Emerald City in the Biggest Little City

2020 has been a year that will be written in the history books. 

I haven’t been as vocal as I would like to be during this time in fear of saying the wrong thing but I would rather learn from my mistakes than say nothing at all. 

My heart goes out to the black community and I want to show my support. 

I have lived in Reno my whole life and I had never heard of Purple Bean till last year. 

Purple Bean is the cutest little coffee shop with great drinks and reasonable prices. It is a local owned business off the Keystone exit behind the Raley’s. I also love the convenience of the drive thru, especially during this time. 

Purple Bean at 1315 W 7th St, Reno, NV 89503

The employees are always so happy and friendly which creates a welcoming atmosphere! When I am choosing a place to go to, it is not just about the product but the service as well.

I will drive all the way across town to get the blended Emerald City (irish cream, hazelnut, and mint) from Purple Bean. It is the BEST coffee drink I have ever had. There are also countless flavor combinations offered like Snickers, Almond Joy, and Hawaiian. They also have smoothies, italian sodas, and tea. Pretty much everything you could want in a coffee shop.


The reasonable prices also attracted me to Purple Bean. I simply don’t want to pay six dollars for a cup of coffee, and that isn’t even including the tip. This coffee shop is more than reasonable and the quality is wonderful.

I was researching black-owned local businesses in Reno when I came across Purple Bean. I had no idea but I want to share with all of you my love for this coffee shop. The business is owned by David and Susan Truesdell.

Cutest little shop offering outside seating to enjoy your coffee

In the midst of the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement, many people are coming together to support businesses owned by people of color. Purple Bean is a delightful gem and I highly encourage all of you to try it and to advocate other black owned businesses in the area and show your support and alliance in other ways like signing petitions, donating, researching, peaceful protesting, and overall educating yourself on the subject.

Three Friends Walk into a Mall

Before the pandemic hit, I was working at We Olive and Wine Bar. Of course, our specialty was wine, but we did keep a few beers on tap. I remember one specifically, ‘IMBIB’. I remember it very distinctly because when guests asked what we had on tap I had no idea how to pronounce it, so I waved over to the sign I strategically put up myself.

Flash forward a couple months.

I recently moved into the sparks area and one evening my friends and I decided to go for a walk at the marina (the number of walks I’ve gone on in the past few months is more than I have in my whole life).

We found our way into the Legends Outlet and came across IMBIB. A local brewery with a store front right here across from the IMAX.

“I had no idea this was here!”

I told them we had to stop in and how my work used to distribute this beer.

The guy behind the counter was very helpful, letting us sample, offering suggestions. Turns out IMBIB specialty is sour beer which is something I had never tried before. And if that isn’t your cup of tea there are several other diverse options that embrace tradition and push the boundaries of beer.

Sparks Micro Brewery and Taproom at The Outlets at Legends

We then had our drinks out on the patio because it was such a nice day. The location is great, right on the outskirts of the mall, next to the marina, across from the theater, a tucked away local brewery with friendly service and good vibes.

Micro Dust IPA on the Outside Patio

It felt normal and I think we are all looking for that sense of normal again. This is a great spot and you get to support an awesome local business. Bring some friends and try something new!

Sometimes the Plan is No Plan

I like to have a plan. 

This summer is a little different. I can barely remember what day it is so there is never really a need to plan out every minute of every day. While it is nice to finally relax, it is a weird feeling to just go with the flow and see where the days take you. 

I woke up one morning, no alarm set. And my boyfriend and I decided to drive up to Tahoe. A friend of his posted a waterfall the day before on her social media and when he asked her where it was, she replied, “Emerald Bay.” That was really all we had to work with. We didn’t ask for specifics. 

Despite growing up in Reno, with Tahoe in my backyard, I had never been to that part of the lake. Emerald Bay is more of a general area than an exact coordinate. We based our destination on the picture and the cars parked on the side of the road. 

We found what was the trailhead for Eagle Falls.

There were several other people on the trail and we even came across a few mountain climbers. We made our way around them and hiked our way to the top of where they were ascending. 

From there we hiked a little higher. We may have gone off trail, it’s hard to tell when the trail is nothing but rocks and no signs, but the view we found was unimaginable. We were the only ones up there.

View of Emerald Bay

We hiked back down, continued on the original trail, and found a bridge that went over the waterfall.

Creek to the right of the bridge that leads to the waterfall

We crossed the bridge, to another trail not knowing where it led. We wanted to explore. 

After about a mile, we figured we had gone far enough and decided to turn around. 

As we headed back, we passed this family we had seen earlier, and they if we made it to the lake. 

“There’s a lake?” 

We had no idea. We figured we had to keep going. Come to find out we were a quarter mile, if that away from Eagle Lake. It was beautiful and so peaceful. We camped out on one of the rocks, had lunch, and enjoyed the view. We would have missed out on that experience if that family hadn’t said anything. We were thankful for that. 

For having no plan, no clue, and just a snapchat picture to base our day on, it was fun. I highly recommend this trail. And sometimes it’s okay to not have a plan and to just go. To me, this was a hidden gem, quite literally because I didn’t know it was there and now it is a place I will keep in my back pocket not only for the memories but a place to return.