We needed to make a quick mid-week getaway, so we decided on a trip specifically for a Vikingsholm Tour to visit Lake Tahoe’s Hidden Castle at Emerald Bay.

It’s a two-hour drive up Highway 50 from Downtown Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe and made a quick bathroom break on the way. We left the city on late Monday morning after work traffic ended.

Although we did a few other things on our trip — like see a movie, eat, went to the beach, the Vikingsholm Tour was our highlight for Tuesday.

During the summer months, anywhere along Emerald Bay Rd from Inspiration Point to Eagle Falls, to past the Vikingsholm parking lot, is pretty much a nightmare. We even saw a few cars that parked two feet onto the road with their tires. Really? A recipe for disaster and hugely disrespectful to the family vehicle.

We parked a half-mile past main parking lot after a gate on the road past all of the hullabaloo. I don’t mind a bit of walking if it gets me away from crowds of madness.

Immediately after exiting the car and treking down the switchbacks down to the lake and the Vikingsholm Castle, I felt the elevation. Coming from Sacramento, I always forget how massive the elevation feels on the chest, and frankly, how out of shape I am.

Upon making it down to the lake, I entered the visitor’s center and purchased two Vikingsholm Tour tickets, two bottles of water, and two bottles of Gatorade. We then headed to the castle to wait for our tour.

A very robust, informative Englishman gave us an introduction on the front steps, allowed us to enter, and then gave us more information once inside the grand entry. At that point, we were able to meander and wander throughout the castle grounds, which included the center court and previews its rooms and garages, first floor, and second floor.

The experience was lovely. I visited twenty years previous, remembering everything in such a different way — while fun to paint new memory on the mind, like layers on a painting.

In my dreams, Vikingsholm is my home.