Well after several hours Kathy the Honda adviser sat down with me and carefully explained that their testing concluded that nothing is wrong with my car, lol, other than they had to fill up the engine coolant which was low and could be the reason for the overheating. They didn't notice the battery light flickering, and they couldn't pull any code from the diagnosis machine. Still, $120 is a relatively small price to pay for peace of mind and a wake-up call for the importance of checking my fluids (the car's fluids that is, haha). And hey, they did very generously throw in a car wash and knock off a whole dollar from the estimate for diagnosis, lol.
|Broad Street, Nevada City|
I arrived in Nevada City before dark to visit my friend Laurel from back in the day of my high school years. She moved from Philly, where I reconnected with her at the beginning of this trip, for an internship at an organic farm. Laurel said this town was pretty, but I had no idea just how charming it was until I was drove down the historic, gas-lamp lit Broad Street, lined with quaint shops with brick facades from the 1800s, and surrounding Victorian-era homes. My travel guidebook gives a brief blurb about it in its "California Gold Country" section: "Called Deer Creek Dry Diggins when it was just a mining camp, Nevada City is perhaps the most interesting of the Mother Lode towns, with a compact downtown, that looks like a timeworn set from a Wild West movie. Gaslights made from original 1800s molds light up Broad Street, where the historic Nevada Theatre and charming Emma Nevada House are located..."
How I'd LOVE to revisit during the holiday season! "Each year the town's picturesque downtown transforms into a Christmas card come to life during Victorian Christmas. It's a magical setting of winding streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas street lamps, and carolers dressed in Victorian attire. Scenic and picturesque Nevada City was featured in Hallmark's "The Christmas Card," bringing visitors from all over to see the location where the movie was filmed."
I was met by a "Come in" before entering the little white farmhouse in the hills just a short stroll above downtown, and there I was greeted by Zack, one of 3 of Laurel's roommates and fellow interns. He was baking fresh buns and keeping warm on this cloudy evening by the wood stove on the main wall of the humble great room, a cozy, rustic kitchen/dining/living room area at the end of the entry hallway. With the hearthy, homey spirit in the air,
I joined Laurel and the rest of the workers from the various farms of Living Lands for lunch - bean burgers on fresh-baked buns, fresh salad and more, prepared by Zach.
South Yuba Canal (1855) and Ott's Assay (1857) Office Buildings
Firehouse No. 1 (1861) - "One of the most photographed buildings in Gold Country"
The National Hotel (1854, 1856-57) - "State's oldest continuously operating hotel"
The Nevada Theatre (1865) - "Oldest building in the state erected as a theatre"
Firehouse No. 2 (1861)
Miners Foundry Cultural Center (1856)
Sargent House (1856)
Nevada County Courthouse (1864) - Original built in 1855 burned in 1856.
Chinese Quarter (1850s-1870s) - Several Chinese businesses along upper Commercial Street.
Grass Valley, another charming town, a little larger in size, and I browsed the shops of Mill Street while Laurel had her appointment with her new client (Laurel assists women through their pregnancy). I had a beer at the bar inside the historic Holbrooke Hotel (est. 1851), then met laurel at Yuba Blue so she could spend the gift certificate she got from her friend Levi's parents for her birthday.
When we got back to the farmhouse she took a nap while I relaxed and chatted with Zach by the warm wood-stove. When Laurel got up we went into downtown to watch some of the performance of friend of a friend at Cafe Mekka; his band performed beautiful Native American music.
I walked back to Laurels at 5pm and I followed her to a birthday party of a friend of hers in back in Grass Valley. I had a lot of fun with everyone there, and there was really good food and the birthday girl's zany dad rocked out on his guitar and sang some quirky rock songs for us all.
I got into Truckee, located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Lake Tahoe, just west of the Nevada state line about 8pm and met Cory, Peter's roommate. Peter had told me that he wouldn't be getting back from a concert in San Francisco until tomorrow, but that I was welcome to show up anytime. Cory and I got acquainted and he was very kind, allowing me to make myself at home, and after he the beat the pants off me at a couple games of foosball, we watched "The Spirit," a movie from one of the two bins overflowing with Peter's movies. Best of all, I had the most amazing sleep in peter's super comfortable bed, yay!
Today I drove the 72-mile loop around Lake Tahoe, stopping for a map at the visitor's center in Incline Village, one of the many little towns that dot the shoreline of the lake. Stops/activities along the drive included:
Mount Rose Scenic Overlook
Hiking along the Nevada Shoreline - Chimney Beach, wildflowers including snow plants, birds including Steller's Jay, neon green moss, rainbow halo, snow lots of chipmunks
Meadows north of Spooner Lake
Beaches and century-old estates of the rich & famous at Tallac Historic Site
Emerald Bay, Fannette Island and Vikingsholm Castle as seen from Inspiration Point Vista
Squaw Valley Ski Resort, site of the 1960 Winter Olympics
When Peter returned home from work, he and cory took me over to Sara's, Peter's girlfriend, where we hopped into her truck and headed to a softball game (Peter's car was really acting up on the way there and barely made it up her driveway) that Sara and Peter played in, and Cory and I watched as one of the players and the umpire got into it a few times, lol, then Cory and I strolled the sidewalks of Tahoe City to the dam at "Fanny Bridge." Afterward we all went to Pete & Peter's for drinks and pizza (and Cory and Peter and I played a little foosball) and Peter yet again won another raffle! This one got him a step closer to a free trip to Hawaii.
Peter slept over at Sara's, so I got to sleep in Peter's comfy bed again, yay!
|View from Eagle Rock|
After the hike we headed down to the south end of the lake for the Fair Oaks Renaissance Tudor Fayre at Camp Richardson, where we had some beer and watched jousting, were creepily detained in prison for trespassing (and Sara and I had to literally break our way out, and Peter bribed them with free beer), and browsed through the different stations (archery, farm animals, gypsies, etc) and vendor tents.
|Band 'O Gypsies at Renaissance Fayre|
After Pizza the 3 of us went back to Peter's and chatted with Cory for a while, before watching the movie "300" - one of my faves! I said goodnight and goodbye to Sara, then Peter and Cory. I had such a wonderful stay and again it hurts to have to leave. I'll definietly be back one summer for mountain-biking, gondola-ing, and more hiking!
----------------------------------CA Fun Facts & Trivia----------------------------------
~ Alpine County, south of Lake Tahoe, is the eighth smallest of California's 58 counties. It has no high schools, ATMs, dentists, banks, or traffic lights.