Monday, September 16, 2013

Exploring Nevada

After we left Idaho, we decided to take a an extra day and see some parts of our state that we had never seen before. 

Brad was offered and accepted the WICHE Scholarship once he started Grad School, which has been a huge blessing.  Part of the scholarship agreement though is that after Brad graduates, he has to work for 2 years in the state of Nevada as a Physical Therapist.  So we have been more interested in exploring what this silver state has to offer.

We drove up through Winnemucca, which was surprisingly pretty.  With a name like 'Winnemucca', you kinda just assume its a hole, but it was pretty and green and much cooler than I thought it would be.

We drove through Fallon and that was just a giant sand pit. 

The next stop was the Carson City area, which I had had pretty high expectations for from looking at pictures online.  But... I was starting to get nervous because everything up to that point, with the exception of Winnemucca was quite disappointing.  I mean, you never know with online photos.  Online, Fallon looked pretty, but in real life....  Yeah, I was starting to think it was going to be a let-down.  I told Brad it felt like a blind date.  You have your hopes and have seen profile pictures, but the real thing might not live up to the dream.
We decided to drive into the hills to see Virginia City, since we were right there and you know what??  It was awesome!!  I seriously wish we could have spent like days there.  It was the coolest little western town and had soooo much to see.  I just loved it and its so clich√© Nevada.  It was so fun. 
I was crazy about all the super old buildings and houses!!
I could have spent hours just taking pictures
After Virginia City, we were on the road for Carson City.  I was telling myself that Virginia City was going to be the high point and to just enjoy it.  So as we drove up over that hill and got our first glimpse of Carson City and......
My heart may have leapt out of my chest.

We drove down Main Street and it was so blasted cute I died
It had so much character and so many trees and flowers
Oh and all the old buildings.....
The photos just don't even kind of do them justice
Tons of shops I wanted to visit
Tons of restaurants I wanted to try
But it was getting late, so we got some dinner (the most amazing four cheese macaroni and cheese and sweet pepper chicken ever) and found us a cute little hotel on Main to stay in.
Clark was SO excited about the hotel and that he got his own bed.

We woke up early the next morning, too excited to see more of the little city and to drive up the mountain to see Lake Tahoe.  The morning had the most perfect Fall crispness to it and I died again.

We put the kids in the car and swiped some apples from the hotel breakfast and we were on our way to exploring more.
And I fell inlove
Like, over-the-top
I just wasn't expecting something so beautiful. 
All my life I've thought that when people talk about parts of Nevada being pretty, I just thought, 'yeah, pretty for the desert'.
But Carson City is just plain and simple pretty
Really, you should check it out if you've never seen it!
After a quick hot chocolate stop and making a pact that we would return to Carson City one day, we were on to Lake Tahoe.... and OH MY GOSH!!!!

Its one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my whole life... and its in NEVADA.  I just never saw this coming. hahaha 

We just loved it and we did not want to leave.  Ever.
We found a place to stop and take some pictures and feel the water and soak up the perfect weather
Im quite certain that if we pitched a tent right here, I would be completely happy for the rest of my life.  I could be a Lake Tahoe hobo and be happy!!
I couldn't believe how big it was
It stretched out so far and seeing all those sail boats made us wish we had months to get a boat and explore every inch of that lake.
Maybe one day......
Not one tiny bit of either of us wanted to get back in the car and leave, but we did it.

We spent hours in the car driving back down to southern Nevada.  Nothing was nearly as pretty after Lake Tahoe.  In my opinion, the further we got from Carson, the worse it got.  The rest of the drive was dirt plains, brown rocky hills and towns that were nearly ghost towns.  Hours and hours of boring dirt and army training and testing areas.  After a while, I felt like my eyes were just aching from searching for even the tiniest bit of green anywhere.  And honestly, when we drove up over the mesa and Moapa Valley came into view, it was quite literally a sight for sore eyes. 
 I never really noticed how uniquely beautiful our small corner of the state is.  I always assumed its what most of Nevada looked like, but those pink mesas against the blue and purple mountains is very unique to our valley.  And our town is so much nicer and so much greener than most of the places we saw.  Although I was sad to leave the paradise that was Lake Tahoe, I was very happy to be back and very happy that we get to call Moapa Valley our home.  For now ;)

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