Continuing on from the previous post - Sense number 5 = sight. This is a rather long post but you get a little history and lots 'o photos. I hope you enjoy.
Our first outing was to Fiddletown. A very small town originally settled in 1849 by Missourians and in the 1850's served as a trading center for some of the local mining camps in the area. (remember this is GOLD country) According to the 1860 census it had one of the largest Chinese communities in the state. During the time it was founded placer mining was being used which required water but during the summer months the creeks would dry up leaving the miners to "fiddle around".....thus the towns name. It was not named for fiddle players. In fact one man in 1878 didn't like being known as "the man from Fiddletown" and petitiioned to change the name after his daughter Oleta and won. But upon his passing in 1932 the towns people petitioned to change it back to the original name. (there's a bit of California history for you)
Each year the town holds a Fiddle Jam where people from all ages play their fiddle on the outdoor stage set up at one end of the street. There are also some booths with arts/crafts/jewelry etc as well as food. They also have an indoor setting where music was played as well. When we went there last Saturday the heat was intense....like walking around inside your oven on broil. At least that's what it felt like to me as I had to sit in the shade of someones booth because I was feeling woozy. BUT I didn't let it ruin my day and eventually felt better and we sat in the shade listening to a bit of music after walking around.
(you can click all images to enlarge)
Images below are from the Chew Kee Store
Next stop on the days journey was Sutter Creek. Named for John Sutter. In 1848 Sutter's discovery of gold in nearby Coloma triggered the California Gold Rush. It became a desitination for fortune hunters and became a town in 1854. Remember the phrase "there's gold in them thar hills!" ?
L. wanted to take us to a couple shops there he knew we (I) would like. And he was right, I loved them. The first was this place:
BohoHandyman and I LOVE glass art and when we can, try to at least buy a small piece. The owners of Chaos Glassworks (David and Heather Hopman) are located in a mid-1800's stone granary and brewery. Their work is beautiful and vibrant with color. We bought a piece to add to our collection (we only have a few pieces so far) which is the flower below, we both loved the vibrant orange.
The next shop we went to was FineEye Gallery.
I was totally inspired. Just what I needed to jump start the art mojo. There are paintings, mixed media, jewelry, a few pieces of clothing, sculptures of various types, artful household items like wine glasses and plates..... and more. L. was right when he said he knew I'd love it. I have a wood framed cheval mirror that was my Mom's and after seeing a metal one they had all painted up it inspired me to finally paint my Mom's and put it in the house. (Hers is stored in the garage right now and I may just do that this weekend) M and I like a lot of the same things so it was fun to explore the shop with her. She is does photography and makes jewelry and is an all around creative person. I am so glad we can share our love for the imagination.
Next stop....cheese! L and J had been telling us about this shop and the lovely woman who owns it where they get all their amazing cheeses (some they served in their appetizers).
Sutter Creek Cheese Shoppe, Kathy Dawson is the proprietor/cheesemonger and she is so sweet!!
We were able to taste many different varieties (cubes on a toothpick) as she explained what they were, where they came from and what they go well with. She was fun and charming and knowledgable! If you are ever in Sutter Creek,CA be sure and stop in her shoppe! I don't normally eat much cheese but we had some that just bowled our tastes buds over. Without knowing it as we were tasting L. was buying.....he surprised BohoHandyman and I ....and M and her husband with a bag each of a few of the cheeses we were tasting and liking. That guy is sooooo generous. My fave was the herb and garlic brie.....yummy yum yum on a baguette!
We wandered in and out a few other shops that day....one store had an array of gifts and clothes and I tell you some of the clothes were so whimsical and amazing. She and I were drooling over some of the pieces! As I said it was HOT that day so we didn't wander as much as we'd like so we WILL go back there. Once we cooled off with an iced coffee we headed out for some wine tasting. Oh and L and J told us the town really does it up at Christmas time that almost looks like a Dickens scene. I'd love to go up during that time too.
Next stop - Convergence Vineyards
It is named for its location where three creek (the Amador, Rancheria and Dry Creeks) converge into one waterway and flow off the property.
I am not a wine person in the sense I know nothing about them.....I don't drink that much but now and then I do enjoy a glass or two of wine. Usually I just taste it and if I like it, fine....I have no idea of wines "notes" or bouquet or what wine pairs with what. It would be nice to learn though as it is interesting. So when we tasted I just went by smoothness, what didn't leave an aftertaste or wasn't too acidic.
On the left is Steve Concannon (he and his wife Jamie) own the vineyard. On the right is Hoss (not his real name but that's what he goes by) and he did the wine tasting for us. Both really nice guys! You can read about Steve and the winery by clicking the link above.
This is the only bottle we bought, I don't normally like white wine but this is fantastic! (as were many of the other wines) and of course I had to get those choc covered blueberries. (they weren't paired at the tasting, we just liked both)
This what I really wanted to bring home from the winery:
Her name is Maverick and she's 7 months old and what a love!!!! She came out and hung out with us and I couldn't take my eyes or hands off her. I told Steve if she was missing he'd know where she was....he laughed and said she has a GPS! ha! Oh how I fell in love with this soft and sweet girl. I have always wanted a Golden Retriever (sorry Sadey)....and one day I just may have one yet.
Before I leave this very long post....I mentioned L was a VERY generous man (and J too). Not only with the hospitality he and J showed us (which was THE best gift) he also sent us home with treasures. (As with all the other photos click to enlarge):
I tell you people.....how sweet is all that?
Well that concludes the sight sense portion of the weekend. I hope you enjoyed it and if you live in California or plan to visit and you find yourself in the Gold Country these are but a few places to stop and see. We can't wait to go back and explore and I hope it will be sooner rather than later! I miss those guys already!
I have more photos but another time.......
I am, as always, very grateful you chose to stop by and read my blog. I heart you if you stuck with the entire post as I know it was rather long. I actually have a few more photos to share but I'll save them for another time!
I hope you all are having the most amazing week.....I hope you are feeling loved and loving.....I hope that you are smiling!
The shift in me continues......it's quite extraordinary, extraordinary indeed!
P.S. the tree in my sign off is from L and J's house. Isn't it whimsically wonderful?