From the Golden Gate Bridge

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I told my mom I was doing sociological research for a highly esteemed institution -as I photographed the tourists…

Posing for pictures

Giving directions on the phone

Sight Seeing

Enjoying a fieldtrip

Showing off da bears!

Considering spending that parking money…

Leaving their mark:

 

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Yes, it’s true, they still make these shoes…and visit State Capitols

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Everyone knows that sunny President’s Days are best spent in good company on government property –which of course, is why Devan and I spent the afternoon in California’s State Capitol.  The tour was free and the high school students were far from excited.  “We’re going to be tour buddies!” I exclaimed to half-hearted smiles.

I have this thing for old buildings…the hand-carved banisters, towering doors and original tiles you just know so many have walked before.  I gaze at old paintings and find myself shaking hands with the past:  “Hello, nice to meet you.  I can only imagine how many conversations you’ve heard, confidences shared, silent musings felt.  You’ve seen it all and here I stand in a pair of Chuck Taylors.  Yes, it’s true, they still make these shoes…”

The sign said “No Flash Photography” so I attempted to capture the capitol dome.  I was pleasantly surprised by the clouds in the sky.

We listened in the Senate and Assembly Chambers to stories about missing chandeliers and mocking parliamentary tradition.  The most important fact to me was why one room’s carpet was red and the other green; but I won’t spoil it for you, you’ll just have to take a tour yourself sometime…            

 

 

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Free Museum Day

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Museum Day, a Sacramento cultural tradition, invites all members of the community to experience the Capital City’s incredible wealth of art, history, science and wildlife at numerous participating museums AT NO COST.

-Sacramento365.com

The first Saturday of February, Cassandra and I ventured downtown for Free Museum Day.  We met up with Diane at the Crocker Art Museum and explored paintings from all over.  I loved Wayne Thiebaud’s “Pies, Pies, Pies” pretty much because it was covered in pie and looked delicious.  The coolest part of the museum is Judge E. B. Crocker’s mansion.

They’ve recently added a new wing to the building, but originally it was just Mr. Crocker’s house.  He and his wife began collecting paintings in 1869, and in 1885, donated their paintings and home to the city as an art gallery.  We walked the halls of the house while Diane related facts from childhood elementary school tours.  Cassandra and I are both new Californians, so having Diane, a Sacramento native, along was nice.

Our next stop was the Leland Stanford Mansion.  You guessed it, the founding family of Stanford University!  This building was just as beautiful as Crocker’s Mansion, with 4 stories.  The staircases seemed never ending.  The Stanford Mansion housed governors and in the 1860s executive office space, it later served as a house for “friendless children” from 1900 to the1980s.  It’s now used by the Governor for hosting foreign dignitaries and public tours.  I had always wanted to go inside.  We couldn’t take any pictures, but I’d say the “friendless children” room was my favorite.  I don’t think that’s its official title but I liked how they decorated each half of the room to look how it would in the 1900s and 1950s or so .

Onward from the Stanford Mansion was a walk to Old Sacramento where we explored the Sacramento History Museum, Eagle Theater, Old Sac Schoolhouse and the California State Railroad Museum.  I have to finish with this funny story from the railroad museum:

There are exhibits throughout the museum of wax conductors and rail-workers; and wax models of people are pretty realistic.  A couple times I thought the models were real people -until I got closer.  I finally assumed they were all wax until I saw a gray man sitting in a rail-station exhibit.  Just sitting, in his conductor’s suit on a bench.  We stared at him and wondered if he was real, he looked real?  When suddenly he moved!  And I jumped up and down yelling “He’s real?  He’s real?” and the man nodded as if to say “Yes, I am real”.  One of the museum docents laughed and asked if he’d scared us too.  It was the funniest thing so I had to go back and take a picture.  By that point he was talking to some curious kids.

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Totally Gold

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the Tower Bridge is totally gold

So I’d have to say that I did make my goal to capture a close-up shot of the Tower Bridge.  Yep, I take it all back, it really is gold, and now I can defend it too.  You better not be calling the Tower Bridge yellow while I’m around…

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the Tower Bridge is yellow?

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Tower Bridge

On another downtown Sacramento adventure the question of the day was: Why is the Tower Bridge yellow?  We all knew it was because the town voted on it and picked gold…which unfortunately turned out to look more yellow than anything; but we wanted more information, so we asked Rayla’s mom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0g87kjZI8g

According to further google research I’ve discovered that plagiarism is shamelessly committed in the internet cloud as pretty much every description of Tower Bridge history reads the same…of course you can only tell the same story in so many different ways.  I liked an LA Times article from 2002 when the community voting first began.

My stepdad told me an interesting story about how when they were painting the bridge in 2002, some people got upset about spray paint falling into the river.  So they covered sections of the bridge in plastic, filled it with air, like a bubble, and painted in there.  Pretty sweet eh?

the Tower and trains

Every time I’ve described the bridge as yellow, a local corrects me on it being gold.  So, I’ve decided that a true Sacramento Californian must refer to the Tower Bridge as not yellow, but gold; although in reality, when the sun hits it just right…it’s unfortunately yellow.  I bet up close it looks gold.  That will be my next goal, to capture of a photo of the Tower Bridge where  in fact it is gold.

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