and Last but Not Least...! Thurs 10/4 - Fri 10/12

We picked up our good friends, Diane and Tom from Tallahassee, at the Reno airport on Thursday, 10/4.  For the next week, we were Out and About, enjoying the sights of NorCal, checking out a few of the local eating establishments, and come evening, playing Mexican Train Dominoes till one of us -- usually me -- declared "no mas!"  Never mind who was the overall winner of these games.  Nor, harrumph, the ultimate loser.

Friday's delish fish lunch @ Lefty's Grill on Broad Street in downtown Nevada City.

Whatz a visit to Nevada City without a stop at Nevada City's RR Museum?
Always interesting.  Diane and Tom enjoyed.  Us, too!


Sunday's outing to Empire Mine in Grass Valley included a tour of the downstairs inside the Bourn Home, furnished with original and period pieces.  Bourn's Empire Cottage, built in 1897, sits in a state park on manicured grounds. It's a Tudor-style stone house with an arts-and-crafts interior. Outside, grassy lawns, towering firs, splashing fountains and a reflecting pool stand in sharp contrast to the harsh conditions endured by those who labored thousands of feet below.  Personally, I'd take above-ground.

Read more here: http://guide.sacbee.com/2010/04/02/3802/mie-empire-mine.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://guide.sacbee.com/2010/04/02/3802/mie-empire-mine.html#storylink=cpy

Not really how I'd imagine a cottage to look, but... it'll do!

Me and Jimmy in front of the "cottage."

Ditto Diane and Tom!

Read more here: http://guide.sacbee.com/2010/04/02/3802/mie-empire-mine.html#storylink=cpy
For more than a century, from 1850 to 1956, the rumblings of the stamp mills could be heard for miles around Grass Valley.  Twenty-four hours a day, huge banks of machines sent iron rods crashing into chunks of ore blasted from deep inside the Earth. The noise was constant and deafening.  Yikes, sounds terrible, wouldn't you say?

What's left of a section of the stamp mills at Empire Mine. 

Read more here: http://guide.sacbee.com/2010/04/02/3802/mie-empire-mine.html#storylink=cpy

Here we are ready to eat lunch at Kane's in Grass Valley.  Very yummy.

* * * * * * * *

Monday included a trip to Apple Hill, an area of beautiful rolling hills and fruitful orchards near Placerville.  At only 50 cents a pound, we filled up a brown paper sack with Jonagold apples that actually smelled like -- whoa, Nellie -- APPLES!  Since we've sliced into a couple of them already, we can attest that they're delicious.  No, wait, not Delicious apples, delicious Jonagolds!

And lovely, lovely flowers, too.

Apples, and...

Tasty apple pie!

Right at home here!

Tis the season for pumpkins and multiple squash varieties.

* * * * * * * *

Lastly, we spent an overnight (Wed/Thurs) at the fine Kensington Park Hotel in San Francisco.  Located in Union Square near the trolley line and in the midst of shops, galleries and boutiques, we had a great time.  We hopped on a trolley for Fisherman's Wharf, ate dinner there at Pompeii's, and, of course, we paid a visit to Ghiradelli Square, home of world-famous chocolate!  Tasted a piece or two....

I found my Heart in San Francisco!

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley, ding, ding, ding went the bell.
Not exactly high-tech, pushing the trolley around to reverse direction, but it works.
Hey, it IS a tourist attraction!

Two words:  yum yum

The weather turned cool when Diane and Tom showed up in California.  Thank you!  (Combined with the ocean breeze in San Francisco, those days were quite chilly.)

Typical street hoods in the Bay City.

Folks go crazy in "It's Sugar," a San Fran highlight!

Sweet Nerds!

Candy galore!

And then we discovered the Uniqlo San Francisco grand opening.  We were lucky enough to get there before the long line formed in front of the store.  made for all is their logo.  First opened in 1984 in Hiroshima, they now boast 1,132 locations across 13 countries.  Since Jimmy and I currently live in a climate that may produce SNOW, we purchased Ultra Light Down jackets (great price!), and a few other handy things.

The music boomed; the store was jammed - crammed with people, old and young.
Check-out lines were long and busy.

Finally, a look down the stairs from our tenth floor landing.  This being ten floors up in San Francisco, I made sure I knew where the emergency exits were.  Pretty picture, Picasso-like.

A foggy-morning look from the tenth floor window.

On Friday afternoon, the 12th, we drove up and over the Donner Pass summit once again to return Diane and Tom to Reno.  They had overnight hotel reservations as their Saturday flight to Tallahassee took off at something like 6 am.  We bid them adieu and drove back to our comfy -- and now empty of visitors -- Nevada City home!  Enjoyed having you guys visit!  (Watch out, Tom - next time you might not be so lucky!!)

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