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Published: March 1st 2015
Sign on road just before we entered the city.
In September 2011 we went on a road trip, planning to stop at interesting places along the way. One very interesting spot was the city of Lodi in California. "Just about a year ago, I set out on the road... Seekin' my fame and fortune... lookin' for a pot of gold... Things got bad, and things got worse... I guess you will know the tune... Oh Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again
For those of you who are not familiar with this song, it was made popular in the 1970's by a rock band called Creedence Clearwater Revival (who also happens to be one of my all time favorite groups). After hearing this song many times on the radio back home in Yangon, Myanmar (known as Rangoon, Burma at that time) I have always wanted to see this town. So when we were in Sacramento the capital of California state, we decided to make a slight detour to Lodi.
I was in Sacramento to pay a visit to my aunt who lives there. After getting directions from her we drove along the I-5 higway, and just before reaching the city limits I had to stop the car to
Official entrance of the city.
take a photo of the LODI sign! I think it took us just over an hour from Sacramento.
I had expected the place to be a run down small town because the song mentions about people being drunk there, and how the singer wanted to catch the next train back to his home.
SURPRISE! Lodi is a modern and clean little city. We drove around the town for some time. I was trying to get the feel of it, and the feeling was this place is not like anything as written in the song's lyrics. Dang, I was almost disappointed!
We parked our car near a bank downtown and walked over to the Chamber of Commerce. The woman there was very helpful and gave us several brochures and pamphlets. She said we could get more information at another office called the Convention and Visitors Bureau which was just down the street. It must have been after work hours when we arrived there, because a lady was locking the door. However, as soon as she saw us approaching she gave us a big welcome smile. I told her that we were just trying to find out some tourist
Water tower with city sign.
information about the place, but didn't want to bother her just as she was about to leave. But she seemed quite happy to accommodate us. She actually unlocked her office and got us some more brochures. Upon reflection, she probably thought I was a rich Japanese or Chinese businessman looking around for investment opportunities in the vicinity. I think she was the Business Development manager, and she took some time telling us about the international visitors they had hosted recently. When I mentioned that the main reason for my being in Lodi was because of the song I had heard in my younger days, I don't think she was very impressed!
Anyway, we found out that Lodi is the center of wine production in the region with nearly 80 wineries in and around the city. I suppose we could have gone to some of those wineries that offered free wine tasting, and drank ourselves silly. Although I lived in France for 8 years, I have never acquired a taste for fine wine (don't know whether that's good or bad) so we decided to skip the wineries, and continued our road trip heading back towards southern California.
Ticket office of the Amtrak station.
of you international travelers wanting to visit Lodi, it is a bit off the usual tourist path in California, but close enough to Sacramento and San Francisco if you happen to be in that area. I also saw an Amtrak station so it is also accessible by train. Not sure where the train comes from, or where it goes from Lodi. In fact, I took a couple of photos of the railway station but my pictures are not coming out properly, so I can just post a few (which I took on another camera) on this site.
In conclusion, if you want to, go to Lodi by all means. Just don't get stuck in Lodi!
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