An online friend of mine, who used to live in a Sacramento suburb, informed us about Nevada City's Victorian Christmas and suggested we go. We took her word for it, and last Sunday we drove an hour to this quaint little town to see for ourselves.
Upon our arrival, we immediately were in awe of how cute this California Gold Rush town was and you could tell from the architecture, how much history was here.
Nestled along a maze of roads were cottage homes with picket fences, moss covered sidewalks, beautiful old churches, shutters on almost every window, Victorian homes, stained glass windows, and a plethora of small tourist shops. I seemed as though there was a Tibetan shop on every corner.
We parked on a hill, not far from the historic downtown area where the festival was being held, and walked along the river passing some Native Americans playing music outside their amazing tee pee. We entered the vendor area and were greeted by friendly locals selling their handmade items and performers playing Christmas music.
This little boy reiterates my need for a baby boy of my own. :) He was concentrating SO hard on playing every note correctly and didn't take his eyes off his sheet of music.
Father Christmas was there too, handing out candy canes to all the little ones. Surprisingly, the girls weren't afraid of this tall, bearded man and eagerly took his offerings. I got some too :)
Then there was this cute pair of singers. I especially loved how he was dressed... they both really played the part. As you can tell from this picture, the buildings were quite old and reminded me of an old western town with saloons and flirtatious women standing in the balconies.
This didgeridoo player was tucked away behind a cafe or two. He drew quite the crowd and played his instrument well. I've seen these on the TV but never in person... pretty neat.
We wandered around aimlessly, taking in all the sites and grabbed a bite to eat in the food court where chestnuts were being roasted on an open fire. Looking back, I wish we would've eaten in one of the cute cafes, but with it being past lunch time, we didn't think the girls' would've been on their best behavior.
Nevada City reminded us of a town back home, Bayfield Wisconsin... a place we always enjoyed visiting for their annual Apple Festival. Ahh... memories of home are nice during this holiday season.
Before we knew it, is was late afternoon and time to head back home. We took a drive through Auborn, another historic town, and we came across a Ginkgo tree that had dropped piles of it's beautiful leaves. You can't find these in Minnesota and I just HAD to get a picture. Now I wish I would've grabbed a few leaves to press in a book.
It was dark by the time we arrived in Sacramento and Scott mentioned that some of the neighborhoods around the hospital decorated their streets with Christmas lights. I asked him to drive by so we could take a look. Seeing this gave me butterflies! I felt like I was in some sort of wonderland and it gave me the Christmas spirit that I desperately needed.
I hope everyone has been enjoying these last few days before Christmas. I think I've completed MOST of our Christmas shopping except for those handmade gifts I need to make for my sisters. Perhaps they'll enjoy Christmas in July :)
Stay warm out there!!