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My Carson Staycation Part II

My Carson Staycation (part 2-of-3)

Join About Town Deb in this three-part blog as she explores Nevada’s historic capital, all while social distancing and masking up!

DAY 2

Visit Carson City For Nature Trails, Fresh Air, & Mountain Skies!

What a great way it was to begin our second day in Carson City … listening to the water flow while traveling along the river and stopping along the way to enjoy moments with nature as we enjoyed the Carson River Park.

This walk is perfect for beginners and dog lovers. There’s lots the open space and blue skies throughout the whole journey. I think I’ll bring a picnic lunch next time.

To cap it all off, we were blessed with seeing a beautiful butterfly at the end of the trail.

You can find a full list of hikes, trails, and other outdoor parks/fun at the Visit Carson City website.

Healthy Rejuvenation Station At SO Juicy, Carson City’s Fresh Juice & Salad Spot

So Juicy was the perfect choice after our morning hike.

Deb’s Pick:

Sunrise Smoothie – Strawberry, Mango, Dates, + Almond Milk

Jazzy Jorga’s Pick:

Go-Ji Smoothie – Goji Berries, Banana, Dates, Coconut Milk, Chia Seeds, Hemp Seeds, + Vanilla

Everything was amazingly good and fresh. Always nice when you know it’s healthy as well! They really said it all with the So Juicy mission statement — “To give people the priceless gift of health.” You have to visit the So Juicy website to read their family story.

Carson City Serendipity

There were some magical little moments during our staycation that I just have to share. Just outside So Juicy, I found the most amazing bench that read:

“Father-Daughter Bench For all the amazing Fathers out there”

This Carson City Staycation fell near the birthday of my dad, Papa Tony, may he Rest In Peace. He is always on my mind, especially around his birthday and the anniversary of his passing (which both fall in August). I feel that seeing bench was a sign that Carson City was right where I was meant to be.

I firmly believe we should listen to these small signs, because there is power and guidance in them. A deer even crossed our path and looked at us, unafraid, not a bit curious, even casual as it strolled along a Carson City street near the capitol building. The Capitol Building is amazing and I’ll tell you more about it, but it’s small things like the deer that always stick with me more.

Carson City’s quaint environment and thoughtful little touches are what give it a personality. Carson City is that person at the bar who tells you the story you needed to hear that day, who gives you a smile, a nod, or a tip of the hat with nothing expected in return. Carson City respects its people, cherishes its land and proudly displays its history whenever it gets the chance.

The Stewart Indian School – Let the truth be told with heart and soul

The Stewart Indian School in Carson City left me speechless … This wasn’t just any museum, the past and present students of Stewart School seem to talk to you through each exhibition. We were able to learn so much about the history and hear stories spoken from the heart! This visit really put things in perspective, and now more than ever, our #TogetherWeAreOne💙 community campaign means the world to me!

Thank you to the Museum Director Bobbi Rahder and the staff for taking the time with us. I appreciate all the stories shared with us.

Follow my Instagram @abouttowndeb for a heartfelt, emotional video interview with Linda Eben-Jones, volunteer and past student of the Stewart Indian School, in the coming weeks. Until then, you can learn more at stewartindianschool.com

Next Stop: Yummy Creative Thai Cuisine in Carson City

I can’t stop thinking about my visit to The Basil in Carson City.
Walking into the dining room feels like stepping into a different world — a more peaceful, quaint and welcoming world full of ambience. Loved meeting the Chef Nan and Kookie, who whipped up the perfect dishes for us to enjoy and savor. Every bite had flavors complementing each other.
I actually love basil as an herb, so I was very pleased to see fresh basil leaves on some of our plates! Everything is light and refreshing. For dessert, the mango with sticky rice that was perfect to finish the meal! Plus, they even packed our leftovers on ice. I shall be back.  Also loved their slogan: “Carson City Thai Food may be nearby, but every recipe will take you far away”

     

Are you Dreaming about antiquing & Shopping for that perfect gift?

Aunt B’s Vintage, Antiques, & Collectibles was so delightful. The collectibles are vast and unique with something to be discovered for everyone. We even met the delightful Aunt B!  It isn’t often when you can walk back in time and remember your childhood memories.

The Purple Avocado  is another shopper’s dream, and it’s one of the few places where you can truly find the perfect gift for friends or family. It’s jam-packed with “gifts of extraordinary nature”

Since 2001, owners and their adorable shop doggy have offered down-home hospitality and friendly customer service to help you find that perfect something. Be sure to say hello to Bella the adorable shop dog.

The Capitol Grounds & Battle Born Memorial Nevada Proud stroll taking in our history.

 What a way to end our day with an evening stroll through the Capital Grounds taking one our Nevada History both past and present. The Battle Born Memorial is a must for all Nevadans to take in and honor our past.

The Perfect Local Spot to Gather and Remember Our Adventures of the Day!

Gather Carson City is indeed the perfect place to Gather, as we cheer and celebrate our second incredible yet emotional/inspiring day in Carson City. We love that Gather is local and farm-to-table and also supports local. As with any great gathering, we proposed a toast!

Deb’s pick for the toast: Bently Heritage’s Source One vodka rested in sherry oak casks, sparkling wine cube sugar to support our local distilleries

Jazzy Jorja’s pick: Black Cherry Press Verdi Local Distillery lemon-infused white whiskey, black cherries muddled with simple and mints.

Gather has incredible standards and showcases cooking with intention, purpose, creating small batch, high quality and seasonal dishes. It’s “made with love just for you!”

Capping Off An Amazing Day 2

With full tummies and hearts full of memories from an amazing day, we head back to My Place Hotels for some rest and relaxation. If you read part one of this blog, you’ll know we decided that “My Place” is now “Our Place”. The hotel made us feel so comfortable there During Day 3 of My Carson Staycation, we will be up early to visit a few more local gems, so we hope you’ll continue along with us on the final chapter of our adventure!

Cheers to Visit Carson City and Travel Nevada

My Carson Staycation

Join About Town Deb in this three-part blog as she explores Nevada’s historic capital, all while social distancing and masking up!

There is so much to discover in Carson City, and I was so happy to enjoy it with my cousin, Jazzy Jorja. Before we start, we want to give a special thank you to Visit Carson City for mapping out our adventure! Okay, hope you enjoy our trip! Let’s get going …

DAY 1

Feeling Like You Need To Relax? First Stop — Carson Hot Springs!

Hot springs are the perfect way to start any getaway, so naturally, the Historical Carson Hot Springs was on top of my itinerary. Heck, we went there before we even checked in to our hotel! After all, it’s a staycation so we dove right in, and the warm mineral water is just what I needed.

The fine team at the hot springs gave us a tour, explained all the extra COVID protocols they have in place to keep us safe, and I’ll tell you: this place is clean as a whistle and has everything you need for a stress-free experience. We picked our favorite private hot tub for an amazing mineral water soak. I loved the music and enjoyed plenty of room to relax and take it all in. After our relaxing mineral soak, we went outside for a swim and laid out by the pool. Bonus, I was able to pick a shady spot and get in some long overdue reading. Minus, I thought I was in good shape from daily six-mile walks . . . well, I was sure out of breath and shape in the pool (don’t tell!).

A little fun fact: The Historic Carson Hot Springs water comes from 35,000 feet below the Earth’s surface. They believe they have the BEST water in the Sierra/Rocky Mountain chain of hot springs, and here’s some info on why the Historic Carson Hot Springs are historic!

Check out the Historic Carson Hot Springs homepage for more info, a live webcam, and announcements.

Hot Springs Neighbors: Locally-Sourced, Fresh Lunch at Sassafras and Ice-Cold, Local Beer at Shoe Tree Brewery

 We walked 10 feet to lunch at Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint and 10 more feet for drinks at Shoe Tree Brewing Company! This shopping center trifecta is tucked away, and it’s a real Carson gem as far as I’m concerned. Rejuvenating hot springs, deliciously fresh food, and creative craft beer?! Plus, all local to-boot?! Yes please.

At Sassafras, we sat outside on their beautiful, spacious patio that’s complete with shade structures and water misters (perfect for cooling down after tanning at the hot springs). The Sassafras service gave us huge smiles under our masks!

On our menu at Sassafras, we had:

Deb’s Pick:

  • Farmer’s Spring Salad, [this salad was a treasure chest of healthy fresh fruits + greens!

Jazzy Jorja’s Pick

  • Asian chicken tacos it was so yummy + loved the heart shaped rice.

What I loved the most about Sassafras was seeing our server greet each local by name. The locals already had their perfect menu item ready to order, and they were happy to share menu choices with us. It’s easy to see why Sassafras is a local favorite. They embody that down-home hospitality that Carson City is all about. One of many reasons to visit!

After our yummy lunch, we walked a stones-throw to the family-owned Shoe Tree Brewing Company for a taste of local, award-winning craft beer! I absolutely LOVED the “Amigos! Amigos! Amigos!” Mexican lager, and I was in awe of the branding at Shoe Tree (it’s based on a real, iconic tree in Nevada).

We also enjoyed the Brunswick Blonde Ale on their spacious outdoor picnic seating area. The outdoor area has a stage for bands and features games like cornhole and ladder toss for patrons to enjoy.

Fun Fact: Shoe Tree Brewing owner Jeff Young’s 16-year-old daughter Emma Young crafted the delicious, non-alcoholic Shoe Tree Black Cherry Cola from scratch! She also created the Shoe Tree Sparkling Lemonade, another tasty non-alcoholic treat. So cool to see her already rocking the family business at such a young age.

Time For A Check Point, Settling In At My Place Hotels

We finally checked in to My Place Hotels, one of Carson City’s newest hotels, and we felt at home from the moment we walked in. Jazzy Jorga and I started calling it “Our Place” almost immediately. Our room was spacious and spotless. My first priority was a quick nap, so I loved the comfy pillow-top mattresses, soft microfiber bedding, and that we had a variety of soft and firm pillows on the bed. Bonuses: the hotel offers breakfast in bed, and all rooms include a small “my kitchen” area complete with a two-burner stove top and toaster to make your own meals if you’d like.

City Talk With About Town Deb Recorded On-Site at the Delicious Mangia Tutto Italian Pizzeria E Ristorante!
Plus, Picture Perfect Cocktails

 Mangia Tutto is a taste of Italy right in Downtown Carson! We enjoyed amazing cocktails and appetizers to fuel me up before hosting my City Talk radio show on-site in the restaurant. My Deb’s Pick was the traditional spaghetti with red sauce, and I was in pasta heaven. I also had this delightful grapefruit creation I’m holding, their signature Italian Greyhound cocktail!

Love seeing Lydia, marketing manager at Visit Carson City, smiling in the background, and I was so happy  we had such a great interview with her and Chrisie Yabu, Vice President of Public Relations at KPS3 marketing agency.

The food and experience at Mangia was so good that I’ve already gone back a second time since this visit!

Fueled Up & Ready For Nevada History! Next stop: Nevada State Museum

The Nevada State Museum showcases Carson City’s rich history in the raw. Knowledge rings around every corner, & I was particularly struck by the Carson City Mint Bell display on my first-ever visit! The bell sits in the same home it’s had since 1870, when the museum building was a mint.

Fun Fact: 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Carson City U.S. Branch Mint building and the beginning of coin production at the mint in 1870.

The museum experience was immersive, as we traveled through realistic replicas of Nevada’s historical silver mines! I’m happy to report that even the miners (and their trusty steeds) wore face masks for safety & that Jazzy Jorja and I made it through with our masks secured as well!

This is definitely a #debspick in Carson City, and a must-visit for anyone traveling through Nevada’s capital.

Dinner Bell! Stroll Through Italy With Good Wine, Steller Service & Oh-So-Delicious Bites At Carson Piazza Bar

From the moment you walk in, Carson Piazza Bar feels like home

My goodness, I can’t say enough about Carson Piazza Bar! Award-winning wines, great cocktails, fantastic service, and small bites that will dazzle your taste buds … the result is Piazza! As a bonus for me, they had one of my favorite El Dorado Wines, Lava Cap, as well as Frey Ranch vodka.

The restaurant was inspired by the owners’ travels in Italy and Spain, where they loved joining the locals in the evenings to stroll in the piazza (a public square/marketplace), and they enjoyed stopping at the neighborhood bar to relax with a spritz or good glass of wine.

Such a wonderful evening filled with great food, good conversion and lots of laughs. I’m already looking forward to my next Piazza visit!

 

 

 

Holidingo Fun in Midtown

 

I had a blast this past weekend playing Holidingo in Reno’s Midtown District. Wow, what a day Jorja and I had shopping, sipping, and supporting our community! We hit ten local businesses and have another 13 more to visit.

Want to play Holidingo, too? You can collect one stamp at each business and you only need to collect five to enter to win fabulous prizes including $1500 in gift cards. Don’t panic – you have until December 22!

I encourage you support our local businesses for your holiday shopping, entertaining and enjoying time with family and friends. Not just today but every day. You can see all of the spots we hit in the video. In the spirit of friendly competition, we’re determined to hit the final 13 because we want to WIN!

Our first stop was Mari Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant and our final of the ten stops was the 40 Mile Saloon, a fun rustic local bar. I loved that 40 Mile Saloon makes craft cocktails and had Tahoe Blue Vodka, one of my favorites. Can’t wait to return!

If you’re feeling hungry for some chicken wings, then Arario MidTown is the place. A real bonus for me was discovering that they were serving yummy cocktails with the brand-new, much awaited Frey Ranch Estate Distillery Whiskey! We also loved running into Jaci Goodman and Amanda Burden with Edible Reno-Tahoe Magazine.

We also loved stopping by one of Reno’s newest local Hot Spots, The Emerson Bar where you can enjoy delicious fresh hand-crafted Cocktails made just for you as you sit back and relax! Bonus finding out I could ask for one of my favorite local spirits, Theory Gin by Old Trestle Distillery!

Stay tuned for my report on the final 13 stops!

Facebook Event

Celebrating National Dairy Month, Nevada-style

If you know me, you know that I love good food. You may not also know that I’m a huge fan of all things dairy, especially cheese. (Also, ice cream.)

 

So, I was thrilled to be a part of National Dairy Month in June, organized by the Nevada Dairymen & Dairy Council of Nevada®. Who wouldn’t love a chance to taste a variety of dishes created by local chefs especially for Nevada Dairy Month?

 

My wing woman Jorja and I visited four different restaurants last month, each offering a unique dish that was only available for Nevada Dairy Month. Spoiler alert: those dishes are no longer on the menu; you can find the recipes for them at the end of this post.

 

We began at Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint with the Cheezeno Burger, which included grilled paella cheese on a potato bun with mixed artisan greens and a homemade chipotle crème. Owner and Chef Anthony Fish said he was inspired to participate in National Dairy Month to support his favorite Dairy, Sand Hill in Fallon.

 

  The Perla di Zafferano at Liberty Food & Wine Exchange was almost too pretty to eat!

 

Next, we headed to Liberty Food & Wine Exchange, where we sampled a delicious and unusual dessert, the Perla di Zafferano. Chef Katie said she was inspired to participate in National Dairy Month to showcase her creativity using spices that are not usually found in desserts.  The Perla was a delicious and light dessert that’s perfect for summer. Chef Katie won’t give everything away, but she did tell me that ingredients include milk, along with cardamom and saffron, which give it a surprising flavor.

 

I always love visiting Two Chicks in Midtown, since it means I get to see Jessie and Haley!

 

After that, we visited Two Chicks in Midtown for breakfast. But not just any breakfast, mind you. We got to try their special Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Quesadilla!

 

Haley (Red Chick) and Jessie (Yellow Chick) and I go way back. They both made sure they spoiled my dad, Papa Tony, and me during every visit. Both are Nevada natives and Reno enthusiasts. Best friends and co-workers for over a decade, they’re more like sisters.

 

They’ve been in the cheese business since they were kids, so it made sense to capitalize on what they know best! The Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast quesadillas featured Sand Hill Dairy serrano white cheddar, scrambled eggs, ham, salsa verde, and avocado. Check out my interview with them below!

 

 

My final stop for National Dairy Month was The Slanted Porch, where Jorja and I enjoyed chatting with Chef Steve Hernandez and Owner Dawn Whitten. Oh my goodness, the Sand Hill Dairy Mac and Cheese was the BEST! The creamy freshness brought back memories of being on my family’s farm in Nebraska.  This is the perfect down-home, farm fresh, locally sourced mac and cheese made with Sand Hill whole milk, cream, and three kinds of Sand Hill cheese!

 

 

If you didn’t have a chance to try these dishes last month, you can in the comfort of your own home, since the chefs kindly shared them. Let me know how the dishes turn out, and which one was your favorite!

 

Nevada Dairy Month Recipes

Sassafras Eclectic Food Joint Cheezeno Burger 

Liberty Food & Wine Exchange Perla di Zafferano

Two Chicks Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast Quesadilla

The Slanted Porch Mac and Cheese

Fountainhouse at Victorian Square

I recently had the opportunity to tour the new Fountainhouse Apartments in Victorian Square in Sparks. It’s so nice to have such wonderfully appointed luxury in an unbeatable location! The close proximity to shopping, dining, and entertainment makes it ideal for anyone who wants to experience urban living without a lot of driving. It’s my latest #DebsPick

Be sure to stop by and take a tour of these gorgeous apartments. Who knows, we might end up neighbors! Learn more at fountainhousesparks.com