Lovely Spring weather after lots and lots of rainy days can only mean one thing: time to get out and explore this city we live in. This is already my third TIOT post (read 1 & 2 here) since we've moved to Sacramento and we've barely scratched the surface of doing all there is to do and seeing all there is to see. I love that there are so many hidden gems, great little shops and small businesses, festivals, delicious restaurants, tons of parks to keep the kids happy, and lots of reasons to get outside and walk around. Here are just a few of the things we've been up to lately:
1) We were walking around downtown one weekend morning and came across this amazing bookstore. I can never resist wandering through a bookstore and this one was just floor to ceiling books with an adorable little kid's area that Ez and Declan immediately fell in love with. A stack of books and one meltdown later (over a vintage toy car that wasn't leaving the store) we left in search of lunch.
2) Originally we had planned on going to a restaurant we'd already tried before and knew we loved but as we were walking there we passed Jack's Urban Eats and the food looked and smelled so good that we stopped in our tracks. Now we have a new favorite restaurant to add to our list, although at the rate we're racking up favorites I doubt we'll be able to visit any of them twice. Too much yummy food and too little time/stomach space. If you ever go there Ez highly recommends the mac & cheese, as well as the grilled cheese, and fries, and apple slices...he seriously ate all his food and Declan's. Bonus points that we were near enough the train tracks to see a pretty long freight train go by. It really doesn't get much better than that.
3) Sacramento does a great job of promoting small businesses and artists. We happened to come across a local arts and crafts fair and decided to stop by for a bit. There were tons of cute handmaid items and I had a hard time not buying something from each stall we stopped at. Afterward we went to the playground where Ez made a new friend who apparently likes playing with wood chips as much as he does. Fun for everyone.
4) Sacramento actually just changed its city motto from: "City of Trees" to "Farm to Fork Capital" - apparently this is pretty controversial if you're a local because many people were attached to the City of Trees, but Sacramento definitely does embody both of those things. There are a few really great farmers markets in the area, and tons of unique little restaurants with seasonal and local menus. Joe's Sunday tradition is to pick up about ten lbs of asian pears from the farmer's market (not exaggerating), which he usually does before the rest of us even wake up. But every now and then we go with him and we finally got around to taking Ez and Declan to the park right across the street.
5) The park has a huge lake, a space-themed playground, a community pool, and a huge open space on the other side of the lake which just happened to be the starting point for the March for Science that Declan and I went to over the weekend. I'm not sure why it took us so long to finally explore this park, but Ez and Declan loved it. Plenty of sand for Ez to dig around in, and lots of dangerous climbing things to suit Declan's interests.
6) Last week our friends invited us to a food truck festival right down the street from our house. None of us actually ate any food, but it was a great community event with music, karaoke, and fun stuff for the kiddos, including inflatable bounce houses and slides that Ez couldn't get enough of and Declan couldn't get out of fast enough. Joe and I were surprised because Declan is usually our fearless little daredevil and Ez is more reserved but Ez took over the bounce house like he owned the place. And even though he had to maneuver and push his way to the front of the line for the slide, then scale a ladder that was pretty tall, he did the slide over and over and over again. I think we all slept well that night.
I've said it before, and hopefully I'll say it again, but we're really loving this town. It's the perfect blend of city + nature + small town feel. Definitely a good fit for our family.