My family was not able to host a student for the full three weeks of this summer school exchange. We were able to help a family who had weekend plans by taking their two students over the weekend.
We took our two students to Sacramento for “Second Saturday”. A large part of the older part of downtown Sacramento has a big street party on the second Saturday of every month. All of the art galleries stay open late, there are many arts and crafts vendors on the streets, all of the stores are open late, there are bands and musical acts every few blocks, tons of good food, and many interesting things to see. We thought this would be the perfect experience for our visiting students. And they seemed excited when we arrived in the capital of California.
A few hours into the evening we encountered something that we were not expecting. A zombie invasion (click for more pictures at KCRA):
This zombie parade was a celebration for the opening of the Crest Theater ten years ago (which showed a zombie movie later that night to cap off the evening). We were told that they were attempting to break a world record for the most zombies in one place last night. They were all walking down the sidewalk on one side of the street, shutting down the intersections as they crossed. There were hundreds, if not more, of the zombies in full gore costumes. It literally took us 15 minutes walking in the opposite direction to pass them all. I can’t imagine how crazy the Kyoto students think we are here in America after seeing this. Thankfully, a livelier (or would that be more “alive”) dance troupe came dancing by that jazzed things up a bit.
We had dinner in downtown Sacramento later in the night at Hamburger Patty’s. Having a big burger was high on their list of things to do for the night. It was funny, as several of the tables around us had large parties of zombies eating burgers. I thought zombies only eat brains?
We left around 10:00pm and stopped at the State Capital to snap some pictures.
We had perfect timing, as there was a River Cats game going on down at the ballpark across the river. While we were taking pictures of the capital building a fireworks show started. So we turned around and watched it.
Today we went up into the mountains to California Cave City and went on a tour of the caverns.
We were fortunate to have a very small group on our tour. It was 101 degrees outside. The cold air was flowing out of this entrance like an air conditioner. The cavern has a constant temperature of 52 degrees year round.
There are a series of rooms in these caverns that you walk and crawl through. Many delicate formations are on the walls and hanging from the ceilings.
A lot of these caverns have only recently been reopened after the winter months when they are filled with water. The lower portions of the caverns were still very damp and muddy.
The last room we went into was the most spectacular, and had only been recently opened (past ten years).
Once we reached the bottom of the caverns it was time to head back up to the surface and go back out into the hot afternoon in the Sierras.
Hopefully all of the other visiting students had a great weekend with their host families, and they found things to do to stay out of the heat. We had such cool mild weather for the first week of this summer school. This weekend we jump straight into 100+ degree weather. Hopefully that breeze comes back soon. Marine World Discovery Kingdom this Friday!