Did you every experience watching a movie where the story happens in a place you are familiar with and love? Did it make you connect with the story on a deeper level, as if it was your own personal travel journal? I experienced this feeling a few years ago, around this holiday time, when I watched the Hallmark movie The Christmas Card, which takes place in Nevada City, California. I thought the movie did a great job catching on camera the atmosphere of this adorable small town and its people. While watching the movie I felt as if I was there again and it was so much fun to recognize familiar places, such as the diner where we stopped for breakfast.
Nevada City is located on the Western Slope of the Sierra Nevada, 70mi/113km northeast from Sacramento, CA and 65mi/105km northwest from Tahoe City. The town is considered to be California’s best-preserved Gold Rush town where you can find cute Wild West architecture in the middle of a beautiful geographic area. It is so serene and welcoming there that it is no wonder it was a perfect site for Hallmark’s romantic Christmas movie. We used to visit the place when we lived in Sacramento and were on our way to or from Lake Tahoe. On my first visit there I had a woman give me a tarot reading. She was very accurate. I could not find her on my next visit to Nevada City, since the building where I met her was destroyed in a fire.
Besides the historic down town, Nevada City is the home of the Ananda Village, a spiritual vegetarian community that offers Yoga classes. Ananda yoga lessons are the best yoga lessons I have ever experienced. From my personal experience, if all the people in the world would start their day with this yoga there will be no violence on this planet. The community also has a vegetarian restaurant, a big plus when visiting a small town in rural America. For those of you who like nature, the Yuba River in Nevada City offers a variety of outdoor activities. It is a steep ride to get to the river (and pray that you are not following a very slow old oil burning bus), an effort well rewarded when you get there.
On our last visit to Nevada City the local old theatre had a show for children. The small streets of the downtown were filled with yellow buses and groups of young students. When the show was over children had some time to roam around town before heading back home. We were walking behind a small group of children, about 6 years old, and their teacher. One of the girls raised her voice, so everyone could hear, and declared: “When I grow old I want to live in a big city – like this.”
Nevada City is not big nor a city, it is a great place to stir up your imagination, whether you are looking for a romantic movie sight, Wild West architecture, nature, or doing yoga. If you watch the movie The Christmas Card you might have an idea of what you would like to do there.