Sunday, November 22, 2020

Chocolate Nugget Candy Factory- A Sweet Escape & Bite into History


Two Locations:
*611 US-395, New Washoe City, NV 89704
Directions
(775) 849-0841


(775) 246-5500



Do you find yourself looking for a little magic during these dark times?  Look no further, because Chocolate Nugget Factory is your answer.  Growing up with Willy Wonka, I had high expectations of what a chocolate factory should be and after my first visit to the shop, I was not disappointed.  Happy to say: It's been a little over five years that I've visited the shop.   

The magic is in the atmosphere- homemade candies and goods presented in a Wild West like atmosphere: a shop dotted with vintage decorations and friendly faces eager to help you.  There's nothing better than consuming guilty pleasures that you know have been made fresh with simple, fine ingredients, from a place that pays attention to all details, including what is offered, and how it is delivered.  

You can find something for everyone- fudge, a fine assortment of taffy, the best roasted nuts in town, an assortment of brittles with the perfect texture, homemade chocolates, candies from childhood, chocolate covered raisins/ coffee beans, fresh popcorn, caramel popcorn, caramels, specialty drinks, chocolate dipped cheesecake and ice cream, jams, honey, cotton candy, sugar free selections, boxed candies ideal for gifting, barks, chocolate dipped pretzels, candy bars, popcorn, fun meal kits for the most well known western foods (chili and cornbread), and so much more.  

If you visit the shop, you are likely to run into Tina, a worker who has been working for the company for 20 years, and a young person, Rebecca, who is a chocolate lover that's super down to earth.  They are both always welcoming, cheerful, and are one of the reasons I enjoy my visits so much. 

The Chocolate Nugget Factory is more than just a chocolate shop.  It's the success of a man driven by the want to support his family while providing good quality treats for all to enjoy.  The chocolate Nugget Factory delivers on all levels, covering all the treats that I grew up and introducing new ones that I have come to love. It's a unique shop that you won't find just anywhere and I always leave happy and eager for my next visit.

Notes:
-They practice social distancing and mask-wearing. 
-They have Apple Pay/Samsung Pay for contact free transactions.  You can download these apps on your phone and connect them to your cards.
-Local family owned business. Visit their site for their amazing history.  The magic all started in 1936.
-Wood Porch out front with tables and seating
-Nice place for pictures in front of tractors and porch
-Check website for occasional specials
-The owner is constantly keeping up with the times: renovations, payment methods, deliveries, Instagram Announcements
-They offer pick-up and delivery.  Call in for pick-up orders. Online orders are shipped through USPS.
-Must Try Goodies: their Caramel Popcorn is so fresh, delicious and addicting. Their roasted nuts are amazingly fresh and taste like the holidays.  They are the best nuts in town.  All of their taffies are true to their flavors, great in texture with just the right amount of sweetness.  Their chocolate-dipped pretzels are super crunchy, well-balanced, and not too sweet.  Their nutty, chocolate-dipped ice cream and cheesecake is a must for me and my kids during summer.  Their peanut brittle is amazingly thin, and fresh: a brittle like no other that will not break your teeth. 
-They offer free fudge samples. Super fresh with great balance in flavors and textures.  I never was a fan of fudge because they were always too sweet and overwhelming, but Chocolate Nugget has changed my mind about it. 
-They have another location at the bottom of the Virginia City Foothills, where all of the candy is manufactured.  Viewing window available where they make candy. There you will also find stellar service.
-The drive on 395 from Reno to the shop is scenic and relaxing.  Alternatively, you can take side streets too.  Take South Virginia all the way down toward Carson City and you will find it on your right.
-I love going to Davis Creek Regional Park and Bower's Mansion nearby for a nice walk or hike before visiting the factory.  Washoe Lake State Park is also nearby.  
-If you drive around the Washoe Lake/Little Washoe area, you can find wild mustangs

Categorized Under "Good Eats"

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Geiger Lookout Wayside Park- A Nice Stop with Great Views on the way to and from Virginia City


Geiger lookout is frequented by sunset enthusiasts, people looking to stretch their legs out, In-N-Out lovers wanting to enjoy their food with a great view, people looking to take a step back in history, vista enjoyers, and curious travelers going to and coming from Virginia City.  The lookout can be found a little way up a winding route to Virginia City from Reno at a turnout with about 11 parking spaces. 

One of the best things about Reno is how varied it can be within such a short distance.  With rock-lined paths, muted colors of nature and vibrant red mineralize mountains, Geiger Lookout provides a unique experience.  

There are multiple lookout points where you will find sweeping views of Mt. Rose, the Sierra Mountains and Downtown Reno.  At about 1,000 ft. elevation above the Truckee Meadows, you will feel amazing being surrounded by amazing views. 

The park and the ruins (1938) of barbecues, wells, restrooms, and a "love seat" help bring people back in time and activate their wonders of the history behind them.  

Just a short 15 min drive up a scenic and winding road, you'll find Virginia City.  There's truly no better feeling than taking a step back in time in the "Wild  Wild West."  In normal times, Virginia City hosts many annual events, parades, tours and is a popular place for tourists with unique experiences, saloons, restaurants and shops for shopping.

Notes:
-Plaque at stone stairs commemorate Davison M. Geiger, a local physician who funded the Geiger Grade Rd. Stairs lead to lookout and "loveseat"
-2 acres.
-you can bring lawn chairs to enjoy the view for a little while and have a picnic
-It can get windy.  Don't forget to check the weather for wind speed and conditions.


Categorized under "Parks and Playgrounds"

Monday, November 9, 2020

Take a Short & Scenic hike to a Beautiful Waterfall - Mt. Rose Summit Trail


24705 Mt Rose Hwy 
Reno, NV 89511


When I think about why I love living in Reno, Mt. Rose Summit Trail is one reason that's up there on the list.  It's a 11.8-mile loop trail that includes stunning views and enjoyment for every skill level.  

Will little to no effort and a fairly flat path (with exception to the beginning of the trail) winding through the woods, in about 2.5 miles, you will reach beautiful Galena Falls and a grand view of a meadow.  For the little amount of effort needed in getting to a beautiful waterfall, Mt. Rose Summit Trail has become popular and can get busy for this part of the hike.  

From the falls, the hike is said to get more and more difficult, with the last 1.5 miles being more on the most challenging side.  Regardless, many see the hike as rewarding and pleasant, with stunning views of Lake Tahoe Basin, Washoe Valley and Reno (AllTrails).

Notes:
-Best used May–October
-30 min from South Reno
-4.5–6 hrs round trip
-Elevation:10,778' ft. Altitude sickness can be a risk for some individuals, esp when going over 8,000 feet.  Here's an article with more information.
-The summit at top is always windy and hikers on AllTrails recommend windbreakers no matter what the season.
-Download the app AllTrails (free) for more reviews, directions, photos and navigation tools
-As always, check the weather and road conditions to plan accordingly.
-Don't forget sunblock. The higher you are, the more intense the sun is.  Dress in layers.
-Bring lots of water and snacks.  Picnic opportunities available throughout the hike.
-Going early on weekends in the summer and winter will help beat the crowds. Parking lots can fill up fast.
-During winter, lots of people like to sled and play with snow next to the parking lot. Slopes are awesome.
-Most shade is found at the beginning of hike. At the last part, a sprinkling of trees helps provide relief from the sun.
-In Mid to late August you can catch the great Monarch Butterfly migration
-Beautiful in the fall, and in the spring and summer with lots of wildlife and wildflowers
-People have found walking poles to be of benefit for the last part of the rocky hike and for the ascent
-there's a restroom that's open during certain parts of the year.  Porta Potties available.
-Dog and equestrian friendly
-For those looking for a beautiful flat hike nearby Tahoe Meadows Interpretive Loop trail is down the street to the left (you will see a parking lot).  Tahoe Meadows South Trailhead is just a min down from Tahoe Meadows and features more options for hikes. Here you will find another loop hike that leads to a boardwalk that is fun to hang around.
-The Mt. Rose area is popular in the winter for sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
-If hiking in the winter, bring snow gear and a map or make sure your phone is charged so that AllTrails can help you navigate.  The trails can easily be lost covered in snow.
-During longer hikes where bathrooms are not nearby, I like to bring my portable potty for my kids.

Reccomended Gear
-Sunscreen (after trying so many options, this is my family's favorite)
-Water Bottle (definitely a must in Reno's dry climate)
-Portable potty Liners (priceless gadget that makes any hike with kids a breeze)
-hiking backpack (great view for kids, storage, nap friendly, shade)
-carrier (more afordable, light weight, shade, storage for keys)

*As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.

If you want to see an amazing video that does this trail justice, check out this video made by Supai Adventures.  You can even run into butterflies!!!



Right Next to Mt. Rose Parking Lot

Categorized under "Family Friendly Hikes