Archive for Summer Fun
Just 40 miles from Sacramento, between Winters and Napa, you’ll find more recreational opportunities than you can shake a stick at – as my grandmother used to say – including swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, hiking, birding, camping, picnicking, etc.
Before it was cemented and filled in 1963 due to state water needs, the geography consisted of “a valley floor covered with family farms whose land titles could be traced to the Homestead Act of 1862.” A gold rush-era town called Monticello was also gravely affected, with its residents (both living and dead) re-located and structures demolished.
Although Berryessa’s water reaches temperatures of up to 75 degrees in the summer making it an ideal place for water sports and laissez-faire floating, there are year-round recreational opportunities. Even the drive to or fro is dotted with beauty and scenic delights, including the Morning Glory Spillway which spouts water when the dam reaches capacity.
But if all of this fair-weathered fun is making you hot under the collar, here’s a chilling piece of trivia: The lake shore was the site of one of the Zodiac Killer murders in September 1969. (…Or, just forget that part and whistle as you wakeboard across the moss-green waters of bouyant Berryessa).
There was a time “when 12-hour days and six-day weeks were routine. Wages were low; there were no sick days, pensions or holidays. There was certainly no unemployment insurance. Any attempts at organizing were met by the combined wrath of business and government.” It was “a period in which thousands of workers died in America’s unsafe and unsanitary factories and mines, and hundreds more died in riots and pitched battles over workers’ rights.” ~Kenneth Davis
Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the United States. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City (by way of demonstration and picnic) on September 5, 1882. However, its origins actually go back to 1872 in Toronto, Canada, when a parade was held to support a strike against the 58-hour work week. It wasn’t until 1938 when child labor was outlawed under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
It seems important for us to look back at our past struggles and hardships, battles won and lost. Relating to this history of ours with true interest can shed light on a bigger picture and affect how we’re living our lives today. This intimate relationship we should have with our country’s history isn’t often taught in schools – or the intention misses the mark. But we can generate a passion of our own for looking back, comparing, relating, and coming up with new ideas for living in the now… even if borrowed from a piece of the past.
Are you visiting Sacramento on vacation next week or do you live here and just want to pretend? Here’s a little something for every night of the week, all summer long. Woohoo, Summer!!
Monday: Happy Hour Paints – Learn painting techniques from local artists with cocktail in hand, 5:30pm, various locations, http://happyhourpaints.com/
Tuesday: Enotria Happy Hour – Food and drink specials, 4-6pm, http://www.enotria.com
Wednesday: Market-to-Plate Executive Chef Tours – Meet local farmers, vintners and chefs, 10:30am, http://local-food-tours.com/
Thursday: Crocker’s ‘Thursdays ‘Til 9’ – Live music, movie showings, drinks and refreshments, times vary, http://www.crockerartmuseum.org
Friday: Bogle’s Friday Al Fresco – Live music, food, wine tasting = The ultimate picnic! 5-8pm, FREE, http://www.boglewinery.com
Saturday: Sacramento Shakespeare Festival – See ‘King Arthur’ or ‘Comedy of Errors’ at William Land Park’s outdoor amphitheatre, http://sacramentoshakespeare.net
Sunday: Rest? Stay at a participating hotel and earn your way to more ways to play. http://www.discovergold.org/visitors/goldcard/
With this great mild summer weather, there’s hardly an excuse to not be outside. And I’ve got the perfect stroll and sightsee path for you! Just wear comfy shoes and some sunscreen, maybe a hat, definitely a camera.
Off the I-5 freeway and adjacent to Embassy Suites in Old Sacramento is a stretch of 10-hour parking spots. Grab one of those, pay the meter machine (cash or credit/ATM), and then decide which way to head first.
Let’s say you decide to cross the pedestrian-friendly overpass to find the Crocker Art Museum at 2nd & O. You could spend hours there if you choose – going forward and backward in time and traveling the world through art. And luckily there’s a café and plenty of casual seating to enjoy refreshments and downtime. From there, walk back toward your car (but don’t get in it). Just beyond the street is a railroad and then Promenade with unfettered river views. Stroll the wide tree-lined concrete path enjoying the scenery, people watching, and brushing up on your Sacramento bridge, boat and railroad history. From here, I suggest two options: Either go straight and swiftly end up in Old Sacramento for bountiful dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities…. Or head left across the Tower Bridge to Raley Field and end up in West Sacramento; See a River Cats game or concert there, or take a tour of the facility.
Traversing on foot in this manner, you’ll really get an intimate feeling of the lay of land and gain a better picture of past, present, and possibly even future.
Where to Stay: Embassy Suites, Delta King or Holiday Inn Capital Plaza
(Uh oh – I didn’t mention the shopping plaza nearby or eclectic K Street Mall, did I ?….)
Spare the Air Day, also known as Scooter’s Clean Air Fun Fest, is a relatively new family-oriented festival occurring each June in Midtown Sacramento’s very “green” Fremont Park.
The Sacramento River is long and lush, and provides immense opportunities for boating, fishing, biking, kayaking, strolling, wildlife watching, dining, etc.
Swabbies on the River is accessible by both car and boat, and hosts lots of bands and mini music festivals throughout the summer.
Old Ironsides is another great venue for live local music, cold drinks and that dark dive bar ambiance you might find yourself craving on a hot summer night.
Summer concerts are cropping up all over Sacramento, but kudos to the longest running summer concert series, Friday Night Concert in the Park.
And if you didn’t get to “see” Venus transiting the sun the other night, take a look at the beautiful sunset it inspired…
Next time, Something Big and Something Small~