on.

I am so grateful to get to experience blog trips like this and certainly do not take any of my good fortune for granted.  It’s been a pleasure to work with so many great brands and now I can add GMC to the list.  They were wonderful to work with and treated us so well.  The highlight of the trip was getting to visit the HGTV Dream Home, built in a beautiful golf course community near Tahoe.  I can’t wait to show you those pics, but it will be at least 2 parts to show them all, so come back tomorrow for the first post on the dream home.

We all arrived late afternoon on a Monday and it’s an all day event to travel to Reno, Nevada from the East coast.  I changed planes in Phoenix and ended up on the same plane with 2 of my blogging peers, but we didn’t realize that until we arrived in Reno.  I met some wonderful new friends and that was so fun too.  This blog world has opened up my world to so many great folks and that too, has enriched my life in so many ways.

In the meantime, before I get to the actual HGTV Dream Home that we toured, I’ll start with the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort we stayed at in Lake Tahoe.  Gorgeousness to the max!

Christmas at the Hyatt

As I mentioned, GMC (yes, the humongous US car company!) hosted this event and invited about 10 bloggers to come to Lake Tahoe and experience the Denali Dream Drive.  We all got to take turns at the wheel of a beautiful GMC car (SUV) and had fun trying out these beautiful vehicles.  I’ve never had an SUV, but they sure are comfortable to travel in.  I’m thinking my next car might be a small SUV,  but as long as my current car keeps going, I’ll keep it.  My car is 8 years old and paid for and I’m one of those who drive them til they die.

Hyatt lobby

We stayed at the beautiful Grand Hyatt resort at Lake Tahoe and it was decked out for the Christmas holidays so that was extra special.  Picture beautiful snow covered mountains, a lodge feel and bears and that’s the vibe of the area.  Really pretty!

gingerbread house

A life sized gingerbread house was in the lobby area and made it extra festive.

Christmas trees in  lobby

Trees in the foyer were beautiful and sparkly too.  It made for a wonderful couple of days to experience these surroundings.


Everything we saw was rock, wood and natural materials and that goes hand in hand with the mountains in this region.

vintage wood art

These vintage wood wall art accents in the Hyatt caught my eye.  I can see my DIY blog friends making something like this. These really were chunks of reclaimed wood, all together on a big board.

heated pools

Check out this view outside my window.  Our suites were beautiful and comfortable too.  I couldn’t get over the views!

heated pools 2

Those pools and hot tubs are all heated for year round enjoyment.  Brittany and I took our suits and dipped in the hot tub the first night and it was glorious!  So fun to see snow on the ground and be sitting in hot water all comfy and cozy.

pools and mountains

It’s a magnificent place with the beauty surrounding the hotel.  It was a treat for this Georgia girl!

snow on ground

I’ve never been skiing out west, but I am sure it is such a fun thing to do. I’ve skied in NC, but it’s not the same as the mountains in the west.  Not sure I’ll get the chance again, but I enjoyed skiing and I am sure at a resort like this, it would be a blast.

heated pools3

Those heated pools and hot tubs would certainly be a draw for me.

porch at Hyatt

There are terraces all around to take in the views.

Hyatt at Tahoe

The color scheme outside just goes with the beauty outdoors.

inside pool to outside

This was really cool!  An indoor area to walk into the pool and swim outside, without walking out in the cold.  How neat is that?

Rhoda Brittany

Me and Brittany, my friend from Pretty Handy Girl, got to drive this red GMC Denali Terrain to the HGTV dream home and it was so much fun.  Just seeing the mountains on the way was exciting.

GMC Denali

There are several models of Denali and we got to check them all out.

GMC Denali 2

They are beautiful cars with lots of bells and whistles.

ski resort

Driving the 45 minute trip to the HGTV Dream home was breathtaking, with ski slopes in the distance.

bloggers at Tahoe

I made some new blog friends, Jeff, Rene, and Dan, not to mention several other new bloggers that I met, some in my blog niche, but most from different niche groups than me.

going to the  HGTV house

The gate going into the HGTV dream home neighborhood, which is on a golf course.

snow and rocks

I imagine that things look really different around here in the spring, but the Lake Tahoe area is just beautiful.


Such a treat to take in these beautiful homes in the neighborhood as well as enjoy the snow on the ground.

tahoe homes

Along with mountains, a rustic home just goes along with that vibe.

tahoe homes 2

These were all beautifully built with stone and wood accents.

trees snow

The magnificent trees were so beautiful too.  We don’t have evergreens quite like this in Georgia.

HGTV dream home 2013

We arrived at the HGTV Dream home for 2014 and couldn’t wait to see it all.   The lucky winner who wins this stunning home also gets to take home a brand new 2014 Denali as well, along with a cash prize of $250,000.  Now THAT’s a winning prize package!!  I think I’ll enter my name just in case. Smile

the GMC bloggers

We got a great group shot of all the bloggers and it was fun to hang out with them for a couple of days.  We were a diverse group of bloggers.

Left to right:  Dan, Liz, Brittany, Odette, Chelsea, Jeff, Rene, me, Dawgelene and behind us peeking around is Larry, the GMC car product specialist.

Larry shared a lot of information with us about this 2015 GMC Denali Yukon, a big beautiful hunk of a car.  We roadtripped in style in these babies.  With wood and chrome accents, heated leather seats, Bose sound system and all the bells and whistles from a safety standpoint, these are impressive vehicles.  We felt perfectly safe on the roads that had been plowed even though there was some icy spots still around in the area.  Denali has several models to choose from, including the Terrain, that Brittany and I drove in.  We were very comfortable in our all-terrain GMC vehicle.  Equipped with the most safety features available and showcasing side blind zone alert, OnStar, and 6 air bags, now that’s impressive!  I would feel very safe in this vehicle.  I really liked the smaller Terrain that we were in, the red one.

larry with GMC

Larry gave us the grand tour of this beautiful vehicle, a GMC Denali Yukon that one very fortunate person will win along with the HGTV 2014 Dream Home package.  That would be amazing!  There are a lot of pics and videos of this mountain retreat dream home in Truckee, CA over on that link above, so check it out for lots more details. I’ll be back tomorrow to share more of our inside scoop picture tour. It’s a beautiful rustic, yet modern home set in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in the Schaffer’s Mill community.  The contest has started so hop on over and sign up if you haven’t already at HGTV! Someone will win!

denali terrain

This is the pretty deep red Denali Terrain that Brittany and I car pooled together in.

car lineup

GMC cars

The whole lineup of GMC Denali vehicles that we drove in the Denali Dream Drive.  And a dream drive it was!  The folks at GMC, Chris, Jocelyn, and Laine were all so wonderful to work with.  I so appreciate the opportunity to be included in this fine group of bloggers. I know we all had an amazing time enjoying this beautiful part of the country, the dinners and touring the home.

What a wonderful end to the year it was!  Come back tomorrow for more scoop on the HGTV Dream Home 2014!

Note:  This trip was a sponsored trip by GMC and all travel expenses were paid for by GMC.

- Rhoda


  1. I had a Denali as a rental car on my vacation to NH last summer. I was in love!! That would be my dream car! If I could, I would get one tomorrow….

    Happy New Year Rhoda! I hope all of our dreams and wishes come true and the year is good to all of us.

  2. Oh I LOVED this wrap-up.. makes me miss being out west! I had such a great time with you guys and it was awesome continuing our conversation on the plane! I’m going to be emailing you because I want to feature you in our Life Lessons! Have a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous New Year Rhoda!

  3. What a wonderful trip! Those mountains are one of the few things that I miss about California. So glad you had a great time. Happy New Year Rhoda!

  4. The Quintessential Magpie Blog says:

    I was interested in hearing about the Denali, Rhoda. I drive a GMC van and have enjoyed it for carrying furniture and whatnot, but it is getting about time to change. I kept spying these and wondered how they drove. Thanks for the review.

    Happy New Year!


  5. What a fun time, Rhoda!

    In October, we purchased a 2014 GMC Acadia…the SUV that is the next size up from Terrain. We love it! Just the right size and it drives like a dream. This is our second SUV. After being without one several years we are very happy to have the Acadia.

    Happy New Year!

  6. Wow, what a fantastic trip! What a blessing to work with so many fabulous brands! I know you had a fabulous time. Thanks for sharing it with us! Happy New year!

  7. What a cool trip and loved the Christmas decorations at the hotel. Can’t wait to see the dream home. Happy New Year!

  8. Marianne in Mo. says:

    What a great trip. I toured the home online yesterday, I think it’s my favorite, besides the Ashville one. I used to enter religiously, but gave up. I even used to chat in the chat rooms, but no longer. I’m sure I will enter, but not every day. Only takes one entry after all, and I could be that one!
    Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

  9. Hi Rhoda. What a nice recap of what must have been a great trip. We just wanted to wish you a happy new year. Two of your biggest fans. Leo and Jane.

  10. What an awesome opportunity, Rhoda. My heart is in the mountains, but have never visited out west where the “real” mountains are. I love driving a small suv, and the Terrain looks like the perfect size. Beautiful hotel, too. Happy New Year!

  11. What an awesome experience and the scenery is breathtaking!

  12. I understand that you want to take advantage of the opportunities that have been put in front of you and I don’t begrudge you that. I am just not interested in coming along for the ride. I started reading your blog because it was listed on Cote de Texas’ blog roll. There wasn’t as much decorating or DIY as other blogs that I read but there were parts that interested me and I thought the Design Dilemma was fun. Once you bought your house, I noticed that you wrote more sponsored posts. Lately, it feels like one big advertisement without much substance. I would rather turn on the TV and watch ads than take time to read sponsored posts. I know that you will continue to have loyal followers who will help you achieve your goals and that losing one reader is not a make or break for you. Good luck.

    • Hi, No Name, you can definitely decide whether or not you want to read my blog (there are lots of them out there for everyone) and you are right, I do have a lot of loyal readers and I’m grateful for all of them. I spent 6 very busy months renovating my house and sharing it every step of the way. Some of it was sponsored and a lot of it was not. Just hard work and getting it done DIY style. I will continue to share what comes along in my life, whether its travel or a home tour or more projects at my house. I know that every post is not of interest to every person out there, but you can pick and choose what you read, or not.

  13. What a great trip! It looks amazing!

  14. OH MY! This has me missing our trip so so much!! I loved your post & all of the details that you included. I would give just about anything to be in that room with that view again right now haha. I hope you had a great new years eve! xx Liz Marie

  15. What an amazing experience! Happy New Year!

  16. Oh, how I would love to have a new suv like the one you drove, I’m a drive till it dies car owner too and hopefully still have a big of mileage left on my 01 vehicle.

    I would love to go to Lake Tahoe and stay at that resort, the views are amazing! Looking forward to seeing Chap2 and 3 of this fun trip.

    Wishing you the best blogging year ever and lots of wonderful times with your lovely family, especially the new addition when she arrives.

  17. What a beautiful trip and amazing, well-deserved opportunity. Congrats, Rhoda!

  18. Rhoda – Happy New Year! What a wonderful opportunity for you and I love the review on the GMC. May many more blessings come your way in 2014!

  19. Having read your blog story, I found this trip particularly inspiring. It is so wonderful to see God “restoring what the locusts have eaten.” I know you have been though some hard years and it is such a blessing to see some fun and beauty being poured out in the form of your new home and awesome trips like the GMC event! Thanks for sharing your bounty! I hope 2014 brings many more great things! Happy New Year! kelly

  20. Lake Tahoe is beautiful in the spring, too, Rhoda. The weather’s perfect, the lake’s several different shades of blue and green, and you can almost always see a tiny patch of snow still way up in the mountains somewhere. I don’t live there, but am two hours away. Glad you enjoyed it. Happy New Year!

  21. Hi Rhoda!

    I am thinking of going to Tahoe next month for our 26th anniversary. We spent our honeymoon there back in 1988 and haven’t been back since. I was wondering if they let visitors come see the HGTV Dream Home? Do you know?

    • Hi, Darlene (long time, no talk!) I’m pretty sure they are not allowing tours in the dream home. They were pretty particular about us coming in (we had to wear booties) and I didn’t hear anything about it being open to the public, so I don’t think so.

Speak Your Mind


+Rhoda Southern Hospitality