On day two of our little road trip we left Placerville after breakfast at the Waffle Shop and headed out the 49 to the town of Coloma where gold was discovered way back when. The town is a state park with a little museum and the old buildings still there. We went through the museum and drove through town and then on to Sacramento. After much consulting of maps and trying to find the right freeways to take we finally made our way into downtown and Old Town, got off the freeway and got totally confused what with all the one way streets, but finally found the way into the huge parking structure and into Old Town. Which was a little disappointing. The old buildings and wood sidewalks are cool, but so many shops just couldn't make a go of it so there were lots of empty buildings, some restaurants with very pricey menus in the windows, four (yes four!) candy shops, a couple of ice cream shops, the usual shops with California t-shirts in the windows, and lots of homeless people. One guy was asking everyone who walked by for a nickle. I guess he figured that everyone could part with a nickle and if he asked enough people by the end of the day he might have a dollar or two. We didn't give him a nickle, we're mean like that.
Looking for a place to eat lunch, we found a pizza restaurant that promised a lunch buffet with salad bar, so we paid our $5.99 each plus drinks and went over to the saddest lunch buffet I' ve ever seen (note to self, LOOK at the lunch buffet before PAYING for it in the future!) and had the worst, the absolute WORST pizza I've ever eaten. There was also some soggy ziti that was totally inedible and some mac and cheese that I'm sure came right out of the Kraft box. It was not a good lunch and we should have just gone to Subway.
Then on to the train museum where we got in free because we pay $35.00 a year to belong to the train museum, so that part was cool to just walk on in like VIP's. The museum is really nice with lots of big trains inside and a sleeper car that moves just like you are riding in it when you walk through which made me feel a little woozy. Keith had to read everything and look at absolutely every part of every train and I got a little bored so spent a lot of time sitting on a bench watching a group of Young Explorers that were visiting the museum. They were all about 10 and dressed in red t-shirts and seemed to be having a great time.
Keith took lots of pictures but I won't bore you with more than one train picture.
There is also a diner car that you can go through, seeing the kitchen where I can't imagine fancy meals being cooked on a moving train, and the tables all set up with all of the different china patterns and menus from all the different trains. The choices for your dinner on the trains back in the days of rail travel were quite gourmet.
If you are into trains, the museum is well worth the trip.
After spending what seemed like hours and hours in the museum, we walked around the rest of Old Town. There is a river boat hotel docked on the river where the valet parking is like $20.00, so I can just imagine how much the rooms are, but if you're rich that would be a fun place to stay. They have a restaurant on the boat with pork chops for like $27.00, obviously we didn't eat there.
We did buy some salt water taffy from one of the candy shops, something about vacation and hundreds of flavors of salt water taffy is irresistible and you just have to come home with a pricey bag of salt water taffy, don't you? We did.
Then, back on the freeway heading south. We were debating on if we wanted to go on home or spend another night on the road and decided to go down to Merced and find a motel, then go through Sequoia the next day. So that's what we did. Sequoia tomorrow.