Sunday, May 21, 2017, Sacramento and friends

Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express brought a new experience: instead of the usual waffle machine, we found a pancake machine. You get two pancakes in two minutes. They were even good!

Pancake machine in the hotel

Pancake machine in the hotel

Sunday morning we’re off to Sacramento and the last of our capitals/capitols. Where we’d been cold, with rain and wind, much of the trip, we  now had sun — and temperatures that are now close to 100 degrees (after 60 degrees, a shock).

State capitol in Sacramento

State capitol in Sacramento

Detail of Capitol in Sacramento

Detail of Capitol in Sacramento

We found a few homeless folks there, too.

Another apparently homeless person, a few blocks from the capitol

Another apparently homeless person, a few blocks from the capitol

The official buildings are in the old style, but there are lots of modern buildings.

Modern building in Sacramento

Modern building in Sacramento

Another modern building in Sacramento

Another modern building in Sacramento

Yet another modern building in Sacramento

Yet another modern building in Sacramento

We saw the Tower Bridge, painted gold, ahead of us. In the process of finding a way to get closer, I ended up in a parking garage — in Old Sacramento, a National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park. It’s quite a well developed area, with shops in the old buildings.

Building filled with shops in Old Sacramento

Building filled with shops in Old Sacramento

In one of the store windows was this LEGO bear. As my grandchildren are wild about LEGOS, I had to take this photo.

Lego bear in Old Sacramento shop window

Lego bear in Old Sacramento shop window

Then we were on the road to visit a former colleague from Bern and her husband, two space scientists, in El Cerrito. My intention was to go first to the hotel near the airport, then to their house. However, the navigation function on my phone kept saving us time by rerouting us north instead of south. I tried to ignore this, but the phone just persisted in trying to save 2 minutes here, 7 minutes there. In the end, we just went directly to El Cerrito.

I last saw Marit in October 2015 in Bern. I hadn’t seen Tai, her husband, for probably close to 20 years. I hadn’t met their two children before. Tai speaks French, so it’s helpful for Jacqueline — she can talk with someone more fluent than I am.

After a delicious dinner in an Indian restaurant, we set off to find our hotel. The phone took over the Bay Bridge and then on a tour of the airport before we landed at the Comfort Inn & Suites in San Bruno, next to the airport. I was a little concerned about finding the hotel in the dark, but Tai had given me some tips on the bridge, so the trip went quite smoothly.

I worried about not renting a highway sticker, so we wouldn’t have to worry about tolls. In checking, Oregon has no toll roads, and I was told the sticker probably wouldn’t work in Washington or Canada. As it turned out, we paid for one bridge and that was it.

Tomorrow I have to find the rental car return and then we’re off.

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