On Saturday, we said goodbye to Tahoe. Sad times.
We drove to Virginia City which is about 45 minutes south of Reno. It was five degrees when we left Lake Tahoe and 15 when we arrived in Virginia City. The cold is real here.
Virginia City started as a boomtown during the 1859 discovery of silver as part of the Comstock Lode. The three most interesting things I learned are as follows:
- The Comstock Lode is responsible for the rejuvenation of San Francisco. Apparently, it was a crappy little town, but most of the profits from the Comstock mines were invested in real estate and development in San Francisco.
- In Virginia City in 1863, a little-known writer named Samuel Clemons first used his pen name – Mark Twain.
- I’ve been pronouncing Nevada wrong my entire life. It’s “Nev-AD-a” and not “Nev-AH-da.” Sorry, Nev-AD-a.
We started our morning at the St. Mary’s in the Mountains Catholic Church.
Ugh I need to learn Photoshop. That power line is ruining EVERYTHING.
It had really gorgeous stained glass windows.
We walked up to the main street to piddle around until our mine tour at 11. We started at the Crystal Bar which has been around since the 1860s.
Virginia City is the home to some fantastic lighting fixtures. I wanted them all.
The Crystal Bar also had really nice public toilets.
We also met Santa and I asked him for Taylor Kitsch for Christmas. I told him that I had written him several times and received no response, so now that my request had been filed in person, I expected results. Please ignore all of the crap in my pocket. I didn’t take a purse with me and had nowhere to store all of the gifts I bought for Taylor.
Up next was the mine tour at the Ponderosa Saloon. You walked through a door at the back of the saloon and right into a mine. Efficient. It also had nice lighting.
Mining seems like one of the worst jobs on the planet. I am so appreciative of my indoor job where I sit all day in an expensive chair.
We had lunch at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon where I had a fantastic burger on sourdough. After lunch, we wandered around the town checking out the little shops.
I found a great candy store where I spent too much money.
They even had a dedicated licorice section. That never happens! The woman at the counter let me try several of them, so I left with way more licorice than I need. I also bought some to send home with my parents for my Mamaw since she’s had about 80 years of licorice-finding struggles.
I wish I had some friends living outside the United States that I could take there. It so perfectly captures to feel of all of the Old West stereotypes. They even had a band playing in mid-nineteenth century gear and a fake shoot out.
More lights! I want a saloon of my own now.
For your viewing pleasure:
Our last stop of the day was at the Silver Terrace Cemeteries. The crematorium is the first thing you see when you enter, and it had an appropriately creepy look. It was very Walking Dead with the spray painting on it.
Many of the burial plots had incredible scroll work fencing. If I wasn’t planning to be cremated, then stored in an large gold heart to be carried by Taylor or Idris Elba (they will be fighting over me, I just know it) at all times, then I would want this.
In all seriousness, it was quite sad to read the tombstones. So many of the people buried there were in their twenties or younger and there were so many babies. It was certainly a hard life up there.
We left Virginia City in late afternoon and spent the night in Reno.
We loved Virginia City and I hope to go there again with it’s slightly less frigid. My parents headed back to Texas at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (CRAZY PEOPLE) and arrived there Monday night. Sari and I left Sunday morning and spent most of our day napping and eating leftovers. We were exhausted from sleeping in and driving a couple of hours home. I am so glad my parents were able to come out and it was definitely one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever.