Posted By Erin on December 3, 2013
While I’m no high roller, I do have an unabashed love of pop culture slot machines and all you can eat buffets. And where can indulge of my love of both at once? Why, local casinos, of coarse! And thankfully, Northern California has a pretty decent selection. Sadly not grouped nicely together like in Reno or Vegas, but if you know where to go, you can get your gamble on quite nicely.
Thunder Valley Casino is owned by the United Auburn Indian Community and is located in Lincoln, CA. Originally opened in 2004, the casino went through a huge expansion in 2010 that included a brand new hotel. The buffet is pretty decent, but I wasn’t impressed with the Chinese restaurant. While there is a good selection of slots, none of them seem to love me the way I love them.
Posted By Erin on December 1, 2013
Dickens Street Festival, Elk Grove
To celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season, Elk Grove has its annual Dickens Street Festival on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Featuring vendors, costumed performers, food and merchants, the festival is your typical street fair with a bit of an old time-y flare.
I love that they close down Elk Grove blvd for these things. shows that they are serious.
Awww, a cute little train.
Posted By Erin on November 24, 2013
Mountain Mandarin Festival
The Mountain Mandarin Festival takes place at the Gold County Fairgrounds the weekend before Thanksgiving and features a variety of mandarin orange products from a dozen+ vendors.
Everyone appears to love mandarins as that is one long line.
As the title suggests, lots of mandarins for sale.
Posted By Erin on November 19, 2013
Animals. They’re adorable. Or scary. Fluffy, or slimy or scaly. Creepy-crawly or snuggly-wuggly. Sometimes majestic and sometimes flinging poo. But no matter what kind of animal they are, I love ‘em and I love seeing them. There’s a good amount of different places in Northern California that you can see them, but there’s a few that stand out. Here are my top five favorite places to go see animals.
Folsom isn’t a very big city, so, unsurprisingly, neither neither is it’s zoo. But the small size and lack of crowds add a very nice sense of intimacy. And as you can see in the above pictures, if the animals are feeling sociable, you can get rather close to them. They are also the only place I’ve been to that has mountain lions and grey wolves. Pluses also include a very cheap price and most of the animals are rescues so you are helping out a great cause. They also have a nice winter lights celebration.
Posted By Erin on November 17, 2013
Nimbus Fish Hatchery
Historically, salmon and steelhead would swim miles and miles up the rivers around here from the oceans in order to spawn. However, with many of the rivers now dammed, the fish can no longer head all the way up the rivers. The Nimbus Fish Hatchery is one of the many hatcheries that now assists the fish in their breeding activities.
I managed to convince The Niece to tag along on this one.
The baby fish holding ponds.
Posted By Erin on November 10, 2013
Sacred City Derby Girls
Roller Derby, originally started in the 1930s, has gone through a multitude of changes and revisions in how it’s played over years. It is currently a fully competitive sport played almost exclusively by women and overseen by the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association.
Formed in 2006, the Sacred City Roller Girls are currently ranked number 7 in the WFTDA’s Western Region and I was finally able to get around to checking out one of their bouts at their 2013 championship at Memorial Auditorium.
Ahh, Memorial, you grand old lady. I don’t think I’ve been hear since my high school graduation.
Shots of the merch and raffle booths. Including a leopard blanket.
Posted By Erin on November 5, 2013
5 Historic Places You Probably Haven’t Been to (And Totally Should)
When you think of historical places of interest in Northern California there are a few big standouts. In San Francisco you probably think of Alcatraz or the missions along the coast. In Sacramento, it’s Sutter’s Fort (who in the area didn’t go there in elementary school?) or Old Sacramento. Up in the mountains it’s mostly likely the tragedy of Donner Pass.
As I’ve gone on my adventures over the past few years I’ve come across some very interesting historical places that I’d never even known about, much less visited before. I thought that these places needed more love and attention so listed below are five of my favorite historical sites that you may not have visited, and totally should.
Posted By Erin on November 3, 2013
Itsa Film Festival
Now in it’s forth year at the Sonora Opera Hall, in Sonora, CA, the Itsa Film Festival features a variety of short films that include comedy, drama, documentaries, animation, the Reel Scary horror selections and even the occasional music video.
There was also a small selection of talks given on Saturday from industry professionals and Dia De Los Muertos opening gala on Friday night.
A small, but cute selection of merchandise.
Oooh, snack table. This was a good plan as it kept me from needing to wander off for lunch and miss some of the films.
Posted By Erin on October 31, 2013
Castle Air Museum
The Castle Air Base was closed in 1994, but it is still home to several dozen aircraft in the form of the Castle Air Museum. The museum is home to bombers, fighters, drones, cargo planes, trainers and more. There is also a smallish, but interesting indoor museum.
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress and it’s rather hopeful slogan.
Consolidated B-24M Liberator with the “I’ve bombed a lot of shit” markings.
Posted By Erin on October 29, 2013
Forestiere Underground Gardens
When he moved to Fresno in the very early 1900s and bought a sizable area of land in Fresno, Baldassare Forestiere thought his dreams of being a successful citrus farmer were close at hand. However, those dreams were thrown out of whack when he discovered a rather formidable layer of hardpan soil covering pretty much everything.
With the temperatures of a Fresno summer sweltering all over the place and air conditioning being non-existant, Forestiere started carving out a basement to hang out in after work. That was the start of a life long mission as over the next forty some-odd years, that first basement became an underground complex that included full living quarters, a ballroom, patios, grottos and more over 10 acres.