San Francisco Roller Coaster Ride!

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As promised: a ride through San Francisco.  This city is seriously like an amusement park; and the people who dare to ride their bikes to work, rock my world.

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Banana Fest

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Banana display

There were a lot of produce festivals in California this summer and Banana Fest was one of them.  My friend, Yu, sent me the link to this event after she’d heard about my trip to Tomato Fest; so we laughed and decided to go.

It happened in William Land Park and admission was a few dollars -of course this included a stamp and bananas all around.  There were lots of carnival style games for kids and a children’s theatre too.  I saw booths with art dedicated to the banana, jewelry, local businesses, banana hats; a regular community fair.

Banana stamps!

Feeling hungry, we stopped by each food stand to peruse the possibilities.  Among the usual nachos, and burritos we found a nice assortment of banana desserts like banana kabobs, and even tamales emphacizing banana leaf wrappings.  We settled on sharing some banana cookie pies after devouring a giant burrito and a plateful of nachos.

There was entertainment too and I thought the whole event was well planned.  We sat down for the end of a cooking competition and listened to a high school drumline, and professional saxophonist.

I enjoy community events whether they be centered around bananas or tomatoes.  It’s always a good and inexpensive time.  Thanks to Yu for finding this gem!

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First The Nibblers, then onward to Crepeville!

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Concert in the Park at Cesar Chavez Plaza

Every Friday, summer night, Sacramento puts on their free Concert in the Park series at Cesar Chavez Plaza.  It’s the perfect place to start off the weekend by dancing to the sounds of local music groups like funk band, the Nibblers.  We rocked out a little ourselves with friends, Matt & Kaylonnie too.  Here’s a listen to what we partied to that night -It’s ok to get up and dance:

After jamming to the Nibblers, we left in search of food: onward to Crepeville!  I had an apple cheese crepe, but sadly didn’t take any pictures.  You can follow us on our adventure there though.  We even crashed a high school graduation…

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The California State Fair

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California State Fair Bear

One afternoon Ammon, Rayla, my other brother, Helaman & I jumped into “Floyd” (Rayla’s pink rimmed Civic) and drove to the California State Fair.  Being low on funds, we didn’t spend any time on rides, but we did enjoy a few corndogs, lemonade and took advantage of practically every free event possible.

Like most fairs Cal State had its 4-H barns and pony shows, public bluegrass bands and Win-A-Chevrolet! contest forms -so naturally we signed up and got free water bottles.

Two of the most interesting exhibits were about music and bugs.  We took a stroll down Abbey Road, played a little “Heart & Soul” and watched a life-sized locust scare a little kid.  Here’s Helaman’s reaction to how mosquitos drink blood:

I wish I’d caught a picture of the puppet driving the Coca-Cola truck up and down the street.  Now that was cool!

Here’s a few pics from our state fair adventures:

Helaman and the grasshopper

Ahh!! Spider prey!

Stilt Walkers!

attempting to play "Heart & Soul"

Strolling down Abbey Road

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Step back in time to the 4th of July

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Rayla, Ammon, and me hanging at Discovery Parkice cream cart

This 4th of July I didn’t attend any parades or watch much of the musical, “1776”, but I did have a family barbeque and watched a lot of fireworks in remembrance of the men who fought many battles for our freedom.  I’m so thankful for the sacrifices made and those continuing to be made today.

Before the evening festivities, Ammon, Rayla & I made a trip to Discovery Park in Sacramento.  It costs $5 dollars a vehicle for a day at the “beach” -on the river.

"I'd like to buy the world a Coke"

Discovery Park sits where the Sacramento and American rivers meet.  It’s very pretty and on the 4th of July, full of people.  There were barbeques under the trees, ice cream carts, boats, life jackets and a huge Fire Fighter Dalmation.

We stepped in the river for a bit, but it was really cold!  So instead, while we warmed up, and dried off, Rayla broke out the Cokes.  Now what’s more American than that?

Check out a Youtube clip of our Discovery Park trip here:

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Sacramento Jazz Jubilee

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the Syncopated Sea-Monkeys

Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, about a month ago…was excellent.  Ammon’s band played so we got free companion passes: Rayla, Helaman, and I had a blast.  Jazz Jubilee is pretty much a festival of music glory located in Old Sacramento (which is a cool spot all its own).  Bands come from all around, jazz and blues groups, but this year there were some sweet tribute bands and other genres.  We saw Johnny Cash and Santana tributes; Ammon and Rayla saw more jazz than I did, but I loved my Jubilee experience.  The crowds, the high school jazz groups, my magical pass that got me into any show: all definite pluses.


My favorite stop of the afternoon was Evangeline’s.  It’s this costume, practical joke, miscellaneous everything shop in Old Sac.  One time I bought an anklet there for 75 cents, and then saw the same one in San Francisco for $3.75!  Yeah…I’m a winner.  But anyway after exploring the mysterious open door to Evangeline’s costume mansion, Ammon, Rayla, and I broke down and bought masks to wear for the night.  Loved the purple jewels, the feathers, and of course the attention.  Especially when people joked, “Who are those mysterious girls?”  -not to Ammon of course.

I wish I had made myself get out of bed Monday morning when they went for a final Memorial Day round of awesome, but I have this horrible habit of getting to bed late and sleeping in, so…yeah didn’t happen; but I do have a youtube clip from my final night at Jazz Jubilee; “living proof that Rayla does know how to dance”.  You can pay the big bucks for a day pass into any show at Jubilee, or buy a couple tickets; if we didn’t have passes, we’d definitely go for dancing right outside the tent for Free:

Rhythm Vandals: Tribute to Santana

I love California.  The sunshine makes it feel like a party everyday, minus 90 degree muggy weather at the capital…gotta relive that adventure since my camera freaked out on me and I had to delete all of my pictures, but next time, promise!

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: an aspiring world record collection of pachyderms.

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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:

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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