Day 3 of Our Jaunt in June

After a restful evening in Red Bluff, we were awakened about 5:30 A.M. by neighboring guests above us running and jumping across their floor and our ceiling. Then we heard their showers and their packing. And, finally, we went back to sleep as they must have left.

After leftovers for breakfast, packing, and stopping for gas, we were on the road toward Stockton by 10:30. Our friendly Gypsy, or GPS as she is more commonly known, alerted us to the fact that our destination, the Stockton Air Museum, was closed on this day! So we made some last minute adjustments and headed for Old Town Sacramento instead.

Old Town Sacramento was as we remembered it . . . only less so. It seems to have lost some of it’s pioneer flair as so many little shops carried wares from elsewhere in the world. Still, we walked the town in the almost 90 degree heat and marveled at the mixture of “old” and “new” that coexists in the same footprint of the city. Expending a little energy with our walk through the heat, we decided to stop at a German Brew Haus for some lunch. We walked down into the rathskeller, truly an underground arrangement, that was surprisingly devoid of people. I was reminded of my friend who will never stop at a restaurant that has no visible patrons. The thought of German food still called to us, however, so we stayed and ordered. The waitress was less than agreeable, making mistakes with our order – when there was NO ONE else in the place – and proceeded to argued with us about it, then charged us in full after it was corrected. Clearly not the best in customer service. And, decidedly not the best in German cuisine, either. But, it was lunch and we were filled up enough to get back in the car and continue on.

The central area of California is largely agricultural, and that’s basically all we saw: orchards; rice, corn, wheat, beans, and hay fields; as well as a lot of old barns and a few cattle.

Traffic from Sacramento to Modesto was heavy, perhaps because it was late on a Friday afternoon, but then Gypsy informed us there was an accident on South 99 that would prolong our trip by 18 minutes. (And, we all know it usually takes longer.)

We were listening to “Team of Rivals” as we drove; keeping us entertained as we slowed, then sped up, then continued to inch along. Gypsy continued to offer us alternative routes and we took one that had us swing out into the valley east of 99, to be connected back in only a mile from our destination. For that little side trip we got to see a little more local color and more of the interior of the agricultural belt of California.

A room in Medesto awaited us and we welcomed with relief the highly air conditioned lobby! As we checked in we realized we had stayed in this very motel three years before, when we were returning home after our son had been in the hospital in LA after an accident. This little place was a welcome refuge then and feels like a welcome refuge tonight as well. What is it that makes one place seem so welcoming and another place of the very same style and usage, seem cold and unfriendly? Perhaps we could all stand to contemplate how we “welcome” others . . . or not. I know there are times when it has nothing to do with the place; it’s simply me. But, certainly there are other times when the place itself has a personality and is either “welcoming” . . . or not. It makes me want to think about how to make sure my place; my home; my garden; my refuge can be a welcoming spot for all who enter.

A short rest; a trip down the road for a new belt for my driver; and a Carl’s Jr. (unavailable in Seattle) for dinner, completed and filled out the day.