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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Triple Date <3

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Every monthaversary Ammon and Rayla treat themselves to a night on the town eating at their favorite Mexican restaurant, La Terraza.  This Valentine’s Day they decided to mix things up with a pit-stop at Rick’s Dessert Diner in downtown Sac.  I stopped by on my way home from work to see how the evening was going.

Our brothers, Helaman and Mason, joined Ammon and Rayla for this Valentine’s celebration with their respective girlfriends, Ellen and April.  I arrived just as they were finishing off some milkshakes and tiramisu -which, I might add, was delicious.  Mason and Helaman were of course a little embarrassed to be caught on camera, but Ammon and Rayla, our favorite love-birds, were clearly used to the publicity.  Ammon related how the evening began with pizza at home and then piling into the family van to eat at Rick’s.  Finishing the night, we drank sodas and shared nachos at La Terraza.  The evening was a delicious sample of Sacramento delicacies, with understandably shy company (it’s always a little strange when your sister shows up with a camera) but they were all good sports.

Tiramisu -yum.

Rick's Dessert Diner: "...more than 285 varieties of European and American desserts, all made fresh daily from “scratch.”"

Ellen and Helaman

Of course Coca-cola.

April and Mason

Cake... Mmmm

Ammon and Rayla

Rick's Dessert Diner

Piled into the Family Van

Dining at La Terraza

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How to Celebrate your Valentine in Sacramento

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Peace Out Chocolates

Happy Valentine’s Day.  The sun is shinning, the sky is blue and my mom gave me these chocolates to celebrate.  I have no plans in particular, but I am eager to see what lovebirds will be wandering Old Sacramento this evening.  Did I tell you I work in a sock store now?  That’s right guys, Sock City in Old Sacramento!  But what I’m even more curious about is how Ammon and Rayla will be celebrating Valentine’s Day?  I’m positive we’re all curious so I promise to get and post that story by tonight.  In the mean time, I took the liberty of googling “Valentine’s Day Sacramento 2012” and here’s what I found:

Sacramento365.com is featuring at least 8 events this evening from Vivian Lee at Harlow’s to Laugh’s Unlimited’s  Sacramento Love Ball and Punchline Comedy Club’s Cupid’s Comedy Allstars.  Courtyard Marriott and Hyatt Regency in Sactown are even hosting formal dinners just for you and your sweetheart.  Sigh “Ah love”.

The Legal Services of California had their 9th Annual Valentine Run this morning.

CBS Sacramento lists your Best Bets for Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts and Open Table makes dinner-for-two reservations easy with a list of top restaurants and reservation options.

So whether you’re in the mood for flowers & chocolate, dinner & music, running, or just laughing like crazy, Good Morning Susan’s got you covered.  If you don’t want to spend any money, I suggest snuggling up with a good chick flick or action film -if it’s your man’s turn to pick.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Even Beautiful in the Rain

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Reflecting streetlights

I walked around Old Sacramento early last week as rain sprinkled from the sky.  It’s a tourist part of the town, built to look like the city during the Old West.  Some of the buildings are actually original and you can take tours underground.  Wandering through the shops, waiting for my ride, I happened upon one man twice in my travels.  He was wearing trendy horn-rimmed glasses and a hoodie and said “Hello” as he walked by.  I continued my stroll and came across a Magnolia tree.  I saw my first Magnolia trees this past summer in California.  Their flowers are white and smell like heaven.  This evening the waxy leaves glistened in the rain as the sidewalk reflected light from an evening lamp.  I could not let this moment pass undocumented and pulled out my pink camera to take a shot.

“This is why people move to California,” I thought to myself, “it’s even beautiful in the rain.”

The beauty of this state truly never ceases to amaze me.  The fruit, the plants, the birds.  I see egrets all the time and heard my first doves coo.  Mockingbirds are beautiful and you can literally pick Pomegranates off of trees in the park.

I wore sandals yesterday and look forward to wearing them more in the coming months and driving back-river-roads just to pass the vineyards by.  Now that’s a site I’ll certainly capture for you when the grapes are in bloom.

Time to go home.

Rain-Kissed Magnolia

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The delicious Blood Orange

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First off –I don’t like oranges.  At least I thought I didn’t.

As posted before, I think it’s pretty neat that Californians can grow citrus trees in their front yards.  Lemons, grapefruit, oranges, not to mention: the Blood Orange.  I first discovered this creation one February afternoon with my friend, Cassidy.  He had a handful of oranges and offered me one.  I politely accepted the fruit –even though oranges really aren’t my favorite treat.  He told me that it was a blood orange and I was suddenly curious.  I had remembered reading about blood oranges for a school project and always wondered how they tasted.  I began to peel the fruit and was surprised when red juice started to dribble down the rind.  I soon made it to the deep red, fleshy  fruit and took a bite.  Talk about delicious: (Blood Oranges are exceptionally juicy with a sweet-tart kick).  I quickly gobbled up the fruit and couldn’t stop thinking about how good it tasted even the next day.

Now this very whole time, there had been a bowl of oranges on the table at home; but because I was so used to detesting oranges, of course I hadn’t tried one.  I later heard my brother, Kennedy, talking about how we had blood oranges and my ears perked up right away.

“We have blood oranges?!” I exclaimed.

Kennedy: “Yeah”

Me: “Alllll of these are blood oranges?”

Kennedy: “Yeah…”

Haha, and I ate about 2 or 3 of them that very afternoon.

They’re smaller than regular oranges.  I’m going to post a youtube clip of peeling a blood orange.

The funniest thing is how now, I actually like oranges.  They’ll be another comforting reminder of home to me when I’m back at the “Y”.  Back at the “Y”, Good Morning Susan: Back at the “Y”  ~Coming soon in just 7 months from now!

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Turtle Backpack in the K Street Downtown Mall = So cool.

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Denio’s in Roseville

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Denio’s is a Famers Market & Swap Meet in Roseville, California.  Open Friday through Sunday it’s the perfect place to pick up white tees for that summer-time tie-dye party.  Oh and did I mention they sell only the best hand-dipped corndogs in the world?!  I’ve always loved corndogs but never truly loved until I tried one here.  I took these pictures months ago on a family day trip which turned out to be an absolute blast.  We drank from a coconut and lost track of the stand selling friendship bracelets with Brazilian flag beads…I will find that stand again and look for Panama.  Speaking of tie-dye, I’m feeling a party coming up in the near future.  Stay tuned for pics and how-tos on Dying techniques…cause I don’t really know that much, but I like getting color on my hands.

Also I’m going back to BYU Fall 2012 which means…(drum roll) BYU Student Living edition is coming back!  And I promise it’ll be faaaar better than those kindergarten posts from 2010.  We all know I’m a Cali-girl now.

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Why I love In-N-Out Burger

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Animal Fries with Camille

To begin with I actually don’t really care for In-N-Out Burger.  The grilled onions give me heartburn, the fries are too dry and they never have any Sprite; but in spite of the imperfections, I still love going there.  I remember when In-N-Out came to Orem, Utah.  Everyone raved about it and waited hours in line for a Double-Double sandwich, Animal fries and Neapolitan shake.  Playing along, I decided it was cool too, until one day I realized, I always felt gross after eating there.  So “Why?” you may ask, do I claim loving In-N-Out at all?  Because of the atmosphere.

The place is always open and it’s rarely as sketch as Mickey D’s.  My favorite part would have to be that it’s squeaky clean!  Now, don’t get me wrong, McDonald’s and all the other places are generally clean too, but I don’t know, it’s something about the shiny red and white tiles and sunny palm trees that make In-N-Out shine.  When midnight rolls around and we’re all in the mood for a last-minute hangout, we don’t think Taco Bell, we say In-N-Out all the way!  We’ll crowd into a row of tables and chairs and wait for our meal numbers to be called.  I admit that besides the heartburn and dry fries, I’ve come to like 7-UP, and ordering a #1 without onions usually does the trick, while animal style solves the grainy potato problem.  If there’s one thing I do love to eat at In-N-Out it’s the chocolate shakes. So all in all, that’s why I love In-N-Out Burger: it’s clean.  Oh and next time I go, I’m totally trying Beka’s recipe for Mormon Jungle Juice:

1/3 pink lemonade

2/3 sprite or 7-UP

1 juiced lemon

1 lemon dropped in the juice

Enjoy!

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In California people grow Lemons in the yard!

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The Rainy Season

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Clouds, fog, wind, a drizzle of rain: the past 5 or 7 days.

It’s not so bad actually, and when I think about how hot it got last summer, I remember when I wished for rain.  I grew up in Washington state, so you could imagine my surprise when I found out that Californians melt in the rain…kind of like how Seattleites shrivel in 80 degree weather.  It’s funny actually, but my full assimilation to Californian appears eminent as I myself refused to ride my bike this morning because of the rain.  It’s a different rain here though, a dribble that soaks your socks.  In Seattle it’s more of a constant sprinkle, like walking through clouds.  I’m not complaining though, more taking a pause for reflection.  Up north it’s been snowing, Utah has snow, but in California, we have rain.  Although there was some excitement on the news last night about white stuff in the Sierras…

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