Saturday, May 14, 2016


Tim at the California Automobile Museum
I have a book manuscript due in January, so I've been running around the state doing research: San Diego a month ago, the Central Coast a week later, and Sacramento this past week. I often go alone, but it's always much more fun when Tim comes along. Between bouts of research, we did some fun sightseeing in Sacramento.

California State Library

Built in the late 1920s, the State Library is located across the street from the State Capitol and is considered one the state's most beautiful government buildings. Architecturally modified over the years, the library was recently renovated to its original glory. Here are just a few images of its magnificence:

Front facade

Lobby ceiling

Former circulation room. Note card catalogs still in the walls.

Statue detail

Chandelier and ceiling detail

Gillis Hall (i.e., reference room) plaque

Gillis Hall mural by Maynard Dixon

Other side of mural

California Automobile Museum

We have lots of car museums here in L.A., but a friend recommended the California Auto Museum, so we went. He was right. Housed in a large warehouse, the museum does a nice job chronicling the history of automobiles from the late 19th century to now. 

My personal favorite era has always been the 1930s-50s, when cars were built to last. They may not have been as fuel-efficient as today, but all that chrome and those fabulous colors—wow! I obviously went berserk taking photos:

Funky homemade RV


Gunther's Ice Cream

We first heard of Gunther's, last year, when Charles Phoenix posted a video of his favorite ice cream parlor in Sacramento. We made a mental note and went looking for it after visiting the auto museum. On a corner surrounded by houses, Gunther's has been making and serving ice cream since 1940. 

School had just let out and so the place was packed. We soon found out why. I got a raspberry sherbet cone and Tim a root beer float. Can't wait to go back! 

Gunther's ice cream parlor

Neon sign detail (not lit-up during day)

Waiting inside . . .

Tim's RBF and me and my cone

California State Railroad Museum

As noted elsewhere on this blog, we love trains. So no surprise that we made time to visit the California State Railroad Museum in Old Town Sacramento. Deceiving at first—the museum looks rather small from the outside—we ended up spending several hours there, watching a film, taking the tour, and then climbing through actual train cars exhibited inside the museum. What a fun way to spend half-a-day! Highly, highly recommended.

Looking down on some of the exhibits

Old passenger cars

Central Pacific engine, circa 1863

Replica of the Golden Spike that celebrated
 completion of the Transcontinental Railway


Wheels detail and reflection

More modern engine

Dining car kitchen

China from the glory days of rail travel

More china

And, yes, women worked on the railroad, too

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