Logistically, yesterday was a nightmare.
Our journey was to Sacramento, the state capital. On the way, I had sneakily planned a visit to the superb Jimmy Doolittle Museum at Travis AFB, just out of Fairfield. What I hadn’t realised was just how complex it now is to do anything that involves entering a military base. The instructions are on their website, but in my opinion, any tourist attraction that requires you to “bring a valid drivers license, vehicle registration, current proof of insurance for each vehicle, and submit to a criminal background check. Be advised this is required for all vehicles regardless of type.” is doomed to a slow and lingering death. After taking a number and waiting with about 20 others for 40 minutes in the visitor centre to be processed by one of two very bored and unhurried clerks, and then to be told a criminal check would take a further 25 minutes, we left, disappointed.
Sacramento was another hour to the North across shimmering flat land. The shimmering should have warned us. By the time we got there, the outside temperature was 104 deg F. We had lunch in yet another air-conditioned pseudo-Irish pub, walked through the local Westfield Mall where a security guard got huffy when I took a picture. We enjoyed a stroll in the air-conditioned coolness of the California State Rail Museum (recommended) and by then our parking had run out. The car’s thermometer now read 114 deg F (45.5 deg C). Tired and irritable we set out on the journey back to Santa Rosa.
Happily the temperature, and the social climate returned to normal on the way, and we enjoyed a cool drink in a Mexican restaurant in Sonoma, and then had a walk around the town square where a magnificent gelato (white chocolate and raspberry) just leapt up out of nowhere and tempted me. What could I do?
On the last leg of the journey home, on Highway 12 through the Valley of the Moon, we passed this magnificent mansion set behind some imposing gates. I swear despite the name on the gates, Bruce Wayne lives there with Robin Grayson, and a butler called Alfred.
The last straw on tough day was to arrive back at Santa Rosa to an email from United reminding us of our changed departure time for Denver. Just as well. For some reason we both had the impression that we were staying one more day.
Panic! Pack! I can tell you I am writing this from Boulder, Colorado.