Sunday, January 27, 2008

Betty and I drove from Vacaville to Chico on the morning of Saturday 26 January 2008. We returned to Vacaville shortly after sunset the next day. We avoided the freeways driving up state highways 113 and 45 from Woodland through the small villages of Knight's Landing, Grimes, Colusa, and Glenn. We crossed over the rain swollen Cache Creek just north of Woodland. It had been raining for several days, and there was lots of standing water in the fields. We saw hundreds of snow geese and swans in the rice fields a few miles south of Grimes.

We spent 5 hours visiting my cousins Louise and Lowell Smith at their beautiful home in Chico. We met one of their daughters and her husband, John and Ruth Dunbar, and several of their children. Louise made muffins to serve with a wonderful vegetable soup, and Lowell showed us his historic vehicles and plans for enlarging their home.

We checked into the Goodman House Bed and Breakfast Inn at 1730. After a brief visit with the proprietors, Tom and Margo Graham, and another guest, Don, attending the Snow Goose festival, we unpacked and relaxed with a glass of wine and cheese and crackers.

Betty was hungry so we walked to the Red Tavern one block away. The Red Tavern really isn't a tavern, but an upscale restaurant with cloth tablecloths and napkins. They do have a good selection of beer and wine, but we had already had plenty of wine. We shared a Caesar salad and a small pizza. The food is excellent with a good selection of soups and salads served with plenty of sour dough French bread. I didn't pay much attention to the entres as I seldom eat that much for supper.

Tom and Margo served strawberry scones, fresh fruit, juice, and eggs Benedict for breakfast. We visited some more with Don who had to leave at 0800 for the snow goose festival activities. We spent another hour reading in the parlor before packing and checking out. We visited Philadelphia Square where Louise and Lowell own an office building. Philadelphia Square is a collection of office buildings built to resemble historical buildings of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There are probably 20 or 30 two story buildings in the collection so it looks like a colonial city.

We drove buy the Sierra Nevada brewery and restaurant. We had planned to eat there either Saturday evening or Sunday dinner, but were not hungry enough either time. At 1000 we toured the Bidwell Mansion. After the tour we visited the carriage house and walked around the gardens before returning to the visitor's center to buy T shirts and coloring books for our grandkids.

We drove to upper Bidwell park took a short hike along Chico Creek. We stopped by the Nature Center where we studied some very good maps and aerial photos of the park. We drove to the nearby community of Paradise where we visited a Jeannie's consignment shop that was a bit like a perpetual garage sale.

At 1400 we headed home via Oroville, Biggs, Gridley, and Sutter. In Oroville we stopped at One 62 for coffee. We saw hundreds of sand hill cranes near the eastern foot of the Sutter Buttes, and hundreds of swans and a few goldeneye near the southern foot of the Sutter Buttes.

View photos taken on this trip at: