Tuesday 22 March
OK, so after just under a week back home after our Cuba visit, we are back on an Easyjet plane to Gatwick and a taxi ride to Holiday Inn Ariel at Heathrow for another transatlantic flight, this time a BA flight the following day to San Francisco.
Sarah, Ali & Harry were on a flight to San Francisco two days earlier so we will play catch up, meeting them in Sacramento on Thursday.
Bearing in mind our recent Virgin flight I would say that the food in BA is marginally better than Virgin but the In-flight entertainment on Virgin wins hands down for their news & sport coverage.
Although of course you cannot compare two different airports, we have found Virgin’s baggage reclaim delivery to be better as it generally arrives before Economy.
Anyway, a good flight although considerable turbulence over Greenland sent even the crew scurrying back to their seats – that bit was turbulent!
A bit of a long wait through immigration as many Economy passengers from the lower deck off before us but no trouble and after getting the hotel shuttle to the Holiday Inn, San Francisco Airport, and settle down to a good night’s sleep.
Thursday 24 March
Get taxi after breakfast, to car rental terminal and pick up a Ford Edge for our two weeks.
Stop off en route to our hotel in Lincoln for our next stop to try and get a replacement bag for the broken one but don’t like any.
Make it to the Holiday Inn Express at Lincoln and meet up with Sarah, Ali & Harry.
After settling in, we seem to have overbooked by one room but we are assured we won’t get charged.
Dinner tonight in a Red Robin restaurant for a burger type meal and an early night – we are still jet lagged.
Friday 25 March
Early start after Breakfast and we retrace our steps to Sacremento to visit the Railway museum.
$50 between us to get in to see a vast array of old steam engines, a plethora of old coaches, plenty of descriptive notices about the old railways, when, why and how they were built and a few more modern diesels.
Harry enthralled although not sure if the sleeping car with movement effects was to everyone’s taste.
The dining car had place settings from many of the original US rail companies, considerably better than the plastic service you get these days.
The model trains upstairs were well liked by many a child with a few seasonal touches of Easter eggs in the carriages.
Outside, the whole area of Old Sacramento is a small set of blocks of buildings preserved, or recreated, in a style of, probably, the mid 1800’s with wooden boardwalks, verandas and fine buildings.
The Delta King Hotel on the river maybe a popular place but what was more popular for our grandson was the 10 minute horse drawn ride around the area for $10.
Watch a steam engine being prepared for a test run but it takes too long so only see it in steam, not move.
The town also has an interesting Information room as well as an old fashioned record shop and a Christmas shop stuffed full with everything you want for a Christmas Tree – in March!
A fascinating place to visit and with other attractions nearby, well worth stopping off at.
Back to hotel for a swim and sleep but both are interrupted by a fall that happens to Sal around the swimming pool on the slippery tiles that have little matting for protection and no “slippery floor” notices.
Some big bruises are in the offing I fear.
Sal rests her bruises and the rest are off to try and get a snowboard for Sarah and food for tonight.
Safeway, nearby, has some already roasted chickens and with salad & cheesecake we have a good meal.
Mel drives us back from Safeway – her first attempt at an automatic and a left hand drive on public roads.
Saturday 26 March
Problem at check out as due to inefficiency of IHG chat rooms, we ended up having too many rooms which seem to be prepaid and which we didn’t use. Eventually get this sorted and head out of town on the climb towards Lake Tahoe.