10th Jul 2012 - 12th Jul 2012
On our way to the Pacific coast, we had hoped to drop in on our friend Charles Goldman, who lives in a little town called Davis. Just our luck - he’d had to go to Japan for a meeting. We met Charles and his wife Nancy a few years ago in Villefranche, where he has an apartment. He’s a Professor of Limnology (look it up; we had to!).
The change of plan meant we had a couple of days ‘in hand’ and so, instead of Davis, we decided visit Sacramento. Well, it is the capital of California!
The old town has been preserved and is a great place to wander round, lots of touristy shops, but in a nice way. Being on the river, the city has a couple of impressive bridges – one of them, built in 1935 is called Tower Bridge. It looks nothing like the one we know and love in London (which of course now has the Olympic rings suspended from it!). We know this having spent the day walking the loop between bridges and old town.
Dinner that night was awesome… Joe’s Crab Shack on the river, where we had the seafood medley. And a bit of sing-song, we’ll try & upload the movie we took, you’ll love to hear me singing!
Sacramento has a State House called the Capitol, a very impressive Roman Corinthian style building completed in 1874 and, before finally saying goodbye to the city, we thought we’d go and have a closer look at it, maybe take a few snaps. We were really surprised to find we could go in and just walk round many of the rooms, including the Chambers and the State Assembly room. Although it was summer recess, there were still quite a few politicians and their aides prowling the corridors of power that day, no doubt feeling privileged to get that close to a couple of people from the old country.
Arnold Schwarzenegger ‘s reign may be over (or will he be back?), so I came away with the business card of the new Governor, Edmund G. Brown – how’s that then!
Our final destination that day was a place called Alamo, about 40 miles from San Francisco. We had been invited to stay with Grace and Smitty Schmidt who we met at the 4th July dinner in Tahoe. They were wonderful hosts and made us feel very welcome. They purchased their plot of land approx. 30 years ago and had their house built to their own specification, it’s a fabulous building and they have some beautiful pieces of art on display which they’ve collected over the years. We had a great evening with them, enjoying Grace’s superb home cooking, and Smitty’s exceptional wine!
Next morning we joined Smitty for breakfast in his local café, called Cherubini’s. This is not your usual coffee shack, it’s homely, has been there for years and serves as the morning gathering place for locals who relax, chew the cud and generally catch up with each other (a bit like being in a British pub but without the alcohol!). Within no time we were in conversation with a group of a dozen or so folk, who all seemed intrigued by this couple of Brits who’d joined their table, wanting to know our ‘story’. It was entertaining, fascinating and gave us a great insight into how life goes on in that neck of the woods. Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!