Friday, September 9, 2011

Weekend near/in Sacramento Aug 2011

The whole reason to go up to Sacramento on this weekend was to do a mini Tri-for-Fun.  The race was actually out at Rancho Seco Park, so we stayed in Galt, a nice enough town, though it reminds me of Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand.  Delicate Flower and I have signed up for a couple of races and this is the first, meant to kick our butts a little and do a race early in the season. We signed up because the  TfF is a mini-sized triathlon, but one where people aren't so competitive.  Although it turns out that many of the folks were quite competitive, but the distance is still shorter.  It is actually kind of a nice set-up, this group tbf has a bunch of races at a bunch of distances, in a bunch of places.  So they are well run and quite popular.  Now, I am not crazy/fit/motivated enough to actually do a triathlon, even this short distance one, but they have a run-bike-run version, and DF and I were a team so neither of us had to do the whole thing.

We can argue about whose bright idea it was, but we are in it together!  In retrospect, it turned out astonishing well-neither of us completed our training plans, we both changed our morning routine by eating a larger, more greasy breakfast than usual (thanks hotel buffet breakfast!), DF's back had gone out a bit, and it was way  hotter than what I usually train at...and yet....we didn't come in last, we were faster than we expected we would be, and we felt almost non-broken afterwards!  It is true that we were last in our division, female relay teams, but there were only two teams in the division!  The first place finisher was 1:30, last was 2:36 and we were 2:24.  So yes, room for improvement, but I was seriously worried they would be taking down the finish line before we crossed and that was not at all the case.

The really odd thing was we did not realize that this lake used to be for the cooling all of the race was in view of the following...

Of course part of the fun of a race is to go someplace else and see the sights!  After the race we went into Sacramento to have an amazing lunch at Cafe Rolle.  It has made it onto at least one of the Food Network spots, and there is good reason.  Of course the food is fantastic-desserts, pate, salads and sandwiches...we ate them all.  Bread.  People always talk about good crusty bread and I always thought I knew because I have eaten a lot of crusty breads.  But my breads somehow have too much crust.  This bread you can actually bite into without the whole thing cracking up, sharding, and cutting into your mouth.  Darn, now I am ruined.  And the atmosphere is not to be missed.  It was an all French staff and they were busy busy busy...and super happy about serving you at the same time.  They are adorable.  Go eat here.  I dug in so quickly I forgot to even take photos, but he has some on his web site and it looked exactly like it.

Then we went to see the capitol building.  This is something that I think everyone should do-doesn't everyone have to go in like 4th grade?  I didn't grow up here and I have felt bad that I have not been to see it yet.  Much of it is pretty standard, but there are a couple items of note.  The assembly color is green, while the senate color is red but they have similar patterns.  It is a lot of the color, very loud, not sure I could work here.  Then in the rotunda, there is both green and red, and then shades of red, meaning pink.  It is weird, but whatever!   They were showing an exhibit on WWI.  Some of the poster propaganda was hard-core.  You must buy bonds to support the war effort!  The message is pushed by a lot of bloody knives and sub-human Germans.  Fear is not just for the 21st century.  Turns out that California sent most of the engineers-even back in the day CA was an engineering haven.  But then they have letters...these basically made us bawl and we had to leave before running out of tissues.

The best part of the capitol is the exhibit of the counties.  Each county gets large display case to show themselves off.  The huge difference in approaches in interesting and we graded them.  If you just make a big poster, F-. If you try to use technology, like a rotating billboard or computer screen, and it is broken, F (LA county I'm speaking to you!).  If you rely only on history, even if you have some photos, C (Santa Clara county, really, nothing past 1880?).  If you go with some representative art, even if it is from the children, B (good job Napa).  Any time you add in a useful calendar of events, or a map with common highways, you go up a grade (nice job Alameda).  But the only way to get an A is to do a full on diorama.  Who doesn't love a diorama! Dioramas with waterfalls, kayakers, hay bales, whatever-woo hoo!  Very fun to look at-very nice job Glenn, Siskiyou and Inyo!

So then we go off to a movie...cause we are really tired of moving around.  And we end up in the sad downtown mall which is nothing at all special...except for one store that is not a store, but a display. For a guy named Steve who is trying to collect enough elephants to beat the current world record holder.  This was amazing and completely whackadoodle.  There were hundreds-cards, posters, stuffed, carved, inflated, tiny, huge, flat, oversized....just everything!  I thought I would be able to track down an online presence easily, but all I can find is someone who got actual photos from inside and with Steve.  I love that there are passionate people in the world!

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