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Sunset at El Dorado Beach, South Lake Tahoe 2019

Annually, our family would spend a week together at Lake Tahoe. My immediate family, aunties, uncles and cousins would gather in a couple of residences at South Lake Tahoe to spend quality time together. This was a great opportunity for us to make great memories. Over time as the younger generation got married and had children, our family vacations changed to add the grandchildren. Even though the family members able to attend the vacation varied from year to year, the tradition continued for more than 50 years. It was a great time to bond with my relatives and always was an event I looked forward to.

Last year, we went to Lake Tahoe but missed my auntie and uncle who recently passed away. Our desire to continue our tradition pushed us to go, even though the week would be different without them.

One evening after dinner, I went with my cousin’s family to shoot photos of their family. We traveled to different locations around the lake and took various shots. They are a fun family. My cousin’s 2 daughters are out on their own. They wanted to take advantage of their time together to capture some nice photos.

At the end of the photo shoot, I noticed this sunset over the lake. Even though I annually traveled to Lake Tahoe, I did not recall ever seeing such a magnificent sunset. Maybe I was usually inside around this time talking, playing games and interacting with my relatives. Perhaps this is how I missed seeing the sunsets at Tahoe.

I had to quickly shoot as fast as I could to capture the best sunset. This sunset is probably the best I’ve seen at Lake Tahoe.

It is odd it took me 50 years to find this perfect sunset.

Even before the pandemic started, my family was contemplating that this year we would not be able to make the trip to Tahoe. The trip is getting a little difficult for some of the aunties and uncles. Many of the cousins have not been attending this summer gathering. The younger grandchildren would be busy with their own activities.

Nevertheless, the pandemic definitely made the decision for us. We know we cannot gather together or be in close contact with each other this summer at Lake Tahoe.

Little did I realize, 2019 would be the last year for our annual family vacation to Lake Tahoe.

It is ironic I took this picture of the sunset. This sunset is symbolic of the end of our week long family gatherings.

My photo preserves the beauty of the horizon. I love looking back at this picture. I’ve used the photo for a background for our recent Zoom gatherings. Even though the same sunset will not be seen again, I gaze at this picture to recall the multicolored sky.

In the same way, our family bonds will always be strong because of the times we share together. We wove a wonderful connection with each other which only got better with time. We enjoyed great times of just being together. The many pictures from these trips tell our story.

So even though our annual family vacation has reached its sunset status, we can look back at our memories and pictures which paint a beautiful mural in our hearts and minds.

Appreciate moments with our loved ones.

Appreciate the beauty that happens with the sunsets. They may represent the end of a day. But we can always look forward to the sunrise and a new beginning.

I hope next year my family will start a new annual tradition that can replace our Lake Tahoe excursions.

This pandemic has taught us to appreciate the unexpected. Embrace the new surprises in our life and make the most of time spent with those we love. We never know how life will change. We take it for granted we can travel, attend gatherings or visit with loved ones as scheduled. But we now understand activities and events can be discontinued or delayed due to circumstances beyond our control.

This sunset photo has not been digitally altered and is real.

Photos Preserve Sunsets!