The Sky is the Limit with Blue Sky Events

Robin Endicott and Mitch wedding Regan Beach and EdgewoodLake Tahoe is a perfect destination to celebrate “I do” amongst your family, friends and loved ones.  Celebrating 250+ days of bright blue skies, picturesque snow-capped mountain backdrops, lakeside beach ceremony stages and cool, crisp evenings it makes for the BEST destination wedding location.  So I do have to preface  that I am a bit biased since Lake Tahoe also happens to be the location where I chose to marry four years ago along the shores of Edgewood Tahoe Golf Resort.  But planning a destination wedding isn’t easy and I couldn’t have done it without the professional planning and expertise of Kerry Hawk and her team at Blue Sky Events.

wedding robin mitch 061409When I became engaged I was living in Maui, Hawaii but my husband and I decided to plan a destination wedding celebration in Lake Tahoe since it is a special place to us.  Attempting to plan from afar and not familiar with the wedding players in Lake Tahoe, I knew immediately I would need assistance.  I also knew that being someone who had worked in the luxury hospitality market for years prior, I wasn’t going to be the easiest of customers.  I knew what I wanted, was overly detailed by nature and that nearly anything was possible.  Enters Kerry Hawk and team to save the day!

Over the next 6 months+ Kerry and I arranged conference calls where we began creating my perfect day 2,500 miles apart.  I had hired Blue Sky Events to assist with pre-event planning as well as on-site coordination on our wedding day. Kerry was readily able to answer all my wedding planning questions and provide perfect local solutions for all of my needs.   She knew the region like the back of her hand and had key partnerships with reliable local vendors whom I ultimately choose my stylist, florist and cake designer from her sacred “list”.  Beyond the usual responsibilities and tasks expected from a wedding coordination team, Kerry personally went above and beyond the call of duty which I want to share with you here.

wedding robin mitch 061409First, since my husband and I had met and were currently living in Maui yet hosting our ceremony on the ‘mainland’ we wanted to incorporate a traditional island ritual into our special day.  Specifically, we wanted to include a Hawaiian lei ritual into our ceremony.  After calling dozens of florists, I learned that they really didn’t have access to the tropical flowers needed to make authentic leis.  I found a company in Maui that would FedEx real Hawaiian leis for our ceremony but there was one big glitch.  They wouldn’t ship them to a hotel (which is where we would be staying) yet only to a home residence since upon delivery they had to immediately be refrigerated and stored.  After searching for a solution Kerry immediately stepped in and offered to have them delivered to her personal residence!  To say the least, the leis were delivered, stored and transported by Kerry successfully and were an integral part of our ceremony.  These special leis are wedding robin mitch 061409dried and still hang in my house today!

The big day arrived.  And of course… there is always at least one thing (if your lucky!) that goes not as planned.  For us it was our DJs who were NOT one of the recommended vendors on Kerry’s list – lesson learned!  In short, they were terrible – late, without our extensive list of preselected wedding songs and totally clueless.  At one point in the night they were actually sitting at the bar!  The great news ….is that I barely noticed thanks to Kerry Hawk.  I will never forget walking into our reception as Kerry calmly walked alongside me reassuring me not to worry but purposefully asked what our signature first dance song selections were because the DJ didn’t have them!  Later, I learned that Kerry had downloaded the songs to her iPod and had them playing on queue so that no one besides us ever knew what had happened.  This woman could simply do it all!

Photo from Blue SkyI had the privilege of recently reconnecting with Kerry to ask her about what projects she and Blue Sky Events were currently working on and where she sees the future of her company headed.  I learned that Blue Sky Events has expanded immensely into the incentive and corporate event planning realm in addition to their full-time wedding coordination business.  Jason Hawk, Kerry’s husband, has also joined the company and is now co-owner greatly contributing to the expansion of their business into corporate and resort event management.  As part of their event management portfolio they have added a roster of events including the annual Tahoe Snowcial, Discount Tires annual incentive trip with over 500 attendees and are the preferred event planning team for on and off snow events for Heavenly Mountain Resort just to name a few.  Blue Sky Events also plans the Tahoe South Heavenly Holidays for a two week run of events in the Heavenly Village, that culminates on New Years Eve with an event bringing in thousands of attendees loaded with entertainment and the worlds only Gondola Ball Drop and Fireworks!  Quite the Lake Tahoe local superstar planners.

Tahoe Snowcial - MC Hammer

Screen Shot 2013-05-28 at 2.05.50 PMWhen asked what contributes to her success, Kerry emphasized the ability to pull from so many resources within the area thanks to the well-established relationships they have created – a key success factor when operating in a small region like ours.  Kerry sees the future of their company continuing to “give amazing service to all people visiting the Lake Tahoe region to ensure that their time is well spent while here” and hopes to create a unique, annual festival all of their own!  Can’t wait to see what Kerry, Jason and Blue Sky Events have in the making!

Do you have a wedding, special event or corporate conference that you need assistance with planning?  Do as I did to ensure a flawless experience by consulting with Kerry and Jason Hawk at Blue Sky Events.  You will never look back.

If you enjoying learning about Lake Tahoe follow my blog and me at @robinpenning to receive information on tips, news, activities and special events in Lake Tahoe.

Photo credits:  Kerry Hawk & Robin Penning

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Dine Around Lake Tahoe

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The different cities and communities scattered around Lake Tahoe, each with its unique personality, offer fantastic restaurants to discover and enjoy.  Visitors can easily miss out on the best locations.  In this post I am going to share an overview of dining options by location and highlight a favorite offering in each!

The West Shore hosts culinary favorites that offer serene lakeside dining and picturesque alpine glow sunsets.  A popular location on the West Shore is Sunnyside Restaurant & Lodge offering year-round dining with boating access and superior al fresco dining in the summertime.  The newest addition and growing favorite amongst locals also located in Sunnyside is Spoon serving homemade “good & good for you comfort food” picture below.  Located in a quaint rustic cabin in the woods, the comfort expands even to its decor!

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Downtown Tahoe City is the epicenter of North Lake Tahoe whose streets are lined with shops and restaurants providing exquisite fine-dining options including – Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique, Christy Hill and Jake’s on the Lake. Opened in 1978, Wolfdale’s Cuisine Unique has proven to be a leader in culinary fusion offering a unique menu with a mixture of Asian and European cuisine and a twist of California contemporary.

Traveling from Tahoe City to the East Shore, North Lake Tahoe is scattered with some of the most popular restaurants in Lake Tahoe including Garwoods Grill & Pier, Lanza’s, Soule Domaine, Lone Eagle Grill, Big Water Grille, Le Bistro and a local favorite, Bite American Tapas.  I fell in love my first week in Lake Tahoe with Bite – a must visit in Incline Village.  Entering Bite you feel as though you have stepped into a posh city restaurant and bar.  Serving up specialities in “bite” sized tapas plates perfect for sharing and trying them all! A few local favorites include the crispy risotto balls,  BLT (the L is for Lobster!) sliders, Moroccan spiced lamb meatballs accompanied by unique mixology cocktails.

Taking the drive to nearby Truckee you will find a reinvented culinary hub featuring favorites such as Moody’s Bistro Bar & Beats, Cottonwood Restaurant & Bar, Trokay Restaurant, Pineta Cucina Italiana, Bar of America, Burger Me, Stella and many more.  With so many to choose from, here I highlight the brightest new star Stella Restaurant at the Cedar House Sport Hotel created by Chef Jacob Burton.  To experience Stella the right way, you must try the monthly Chef’s Tasting Menu and take the culinary journey from start, next, continue to finish (names of each course!) all while sitting in the intimate dining room with a front and center open kitchen view!

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On the other side, South Lake famous for its lively nightlife and up all night offerings, celebrates a number of fine-dining options including Edgewood Restaurant, Ciera Steak + Chophouse and Evan’s American Gourmet Cafe.  Edgewood Restaurant located at the golf course is a favorite offering beautiful panoramic sunset views over Lake Tahoe and serving a traditional menu of fish and steak entree classics.

The best culinary Magazine in the area is by far Edible Tahoe Reno.  Their dining guide is an exceptional way to learn more about new restaurants and special offerings in Lake Tahoe. Do you have a favorite restaurant in Lake Tahoe? If so, share it below and let’s continue to discuss the best dining options in Lake Tahoe.  More Lake Tahoe restaurant reviews and insider dining tips are on the way!