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HOW DOES RICK STEVES DO IT?

20 March 2017

We've only been touristing for two days and I'm already exhausted.  Heck, even Caroline is exhausted (but then she couldn't sleep last night and is still dealing with jet lag, so I don't think that counts for this girl whose Instagram pictures are all of various hikes she's taken and mountains she has climbed!)

We started yesterday with a visit to Sacramento's Crocker Art Museum.  I've lived here 43 years and had never visited it, but I will definitely go again.  Rooms like this are breathtaking

And how did I not know about this?  Know what it is....?

As you can clearly see, it's a horse.  You'd think this would be by some primitive artist, but no, it was...uh...constructed? in the 20th century.

The most impressive room did not allow photos, but it was an exhibit by photographers Ansel Adams and Canadian Leonard Frank, who went to the internment camps to take pictures of the Japanese there and record that whole black history of this country.  The photos were very moving, but even more moving were the comments in the guest books (2 of them), many from students who had never heard this story!  Even I learned something -- I did not know that there were internment camps for Japanese in Canada as well!

We were at the museum for about 3 hours and barely made a dent, but we left to go to dinner.  I had planned for dinner in Old Sacramento, forgetting it was Sunday and it was so compacted you could hardly move, so we got outta there real quick-like and went to dinner at P.F. Chang's (yesterday's Photo of the Day)

After that we went to Capital Stage, where we saw an excellent production of a play called Guards at the Taj by Rajif Joseph, which is not only very funny, but very dark and downright cruel.  It's two guys (I call them the Odd Couple of 1648) who are tasked to guard the Taj Mahal the night before it's unveiling.  It starts very funny, but then it turns very dark when they find out what order the Emperor has for them.  Following those orders ultimately destroys the two men. It's a disturbing story, but so well done by the 2 actors that I gave it 4 (out of 5) stars.

Then home to sleep.  In the morning we had a Skype call with Caroline's parents, Jane and Stephen in Guernsey.  Even brother Alexander, in London was brought in on the call.

Ya gotta love modern technology.  The last time we saw Jane she had no white hair--now she's gone all white (and it's quite becoming on her).  It was nice to chat with her again.  Makes Caroline seem almost like a grandchild!

We finally got on the road to San Francisco.  It was a beautiful sunny day and I was loving those green, green hills again.

I was convinced we were going to have a beautiful day in the city.  Pay no attention to those clouds.

Welllll......

By the time we got to the Golden Gate Bridge, the fog was so thick you couldn't even SEE the bridge.  I foolishly suggested we go up into the Marin headlands to see if you could see anything through the fog, but they have changed the road and NONE of the parking areas were available.  They had all been made into resting areas for hikers with the road blocked off to cars.

We did find a way to turn around after a couple of miles and headed back across the bridge  You could see the base of the towers, but nothing else.

When we got into the city, we went out to the beach and then through Golden Gate Park, where we stopped at Queen Wilhelmina's garden, underneath a big windmill.  The tulips were in bloom and they were breathtaking.

We took a few pictures and then wended our way through the Sunday traffic.  We were going to drive through the Haight-Ashbury district, but I noticed that the sky seemed to be clear.

I looked up into the hills and lo and behold, it looked like Twin Peaks was in the clear, so we started driving up and up and up until we got to the top. 

And yes, it was clear.  Caroline could see the Golden Gate Bridge from that height and of course I took the requisite "taking new person on a tour of San Francisco starting on Twin Peaks" photo.

Next down to the flatland and out through the Castro district find our goal before we ever left Davis:  Mitchell's Ice Cream parlor, where I took Kimberly Lazznik and her husband when they were in town. 

They were serving #52 when we arrived and our number was #74, so we had a bit to wait, but eventually we got our ice cream.

Caroline had Thai Iced Tea flavor and baby coconut;  I had ube again, made from purple sweet potatoes from the Philippines and avocado ice cream, which I'd never had.  Walt had coconut ginger and something called "tropical 4" with four different flavors  It was all wonderful.

But we had an abbreviated tour to continue so we went through the city center where the symphony and opera houses and City Hall are, and down to first Filbert St. (the steepest hill in San Francisco) and then Lombard St. (the crookedest) and, of course, past the house where I grew up.  Last gasp was down through the Marina district, forgetting to drive by the Palace of Fine Art (so we have to go back!) and to Fort Point, under the bridge, another spot where I always take pictures of people on "the tour."

So glad that she finally got the have her bridge experience!

We then drove through Sausalito and out the other end, where we stopped at Dario's Italian restaurant for dinner.  Caroline slept most of the way home, and we stopped at CVS in Davis so she could get a couple of things she needs for the class.  She has to be up at the crack of dawn to get to her orientation, so I hope she is able to sleep tonight

Now I'm going to go whip up some banana muffins (doesn't everyone bake at 2 a.m.?) so there is something fresh for her to grab for breakfast in case I don't wake up in time to do it in the morning.

(Benny went with us today and I got several pictures for upcoming letters to the girls, but I won't talk about them now.  Caroline was a great help in getting them set up.)


And by the way, Happy Journalversary to me!  I started this journal 17 years ago today and this is entry number (roughly) 6,607.
 

PHOTO OF THE DAY


 

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This is entry #6607