On one of our passes through San Francisco, Tawn and I made a day trip up to the state capital, Sacramento, to see a high school friend and her family. While we attended her wedding in 2000, the opportunity never arose to meet her children, who are now eight and five years old. It was a lovely day and I'm glad we made the effort to go there.
We loaded into the minivan (ah, suburban parenthood!) and drove to downtown Sacramento. First stop, lunch at Burgers and Brew on R Street. Lively place in a renovated neighborhood near the light rail line. We had a tasty meal and an opportunity to bond with the children over French fries.
Bacon burger, extra crispy fries. Yum... (You didn't think I could do a post without sneaking in some food porn, did you?)
We then drove to the nearby capitol grounds, which are covered with a beautiful park, lots of flowers and trees, and an impressive capitol building. Jack and Kaitlyn posed gamely for many photos. Very well-mannered children, friendly and engaging but also well-behaved.
The capitol grounds have many trees that represent California's agricultural industry, including many different varieties of oranges. The trees were fully of fruit and we were curious what the oranges tasted like, so Uncle Tawn kicked off his shoes and climbed the tree to pick one. A very uncharacteristic act!
Yay - we have our orange! When we returned home, we tried it. Unfortunately, very sour.
We made our way to the west side of the capitol building, which is the most photogenic side. Here, Tawn and I pose with Sandy. Not sure if the low shooting angle flatters us, but at least the entire dome is in the shot. Interesting trivia: the California state capitol's design was based on that of the United States capitol building in Washington, D.C. The dome is the same height - 210 feet.
Back at home, Sandy's husband Neuzil started preparing some baked barbecue ribs for dinner while the children entertained us. As you can see, Uncle Tawn discovered Wii.
Later, Jack picked up his tape measure and was measuring anything and everything: walls, doors, the television, Uncle Tawn's neck size.
Time for an early dinner with the whole family before we drove back to San Francisco. It was such a pleasure meeting the children and seeing Sandy and Neuzil again. We'll have to make it a point to include Sacramento on our travel plans again soon.