Wednesday, August 31, 2011

San Francisco

We went to San Francisco on Tuesday and spent the day.  Our first stop was Coit Tower, to get a view of the city.  Then it was a drive down crooked Lombard Street.  We went to the famous Fisherman's Wharf and had a wonderful lunch at Alioto's Restaurant.  We had a great view of the docks and we swapped halves of our shrimp salad and crab salad sandwiches. We also saw two sea lions catching fish while we ate.  We walked all around the waterfront shopping for souvenirs, Christmas presents, and made a stop at Boudin  Bakery, the sourdough bread bakery. We drove over to the Palace of Fine Arts, walked around the palace, but didn't go inside to see the art.  What a beautiful park.  We then went to the Presidio to see the San Francisco National Cemetery and a view of the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.  We walked down to the waterfront for a view of Alcatraz prison.  It was as low as 58 degrees during the day, 87 when we got back to Lodi. We tried to go to Ghirardelli's Chocolate, so Deb could get her chocolate fix, but there was no parking available in the neighborhood, so we decided to go there on our next visit to San Francisco.

A view from Coit Tower
Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill

A view of Alcatraz from Coit Tower
Deb with Christopher Columbus at Coit Tower

Lombard Street
Lunch at Alioto's

The left view from our table at Alioto's
Looking right from our table

Fisherman's Wharf
Palace of Fine Arts

Cable Car
San Francisco National Cemetery

The Golden Gate Bridge in fog

She can do anything

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Jelly Belly factory - Fairfield, California

Today we went to Fairfield to tour the Jelly Belly factory. Of course, we could not take any pictures while on the tour. The tour was interesting and at the end they gave us a little bag of Jelly Belly jelly beans. Then you can go to the factory store and taste any flavor you want. Just ask and they will give you 1 jelly bean to try. They sell about 300 different packages of jelly beans. They also make many other candies, including a whole line of gummy products, fudge, chocolate bars and chocolate covered products, including fine boxed chocolates. They also make gel products like orange slices, gum drops, etc. They are also the original maker of candy corn, that Halloween favorite, made by the original owners, the Goelitz Candy Co. Who knew that they made so many products?   Between Lodi and Fairfield is Rio Vista, which has a tremendously large wind generating area.  There must be several hundred wind generating wind turbines in that area.   As far as you can see, they are spinning in the wind.

Orange Jelly Belly
Cherry Jelly Belly

Debbie & Mr. Candy Corn
My favorite Jelly Belly



Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Sacramento, Day # 2 Capitol & Governor's Mansion

We visited Sacramento again, and this time we visited the State Capitol Building and the Governor's Mansion.  No Governor since Ronald Reagan has lived in this house since 1981.  Reagan moved out after three and a half months due to security reasons.  The mansion sits in the middle of a middle class neighborhood and across the street from a Clarion hotel.  Since then all of the governors have lived elsewhere.  Fact: Current Governor Jerry Brown lives in an apartment above P.F. Chang's restaurant!
The mansion, along with 70 other state parks will close later this year due to California's budget restrictions.  California, like many states is broke.

Dome over the rotunda
California's Capitol Building

Governor's Mansion
Dining Room

Governor's Bedroom
First Lady's bedroom
Sitting Room
Governor's Kitchen

Sacramento, California

We went to Sacramento, the capital of California on Tuesday.  While there we visited the California State Railroad Museum.  There was at least a dozen trains in the museum, as well as a large collection of toy trains.  There was also a large collection of table settings in one of the dining cars.  One of the gold spikes, made to be used at the ceremony celebrating the meeting of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads at Promontory Point, Utah is also on display. Then we went to Old Sacramento, which has been revitalized by sprucing up the old store fronts, adding a wooden boardwalk and opening all of the stores.  The buildings are now restaurants, souvenir stores, clothing boutiques, candy stores, toy stores, taverns and more.  They also have a replica train station and the original school house in Sacramento.  We had a nice lunch at Angelina's, all the pastas and pizza you could eat for $6.99.


Dining Car
Passenger Coach

Debbie the School Teacher




Old Sacramento


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Lodi, California

We are still in Lodi for another 2 weeks, seeing the area and relaxing.  We did go to Fairfield on Saturday and went to an olive oil and vinegar tasting.  It's kind of like a wine tasting.  We learned a lot about the different quality of olive oils and the health factors.  We bought some white balsamic vinegar and some Olive oil with rosemary and pepper flakes inside.  We also went to the Tomato Festival in Fairfield.  They had more kind of tomatoes than we had ever imagined.  We got to taste lots of tomatoes, from yellow and green to purple and red.  Believe it or not, they varied in taste quite a bit.  They had lots of food and craft booths, as most fairs do.  The only thing we bought some zucchini bread. 
The past two Saturday nights we went to Stockton 99 Speedway and saw some great racing.  Each week they had different types of racing. We always enjoy going to a good race.
This week we plan to go to Sacramento to see the State Capitol and various tourist sites around the city. We also plan to go back to Fairfield to tour the Jelly Belly jelly bean plant. (free samples!)


Old cars from 1930-1950
4 cylinder cars

Motorcycle ride for Autism charity

Legend Cars
Ford Focus Midgets


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

We made it to California!

We will be spending the next ten or eleven months in California.  We will be in California until we head north in spring 2012 to Oregon and Washington. We arrived in Lodi today, set up, and immediately jumped in the pool.  Here is our set schedule until next spring. We will continue to update you on every place we visit, during our Cailfornia stay.

8/10/11-9/6/11          Flag City RV Resort                      Lodi, Ca.
9/7/11-9/11/11          Yosemite National Park                Mariposa, Ca.
9/12/11-9/15/11        Sequoia National Park                  Lodgepole, Ca.
9/16/11-9/17/11        Eastman Lake                               Raymond, Ca.
9/18/11-10/17/11      Parkway Lakes RV                        Morgan Hill, Ca.
10/18/11-11/1/11      Bakersfield RV Travel Park           Bakersfield, Ca.
11/2/11-4/2/12         Golden Palms Village RV Resort    Hemet, Ca.

California-our 14th state

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lake Tahoe, Carson City and Reno, Nevada

We are in or last three days in Nevada at the Bordertown Casino & RV park.  On Sunday we went to Lake Tahoe and drove around the entire lake.  We had breakfast at a bakery in Brockway and then headed up and around Lake Tahoe.  We stopped in South Tahoe for a craft fair, but didn't buy anything.  Lake Tahoe is gorgeous and the water is clear.  It is surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains,  expensive homes, resorts and cabins.  You need real money to live and vacation here. Monday we went to Carson City and toured the Capitol.  It was old and very small, compared to the beautiful capitol buildings we saw Arkansas, Iowa and Utah. How small?  The Assemblymen have no desks, no pages, no fancy chambers, they have folding chairs.  We also went by the governor's mansion, but this time, we didn't take the tour.  The next day we went to Reno and did some gambling at the Atlantis.  Debbie and I usually only play the cheap slots, as we are not real gamblers. We have worked too hard, too long to give it all away. Debbie played the 1 & 5 cent slots and won $ 5.75 in about 15 minutes. I played the 25 cent video poker and quite when I got back to even money. 

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Nevada's Capitol Building
Vince on the Supreme Court bench


Governor's Mansion
Welcome to Reno

The Big Winner
The Atlantis Hotel & Casino