Saturday, September 12, 2009

Historic Old Town Sacramento, CA

Saturday 9/12/09 The only thing Will has ever wanted to see in Sacramento was the Railroad Museum It seems once upon a time he went with the Tollhouse Senior Center on the Amtrak from Fresno to Sacramento but only got a small taste of the museum and has always wanted to go back. Of course, on our great adventure....we can do that!! So with local bus schedule in hand we walked over to the bus stop only 2 blocks from our RV park to wait for the bus. Parking in Old Sacramento is expensive and it cost us seniors only $2.00 each round trip on the bus and actually Will was all for it. Driving in an unfamiliar downtown is not much fun for either of us. Our bus came on time, I asked the bus driver if he could let us off at the Railroad Museum stop and of course he was great & oh so easy.

The museum opened at 10 am and we were there at 10:15 am...nobody was going to cheat Will this time! Now I have never been to Old Sacramento or the Railroad Museum and just couldn't believe how fabulous everything is. We had planned 3 days down here and of course immediately I was sure it wasn't enough time but that's the plan. The bus stop was only a few blocks from all the action so we went directly to the RR Museum & paid our senior admission & entered an unbelievable place. All I can say is if you have not been here you should definitely put this on your things to see list (have I said that before??) When we entered we took a 45 minute tour with a RR docent & learned some amazing things about Abe Lincolns connection to the railroad, how it started in Sacto not in San Francisco, how time zone were established, the Chinese workers contribution and just amazing information. We then struck out on our own going thru the restored train cars they had in the museum. We saw a dining car with tables all set & menus, a steam engine, a mail car (this was amazing) a private car owned by 2 gentlemen, and just so much more. All of these rail cars are on train tracks in a round house & can be moved & used. The museum has 3 floors, the mezzanine level is a complete story on Abe Lincoln in regards to the railroad and a wonderful 20 minute film on the beginning of railroading. The third floor is the Toy Train Gallery which is probably more unbelievable then all of it. There was so much to absorb that it was hard to take it all in. We spent over 5 hours in the RR Museum and probably could go back but that will have to be another trip.

After leaving the RR Museum we proceeded to walk around Old Town which are many of the actual old building with wood sidewalks built throughout. The whole area seems to be approx 1/2 mile by 1/2 mile and we just wandered in & out of the shops. Also located down there is a rail road steam engine with old rail cars that offers rides every hour on the hour along the Sacramento River for approx 6 miles. You can also take a boat cruise from this area plus there are horse drawn carriage rides (similar to Central Park) around Old Town. and of course many, many restaurants, candy stores & ice cream shops....there is no shortage of food.

We also toured the Wells Fargo History Museum which is of course a huge advertisement for Wells Fargo bank, but they did have a working telegraph, gold scales & history of the Pony Express. We also visited the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum which is a replica of an 1800's one room schoolhouse. They had many old photos, school books, and a schoolmarm (docent) seated at the teachers desk. I must say all the docents in every museum were incredible nice and so helpful & informative, they really make the tours so enjoyable and to say I asked a few questions....would be an understatement!!!

Our bus that runs ever hour on the hour was coming at 4:41 pm & by now we are totally exhausted, get a coke & head over to the bus stop to wait for our bus. At exactly 4:43 the bus shows up, we board & are glad we have left the driving "to them." On the return bus ride our bus stops directly in front of our RV park & we can't believe our good luck. It has been a wonderful day "on the job of sightseeing" - I have finally seen Old Town Sacramento and have a Sacramento Bee newspaper in hand....a very good day. The bus ride is only 10 minutes so we are home before you know it. A very quick dinner, shower & this party will be over early tonight.

Tomorrow we take the bus and go back into town for hopefully a tour of the Capitol & more museums, will keep you posted. Much love to family & friends & it's "lights out for us" very soon.

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