Sacramento, California: Though we just left a big city (well, Portland), we have stopped for a few days in cosmopolitan Sacramento to visit Brother Steve & Gina and to get our mall-fix.

Our morning started well. I woke at 6a and set the furnace to “inferno” as the temperatures had dropped to 28° overnight (and why we are on our way to Palm Springs!). Then I went back to bed. By the time I came out from under the duvet, it was toasty in the motorhome, the coffee was ready, the sun was shining and even I could not find a reason to not go for a run. I had to wear three layers, but I ran a few miles in the sunshine – always a great way to start the day.

Two exciting events on our drive to from Corning to Sacramento! An absolutely fabulous murmuration by a massive flock of starlings over the rice paddies. (Yes. It is true. I am famous for my pure hatred – not dislike – of starlings, after they did a number on our chimney in 1988.) Still, their flight patterns are incredibly mystifying. It was also the first time DT has witnessed a huge murmuration while driving a 45-foot bus down the interstate at 60mph.

Murmuration in Ireland

Not only were we entertained by freakishly well-choreographed birds, the so-new-to-us Magna Peregrinus turned over 30,000 miles just north of Sacramento today.

Cruel reality.

6 second movie

Time to order a new bus?

NOT!

We are camped for the night at another of our usual spots, Cal Expo – the RV park attached to the California Exposition Center (aka the California State Fairgrounds). This RV park is on our most-frequented list, but it is bare-bones. 50-amp service, bath house and laundry… but little-else to offer except location, location, location – and access to miles and miles of running/biking trails along the adjacent American River.

And this RV park is also just a few seconds from the Arden Fair Mall.

Arden Fair Mall

We are not mall people. Plus, I have been to our local mall this year. Once a year is pushing-it for me and malls. (If I want something, Amazon will have it on my door in two days.) Apparently the recession is taking the holidays off, because the Arden Faire Mall was chockablock with people carrying shopping bags.

Our objective was to purchase birthday cards and birthday gifts in a huge suburban mall during the Christmas season. Our mistake, but mission accomplished. I now have a new pity on peeps born in the last two weeks of December. I bet you December babies have been hijacked out of so many (probably stellar) gifts due to the fact the stores have already sold-out of anything you could have desired for your birthday… or people just give you one birthday/holiday combo gift. So sad.

Not us! We found perfect birthday gifts in a mall in December.

And then we rushed outta there as fast as our legs could carry us.

We then visited Total Wine for the adults on our Hanukkah shopping list. Friends had recently alerted us to this shop and we were amazed at the selection! Total Wine has over 8,000 wines in their inventory! Eight. Thousand. Wines. Visiting Total Wine was a field trip for DT.

We were on our own tonight for dinner, so went (again) to one of our favorite restaurants in America, Biba. We enjoyed perfect meals again, and Biba was floating through her dining room making sure all was perfect and delivering desserts to her customers. I ordered tonight’s special salad – mandarin orange slices topped with shaved fennel and garnished with sliced green olives and arugula. Yummy! The food at Biba is perfect, and her servers are so professional, so polished – it makes the experience so enjoyable.

I will leave you with one little photo of the most handsome grandson EVER – Leo! Another “tough guy” pose in his prison stripes? Lisa emailed this photo to me this evening with the caption, “Hi, Grandma”. By the way, the World’s Smartest Baby Ever slept through the night last night!

Until my next update, I remain, your mall rat correspondent.

RV Park: Cal-Expo RV Park – We are happily parked in the flat over-flow gravel area. Request this area if you are a big-rig. The paved portion of Cal-Expo is at such an angle, it may be difficult for a RV over 30 feet to get level. 50-amp service, free wifi. Bath house and laundry on-site. Adjacent to bike paths along the river, close to shopping and a zillion chain restaurants. We paid $35.

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