Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day weekend in Carson City, NV

To celebrate Mother’s Day, Mom and I flew to Carson City on Friday, May 7, arriving mid afternoon. Jason and Jaime were at the Reno airport to pick us up and drive us the half-hour trip to Carson City. Val and Julianne were waiting for us at home. Ever since we arrived, we’ve been pampered.

Jay and Val built a sun room onto the back of their house about two years ago, and that’s where we’ve been spending a lot of our time. The room is mostly made of windows and sky lights, giving a view of the mountains to the north and letting in lots of light at every moment of the day.  Here’s a photo of Mom and Jaime, with Ollie—one of two cat siblings who are part of the family—cozying up to Mom. Never fond of cats, she allowed Ollie to sit in her lap at least long enough for this picture to be taken. [Click on any photo to see it enlarged.]

Here’s another photo of Mom talking with Jaime and Julianne in the sun room. Notice Tucker, one of their two Labrador retrievers, resting in the yard outside.

The first evening, we sat in the sun room and visited. For supper, we ordered spaghetti and meatballs and Italian sausage and Caesar salad from a nearby restaurant and then wandered back to the sun room to lounge and talk some more. We learned that Julianne was going to the prom the next day, so we were going to be able to meet her boyfriend Johnny and see them in their finery.

On Saturday, Jay and Val took us to Virginia City, the old mining town and now tourist spot, a short 30-minute drive away through scenic hills and mountains. Our first stop in Virginia City was at the Fourth Ward School, a fine four-story school built in 1876. The school is now a museum that focuses on the history of Virginia City’s hayday and its mines, but it also includes a 45-desk school room preserved much as it was when it was used. Mom and I enjoyed seeing the old wooden desks with holes in the upper right corner of the desk tops for ink bottles and grooves along the top to hold pencils. A large pot-bellied stove sat in the middle of the room, likely a hell for the students sitting next to it during the winter.
After we left the school, we drove toward the center of town and parked near a beautiful, ornately decorated church, which we learned was the first Catholic church built in Nevada—although the word “first” on the sign in front of it has quotation marks around it, which I interpret to mean it’s a dubious claim. At any rate, we went inside St. Mary’s Church in the Mountains  and were amazed at its beautiful carved white-and-gilded altars, its ornately carved redwood pews, and its colorful stained glass windows. We could see the pipes of a large organ above in the choir loft. And I was interested to see a large statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe just to the left of the entrance to the nave.

After we left the church, we walked toward the main street.  We soon discovered a part of the main street had been cordoned off for the city’s “International Chili Cook-off.” Booths flanked both sides of the street for two or three blocks, and people milled around sampling the chili. We, however, were there simply to walk around a bit and view the scene and the architecture. We ended up in the Bucket of Blood Saloon, where we had a glass of beer or wine, each to his own poison, and surveyed the view of the town and its environs from the picture window next to our table. The saloon was packed with folks listening to the live band playing while others danced. Some people were costumed as bar-room floozies, gun slingers, tough hombres, cowboys, and lawmen, and it was fun to see them dance and act their roles.
After a little bit of shopping, we headed back for Carson City in time for Val to help Julianne fix her hair and help her get ready for the prom. John arrived exactly on time—5:00 o’clock—to pick up Julianne. As Jaime said, John looked dashing in his tux, and as you can see from this photo, Julianne looked utterly smashing in her prom dress. They made a handsome couple indeed. But don’t take my word for it. See for yourself.
And here's a picture of Mom and Julianne that I just love.
We ended the day’s activities by going to the Casino Fandango for a little gambling and dinner.  Between us, Mom and I spent $6.00 playing the slots.  Mom won; alas, not I.   We ate an Italian restaurant, TiAmo, in the casino and had a fine meal.

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