Tourists are always on Vacation

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Tourists are always on vacation.  You might respond to this with a “duh” but it all made sense to me Saturday, on the commute to work:
 I traveled 45 minutes and rain-soaked on two city buses, to cross the cobble-stoned streets of Old Sacramento for Steamers, my favorite cafe.  At 11 AM the food is good, the people are nice and I can sit down to read my book.  Even the rain didn’t stop the usual bustle of weekend sock connoisseurs: Some had waited 2 hours for Curious George socks -it was someone’s birthday.  So I ate my pastry and drank hot chocolate in wet jeans and knee socks, ringing up pair after pair of World’s Softest and Sock it to Me specialties.  My Levis eventually dried and the cape socks continued to fly off the shelf…(no pun intended).  It was a good day, and reminded me of how even when it rains, vacation is vacation, so we might as well buy some socks…especially when they’re from Sock City.
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Steamers Coffee & Tea Exchange

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You know the smell of Pumpkin Spice at Christmas time?  Well Starbucks has this drink where they warm some milk and mix it with those smells…then they poor it into one of those cups with a coffee collar and call it a Steamer.  I’m in love with it.  So naturally the next best thing would be a cafe called Steamers

I’m not sure yet, if Steamers serves flavored warm-milk, but I do know that among other things, you can order soup of the day, sandwiches, fries and of course burgers.  Last week I tried turkey on sourdough and it was pretty good.  My fries were warm and I watched Old Sacramento from a bar-style window seat.  After 5 minutes I had to run, which made my order-to-go-box come in handy.  A few weeks ago I picked up a Steamers scone with orange juice and hurried to work.  It’s not really the food though that keeps me coming back, but the atmosphere.

I guess I’m definitely one of those creatures of habit…or maybe not.  More a creature of adventure I guess…which is completely the opposite…but what I mean is, I enjoy finding new, comfy places to call my own and visiting them frequently.  People-watching being one of my hobbies, Steamers is instantly a comfortable place with tourists speaking in accents, regulars surfing the web, and others making small-talk at outside tables.  Everything speaks urban living which, I might add, is my favorite part about visiting any city…and all I want to do is get comfortable with a good newspaper or an empty moleskin and fountain pen.  Yep, Steamers is your typical downtown cafe and next time I’m going to ask for a warm, flavored-milk.

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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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