Photo of The Day: Pacific

Dear Reader,

The Pacific Ocean never looked more pacific than this. 


9 Things you didn’t know about Reno

Dear Reader,

Most people know that Reno, Las Vegas‘ little brother, was once the gambling capital of the United States until late 60’s.
Most people from the 80’s will also know that the super fun movie Sister Act was filmed here…
And finally, I think most people will know that Reno is where Levi Strauss Jeans got the first fabric for its jeans with copper rivets, thus creating the famous brand.

But I bet, Dear Reader, here I have 9 (just because I didn’t want to give the typical ’10 things…’) things that you don’t know about this cute little city

Stagnate arriving to the Biggest Little City in the World
  • It’s illegal to use bad words in front of a dead body.
  • Reno holds the Guinness World Record for most people playing checkers at one time, 540.
  • Gambling in Reno can be traced back to pre-colonial times, with games being played in celebration of hunts and harvests.
  • Reno’s names comes from a man who has never been to Reno, Jesse Lee Reno, an army officer who served during the Mexican-American War.

    Stanito and Travel Buddy posing under the famous lit sign which is turned on every day at 8:30 pm
  • While many people regards Vegas as the marriage capital of the world, Reno, due to a very lax divorce law back in the 30’s, became the divorce capital of the world after 30,000 couples untied the knot between in those years.
  • Sex toys are illegal here in Reno….


  • It is illegal to lie down on the side walk.
  • Before taking the name “Mark Twain,” Samuel Clemens went to Reno to search for gold and silver but returned with empty hands


  • Reno is the second drunkest city in America with the third most deaths from liver disease.

Virginia City gems: The Ponderosa Saloon Mine Tour

Dear Reader,

Virginia City is truly enchanting… it’s like jumping back in time to the old mining for gold and silver days.

On our trip towards Northern California, Travel Buddy and I stopped at this lovely town as a vivid suggestion of Mr. Ames and His Excellency Kevin Baugh. His Excellency advised us to have a nice burger at the Ponderosa Saloon and then sign up for the Underground Mine Tour.

This is the saloon

Ponderosa Saloon entrance on the main road

Mines and tours are particularly popular here (and there are so many!) because back in the 1850’s Virginia City was riddled with tunnels dug by miners seeking gold and silver.

The entrance to the mine looks impressive with the wooden beams placed irregularly

Back then the Best & Belcher mine was a defunct mine so the owners of the Ponderosa Saloon saw as a possible touristic attraction if they could find a way  to reach it from their bar. They then started digging a shaft  and tunnels from the bar all the way to the dead mine.

Miner-Stanito is activating some old and rusty drilling device. Probably not a good idea…

The mine isn’t particularly long and the tour covers only a small portion of it. It is basically what you can expect from a Far West mine, very dark, filled with wooden beams that hang very low (you should always watch out even with your yellow mine hat), humid and fresh.

Stanito is reaching the last part of the tour which leads to a barred dead end of the tunnel. Beyond that point it is not safe to go as the roof is unstable.

It is indeed a very cute experience 🙂 worth the 8 dollars. It’s a must-do.

Photo of The Day: Virginia City steam train, NV

Dear Reader,

Virginia City, the city where Mark Twain began submitting articles and stories to the Territorial Enterprise, is a beautifully old must-see attraction in Nevada state that is considered to be one the most haunted place of the United States. I am not kidding.
There are at least 23 ghost stories going around, taking place in the clubs.

Virginia City NV Stanito
Stagnate standing in the middle of Virginia City main road

Some of the ghost stories took place on the famous steam train. The Virginia City steam train still operates and is a modern-day touristic attraction, not only for the tour it does but because of the haunting experience…

The steam train of Virginia City
The steam train of Virginia City

The Onion Valley, CA

Dear Reader,
Stanito is very fond of good food and spices that enrich flavors. Being Italian and Chilean this becomes a pretty obvious treat.
So when Mr. Ames told her that on our road trip there would be a place called Onion Valley, Stanito’s eyes sparkled of joy.

A view of Onion Valley, 5 July 2015

Onion Valley is located in Northern California in the Plumas County and few miles north of Gibsonville, close to Pilot Peak. The elevation is about 9,000 ft.
The name is curious, it was discovered in 1850 by some 100 visitors who named it after having seen the wild onions carpeting the valley. They came here looking for gold, of course, and only a year later, 1851, the rich diggins increased the population to 1,500 people. They explored the gold but not the onions… so Stanito hoped to find some.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t find them this time …

Sunday pick: Hidden Gem in Northern California

Dear Reader,

We originally planned a trip to Yosemite which did not turn out to be due to lack of time and love for crowds of tourists.
However, Northern California presented us an equally valuable and impressive canyon off the beaten track




North California as our friend The Velvet Rocket tells us has a number of hidden gems where tourists are hardly seen which is great for those precious moments when you wish you can take pictures without any interruption or screen annoyance 🙂

Location  is secret 😉

Photo of The Day: Reno, the biggest little city in the world

Dear Reader,

A must-do picture moment if you pass through Reno, the biggest little gambling city in the world, is the big shiny sign in the middle of the main street.
Reason why Stanito and Travel Buddy stopped here is because of the significance this city had until late 90’s in terms of fun and gambling. Plus, one of Stanito’s favourite movies, Sister Act, was partly filmed here 🙂