Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our trip to Sacramento

We went to Sacramento for the past few days.  Again, we didn't tell you we were leaving town in order to remove any temptation you may have had to burglarize our house.  I spent a lot of the last few days in a chair in the lobby with coffee and a book:

Laurie had a conference.  I went mainly with the purpose of seeing the Capitol building and taking pictures of older buildings in Sacramento. On the first full day, I set out to do all of that, but found that Sacramento, especially around the Capitol, is all metered parking. In a rare instance of lack of foresight on my part, I had only a dime and a few pennies on me. Also, Sacramento's traffic, rough atmosphere (at least in that neighborhood,) and grid of one way streets all worked to incline me back to the hotel. I did see the Capitol building several times as I drove around the blocks surrounding it and it is impressive. I probably could have planned that project a little better. So, that's why I don't have great, sweeping pictures of the Capitol, stories of meeting high state officials, being transfigured by the beauty of the state trees in the Capitol mall, finding a long forgotten letter by John Steinbeck that had been secreted in the pages of a book in the California State Library for the past 50 years.  Instead, I scurried back to the hotel like a cockroach.

I did quite a bit of walking and wandering around the neighborhood of the hotel, but all of the surrounding area looked like this:

Really, I could have turned in any direction on my walks and taken a picture and it would have looked very much like the picture above. 

Here is me in front of an immensely fake elephant.  I imagine the artist had in mind that Scotty tied one on and got the coordinates wrong when teleporting an elephant and transported it halfway into a rock wall.  It is a gruesome death.

We ate at The Elephant Bar, which was directly across the street from our hotel, for almost every meal.  Being a vegetarian, I did not try the elephant.

I think we were infinitely happier when we resolved ourselves to the mundane in our free time.  A lot of our free time looked like the photo above. I finished Ben Franklin's autobiography (see previous post) and most of a book by William Penn (see forthcoming post.)  I walked to the mall and was accosted by salespeople who buffed one of my thumbnails until it shone like it was polished. It's still remarkably shiny and I keep staring at it like a magpie. I had not in thirty-three years of life ever had a moment of discontent over the state of my fingernails up to that point.

All in all, it was a good trip in spite of how much money we spent on food. I got bad marks in Frugality every day of the trip and my presence was probably superfluous although I like to think that my wife enjoys my company. But we did have fun; I got a lot of reading done, I got a lot of thinking done, I possibly have a tangible job prospect from the trip, I got to remind myself why I never watch televised news, Laurie and I listened to salsa music and watched fireworks from the State Fairgrounds and saw ducklings, and now I have a shiny thumb.  


  1. I'm glad you had a good time in Sacramento but I surely do not envy you the trip...I drove that trip was 85 mph bumper to bumper. Hubby had to pry my fingers from the steering wheel once I arrived home!

  2. Yes, I think I shall do my best from now on to structure my life in such a way that I never have to drive in Sacramento again.