Wimpy’s Marina near Staten Island

Wimpy's Marina near Staten Island

If you like onions then you’ll enjoy Wimpy’s new Brewhouse Onion Burger. I stopped for dinner the other night and enjoyed the 1/4 lb sirloin beef patty with sweet raw red onion, sauteed yellow onion and deep fried brewhouse onion rings on a toasted onion roll. No other produce fits in this big burger. The menu said “american cheese” but mine came with swiss cheese. An improvement no doubt; however, the substitution was made without warning. The fries were hot and plentiful. My view of the river Moukolumne River was lovely (sit by the window if you can). This marina restaurant is just a stone’s throw from the entrance to The Nature Conservancy’s Staten Island and a convenient place to grab a bite to eat if you are bird watching. Sandhill Cranes are in residence September-February.

Here’s my review on the Urban Spoon. http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/36/1214830/restaurant/Sacramento/Wimpys-Walnut-Grove

UC Davis Picnic Day Evolution

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Picnic Day at UC Davis is an annual campus-wide open house. Back in the “old days” when I was a graduate student, it was mainly about department exhibits, obscure sporting matches (lacrosse), sheep dog trials, battle of the bands, and dachshund races.  Then this event that typically takes place the middle of April took on a more party atmosphere until it got completely out of hand.  Now big electronic signs flash “Drugs and alcohol” (as in zero tolerance) and I pedaled around students already pissed by 10 a.m. (off campus).  By and large, it has mellowed into a great party with a sense of humor.  The 10 a.m. parade is silly and fun.

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It wanders through campus and town–with campus and Davis community coming together. Punctuated by marching bands.

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There are so many activities on Picnic Day that there is a tabloid size schedule of events printed on newsprint.  Best to bring your bikes and park at a distance and ride around campus to see more events.

Everything is free, so it is an incredible bargain for the day. There is no prohibition against packing your own picnic and food is readily available from various campus groups fundraising.  It is a great event for the whole family and you can plant those subliminal messages… “go to college, go to college.”  I do not think the Vet school still has the cow with the window in its stomach, however, you can try to milk a goat and the Doxie Derby is still very popular.

Go to http://www.ucdavis.edu to check the calendar for 2014.

Davis Weird on Tour: Cluck, Cluck

I moved to Davis in January and while, like Sacramento, it is not officially “in the Delta”, it is a great place to stay while kayaking or fishing or eating your way through the Delta. Plus it has its own unique flavor.  When I told friends that I was moving here they said, “Oh Portlandia.” So it is with some irony I am promoting an event that I will have to miss because I already have plans to be in Portland, Oregon.

This quirky, fun event is actually a series of educational events culminating in the bicycle ride called the Tour de Cluck.  http://www.tourdecluck.org/

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From their website: The popular Tour de Cluck: A Bicycle Chicken Coop Crawl returns to Davis, CA on May 25, 2013. This unique event offers chicken lovers and chicken-curious the opportunity to visit a variety of in-home chicken coops by bicycle. Proceeds from the event benefit Yolo Farm to Fork’s farm-to-school programs for gardening, recycling, farm visits, and nutritional education for Davis schools.

The tour runs from 10am to 3pm rain or shine, with events at Central Park in downtown Davis and around town. Tickets prices are $15 general, $10 students and seniors, and free for kids under 12. -end-

Lucky for Davis, the Tour de France is not as jealous as the Olympics of riffs on their name.  And if you love cycling, then check out the U.S. Bicycle Hall of Fame in downtown Davis, adjacent to the world famous Farmer’s Market.

Walnut Grove on a Lazy Thursday Afternoon

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On a recent Thursday afternoon I spent some relaxed time in Walnut Grove on the Sacramento River.  It is an easy drive from Sacramento; taking Twin Cities Road is the most direct route.  I parked on River Road next to the welcome sign and map.  After a deep breath and a long look at the river at “lazy” stage, I checked out the map and then crossed the street to Mel’s Mocha & Ice Cream for a cappuccino.

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Check out my review on Urban Spoon.

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The people in front of me in line ordered ice cream and it looked good. I stuck to something lower cal and checked out the restrooms while I waited for my drink (very clean).  I ordered my drink to go, but next time I’ll make time to enjoy at the cafe because the drink did not benefit from the to-go cup and plastic lid.  And there is a lot of atmosphere to enjoy in this authentic local hangout.

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If you drop in at 7:00 a.m. you wil be joined by local farmers with their own personalized mugs.

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I picked up the brochure for the walking tour of Walnut Grove but got back into my car to drive to the local library in search of Wifi.  Fortunately the Sacramento County Library is open on Thursday afternoons and they do have Wifi.

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They also have an small but mighty used bookstore.  I picked up “Knitting for a New Arrival” in hardback circa 1960. Lucky me: the used bookstore is only open on Thursday afternoons.

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I was about to return to my car when I realized that the Walnut Grove Iron Works, located across the street in an old theater, was open!  It is normally only open on the weekends so I had yet to be able to check it out.  The proprietor/iron artist was in the office so he opened the gallery.

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My mini break in charming Walnut Grove drew to a close and I pointed my car toward Davis determined to return to try Tony’s for dinner another time.

The town of Locke, an interesting treasure on the River, is just a stone’s throw down River Road from Walnut Grove and also worth visiting with more food choices for dinner.