Archive for May, 2009
… Continuing on the road less travelled toward Capay Valley (Hwy. 16), old agricultural towns are mere specks along the lush landscape and almond orchards line the way straight to Cache Creek Resort & Casino. But first, the sleepy town of Esparto is the crux of the annual Almond Festival every spring (although ironically you might be hard-pressed to find much ‘almond stuff’ there – it’s more about the scenery of the almond trees blossoming, I’m told). A little farther up and out, the even tinier town of Capay has a roadside pub (Capay Junction) that serves the coldest beer I’ve ever had (not to mention a pretty mean hotdog if you can get the grouchy bartender to heat one up for you). And while Capay Valley Winery gives tastings by appointment, I hear it’s worth the call ahead of time. (We didn’t have that tidbit of information before embarking on our journey…)
[more to come!]
Word from an inside source here at the SCVB is that next month’s Raley’s Grape Escape has 56 wineries and 38 restaurants signed up for participation so far. That’s a lot of good wine and food to sample (generously) in one great location!
The cost is only $40 and is all-inclusive. (Just buy it ahead of time if you don’t want to pay $50 at the door). It’s a really great deal if you consider that many wineries (mostly Napa) are limiting their tastings or charging $10, $20 and even more per visit.
You could really make a day out of it if you park downtown and then visit some of the great entertainment spots/shopping venues around Cesar Chavez Park.
I can still taste the Fat Cat Scones and Macchia Zinfandel from my first Grape Escape 7 years ago… That’s gotta be saying something!
June 6, 4-7pm
Ok, that was a long sentence.
The river roads are a marvelous way to meander around the city and through the small towns that dot Sacramento’s perimeter. Just pick a direction and follow the curves, the orchards, the boaters, the birds and the farms that have been in existence for generations.
Just watch for roosters hanging out on the side of the road, peacocks in full plume, slow-going tractors, and flying white egrets so large they look more myth than reality.
Wherever you stop, make it a point to chat up the locals. They don’t tend to see the kind of crowds and traffic that might leave them wary of visitors. And they’ve got stories to share about life in their small town that may make you want to linger on for more.
As I looked around the room at all these officers in uniform, I was reminded they are also regular people – regular people who put their fear (emotion) aside in place of courage (action) every single day of their lives. And at this thoughtful, compassionate ode to law enforcement and public safety, we were all asked to look out for one another in our everyday lives, hopefully willing to walk through our fears and help a stranger in need if and when the ocassion arises.
In a world so full of tragic consequences, we seem more likely these days to shy away from stepping in when help is needed. But I think that’s just what we need to do ~ Be willing to get involved. Because it truly makes a difference – and not just in one person’s life. We all learn by observing those around us… And we either see heroes. Or we don’t.
The gorgeous dark clouds above are broken up just enough that the streets are dry, and the air warm enough to make this balmy spring storm intriguing. I’m getting impressions of ancient times on this land as I look out the 2nd story window with the bird’s eye view.
The trees are thankful for the recent rains and the people on foot are grateful for the reprieve. This in-between space is mesmerizing – There is work to be done, and yet… nature calls in curious ways.