Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cali Trip - Day 1

I won't count Tuesday since it was just spent driving.  We were in the car about 11 hours.  Nevada is just so ugly.  All of it.  Once we passed Reno and crossed the CA line into the Tahoe area, it was beautiful.  We stayed the night in a gorgeous town called Grass Valley, the richest mining town during the California Gold Rush.
Early morning walk (in their pjs) near our motel.

Empire Mine State Park - we totally loved it, especially me.

This 'pool' was teeming with tadpoles.

Two of the said tadpoles

The grounds of the mine owner's summer cottage were gorgeous!

rose garden, about to come to life

Elora refusing to say, "Heigh Ho"

Blacksmith shop

Pretending to ride down into the mines

Pretending to fall down into the mine

Spooky mine shaft, some of these reach a depth of 11,000 feet!!  That's over a vertical mile into the earth.  Amazing.

After Grass Valley we stopped for lunch at In & Out in the darling town of Auburn, then played at a park in the cute town of Lincoln (fastest growing city in the USA between 2000 & 2010).  Drove past Sacramento, Davis, etc. into San Francisco's hilly East Bay area.  Had dinner at PF Chang's in Walnut Creek (PF has THE best children's menu) and then went to Mt. Diablo State Park.  Gorgeous.  Drove up the mountain to our campground for spectacular views.  Were visited by a fearless raccoon in our camp site that evening:)

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