St. Patrick's Day ~ Weekend Getaway ~ 2018

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Sunday, March 25, 2018 2:51 PM

Since St. Patrick's Day fell on a Saturday this year, and also was the first weekend of Patrick's spring break, we decided to make it special with a nearby getaway to seek our own pot of gold in California's Gold Country.

We had the traditional corned beef & cabbage the night before...

 All suited up the next morning for our adventure eastward.
Coloma, California. We were thankful the weather reports of rain were wrong. 
There were a few very light sprinkles, but for the most of the morning and early afternoon,
it was dry with even some sun breaks, perfect for exploring Marshall Gold Discovery State Park.

It sorta felt like we'd escaped to Ireland.

This is Oliver's "maybe I do need my coat after all" face...

Much better!

A little picnic lunch.
Some musical souvenirs from the museum gift shop...

Then we walked through the old town of Coloma.

Up on the hillside is a statue of John Marshall, who first found the gold here. 
The statue is pointing to the spot where he found it, down by the mill.

We checked out the cemetery...many Irish immigrants laid to rest here.

As we were leaving the cemetery, we got caught in a flash hail storm.  Oliver, who was caught off guard in only a t-shirt, said, "Mom, it's snowing!  It kind of hurts!" :-D

So we checked into our hotel about 10 miles away and hung out for a couple hours to let the storm pass.

That evening, we went back to the grange hall in Coloma for a St. Patrick's Day dinner & dance.  We had no idea what to expect, but the place was packed with people of all ages!  I don't think the organizers knew what to expect either, because it seemed that they were running out of ingredients for their baked potato bar pretty quickly.  The kids especially enjoyed the dressing up, the dancing, and the desserts, while I enjoyed being a festive event at which I knew no one and didn't have any obligation to small talk :-D.

We wore them out!  (They're so cute sharing a queen hotel bed!)
We had a very leisurely morning at the hotel...
...took an unexpectedly snowy drive around Apple Hill...
...and then explored the Gold Bug Mine nearby.

The kids especially enjoyed these cut-up logs,
Oliver inspecting them and Vianne challenging herself on hopping across them.

This pic is definitely going down in the annals of Oden children classics.
Finally a picture when they're both looking at me *and* smiling!!

Suited up for a self-guided tour of the Gold Bug Mine.

Then up the hill to the stamp mill.

The entertaining blacksmith made us a little salt spoon to take with us!
All in all, a very fun & refreshing little trip
which has left us wanting to escape reality much more often.