Sampling glamping in Nevada City


Try #13, the Cowboy tent with a Western theme and a place to hang your hat. Whimsical touches like horses’ hooves decorate the walls. Photo by Eren Goknar.

About two miles from downtown Nevada City, InnTown Campground provides RV hook-ups, camping, and tents with wifi connections. If you love sleeping outdoors, but not on the ground, glamping may be for you.

Just remember that you still have to lug your toiletries to the restrooms and  outdoor showers. The two two shower facilities include one that is handicapped accessible.

Owners Erin  and Dan Thiem provide heated mattress pads, but no heaters. Remember, even though you will sleep under a canvas tent, you still have to walk across the circular driveway to get to the two showers-one indoor and the other outdoor.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word means blending camp activities with the comforts of home, like plugs, wifi, pillows and a queen bed. We particularly liked the InnTown’s new heated mattress pad with dual controls, since it gets chilly in the Sierra Nevada hills at night. The tents sit on platforms and your bed has real mattresses and linen.

Nevada City

Settled in 1849 at the height of the California gold rush, founders decided on “nevada” because it meant snow, and so that Nevada City so it wouldn’t be confused with the state of Nevada. Because of the cold weather, the glamping tents at InnTown shut down from December until March, but the regular camping and RV sites are open throughout the winter.

Try out cooking at the kitchen, which has a homey, clean look and a table for your family to play games or eat meals. The cafe sells hot chocolate

People tend to know each other. Visit on July Fourth for the Hometown Parade and you’ll see  patriotic displays worthy of Mayberry, RFD, the fictional town set in small town America on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

With a population of only 3,200, Nevada City delivers big adventures with  a small-town vibe.  The three to four-hour drive from the Bay Area makes it easy to get there over a long weekend.

Though not as far nor as big as Lake Tahoe,  a river runs through it.The Yuba River becomes a popular swimming spot in the summers, when you can see cars parked on Highway 49 for a couple miles.

It’s a good place to see the fall colors of the Sierra Nevada hills, and while the kids might like camping, my favorite activity is wandering downtown past 19th century Victorians. The downtown feels like any  town you’ve seen in old westerns, but the roads are paved.

The Empire Mines offers docent tours, and the campground is next door to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Museum.

Locals like to go to nearby Grass Valley for the Nevada County Fairgrounds. While the fair doesn’t start till August, the Strawberry Music Festival hosts several bands in May.

Now, with Covid-19 changing everything, you can still camp and enjoy the outdoors. The camp store is closed, but you can access the kitchen, laundry, T.V. area and reading nook. Family outdoor movie nights are a favorite with campers.

The fifteen glamping tents start at $110 per night.  One tent has four twin beds; there are others with two queens.  Find everything online at There are also 18 motor home sites, which provide water and electricity hook-ups and start at $65 a night.

Locals like to go to nearby Grass Valley for the Nevada County Fairgrounds. While the fair doesn’t start till August, the Strawberry Music Festival hosts several bands in May.

The Spice Station: Mistress of spices in Silverlake District, LA


Silver lake District in Los Angeles projects urban grittiness, but there are some amazing finds here. I wandered into the Spice Station recently, after a day at the art museum.

It takes five minutes or so to find 3819 Sunset Blvd., because first you have to meander through a path, the lovely impressionistic courtyard covered with trellises and a fountain . After the courtyard, you will step into the actual store, filled with spices in apothecary jars.


Owned by husband and wife team Peter Bahlawanian and Bronwen Tahse, the store carries 140 spices, teas, and tissanes.
I took home jasmine tea and Himalayan salt in packets. The small cottage is lined top to bottom with jars of spices.

DTLA art galleries and museums

More than 100,000 pieces of art in Los Angeles County Museum of Art 5905 Wilshire Blvd. guarantee that you’re not going to see all of them in this lifetime!

But pick and choose and take in the ones that call to you. Free admission on the second Tuesday of every month, otherwise it’s $15 for adults, $10 for seniors 62 and older.
Temporary exhibitions include one on Samurai armour, another on Pierre Huyghe, and a third on the Hudson River School. Visit for additional information.
The streets around LACMA also contain lots of art galleries. Wander around for hours.