04 July 2006

State Capitol

I grew up about an hours drive from Sacramento, the capitol of California, yet I had never been there until a few days ago. Why had I never gone there on a school field trip or as a Saturday outing? It was not something I had ever wondered about until I was there, getting my documents authenticated.

The capitol building and surrounding area is beautiful. When I think of a seat of power, I imagine a lot of hustle and bustle. I was surprised at the relaxed and slow-paced feel of it all as I walked around in the warm weather, under the shade of some very old, large trees.

Getting letters of authentication for my four documents took less than ten minutes. I spent the next hour on a mini-tour of the Capitol building. It is sort of like a functioning museum. Several of the rooms on the bottom floor have been turned into dioramas of times past. There is the Governor’s office, and various meeting rooms. Up the ornate stairways, the dioramas are actually functioning spaces. The Senate room, in red and antiques would look very museum quality were it not for the flashing welcome message and laptops. Talking to a Capitol Building Information Person, I found out that had I been a few hours earlier, I could have witnessed the Governator signing the budget.

Leaving Sacramento, I drove through some of our beautiful California farmland. It was hot, but I left the windows down so that I could breathe in that rural air, possibly tainted with a few pesticides since my eyes were soon itching and watering. The two-lane highways, (probably more dangerous than the eight-lane ones), were a delight. I passed fields of various crops and giant windmills. I eventually had to return to the big freeways, but even those wind through beautiful rolling hills. I had driven a lot that day, odd when you think that I hadn’t been driving at all for the past year, but it had been quite an enjoyable road trip.