[ << previous | index | next >> ]
Allison drove us over to the Hertz car hire place where we picked up our car for the next two weeks - a sporty looking silver Oldsmobile Alero. Then she led the way back to her place as I drove behind. She took us a back way and took some "scenic" detours so I could have practice driving on the wrong side of the road.
Old steam locomotive
We wandered the old-style streets, reminiscent of the old west days, with the wooden buildings full of touristy shops, joined by a raised wooden sidewalk. We stopped in one shop called Candy Heaven, where a woman explained as we walked in the door that we could sample any of the lollies with blue labels for free - and that was most of them in the store, including about 50 flavours of salt water taffy. We tried some and Michelle decided we needed to buy some, so we got 22 pieces - 2 each of 11 different flavours. Then we walked over to a cluster of lunch places and selected a Middle Eastern one for some felafel and shewarma rolls for lunch, which were decent.
Then we browsed a bit more and headed towards the California State Railroad Museum. The museum had several cool locomotives and rail cars that we got a good close look at. Some of them we walked through the interiors, looking at the historical fittings and so on. One car had a big display of the different patterns of china used by the railroad companies over the years.
California Capitol Cupola
After some photos we walked right up to the building and found an entrance through which we gained access. I expected to have to join a guided tour to get in, but we were free to wander the halls at our leisure and we checked out most of the floors, finding bunches of senator's offices and stuff, with lots of people in suits looking very bureaucratic wandering around. We found the photocopiers in the hallway and so on - everything you'd expect in a busy office, and we were just free to wander around. We also saw the office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and got some glimpses inside as various important-looking people wandered in and out. Later, a guard told us that the Governor had been in earlier in the day, but wasn't in the building at the moment.
When we exited the building, we walked around to the back side where a park held specimens of many different trees from around the world, which were populated by squirrels. It was quite beautiful. In all, the capitol area reminded us of Canberra - very neat and clean and immaculately laid out. We saw the Vietnam War Memorial in the park before heading back to the car to drive back to Vacaville, arriving about 18:00.
Allison was feeding the girls, and after that we went out for dinner at the local Mongolian Barbecue, our treat in thanks for the hospitality Allison and Terry showed us here the past few days. Unfortunately, Terry was still feeling sick after getting some sort of stomach bug yesterday so couldn't join us there. Allison dropped Brianna off at Awani - a sort of kid's play and activity group in the evening - while we had dinner. After dinner we picked her up again and Allison drove us on a scenic tour of downtown Vacaville, showing us the old buildings and so on there.
Then we came home and rang up a place in Seattle to book a room for the nights we will be staying there. That done, all we need to do is get a good night's rest before our trip to Yosemite tomorrow!
[ << previous | index | next >> ]