Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Old Sacramento & getting ready for the Zephyr

After a great supper at the Dixie something or other riverboat (which was amazing!), we turned in. All right, so I ate wild boar. Never thought I would eat something like that but it was really good. What was funny is that Penny and I saw a place called the Wild Boar or something like that and we joked all day about boar breath and boar meat and then, for supper, I ate wild boar. Talk about ironic. Penny had bay scallops, which were not as large as she thought as she expected. But they were yummy.

We turned in and got ready for the next day. We weren't going to get up early but since we were still on central time, we rose early. Had a great breakfast at the Embassy Suites there in Sacramento and then went for a drive. We needed to return the rental car to Enterprise (thanks to my nephew Dave Thomas who worked things out for us). So we drove around Sacramento. It was an interesting town. There was quite the contrasts, just like any major towns. We enjoyed it a lot. We returned the car and walked back to the hotel. It was only 16+ blocks, but it was nice. We walked through the area around the state capitol. It was really pretty. Lots of pretty trees and flowers. Arnold does a good job - all right, so he doesn't do the gardening but at least it felt like the govenator could have done it.

The walk wasn't bad because it wasn't too hot yet. It started in the upper 50's but was quickly getting hotter. It was only in the 70's when we walked back, and it was a dry heat. Old Sacramento was next on our list. We wandered through watching people come and go. Saw a lot of homeless people. Why weren't they being helped? We live in a society that says it wants to help people but here they were, homeless, wandering around, picking up cigarette butts to get the tobacco out of them, picking through the trash for cans or drinks. It really was sad.

We sat and waited to see the Zephyr cross the bridge heading into the station, but soon got bored. It was getting hotter (a dry heat of course) and so we wandered into a history museum. Quite interesting to wander through. Learned about gold hunting, the history of ww2 in Sacramento (with the camps for the Japanese, a sad part of our history) and agriculture in the area. Wandering back into the head, we headed for the Old Sacramento train depot for a ride. It was only 10:30 and the line was long! Others like me, just a little bit crazy for a train ride, waiting in the heat for a ticket for a train that goes for a mere 4 miles. Isn't America great? Homeless people looking for something while we wait in line to buy tickets on a train that goes nowhere. Did I feel bad? No I didn't. Perhaps that is my shame, but I am not embarassed by it.

We bought the tickets for first class, meaning we rode in the car El Dorado, air conditioned and also received a soda and a cookie. How could it get any better? But it did. At the end of the line, the engine, a oil burning steamer, ran around to the other end, the side we were one, coupled up to the El Dorado, and began to haul us back. I got to stand on the back platform right next to the engine. All right, so for some of you, that would not be very exciting, but for someone with the illness of railroaditus, it was great. Penny sat in the ac, watched the scenery and the smile on my face, and felt the depth of love that we have between us. Thanks Penny, you are the best!

Back at the station, we wandered off to find lunch, eating at one of the many eateries that Old Sacramento has for people like us. It was a good burger. Nothing out of the ordinary but we sat on the patio and watched the river traffic go by. We even saw one boat covered in reeds, looking like a nipa hut. That is what Penny called it. It was a good meal.

We then wandered to the Old Schoolhouse museum. It was kinda neat to see how things were done at the turn of the century. Bought a few things that I will share with the teachers of St. Paul's and some with the students. Fun stuff. Can't wait to share it.

Off we wandered, shopping for friends and family. For Matthew we found a Japanese sword in an antique store, also a few old train postcards for me. Found a shirt of Brandon and magnet for mom. We finally made it to the Sacramento Railroad Museum. They have quite the display and good history. Could have had better lighting for pictures. Didn't stop me from taking them but they might not come out.

We spent way too much money there but it was great. A new shirt to wear home on the train, something for Penny and me to read, and off we went. Shopped our way through Old Sacramento, found Penny a hat. Boy she looks cute in it! And back to the hotel. It was hot - only 109 for a high, but it was a dry heat. We went back to the hotel, had a beer out on the patio while they cleaned our room, read a little, saw the train come back again, right by the hotel and then up to the room to clean up.

We ate supper in the Tower Bridge Bistro, had a great supper at a decent price. Was very enjoyable. Then walked back into Old Sacramento, just because we wanted to. Listened to jazz on the patio, good music but the lead singer was hard to look at - hard to describe. Suffice it to say she wouldn't go far if the lights were on.

Got up the next morning, ate breakfast at the hotel again (food seemed to be the focus of this vacation) and then packed. Off to the train station to wait for the Zephyr. We were looking forward to this trip. Everyone said it is the most beautiful trip. We couldn't wait. But we had to wait as the train was about 10 minutes late. That wasn't bad but was a sign of things to come. That, my friends, is another story.

We enjoyed Sacramento. We would go back to it. Not to Seattle though. No offense people, but we weren't really excited in Seattle. Off to another trip. And another adventure. Tell you more later.

1 comment:

  1. I really should have taken cell pictures of his face on the back of that train. The cookie on the train was really good.