Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Too many options | TheUnion.com

Hollie Grimaldi Flores: Too many options

Hollie Grimaldi Flores
Laura Mahaffy/lmahaffy@theunion.com | The Union

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

That Bible verse ran through my head several times this weekend as I reunited with a group of friends who were visiting from out of the area. First of all, there are so many activities, sights and sounds to choose from that the planning left me somewhat exhausted before we began!

With late Friday night arrivals from the Bay Area keeping us catching up until the wee hours, my plan of getting up and out of the house early Saturday quickly fell to the wayside. As one of the ladies put it when I urged her toward the shower, “I am having another cup of tea and finishing my conversation. I will not be rushed. I am on vacation!”

Clearly, I needed to take it down a notch. When I was able to get the trio of guests and myself properly dressed, hydrated and ready for travel, we were still within the window of time I had allotted for some sightseeing of our quaint communities. Having arrived in the middle of the night, one of the gals was convinced we were living in the outer limits, off the grid and outside of civilization. I quickly put her mind at ease. However, my plan for a stroll through a city street farmers market coupled with the charm of live music was doused when I realized the market has not yet opened for the season.

Without missing a beat, I quickly reset the agenda to breakfast out and we all enjoyed delicious choices that fit each of my guests dietary needs — which included no gluten for one, no grains at all for another, no beef or pork for the third.

We then began a wine tour in the South County.

As the designated driver, I planned for our group to visit four of the possible nine wineries included in the day’s tour, based on location, atmosphere and of course, varietal.

The group had a pleasant and leisurely afternoon as we drove from one beautiful setting after another — but I was on a schedule. When one of the ladies was lured into a pop-up shopping area and lingered a bit longer than I had anticipated, I found myself admonishing, “That’s it! You have forfeited nap time!” She quickly finished her purchase and rejoined the group.

We made it back home with about 10 minutes until our next commitment — meeting friends for drinks at a local restaurant before attending a live performance of a world class artist. My chant of “move it, move it, move it” fell on deaf ears.

We ended up running about 40 minutes behind schedule. We still had plenty of time before the concert but missed having time to visit with my local comrades whom I had wanted this group of visitors to meet.

The concert was one of the best I have seen in Nevada County and I have seen many. I was so happy for my friends who might have been a bit skeptical when I walked them into what clearly doubled as a basketball gym. (I did not tell them about the little bowling alley in the downstairs until after.) We took a cab home after the show and again stayed up too late talking and reminiscing.

By Sunday, we were all moving a little slower but there was still much for them to do and see. We found our way to a lovely restaurant with patio dining and enjoyed a leisurely brunch with the intention of then taking a hike, but shopping was also on their minds. Proving I am not inflexible, we walked downtown to the historic district to see what might be open on a Sunday afternoon. I was thrilled to see 95 percent of the businesses open.

We spent time in the kitchen store as well as the premiere women’s clothing shop next door. We went into bookstores and candy stores, art galleries and that store that is a little bit of all of those things in one.

And we went into shops that carried rocks and crystals — six in fact. We found six different stores carrying a variety of polished and unpolished formations in our little downtown — who knew?

My friends, who love all things rock, literally spent hours in these shops. HOURS.

We finally returned to my home with many treasures and even more memories. To recap, in less than 36 hours, we had eaten organically, visited wineries, visited art galleries, rock shops, and specialty stores. We enjoyed adult beverages and appetizers outside, listened to a world class artist, and toured our two fair cities. We stayed up late and got up early. We laughed and told stories of times some had long forgotten. And even though we had not seen each other as a group in over 30 years, it was like we had not missed a beat. We all have our share of wrinkles and gray, but inside we are all still pretty much the same old girls we used to be.

Nevada County shined bright as I showed her off proudly to this group of world travelers. All say they will be back, as we did not quite make it through my ambitious itinerary.

The hikes along the trails and through state parks will have to wait. I could say we ran out of time.

In reality, it is as I had said before: the spirit is willing — but the knees and the backs and hips are weak.

Hollie Grimaldi Flores is the business development manager at The Union. Contact her at hgflores@theunion.com.

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