My friend here in Santiago just did a post on her small historical town in Connecticut so I am stealing her idea and am going to tell you a little about historical Grass Valley and Nevada City, where I come from.
I was born in Berkeley, Ca (one of the reasons I went to UCSD instead of Berkeley) and grew up in the San Francisco bay area until I was in 3rd grade. Then I moved to Grass Valley.
(That red dot is grass valley)
A little gold mining town in the foothills, about 50 minutes from skiing and snowboarding and close to lakes and rivers. Population: 12,298 I’ve heard that Grass Valley was bigger and more happening than San Francisco during the gold rush. The richest mine in California is Empire mine, right next door to the church I went to. Oh, and the tallest dog in the world, Gibson, is also from Grass Valley. He went on Oprah!
The closest mall was a 45-50 minute drive down towards the capital of California, Sacramento. Nevada City, about 2 miles further into the mountains, was my other home town. Both towns had one main street in their down town which was filled with cute little boutiques, wine rooms, cafes, and restaurants. Street fairs were the place to be, whether it be the summer farmer’s market fairs or the Cornish Christmas fairs. In the summer, the river with perfect water and boulders to lay on is only a 20 minute drive. And if you had a boat… or have friends with boats, like me, then wakeboarding and tubing on one of the many lakes is the summer pastime. I couldn’t have asked for a better place to grow up.
The state of Nevada was named after Nevada City (meaning “snow covered” in Spanish), which was originally Nevada, but City was added to not confuse it with the state. And, yes, it does snow in California and, no, not everyone surfs. The closest beach was 3+ hours away from me. Even though it occasionally snowed, it is not killer cold like the east coast. The min might have been around 20 degrees, which might be the coldest weather I’ve ever felt, and I would like to keep it that way. The summers are amazing. Hot, dry, and sunny. Temperatures are around 80-100 but very very dry (also unlike the east coast), perfect for a day at the lake.