Beautiful connections along the unknown road! This past week my family and I set out on another vantastic adventure up to Nor Cal. This time to Marin and Sacramento. Marin for their TEDx event and Sacramento for TBD fest. Alex’s art installation was booked for both of these events and since I try hard not missing any opportunity to hop in the van and head off on an advnture with the family, I jumped in! Love Fed book amazon link in tote of course, as there’s always someone to share my work with when traveling.
Just before the Tedx event we enjoyed the local Marin Civic Center Farmers Market. We scored the most delicious Mediterranean platter for $8 that Alex and I easily shared. I turned my back while in the food line and rediscovered my favorite bread company (The Phoenix Pastificio) that I told you about on my last trip up North. I was super excited to have stumbled upon them and naturally picked up an olive loaf and a few irresistable chocolate almond cookies. We then headed back to the Osher Marin JCC where the Ted talks were happening and prepped for the night. Alex’s art was a success, everyone loved the piece and he literally was the last one to leave the event due to attendees interacting with the project even after he attempted to pack up and go once the talks ended. We left close to Midnight and rose again the next early morning to make our trek to Sacramento. Before we left Berkeley (where we stayed the night with family) we made a stop to Berkeley Bowl West for a van picnic/breakfast on the go!
About an hour and a half drive from Berkeley we arrived at TBD Fest, a three day music festival very close to downtown Sac. We didn’t know anyone in Sacramento so one of the organizers found us a host family who took us in for the weekend. To our luck the adorable family had a toddler and similar interests. We were welcomed with so much love, trust and even with fresh tomatoes from the garden.
Turns out that our host Andrea and I have a lot in common when it comes to food. Quickly I discovered she went to culinary school in NY and currently is the editor of Edible Sacramento Magazine. Her home was full of great cookbooks and food literature, I could have had a staycation and read all day long if only I had a babysitter.
I love traveling to places and connecting with like-minded people. Would have enjoyed spending the weekend with this sweet family but they were off to a wedding and left us their house and the good company of their sweet and well behaved dogs. Nova had a ball with the dogs and made some great memories as he played with them.
The experience of being hosted by strangers (unknown extended family really) is a warm and life enhancing opportunity. I couldn’t help but feel a part of a bigger family instantly. Alex and I love sharing our home with other travelers and are always in great appreciation when people invite us into their homes and personal space. We left there home with a taste of nostalgia from both of our upbringings. This travel experience has shown me once again how art is the language of love. We’ve been hosted by many amazing folks over the years partly due to our creative expressions. Often times having no previous connection with our host only to leave with a bigger connection and network of our human family.
As for Sacramento, I felt the town has a lot of growth potential. As it’s very walkable, has running water throughout, beautiful old brick buildings some with very big windows, parks, public transport, events and friendly folks. There’s a lot of room for health food cafes, juice bars, coffee shops, art galleries and more street art. We visited during an extremly hot weekend and would have liked to discover more sweet, shady, clean spots to hang out and play in nature with a fresh pressed green juice/smoothie in hand. The local farmers market was intimate and had vegan options and we noticed a laid back communal vibe at a few bigger restauraunts around town, especially the ones offering outdoor seating. It’s a place I want to keep my eye on as it grows into its potential.
This trip was a great success for our family and I savor every trip we take together but there truly is no place like home. For those of you curious about how Nova did on the drive, I am truly amazed at how laid back this little traveler is. We have a game plan that works really well for him, as long as we stop at a playground once on a seven hour drive he’s a happy camper. We also enjoy getting on the road as early as possible usually at 5 am while he’s still asleep since he always sleeps longer in his car seat. This results in him sleeping at least 4-5 hours on the first leg of the drive. I deeply believe that he thoroughly enjoys being on the open road with mom and dad in the good ole family van!
Have you been on any business or leisure road trips lately? I’d love to hear about where you’ve been, drop me a note below!
My recommendations for passing through or staying for a weekend in Sacramento:
- For unique Thai Food featuring a seasonal menu visit Thai Basil
- Mckinley Park & Playground is an excellent place for the family to enjoy outdoor play, picnic, sports and relaxation.
- Hop in the American River accessible from Sutters Landing Skate Park. We parked at the skate park and walked about 200ft down to the river bed. It’s not glamorous but a great place to cool off in the city. This part of the river is the cleaner part from what the locals told us. Bring a trash bag to pack out whatever your bring in. Disclaimer:You might just find yourself picking up after others a bit…annoying but necessary!
- Sacramento Natural Foods Co-Op has a hot and raw food buffet with cafeteria for dining in. It’s a well stocked hfs, offers community classes and a positive shopping experience. I loved how they had mini carts for toddlers that Nova could push while I shopped. They had a cute flag that said “shopper in training”. It was adorable seeing my little man take pride in pushing his own cart full of the family groceries.
- Also good to note that the small, historic and charming old town of Auburn is a 30 minute drive and worth a day trip down to the river and to the town center for a meal, night time stroll, beer or dessert under the stars.