I took my grandson Carter with me to Sacramento last week for the annual California News Publishers Association’s Government Affairs Day.

While he stayed in the hotel room, I attended the day of speakers from both the Assembly and the House, as well Delaine Eastin, a candidate for governor.

She was the only gubernatorial candidate in Sac that day as the others apparently were at an event in San Diego.

After the speakers, Carter and I headed over to the Capitol to tour the old and new parts of the building.

He got to go in both the Senate (red) and Assembly (green) hearing rooms, viewed from the third floor in the galley above.

Neither was in session so we were free to roam the galley comparing the two rooms and talking about what happens in those rooms that affects us down in Idyllwild.

We toured the historic rooms in the old part of the building that used to house such offices as the treasurer and the governor in the early part of the 1900s.

Later, we attended a reception in the basement of the building with other newspaper publishers, CNPA staff and a few legislators.

The next day I attended the CNPA quarterly board meeting and then Carter and I went back to Capitol Park to take a photo of a Coastal Redwood tree that stands next to the security room where you enter the Capitol building.

This redwood is not the only one on the beautiful grounds of the Capitol building but it holds the unique title of “Moon Tree.”

As a seed, it went along for the NASA Apollo 14 oribtal trip around the moon in 1971, along with some other seeds.

When the seeds came back to Earth, they were planted throughout the United States.

That afternoon, we moved our belongings to the Delta King Hotel, an anchored steamboat with 44 staterooms on the Sacramento River.

I surprised Carter with this move. He had wanted to get on a boat on the river for this trip so this fulfilled one item on his Sac Bucket List. (The trip was a 12th birthday gift.)

The boat sits in Old Sac, the old town section of the city, near the California State Railroad Museum. The next day, we toured the museum, a fantastic legacy to the history of rails in developing the West.

Some smaller museums in Old Sac include one dedicated to the Gold Rush era, the Wells Fargo Museum and a one-room schoolhouse. Old Sac is a great experience for all ages. It also entices with candy and toy stores, so bringing along a tween has its hazards.

But, I was able to distract him with a walk to and tour of the Crocker Art Museum, well worth the walk. We also crossed the Tower Bridge, a way across the river for both autos and trains.

One thing I enjoy about staying in Old Sac is hearing the train whistles in the distance.

In the mornings, before sleepy head awoke, I sat in the boat’s restaurant having the free breakfast provided, read the Sac Bee and watched boats pass on the river.

On the last day, I saw a seal fishing right outside the window. The server said five seals live out there, all named Sammy.

River otters and turtles also abound, she said, as well as ducks.

If you’re seeking a great place to visit and want to learn a lot about our state, too, you can’t miss with Sacramento. I nearly always find somewhere new to visit, particularly if I bring along someone else.

He even got to visit a comic book store in downtown Sac — another one of the things on his bucket list, one I didn’t think gave much uniqueness to the experience, but it turned out to be on the way to see the “Moon Tree” so I let it slide.

Becky Clark, Editor


  1. What a nice surprise, Becky, to have your wonderful words on touring Sacramento awaiting me in my email inbox as I got to work this morning. Probably like most Sacramentans, I sometimes take for granted all the interesting fauna, flora, buildings and people in our spot at the confluence of two rivers, and especially all its history. Thanks for reminding me. As ever, thank you for your support of CNPA and the Cal Press Foundation, the California News Industry, and, California itself. t