Archive for The Good Life Sacramento
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 ?….)
you’ll find something big
and something small
and both, well, equally swell.
Or perhaps it’s the Yin to the Yang
where the 16 & the L intersect
like a small sip of succulent wine
to a gigantic salt-dusted pretzel.
Or a large screen TV to a small plate of salami and cheese.
The Grand is actually the yin in this riddled poem, and although it’s bite is mighty, it’s more the size of Minnie Mouse than its kitty corner counterpart, Firestone Public House.
To sum it up, you go to Firestone for the large television murals on the walls, extra-large Bavarian pretzels meant to be shared (unless you’re germaphobic), a good beer selection and ample-sized outdoor patio, fair food, prices and service. Coined a sports bar and pub, it has a slightly sleek, industrial feeling.
As for the Yin, the small, the katty to the kitty, the Grand Wine Bar is a glass half full – or empty kind of place – depending on how you like it. They offer glasses of wine by the half pour and full pour, as well as bottles and preliminary sips. Champagnes, beers, small bites, a cute little patio, and wine sampling with Jason really round out the flavors on this one. But be forewarned that it’s easy to miss, although not really that hard to find – ironically.
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~
Always refreshing it is for me to find people not operating from a place of rules and rigidity, but rather graciousness and openness. And since this usually breeds a sense of freedom and enjoyment, these are the people with whom I want to move forward in life.
This is how I feel when I am in the company of the people at Berryessa Gap. Their annual ‘Springtime in the Vineyard’ gathering over Memorial Day weekend, for instance, was like a breath of fresh air ~ with wine flowing, food in abundance, expansive views and friendly folks from all over. They just have a way of attracting and pulling fun, friendly people together; including the talented, folksy musical duo Misner & Smith, who painted the backdrop with their beautiful blend of harmonies.
Sipping a glass of Verdelho as Tom finishes his second shrimp and carnitas burrito, with the sun glistening on the just-sprinkled upon vines, it seems to me exactly what ‘The Good Life, Sacramento’ is all about. For if you listen, look, take a whiff, and happen to detect a slice of the good life… I’d say you were right on the money with this vintage. If you go, nevertheless, prepare for potentially rapidly-changing weather, as the same moisture that encourages the plumpness from the coastal range’s grapes has been known to make a sudden appearance on a perfectly sun-shiney day.
Berryessa Gap is known for their Spanish varietals and ‘Life is short so enjoy them now’ philosophy. They have two tasting rooms in Winters – one downtown and another in the winery – and plenty of great events (from small Friday night gatherings to the annual Paella Contest).
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
I wish I didn’t work so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish that I had let myself be happier.
But we can also learn from those more innocent and carefree, like children who see life as a safe, magical and happy place with a world full of potential for them. So why should it be any different for us? Sure, we have responsibilities as adults, but those can be managed. And if you’re managing them, then there’s no need for worries. In fact, the only use for worrying is to compel us to do something about the situation causing us concern. If it’s out of our hands, the best we can do is find the silver lining and slip into it (or point to it for others to see as well).
In keeping with this respectfully lusty take on life, we’ve changed the name of http://www.SeeingSacramento.com to http://www.TheGoodLifeSacramento.com. We thought it a more fun and fitting name for all that the Greater Sacramento area has become and all it has to offer. So whether you’re a resident of this fine land, a visitor, or just an onlooker, we hope you’ll take some time out of every day to wring the good stuff out of your very own life!
Driving in, I see an Inn and Mexican restaurant to the right, machine shop and trailer park to the left… an entrance to the fairgrounds, plenty of trees and open space… a little grocery store and breakfast spot with small town names… You could easily miss the charming historic downtown if you don’t take a left before the yellow brick roads and rolling hills yield sip, glass, bottle, barrel and egg (yes, egg – I’ll get to that later) of delicious Sauvignon Blanc, Barbera, Sangiovese, Zinfandel and plenty of luscious nature and palate-inspired surprises. But you really don’t need a map – unless you really want to know where you’re headed – for the roads before you will lead the way as you discover precious view after view and liquid gem after gem.
The scenery begs for picnickers and cameras, the vistas so looming and long you’ll want to linger. Luckily, the folks are friendly, and it’s always fun seeing how far some people have come to taste these delicate creations. As for the wine-cradling egg, you’ll find that at Andis Wines, one of the area’s newest, freshest and ‘greenest’ wineries with one of the best views around. They have a great patio for sipping wines by the glass, and an expansive tasting room with large screen TV to invite lingering and lounging during special events (such as the Kentucky Derby, which was upcoming that weekend).
Andis’ special event coordinator Kimm chatted us up as we sipped white, rose and lots of red, later offering us a tour of the winery where we met winery assistant Steve and fore-mentioned egg (both charming and a little elusive too). Through an open door the powers that be at Andis were sharing a bottle of Rose over an afternoon meeting. And in the blissful quiet of that rural-drenched Friday afternoon, I couldn’t help thinking that all was just as it should be…
11000 Shenandoah Road, Plymouth, CA, 209-245-6177, http://www.andiswines.com
For more on Sacramento area wine regions, also check out the new wine guide website! http://www.sacramentowineguide.com