Sunday, September 21, 2008

San Francisco, Davis, Sacramento 9.08

Saturday, Sept. 20-Wednesday, Sept. 24. Hearing that we were heading for San Francisco, our friends George and Scott told us we shouldn't miss the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the de Young Museum, part of Golden Gate Park. Fortunately for us he told us in plenty of time for me to look at the website and get a timed admission ticket. (This was a very popular special exhibit!) Chihuly is a glass artist who makes incredibly gorgeous pieces. We first saw his work in the Bellagio Hotel ceiling in Las Vegas last summer. We spent a long time admiring his work and I took lots of pictures. We loved it so much we bought a poster showing his glass in a boat that we'll put up in Florida. They were also showing an interesting movie about a workshop he did which showed him creating on paper and other artists implementing his design. It really helped us appreciate the glass pieces knowing a little bit about how they were created. We poked around at other exhibits but the Chihuly exhibit really was the best! Since there are a lot of things to see at Golden Gate Park, next time we'll make time to visit the arboretum and conservatory of flowers.

We left San Francisco and drove north to Napa and dinner with Jim & Dianne Rubins. We had a wonderful visit!

Scott and Libby let us use their apartment since they were in Duluth vacationing with her parents. We enjoyed taking long walks through the UC Davis campus and downtown. The weather was great - sunny skies with cool temps in the morning and then up to the low to high 80's. Sunday night we wanted to see how "Mad Men" did in the Emmy's but they have no TV. We could have gone to their club house but it was on from 8 to 10 PM and decided not to. Instead we checked out the winners online. We made a good decision. Julie watched with friends and said it was so boring, that is, until "Mad Men" won for best drama. Yeah!!

Monday we had a really good tour of the Sacramento Capitol building and saw a movie about CA history. That night we picked Scott and Libby up at the airport. (Here also is Scott's and Libby's apartment. Do we have enough laptops?)

Tuesday we took a scenic drive through Napa to Santa Rosa. First stop was the Luther Burbank Home & Gardens. The town and home and his gardens were beautiful. We were happy to be able to get in on a tour. We learned that Mr. Burbank was a horticultural genius born in Massachusetts. Over his lifetime he introduced more than 800 new varieties of plants. Among his varieties still popular today are the Russet potato and the Shasta daisy. He developed so many varieties but had patents for none since he died in 1926 before there were patents for plants. Here are just a couple of flowers in his garden.

Libby hadn't seen the redwoods yet so we headed to Armstrong Redwoods State Park in Guerneville. It's north of Muir Woods and is on a smaller scale. We checked out some huge trees and then went on a pretty steep 4 mile hike. It was fun just visiting with Scott and Libby. We topped off the day at a Thai restaurant in Santa Rosa.

Wednesday was convocation for UC Davis at the Mondavi Center (funded by Mr. Mondavi of the Mondavi wine family). We decided to go at the end and saw the marching band play. After there were great refreshments! We noticed they were really into making sure that people recycled properly. The plates and utensils were made from corn starch! We wandered through campus (lots of bikes!) down to the weekly farmers market, bought some things and then saw a band and singers at the park where the market is. It was fun to see so many people, families, kids, and students just out enjoying themselves. Scott said they don't usually buy much here since the Dixon market has better prices.

We really enjoyed our time in Davis. Thanks to Scott and Libby for letting us use their apartment! We said goodbye to California until December when we'll visit again.

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