Springtime in Napa

It’s springtime in Napa which means mustard flower and cleanup piles. I have always found Napa to be a spectacularly beautiful place. But, I’ve always found the views away from the large commercial wineries to be my favorites. The side roads and country in between the touristy places can take your breath away. Napa is truly the most beautiful big time small town in Nor Cal and I never ever get tired of it in any season.

California Automobile Museum – Micro Cars

The California Auto Museum, in downtown Sacramento, is boasting its Micro Car exhibit for the first time in seven years with what looks like double the micro cars on display!  They were even hosting a clever Micro Cars and Micro Brews event the evening we visited.  The museum underwent a refresh a few years back and I am happy to see it is alive and well.

The museum typically has a roaming exhibit (Micro Cars in this case), a race car exhibit, muscle car area, historical vehicles, and an area with cars on consignment (to help fund the museum itself and to hopefully fund some heat/air conditioning.)

It is also fun to see the addition of an area for children with several auto related activities which was a bonus for my little boy. Zoom. Zoom.

#SPRING

Spring is finally happening here in Northern California.  It’s been lovely to get out and run around a little bit after what seems like months of rain.  All good for the state of our drought in California…Enjoy a photographic representation of Fresh Air.

Roseville Telephone Museum

The Roseville Telephone Museum located in old town Roseville is a great little stop  which requires some planning.  The free museum is only open one day per month!  That’s right one day per month on the first Saturday.  I finally timed it right and took my young son along with a healthy anxiety assuming I would have to keep him from touching everything!  To my surprise the docents there, it seems all of whom have children and grand children, were enthusiastic in encouraging my son’s tactile exploration.  They even guided him over to some actual working telephones so he could “call Mommy” on the old timey phone and sit in the phone booth.

The museum has a wonderful collection of equipment which was actually used by Roseville Telephone company in early days and a large amount of equipment which was donated to them by other telecommunications lovers who wanted their items protected  and shared.

The docents were fantastic in their brief but thorough explanations keeping both me and my little guy occupied and interested.  I think the greatest evidence of this is that my son now points to every old telephone he sees and says “Phone! Talk.”  This is pretty great considering most kids born after 1995 don’t know what a phone looks like other than a cell phone.

Ever wonder what was under that manhole?  Anyone have any of the phones pictured here?  We certainly had a mickey mouse phone!  Anyone remember calling the operator to make some phone calls!?

I couldn’t help but edit some of these photos in to black and white…enjoy.

For a few other posts from the Roseville, California area please click here.

California Museum, Sacramento

Sacramento hosts the California Museum which boasts the California Hall of Fame and other interesting exhibits highlighting some of that which makes California extraordinary.

The museum has something for everyone with information about famous Californians, famous female Californians, exhibits about the Japanese internment camps, California missions, public health, unity and diversity in the state, and a special exhibit of Sus Ito’s sympathetic and personal World War II photos taken for his mother to assure her of his safety.

Highlights for me were reading about some of our famous actors, reading about personal stories from the Japanese internment camps, the gorgeous mural above the California mission exhibit, and Ito’s interesting war photos depicting the boredom and reality of war life.

Governor’s Mansion, Sacramento

We have a new Sacramento resident in our state Governor’s Mansion. This beautiful building had been vacant prior to Governor Jerry Brown moving in around 2015 for as long as I can remember operating as a California State park and open to the public. It’s been vacant since the Reagan era per good ol’ Wikipedia.  Our new Governor, Gavin Newsom, has chosen to move in with his family as is his prerogative as head of state. Although it is unclear to me if they have moved out already and in to a newly purchased home in the Fair Oaks suburbs.  Regardless and to be fair, I believe they have been renovating it since Arnold was in office, so it’s is probably much more habitable than in earlier terms. It’s a fantastically beautiful house one which will surely be a delight to entertain in both privately and publicly. I won’t be able to share interior photos until it’s open to the public again…sorry about that.  And just to make it clear in case you were wondering, if I were Governor I would move in to this house immediately.  I mean look at it!

On another note the beautiful pink tulip tree tells me spring is around the corner!

Open Studio with Dacy

We attended the open studio of artist Dacy Kolsky in downtown Sacramento recently and really enjoyed her art and the vibe of being in her studio. Check out her mixed media collage work! Her art has an neon Andy Warhol meets 80’s throwback vibe from the time before digital when everything was actually done by hand.

What’s your favorite piece?  Support your local artists!

Email dacy@modernpoppy.com

http://www.society6.com/dacykolsky

SeaQuest – Folsom, California

Seaquest opened a branch in Folsom, California and I was fortunate enough to be gifted an annual family pass.  I stopped in to see what all the fuss was about and saw a line of hundreds out the door!  Soooo, I stopped by again another day after the kids were back in school and found it to be an interesting an enjoyable visit.  It boasts turtles which can be touches and petted, a bird sanctuary with parakeets and lorikeets, piglets, lizards, frogs, lots of fish, rays, snakes, and ducks.   I must say I can’t believe it is the safest or healthiest of habitats for the animals which leaves me a little unsettled.  But, I can say it is a spectacular way to teach and inspire children about animals, sea life, and the ocean by allowing them to see, touch, smell, talk to, and interact with the animals.  Nevertheless, I am not sure how much it teaches about management and care of wildlife…

These guys always look like they are smiling from this angle

Folks can snorkel with and touch the animals

Pool with a view!

Petting zoo for little ones…surprised they don’t make everyone mandatorily wash their hands before and after…

 

Folsom Prison Museum – Folsom, California

Folsom Prison Museum is a tiny and random museum attached to the current Folsom Prison in California.  Parking and walking in isn’t for the faint of heart since you drive down Prison road and park in the same place as all of the visitors meeting with their prisoner loved ones.  You even have to walk through the Prison Gate in order to get to the front door of the museum.  From there things go up!  You are greeted with a warm welcome to an obscure and interesting micro museum.

The museum boasts a number of interesting newspaper articles, photos, prison art, Johhny Cash memorabilia, prison contraband, and other historical artifacts of note even if some are somewhat macaub.  It is an interesting stop one which won’t take you much time and might be coupled nicely with a walk or ride on the nearby lovely Johnny Cash Trail.

Toothpick anyone?

Looks cold, damp, and drafty to me

Johnny is all over this museum

Contraband weapons

The museum has lots of great photos to look through like these before and after dress out and shave photos

Yikes, its a noose

Old guard tower that could tell some crazy stories

The real prison gate which Johnny was photographed in front of

Submitted also to Kammie’s Odd Ball Challenge over at Nut House Central!