Flying With Faber: Ritz-Carlton Tahoe Offers Unparalleled Splendor

By Stuart J. Faber

Lake Tahoe Winter (Courtesy Ritz-Carlton Tahoe)Every time I take off from Lake Tahoe Airport (KTVL), I do so with some apprehension. Have I accurately calculated my weight and balance? What is the density altitude today? In the past few decades, several pilots, more experienced than I, apparently did not take these precautions. Tahoe Airport is a beautiful field. On final approach over the clear blue lake, gorgeous vistas pass by. Taking off, you will generally face rapidly rising terrain and an unforgiving stand of mountains. At an elevation of 6,262 feet above sea level, Runway 18/38 is 5,541 feet long. GPS and LDA-DME approaches are recommended only during the day. The FBO is Mountain West Aviation, 530/542-2110.

I heartily recommend a trip to the Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe. You’ll be closer to the resort if you land your plane at Truckee-Tahoe Airport (KTRK). Some years back, the name “Tahoe” was added, perhaps to let you know that they are only a 15-minute drive to the Ritz-Carlton. The airport is 5,901 feet above sea level. Runway 11/29 is 7,000 feet long and Runway 2/20 is 4,650 long. GPS approaches are available. The Truckee-Tahoe Airport, 530/587-4119, can give you flight planning information. Sierra Aero is a full service FBO located at the Truckee Tahoe Airport and provides aircraft maintenance, inspections, flight training and aircraft rentals. Visit online at or call (530) 359-8751. Enterprise, (530) 550-1550, and Hertz, (530) 550-9191, rental car facilities are located on the field.

If you are contemplating a commercial flight, Reno-Tahoe Airport (KRNO) is about a 45-minute drive from the resort.

A Resort of Unparalleled Splendor

The Ritz-Carlton Tahoe (Courtesy Ritz-Carlton Tahoe)The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, situated mid-mountain in the Northstar California Ski Resort Area, features ski-in, ski-out access, ski valet services and an inter-mountain gondola connecting guests between the nearby Village at Northstar and the slope-side hotel. Within a 15-minute drive of Lake Tahoe and the historic town of Truckee or a 45-minute drive from the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, this year-round destination resort includes 170 stunning guest rooms and suites, 23 private Ritz-Carlton Residences and 11 Ritz-Carlton Club fractional ownership units.

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Flying With Faber: Maui – Perhaps My Favorite Hawaiian Island 

By Stuart J. Faber

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa (Courtesy Hyatt Regency)After Maui emerged from the sea, it took more than two million years before Mr. Hemmeter came along with the vision to develop the Hyatt Regency on Maui. Two million years prior to his arrival, a volcano rose from the depths of the ocean and spread its lava above the level of the waves. For centuries, the surface of the new island was perhaps too hot, for it wasn’t until about 450 AD when the first Polynesian explorers from the Marquesas Islands walked across Hawaiian soil. Colonists from Tahiti followed. A secession of Maui kings ruled during the 14th and 15th centuries–none of whom came up with the idea of a mega-resort. In the late 18th century, Captain James Cook of England cruised around the Hawaiian Islands but never ventured onto Maui. A few years later, Captain Jean-Francois de Galaup, Compte de La Perouse is said to be the first European to step ashore on Maui. His name would have been too lengthy to sign in on a hotel register–or obtain financing for a resort.

Down the road to the south is Wailea Beach. In ancient times, Hawaiians lived on the slopes, fished, and grew sweet potatoes. During WWII, the shores served as a training area for the Marines.

In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state. In the early 1970s, the visionary developer, Christopher Hemmeter, took a look at Kaanapali and decided that resorts could generate more revenue than sweet potatoes. He developed a number of hotels, including the venerable Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa.

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Flying With Faber: Thanksgiving With Faber

By Stuart J. Faber

It’s almost Thanksgiving again? Seems as if it was only a few months ago that we celebrated my favorite holiday. I love to prepare for and cook a Thanksgiving dinner. Not only is it festive, fun, and colorful, guests scream with delight as they circle our huge dining room table, which we convert into a buffet.  

Notwithstanding my age, I regard myself as a person who keeps pace with the changing world. I love computer technology. I marvel at the developments in avionics. Driverless automobiles–I’m ready for them. I do, however, harbor some apprehension over the concept of pilotless passenger aircraft.

That being said, when it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a traditionalist. Turkey with goat cheese or pesto sauce? No thanks. I love the fragrance and taste of an old-fashion turkey roasting in the oven. I make my own cornbread and form it into a traditional stuffing with that familiar smell of sage.

I love everything about this holiday–journeys to the market, selecting just the right turkey, planning the menu, proofing and kneading the dough for homemade rolls, baking the pies from scratch, and making certain that each component of the buffet comes to life at the same time and is presented in an inviting and festive array.

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Flying with Faber

Cooking with Faber – Don’t Be Afraid of Lamb

By Stuart J. Faber

Pilots hear it all the time – folks who tell them that they are afraid of little airplanes – “I won’t go up in one of those Piper Cubs.”

Isn’t it strange that many folks unfamiliar with general aviation seem to stereotype and group together all small aircraft from J-3 Cubs to TBMs as Piper Cubs? I don’t take it as an insult. I performed a substantial amount of my primary flight training in a Piper Cub. Six decades later, I still have a love affair with that airplane.

In most areas of life, I have an aversion to stereotyping. Not only does the practice affect the stereotyped entity, it often prevents the “stereotyper” from broadening his or her horizons. Imagine how much fun, excitement, and exhilaration a person could have as a first-time passenger in a Piper Cub-with the window open, flying at a speed of 50 mph over peaceful farmland, hedgehopping over stands of trees or circling over a clear blue lake.

Another group of stereotypers are folks who hate lamb. “It’s too gamey,” they moan. I’ve lost count of the number of people who have expressed their disdain for lamb. However, I can assert without exception, that the folks I’ve invited over and implored to give the lamb a try have been turned into ardent converts by the time dessert is served.

Much of the lamb we consume comes from Australia or New Zealand. American lamb is primarily raised in Colorado. Domestic lamb is more expensive and admittedly tastier. Costco sells Australian racks of lamb, which are half the price of American racks. They are chock full of tender meat. I use them all of the time.

Here are a few examples of lamb dishes from my upcoming cookbook, which are not only easy to make, they will wow your family and friends.

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Flying With Faber: Willow Run Airport -A Journey Through History

By Stuart J. Faber

A portion of Willow Run plant today. (Stuart J. Faber)Our minds often work in mysterious ways. It’s hard to explain. I often can’t recall the name of a person I met yesterday, yet frequently the visions and memories of certain folks I met during my childhood tiptoe into my thoughts with uncanny clarity.

It’s been over 75 years since Jack Jerstad drove up to our Racine, Wisconsin house. Donning a bright Hawaiian shirt, he emerged from his 1930s Ford Woody Station Wagon, greeted us gleeful, screaming kids and whisked  us off to day camp where he taught us about nature’s magic-water creatures, weather, identification of species of trees and birds.  He honed our swimming, boating and hiking skills.  I only knew Jack for a few weeks during that summer of 1940, yet, he has had a profound impact on my life. It was Jack’s enthusiasm and dedication to the kids which sparked my passion for nature’s earth and its innumerable gifts.

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