Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Wonders Of The Golden West Part 12.......

Today we travel from lakes and mountains to metropolitan San Francisco.  Our route took us via California's capital city of Sacramento
 Sacramento State Capital Building

to our first stop the Old Town of Sacramento.

The city of Sacramento grew up in the mid-nineteenth century as a developmenet from Sutter's Fort.  However, the Fort was some way from the Sacramento River,  which was the main means of transport to the coast of California, and what was to become the modern city developed along the waterfront.

 There is a railroad through the town

 Before Sacramento's extensive levee system was in place, the area flooded quite regularly. Because of this, the city's streets were raised a level. Most of the sidewalks and storefronts have been filled in, however many tunnels still remain throughout Old Sacramento and the downtown area.

 By the 1960s, the area had fallen into disrepair and disrepute. A large effort was made to secure the area's future as an outdoor living history center. Several historically significant buildings were moved or reconstructed. Those that were beyond repair were demolished.
There's a Wells Fargo history museum,

 a statue dedicated to the Pony Express

 and some interesting stores and restuarants. 

After an interesting hour exploring the town we were back on the road again driving through the Napa and Sonoma valleys


 Sonoma where we stopped for lunch.  We walked round admiring the place for a while

before deciding on The Girl & The Fig as the venue for lunch.  

We read the menu displayed outside the restaurant and decided the Cheese & Fruit, consisting of three selections of cheese, seasonal fruit, house made fig cake, spiced nuts and baguette, would be perfect with a nice glass of wine to wash it down.    We should have realised when we were asked if we had a reservation and found the place full of  well heeled 'ladies wot lunch' that it wouldn't be what we were expecting.  However, I have to say we were 'surprised' when our lunch arrived to find 3 miniscule pieces of cheese, a slice of apple expertly fanned, an inch square piece of fig cake and a few spiced nuts lovingly displayed on a huge plate, a six inch basket containing half a (small) baguette sliced, and a medium sized glass of California Red each. It was very nice but at $60 I can honestlly say it was the smallest and most expensive ploughman's lunch we've ever had!   LOL  

At $10 a glass we were very shocked to find that California wine is far more expensive in California than it is in the UK!  What's that all about???

Anyway lunch over it was time to board the coach again for the final leg to San Francisco.
 Highway 101 with San Quentin maximum security prison in the distance

Our first glimpses of 'Frisco
 and the Golden Gate Bridge!

If you want to see more of San Francisco join me next time for Wonders Of The Golden West Part 13.


Valerie said...

I feel as if I was with you on this wonderful tour. I had no knowledge of Sacramento so I found that interesting. Looking forward to next week.

Valerie said...

Heehee forgot to say, ladies wot lunch eat a lot more than that over here.

Flowerpot said...

More amazing pics Ak!

Adam said...

great views

Daryl said...

I guess you found the 'in' spot for lunch ... and here in NYC $9 and up for a glass of wine (either California or elsewhere) is the norm ... SF is one of my favorite cities in the world

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i can tell you why it was so expensive. they are taxed through the teeth in california to pay for all the stuff they give away so anyone with any money at all pays for those without. kind of like a modern day robin hood without thought... and now so goes the whole country i fear.

hugs, bee

Akelamalu said...

Ah glad you found it interesting Valerie and yes you're right 'ladies wot lunch' do eat a lot more here! LOL

Thanks Flowerpot x

Cheers Adam

I can't understand why California wine is so expensive where they make it Daryl, it doesn't make sense! See my reply to Bee above.

I get what you're saying Bee but Tax on alcohol in the UK is charged at £1.90 per 75cl bottle of still wine, £2.43 per 75cl bottle of sparkling wine, and £7.04 per bottle of 70cl spirit (37.5%abv).
If alcohol is imported into the UK from outside the European Union, Customs duty may also have to be paid in addition to Excise duty, which would include California wine. Then VAT @20% is charged on the total of the value of the goods plus all payable duties (i.e. Excise duty and also customs duty if the latter is payable). However, we can still buy a bottle of decent Californian wine for less than £10 ($16), so I still can't understand why it's more expensive in California!

Beach Bum said...

Great pictures!

Mama Zen said...

This sounds like a fantastic trip!

Jeff B said...

I miss the Bay area. Lived in Santa Rosa (Sonoma County) for about twenty years. San Francisco is such a fun tourist city. I'm sure you'll have plenty of photos to share from that leg of your journey.

Cloudia said...

Now you are entering my "hometown that I never lived in" only visited. Was on my way when I met hubby and plans change. but Hono is nice too :-)

Warm Aloha to YOU
from Honolulu
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Lea said...

Thanks for the wonderful trip, hoping to join you again on part 13 :)

Travis Cody said...

Now this is weird. I know you were actually in SF many weeks ago and you are just recapping your visit here now. But when I read "Our first glimpses..." I physically relaxed!

SF just has that affect on me, even if it's vicariously through weeks' old photographs. My mom grew up just outside The City in South San Francisco and I spent my childhood and youth visiting my grandparents there.

Looking forward to your impressions of the place that I'll always think of as home.

la bellina mammina said...

I love San Francisco!! I wish I could go back and visit... Enjoy!

Connie T. said...

You lunch was way expensive. I have never had a $60 lunch. You should have gone to an Olive Garden, you can have soup and salad, all you can eat for $8.

Banker Chick said...

That lunch was certainly very expensive and to purchase a bottle of CA wine in CA isn't more expensive than other places. Bee is right about the taxes in CA it's the reason we left.

Akelamalu said...

Thanks Beach :)

It really was Mama Zen

We loved the whole trip Jeff but San Francisco was our favourite place and yes, lots more photos to come. :)

Now that sounds like a tale Cloudia do tell!

Glad to hear you're enjoying it Lea :)

Well we loved the place you call 'home' Trav and I hope the picture I will be showing will do it justice and bring back some happy memories for you. x

We did too La Bellina Mammina!

The lunch was very nice albeit expensive Connie, I wish we had know about the Olive Garden.

At $10 a glass we can only presume a bottle of wine would have been around £40 if you get approx 3 and a half glasses out of a bottle, This is really expensive BankerChick, when you consider we can buy the same wine here for about £10 ($16)! :0 Taxes must be really high in California!

Maggie May said...

Your trip was a great success judging by the photos. San Francisco seems a great place to go.
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Akelamalu said...

The whole trip was fabulous Maggie and San Francisco was everything I'd dreamed it would be. :)