Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Trip Story: Carson City and Virginia City

I feel like escaping from all the bad news right now and so I will revisit my summer vacation. In my last trip story post, I wrote about our drive across northern Nevada. The target of that drive was Carson City, where we stayed for a couple of nights. We arrived late in the afternoon on July 3 and left first thing in the morning July 5... and we spent a big chunk of July 4 in nearby Virginia City. But I still felt like we'd seen something of Carson City, and we enjoyed our time there.

Our first order of business upon pulling into town was to go see the state capitol. It would be closed the next day (July 4), and Mr. Snarky was adamant he wanted to go inside. So we went to the capitol before we went to our hotel.

For once, I'm actually glad we did go into the capitol. They had a little scavenger hunt for the kids to do, and one of the items had us go into the Secretary of State's office and see the vault that Mark Twain's brother had installed there when he was the Secretary of State. That was pretty cool.

The kids were more impressed with the fact that you could go into one of the meeting rooms. They could even sit up on the podium and pretend to be in charge.

Pumpkin contemplates a career in politics.

After checking in to our hotel (a casino...), the kids and Mr. Snarky went for a swim while I rested for a bit, trying to stave off a headache. It worked, and a little later we headed back into the downtown area and had a very nice dinner at a place called The Union.

The next day, we headed out to Virginia City to experience a fourth of July parade with an Old West theme. I think Mr. Snarky was the one who enjoyed it the most. I'm not much of a parade person, and the kids thought there were too many loud cars and too many loud fake guns (or real guns shooting blanks, more accurately).

Owners of some of the loud guns

Virginia City is where Samuel Clemens started writing under the name of Mark Twain, and before the parade started, we went into the basement of a shop to see the desk he worked at and some other related memorabilia. There are other historic sites there, and I think if we'd visited on any other day, I would have enjoyed it more. As it was, it was just too packed full of people.

After the parade, we took a ride on a steam train traveling a portion of the old Virginia and Truckee line. That was a really nice ride, but we all agreed that when it was done, we were done with Virginia City, and headed back to Carson City.

View from the train

Petunia had seen a fun fair set up not far from our hotel, and begged to get to go to it. And so we did. Petunia had an absolute blast, and Pumpkin had fun, too. Mr. Snarky and I were less excited by the fun fair, but it is always fun to see your kids have so much fun.

We left the fair and had dinner at the Fox Brewpub, which has a nice patio looking out at a fountain/splash pad that the kids really enjoyed. I have to say, downtown Carson City has real potential. It is not large, but it is nice and there are several interesting looking restaurants, including one across from the Fox called "Scoups" that specializes in soup and ice cream. Those are two of my favorite types of food, so if I ever go back to Carson City, I'll make a point to visit that establishment!

Looking at the Fox from the other side of the fountain.
The blurs in yellow and blue are my children.
And then it was time for fireworks. We drove to a parking lot that someone had recommended and watched the show... only to get back to our hotel and discover we could have watched it from our hotel parking lot. Oh well. They were nice fireworks. We only cared about the lost time because it was quite late for our kids to be up, and we wanted to get up early the next morning for a big driving day: we were heading back into California, to Lee Vining. I'll pick up the story there next time.

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