Culture comes to Sacramento -- Nov 1st, 2012

A light rain fell in NorCal Wednesday night - we heard the drip-drop-drip on Tergel's roof whenever we awoke.  It's like listening to dreamy music and will lull me back to sleep every time!   The rain cleared out by the time we got up at 7am, and the streets began to dry.  Clouds remained till early afternoon, but we didn't care; we had places to go today!  Seeking culture!

First stop was the Leland Stanford Mansion State Historic Park.  In a word:  Winner!  The 19,000 sf mansion is a first-rate museum full of both original and period furnishings.  Built during 1857-1858, it became the home of California's eighth Governor:  Leland Stanford.  Stanford was also an American tycoon, robber baron, president of the Central Pacific RR, AND founder of Stanford University. Jimmy and I not only got a healthy dose of culture, we breathed in so much history, we felt like we'd returned to school!

After watching a brief film, a docent named Michelle gave us a one-hour tour (free!), and since we were the only people in the tour, she personalized it -- she answered questions and offered information on the people, the times, and the mansion.  No photos were allowed in the mansion, so all I have to show you is the picture below.  Use your imagination to visualize how the insides of 19,000 sf would look!  Trust me:  It was breathtaking.


We were on a roll, so our next stop was the Crocker Art Museum, the first public art museum in the Western United States, established in 1885, and now one of the leading art museums in the United States.  The Crockers were another prominent family in California at the same time as the Stanford's.  These dudes make for interesting reading, that's for sure.  The building below houses only a small section of the museum.  A 125,000 sf contemporary building was opened in 2010, which sort of compliments the historic structures.  We enjoyed a sandwich in their cafe and commenced to walk and gawk for at least two hours.  I'll add a few photos, but bear in mind that photos can't possibly do justice to such opulence.

 Crocker Mansion.

One of a matching set of elegant stairs to the second floor.  

 Entry on the 2nd floor.  Wow.

 Still in the 2nd floor entry.  More Wow.

 Jimmy standing in front of one of my favorite places on earth:  Yosemite.  In a massive frame.

 Jimmy at a painting of the Sacramento Airport, "The Campbell Capital" - depicted years ago!

 Me appreciating culture.

This one - up close and in person - bowled me over.  I can't remember the artist (sorry).

We'd just about used up the day and didn't want to get caught in going-home traffic, so we left shortly after 4 pm.  Sated by and with culture; we wouldn't get to any more museums today.  Fantastic day!  Tomorrow we plan to hop on the bikes again and pedal to Old Town Sacramento.  Maybe we'll find something interesting to do down there!


  1. A very nice way to get some culture! :)

  2. Stephen Kaltenbach is the artist. That is one of my favorite works at the Crocker.



We love hearing from you -- please leave us a note! (Comment moderation is turned on, and your comments, including anonymous comments, will be visible after they have been reviewed and published.)