Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our trip; Day 2

A pleasant night passed.  I had mentioned that I was concerned that we wouldn't get off the train as planned.  But there were no issues.  The train was late when we got on it.  It had not been able to make up much time - something about having to pull onto a side track to give right of way to a freight train. 

We both woke just after 5 a.m.  I left the "roomette" and traveled down the hall in bare feet to the coffee pot, bringing back two cups - One with cream for me and one black for him.  He went for the second cup.  As promised, the Steward knocked on the "roomette" window just after my cell phone alarm went off saying it would be another 25 minutes, but we were easily ready in time.  Two late August Virgos can rule the world when it comes to organization. 

We were now in California farmland.  My impulse is that it is very dry land, but I grew up in the northern Willamette Vally in a very different climate.   Husband spent some of his formative years in the CA Bay area and feels more at ease in this country.  We talked about his Dad and Mom and Dana and Denise and Richard and Orval.  If you are reading this now and you are one of these people, know that these conversations were happy and reflective.  He cares for you deeply. 

We left the train at Sacramento.  Pulling our bags behind us on early Thanksgiving morning, we walked down I Street, then crossed over to J Street at about the 700 block.  We were headed for 926 J Street and the Citizens Hotel.  You might already have guessed that I had reservations.  I was hoping for one day and night at a very nice hotel.  It needed to be near the train station as we had no transportation but our feet. 

The building was built in 1929 and had been renovated just a few years ago.  As perspective for the young ones, my Father was born in 1929, and I am 51 years old.  Perhaps it would be helpful to say that the building is 81 years old, before t.v., widespread electricity, widespread toilets, widespread plumbed water.  Also before television, cable and internet.  

I've been in renovated hotels without exhaust in the bathrooms, without comfortable heating and cooling and other problems.  Renovating a building that old is very difficult and expensive.  Modern expectations include comfortable  and spacious bathrooms, internet, cable TV.  Code related to exhaust and outside air flow, well, there wasn't any back then.  And then, there is seismic code.  It really isn't easy and I've been in hotels that has been done poorly.

Citizens did it well.  If you are in Sacramento, I recommend it.  

We spent the day walking in Sacramento.  We were shocked by the abandoned areas, closed buildings, the numbers of homeless walking the streets. 

For example, this is the block next to the Citizens.  Refer to the photo of the Citizen above.  The Citizens is to the right in this one.  This was typical.  Whole blocks, abandoned by the owners and taken over by others.  Not good for anyone, including those who took over.   
We were "mugged", but scared the crap out of our muggers, and got away without a scratch.  That story is on Day 3.  (Don't worry, we were fine.)  

We spent hours walking in old Sacramento.  Completely closed up for the holiday.  

Mostly shops, restaurants and bars.  We are not the touristy types and probably wouldn't have gone except that we had the place absolutely to ourselves. 

 Well, a couple runners.  A few others like us, but just a handful of people. 

We walked these streets nearly vacant, like some creepy movie.  Just our thing! :)

There was a museum, which, of course, we didn't get to go into.  Hello.  It was Thanksgiving.

We returned to early dinner reservations at the Grange.  In the same block as the Citizens.  I love food in all forms and did some research.  The Grange's existence influenced my selection of the Citizens. 

We were served an excellent, traditional, Thanksgiving meal.  If I am going to do this kind of thing, I'm going to have to get better at documenting it.  But it was so excellent, that we slurped it down without a photo.  Until desert.   

This was little cream puffs filled with a layer of pumpkin and a layer of cream filling. Exactly what I don't make at home which is one of the things I look for in good restaurant food.  It was drizzled with a sauce that was both caramely and fruity.  If there was a class on how to make that sauce, I'd be there.  I'd be happy to eat that sauce over my breakfast cereal for the rest of my life.  Notice my finger prints.

The other desert was a cranberry tart.  The crust wasn't anything, but the filling was awesome.  Husband was stuffed and left the deserts to me.  This one was my breakfast on Day 3.  More to come. 

Please come back.       

1 comment:

  1. I remember in grade school, we took a field trip from Eureka Ca to Sacramento to see the capitol building. It was a long day in school and so many years ago now that I could not tell you a thing about Sacramento. It was great to see your photos.