Tuesday, October 2, 2012

DAY 40- Sacramento to Walnut Creek...

I woke up shortly after 6am with the plan to check out a bike path that went along the river in the Sacramento area.  Off I went through a quiet neighborhood street that was parallel to the busier street.  I ended up crossing a busy expressway with a light and then a quick right turn and I was on the bike path.  Sacramento has a very well maintained bike path system that centers on a main path that goes along the river.
Photos- Scenery along Sacramento's bike path.

I started off going north on the main bike path.  The sun was coming up and it was just beautiful along the river.  There were a few other cyclists and runners out on the path but not too many.  I was amazed at the wonderful etiquette concerning using these paths.  Most of the walkers/runners face the bicycle traffic and will step off to the side when a cyclist comes by.  The cyclists are asked to keep it below 15mph.  I turned around after 8 miles and decided to go back where I started.  I went past where I was on the bike path and went south this time.  The path went down along a park called Discovery Park. 
Photo- The entrance to the Crocker Art Museum.

After that I headed downtown to visit the Crocker Art Museum.  It had an interesting china dishes on display and talked about how the country of China had excelled in making porcelain until the late 1600’s when some European craftsmen stumbled onto the process of making it.  It was all wonderfully displayed.  I found the reasons for using certain colors and patterns very interesting.  There were some patterns that had house flys and ants in the pattern; though, I couldn’t imagine why you would want that on your chinaware. 

I also visited a section of the Croker Art Museum that had teapots both modern and old.  They talked about how tea came into being used as a beverage.  It was very interesting reading about it.  There were all sizes and shapes of teapots and they even explained some of the Japanese tea ceremonies.
Photos- Old Town Sac on a Saturday.

When I left the museum, it was about lunch time so I went to the Old Town Sacramento again which was nearby.  I went around looking for parking on the street and lucked out by finding a space just on the edge of one street.  I put change in the meter.  If you come down to Old Town Sac be prepared with quarters for parking. 

Being a Saturday, things were in full swing in Old Town Sac.  I walked a couple blocks taking pictures all along the way.  I decided to eat at a Mexican place upstairs where I could sit over and watch everything going on in the street below.  It was fun to watch and eventually I got waited on by a server.  It was very busy at the restaurant.  I had a blended raspberry margarita that wasn’t too bad but past that I wouldn’t recommend this restaurant.  The food was very bland for being a Mexican place.  But I enjoyed my time on the balcony area watching.

Next, I drove out of town and on my way towards Walnut Creek which is outside of San Francisco.  That’s where I would be staying with my friend Mona for a few days while I explore the San Fran area.  Traffic became heavier but wasn’t too bad.  I put the cruise on for only about 5 miles above the speed limit and everyone was passing me like I was sitting still.  I had written myself a short hand note to know what highways to turn on to.  Some of these mazes of roads can be very confusing.  I actually surprised myself and found Mona’s place without having to call her and I was even about 15 min earlier than what I had told her.

Mona and I just took it easy for the rest of the night; catching up with each other.  She did take me on a quick driving tour of Walnut Creek while we got supplies for dinner.  We even made a quick stop at an art festival that was in the process of closing down in the Walnut Creek’s downtown area.  Walnut Creek is so called its name because at one time it was nothing but Walnut groves and a couple of creeks out this way, but as the city of San Francisco expanded the property became too expensive for just walnut trees.  The trees went and everything else came.  It’s a nice predominately white upper class area.  Mona made us dinner and we just sat and visited the rest of the night.

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