More Than Politics: A Visit to the California State Capitol

Carol, Janet and Cindy pose with the bear in front of the Governor's OfficeCarol, Janet and Cindy set out to be Hometown Tourists of Sacramento.  They started their adventure with lunch at Ambrosia and ended it with the bear outside the governor’s office.  Here are comments from each on their adventure of the State Capitol building.


Cindy:
My first tour of the California State Capitol was in 1984, and I have visited several times since.  There is always something different to see each time.  Seeing the building when the legislature is in session is very exciting and the place is bustling with energy.  Seeing the building when the legislation is on break is just as wonderful.  It allows you to focus on the grand structure.  Each time I have taken the tour, I have learned something new.  This time it was about the governor’s painting that really was controversial at the time (hint: it isn’t Jerry Brown’s).  It became a real trend setter for future portraits.  See if you can you find it.

Our Hometown Tourists Visit the California State CapitolCarol:
My friends and I decided to learn some California history in a fun and factual way, so we took a guided tour of the Capitol Building.  I wonder how many times we drive downtown and actually look at things.  And by things, I mean Sacramento attractions like the Capitol Building.  I have it in my backyard, but I don't always see it.  I should appreciate living in the state capital. 

We met up with our guide in the beautiful, soaring, echoing rotunda.  By the way, our guide was a thirty-something man named Kyle.  I thought all guides had to be retired government workers who recite facts by rote.  Nope.  Kyle was fun and personable and interesting and informative.  He shared little known facts while giving a history lesson of the building.  It is a beautiful structure that has been painstakingly maintained and restored to its original wonder.  The legislature desks are the original desks from the early 1900s.  The staircases and rotunda railings are architectural treasures.   Every corner we turned we saw more beauty and history.  Even the tile floors have an interesting story behind them -- they were cut out, sent off to be cleaned and reset tile by tile.  Did you know they almost put the Capitol in Benicia?  Seriously?  It is a Sacramento wonder, and I plan to take all of my out-of-towners to visit and proudly show it off.

Janet:
Something else:  call me crazy but I guess that I didn't get enough of the Capitol, because I also took the 4:00 public tour of 45 minutes!  It was interesting to mingle with the other ("real") tourists, to hear the questions they asked, and to listen to more Capitol stories from our guide Tyson (also thirty something and from Stockton / Lodi area).  Tyson mentioned the difference in the floor numbers between the old and new parts of the Capitol.  That made me really glad that Kyle had actually taken us into the connecting staircase on our private tour!  The other neat thing for me about the whole experience is looking at my own town with fresh eyes.  I was very glad to be a Hometown Tourist - knowing my way around as I drove east along N Street, past the Capitol again and through Midtown then East Sacramento, to get home from town.  I'm looking forward to our next HTT adventure.  I'll get working on the arrangements soon.  Thanks so much for your company on this endeavor!  It's both interesting and fun!