Old Sacramento

Published: May 7th 2012
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Down along the banks of the Sacramento River were some of the largest Birch Trees I have ever seen. We spent an exciting day exploring the vineyards, wineries and farm communities that stretch along the river as it winds it's way toward San Francisco. We did a wine tasting at an old coverted Sugar Mill that now houses eight family owned wineries. Not as well known as Napa and Sonoma, this area still has some excellent wines and there were no crowds and the pace was friendly and unhurried.

A serendipitous bonus was that we were able to have lunch at an out-of-the-way pizza place with an old friend. I called my long-time friend and college fraternity brother Ken Davies and he just happened to be playing in a tennis tournament in Sacramento. We made plans to meet in the cute Riverfront town of Walnut Grove at a pizza place where the motto is "We toss'em, they're awesome!". The pizza and beer were great and it was awesome to be able to spend time with Ken. Lean and fit it was obvious that the California lifestyle agrees with him also.

We finished out the day with a visit to Old Sacramento. The fully restored downtown area was awash in the boomtown days of the old west and the times of the mother lode. Restored trains, Saloons and Vintage Shops and Boutiques lined the brick-paved streets. The whole area was built up over time because of constant flooding. In a couple of places they had uncovered the old "ground" floor and made places to eat and drink below what is now street level.

We returned to Joe's house to feast on the bounty of our day. A 2007 Vintage Petite Sirah Wine, Smoked Gouda Goat Cheese, Little Falafa Cakes that you dip in Chimichurri and Aubergine, while Joe had a huge salad in his "Jethro Bodine" bowl.

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8th May 2012

Your road trip
Greetings from a warm Simon's Town Michael & Jane. We have been reading your blogs & can appreciate that you are both enjoying your travels a great deal. It really is great to hear from you again. We can identify only with one place that we have been to. That is Lake Tahoe, which as you say is really beautiful!! We were planning to go to the Grand Canyon round the same time but decided to give it a miss because of our need to get back East to our Yacht in Annappolis. We have just returned (last night in fact) from almost six weeks away. We took a cruise ship to Europe & rented a Chateaux in France about an hour from Toulouse. Our kids & their wives (except Leonard's wife from America) joined us for a week. It was really great to have the family get together again. We then spent a week (just Venitia & I) on the Midi Canal on a boat. Unfortunately the weather in almost three weeks in France was not great - only three full days of sunshine with a smattering of short sunny periods during the rest of the time. Anyway one has to make the necessary adjustments which we did in order to enjoy it to the full which of course we did. We are also planning to go to UK for our Grand Son's wedding in September. Following that we will be spending 3 weeks in Tuscany, a similar period in South of France, 10 days in Cosica, the same in Sardinia, & then back to Cape Town on a cruise ship. So many exciting times ahead!! We have decided that from next year we will continue travelling in Southern Africa. There is so much still to see here. Anyway enough waffle from me!! Keep well the two of you & enjoy the rest of your travels as I know you will. Cheers, George & Venitia.

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