USA, California (Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Napa, Grass Valley) Nevada (Reno)

June 10 – August 26, 2015.

After camping and exploring 4 wonderful National Parks (Death Valley, Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon) we headed to the XPCamper factory in Grass Valley, CA. On the way we spent a couple of nights in Sacramento, California’s Capital, to regroup and do some laundry after a week of tent camping.

Sacramento, CA. Laundry day.

Sacramento, CA. Laundry day.

On June 12, 2015 we drove 2 hours North East of Sacramento to Grass Valley to meet with Marc the owner of XPC. We had already met him at the Overland Expo in May but it was nice to learn more about how he develop the XPCamper concept. He gave us a tour of the factory where everything is done in-house. They were not ready yet for us to leave the truck for the modifications because more parts had to be ordered. Marc told us to return in a week so we headed for Reno, Nevada about 2 hours away.

The XPCamper Factory in Grass Valley, CA

The XPCamper Factory in Grass Valley, CA.

Reno is famous for its Casinos. We walked around town, had a nice dinner on a terrace and since neither of us are gamblers we were looking for something to do; it was Friday night after all!! We saw a sign on the street in front of Harrah’s Casino advertising Live Jazz at their Sapphire Lounge. To make it more attractive, it was also ladies night, 2 for 1 drinks. It turned out to be one of those memorable nights! So much fun! The vodka was flowing and the band was great!

Reno “The Biggest Little City in the World”

Reno, Nevada.

Reno, Nevada. “The Biggest Little City in the World”

Our next destination was Lake Tahoe. It is known for the clarity of its water and the panorama of surrounding mountains on all sides. We spent 5 nights in the town of South Lake Tahoe on the California side of the Lake. We enjoyed the beauty of the scenery, sat by the lake, took long walks, drove all around the Lake (72 miles of shore lines) and did a lot of sightseeing : Emerald Bay, Tahoe City,  Zephyr Cove … And watch the whole third season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix in our Motel 6 room.

Lake Tahoe “Where California and Nevada meet”

Beautiful view of Lake Tahoe from the Nevada side, coming from Reno.

View of Lake Tahoe from the Nevada side, coming from Reno.

Lake Tahoe, CA. Beautiful Emerald Bay. The color of the water was amazing.

Lake Tahoe, CA. Beautiful Emerald Bay. The color of the water was amazing.

Lake Tahoe, CA. Joe in the Lupine Meadow.

Lake Tahoe, CA. Joe in the Lupine Meadow.

We returned to Grass Valley on Saturday and left the truck at XPCamper.  We were going to bus it to San Francisco to meet our friend Rozanne on Sunday June 21. Our intentions were to catch the bus from Grass Valley to Auburn to Sacramento to San Francisco. Once in Grass Valley we found out that there was no bus until Monday. Bummed out, we were sitting on a bench in Old Town Grass Valley trying to figure out a way to make it to Sacramento, when we met Nicole who’s family own a bakery on Mill Street in Old Town: Brew Bakers Family Café. She asked us what was the problem and we explained our situation and she immediately tried to help us find a solution. We went back to Brew Backers, met her mom and nephew. To make a long story short she ended up driving us to Sacramento that night! An example of the incredibly nice people you meet while traveling. Strangers who go out of their way to help you without expecting anything in return. Thank you Nicole!

The historic town of Grass Valley, CA.

The historic town of Grass Valley, CA.

As planed we met our friend Rozanne in San Francisco on Sunday. Rozanne has lived in San Francisco for 30 years before moving to Blue Sea in 2012 where we met her. A Californian in Blue Sea was a pretty rare occurrence, as soon has we met we became instant friends. She was in town visiting her daughter so when she told us we jumped on the occasion to see her.  She picked us at the bus terminal and immediately took us all around town. She had arranged for us to stay a couple of nights at her friend’s Paula’s house located in a great neighborhood in the center of San Francisco. The next day we had a wonderful dinner with Rozanne and a few of her friends. Rozanne is an extraordinary person who’s generosity and ability to bring people together is remarkable. They welcomed us with open arms and made us feel like we were having an evening with long time friends. It was a great feeling after being on the road, just the two of us, for almost 2 months.

Wonderful dinner with new friends. From left to right: Paula, Kenneth, Mike, Libby, Alexandra, Joe and Rozanne.

Wonderful dinner with new friends. From left to right: Paula, Kenneth, Mike and Libby (our hosts), Alexandra, Joe and Rozanne.

San Francisco, CA. The beautiful house where we stayed, thanks to our new friend Paula.

San Francisco, CA. The beautiful house where we stayed, thanks to our new friend Paula.

Our 2 night stay at Paula’s turned into 17 nights (minus 2 nights in Napa Valley)! When travelers talk about the generosity of strangers, we can’t imagine a better example. Paula opened her home to us like we were part of her own family. We will never forget her generosity, class and Joie de Vivre. We had a great base to be able to explore San Francisco. We walked for hours through the city exploring the different neighborhoods. Every day was a different area. We walked, rode cable cars and buses, hiked trails, tried so many restaurants, drank good wines, attended the 4th of July Celebrations and watched the 4 seasons of The Killing on Netflix!

San FranciscoThe City by the Bay”

San Francisco, CA. The Cable Car. Joe kept singing “Rice A Roni the San Francisco Treat

San Francisco, CA. The Cable Car. Joe kept singing “Rice A Roni the San Francisco Treat”

San Francisco, CA. Chinatown.

San Francisco, CA. Chinatown.

San Francisco, CA. The Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

San Francisco, CA. The Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

San Francisco, CA. The cute Sea Lions at Pier 39.

San Francisco, CA. Adorable Sea Lions at Pier 39.

San Francisco, CA. Delicious Dungenes Crab, $14.95/pound.

San Francisco, CA. Delicious Dungenes Crab, $14.95/pound.

San Francisco, CA. Fisherman’s Wharf.

San Francisco, CA. Fisherman’s Wharf.

We met our friend Luc and his brother who rode their Harleys from Quebec.

San Francisco, CA. We met our friend Luc and his brother for breakfast.

thumb_IMG_5674_1024

San Francisco, CA. Luc and Michel are on a 3 week tour of Canada and the USA on their beautiful Harley-Davidson.

Wine Country

During our sojourn in the Wine Country, the highlight was roming through the vineyards and tasting the delicious wines. We visited 5 different wineries B.R. Cohn, Kunde, Imagery, Domaine Chandon and Robert Mondavi. We had so much fun! The scenery and decor are just unbelievable. We hate in great restaurants, stayed in a bed and breakfast in Sonoma and a nice Inn in Calistoga. Over all a wonderful experience, the wine definitely helped creating the mood.

thumb_IMG_0944_1024

The Napa Valley counts about 450 wineries and another 400 in the Sonoma Valley.

Sonoma Valley, Genn Ellen, CA. Our first wine tasting at the B.R. Cohn Winery.

Sonoma Valley, Genn Ellen, CA. Our first wine tasting at the B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company.

Sonoma Valley. Glenn Ellen, CA. B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company

Sonoma Valley. Glenn Ellen, CA. B.R. Cohn Winery and Olive Oil Company.

Sonoma Valley, Kenwood, CA. The Kunde Family Winery was our favorite, the property was magnificent.

Sonoma Valley, Kenwood, CA. The Kunde Family Winery was our favorite, the property was magnificent.

Sonoma, CA. Historic building: Mission

Sonoma, CA. Mission historic building.

Napa Valley, St Helena, CA. Robert Mondavi Winery, four decades of fine wines.

Napa Valley. St Helena, CA. Robert Mondavi Winery, four decades of fine wines.

Robert Mondavi Winery. We took a 75 minute tour that included a walk through of the vineyards and cellars and a wine tasting.

Robert Mondavi Winery. We took a 75 minute tour that included a walk through of the vineyards and cellars and a wine tasting.

Grass Valley, CA

We are now back in Grass Valley, CA staying in a nice little Motel waiting for our XPCamper! Grass Valley is located in the Gold Country, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range. There is a lot to see and do in the area; historic towns, hiking trails, swimming holes … If everything goes well we will be back on the road by the end of July or at the latest sometime in August! In the mean time we are enjoying the area and just relaxing!

Grass Valley, CA. Our home for the next few weeks.

Grass Valley, CA. Our home for the next few weeks. The Pines Motel and Cottages.

Old Town Auburn, CA. Located about 30 minutes from Grass Valley.

Old Town Auburn, CA. Restaurants, quaint shops, art galleries and wine tasting. Located about 30 minutes from Grass Valley.

Another great historic town located close by. Nevada City, CA. And yes, Joe is wearing sandals with socks!!!

Nevada City, CA. Another great historic town located close by. And yes, Joe is wearing sandals with socks!!!

Nevada City, CA. Notice the dogs outside the bar waiting for their owners!

Nevada City, CA. Notice the dogs outside the bar waiting for their partners! Resembling a scene from the old West!

7 thoughts on “USA, California (Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Napa, Grass Valley) Nevada (Reno)

    1. Allo Anne! Merci pour tes commentaires, nous avons hâte de poursuivre notre voyage avec notre camper! Amusez vous bien en fin de semaine avec la famille. Je vous appelle sur Face Time. Je vous aime xxxxx

      Like

  1. Youse guys are having too much fun….Must be a law against it somewhere. Oh my Joe…..you have turned into a Canadian…..(not that it makes you a bad person)….sandals and socks? Too late now, but Art Morgan and his wife Kathleen live in Napa. Keep trucking….will watch for the next installment

    Like

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the comments. After we get our camper, our next destinations will be Oregon, Washington, British-Columbia and Alaska and then turn back and head South until we reach Tierra del Fuego! Did you guys move back to Jekyll Island? Cheers Joe and Josée

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s