Saturday, February 5, 2011

Exploring Benicia On Foot

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, circa 1860.

Of all the places we have explored in California lately, Benicia reminds me the most of the little towns on the east coast. It has historic buildings, beautiful old craftsman style homes with big porches, Victorians, a quaint little main street, and great eateries. In fact, it has one of my favorite restaurants, The Camellia Tea Room. I went with Jim once, but he felt like he had to hold his pinkie up a little too high while sipping his herb tea and thought the portions were a little too delicate for him. It is kind of a ladies' place and I have been here many times with friends, and the girls (young and older) in the family. Benicia also has a great harbor area and is just oozing with history and small town charm.

Flag Pole beside the State Capitol Building

California has had more Capitols than any other state in its early history. It came to rest in Sacramento in 1854 but before that it was located in San Jose, Vallejo twice, Monterey and also Benicia. I didn't know that San Jose, Monterey or Vallejo had ever been our Capitols until we toured the Benicia State Capitol Building at our leisure on Thursday. I think this is what I love about these day trips so much. You miss so much just cruising by places and to really have the precious time to linger and learn is just such a treasure. You just have to be on foot sometimes to really get a feel for a place.

The Senate Chamber as it was in 1853.

Original Senate Desk,
one of three, the rest are reproductions.

Sweet historic home next door donated to the town.
It is only open on the weekends but we saw
a short video and want to get back for the tour one day.

Orange tree on the property.

Shop window.
I love any town that has these fun window boxes.
I want Jim to build some for our house.
He said "Yes!" Putting it on his Honey Do list!

Lovely shops with great treasures for sale!

There is a glass blower in Benicia.
This is the gift shop.

The back room storage area~reminded us of Italy

Where I found Jim when he had disappeared.
Getting the guided tour and scoop from the artist.
You know Jim, he has never met a stranger!

The Bakery

The tasty treat we shared, a pecan pie bar.

Love this photo!
Is this not a perfect portrait of life
in the iPhone era?
Caught both of these guys on their phones!
They didn't even blink, let alone look up!

We had our picnic with the Seagulls.

So picturesque!

Palm tress, they are so weird but definitely a part of CA

What a fun place to live!

These guys kept hovering around and
watching us like hawks.

They knew we had French bread.
They are welfare birds
just begging for a free bite.

When we were done eating I had Jim take some
photos as I threw bread in the air.
They are literally right above us here.
He got some cool shots.

Can you see the bread in mid air here?

There were ten times more seagulls than you can
see in the photos circling around and hovering
like hummingbirds and swooping in for the kill.
It was a little Alfred Hitchcock like~
Remember "The Birds?"

Fun, but a little creepy when
they come that close squawking and flapping!

Thought about reading Jonathan Seagull
in school and wished we could remember
what the story actually was!

These are two really neat murals
we saw painted by art students in one
of the warehouse collectives that has an
art studio in it. It is right near the wharf in Benicia.
They were huge and covered the entire
walls floor to ceiling.

What a fun, relaxing get-away day!
Oddly though, we ran into
our neighbor Jack Campbell!

What are the chances?

Fro a previous post on Benicia click this link:


Mandy said...

Love the pic of the iPhone-ers!!

Sister Susie said...

I would love to visit a glass blowing factory! I have a unicorn that was glass blown. I just love the colors that are strong all inside of it!

Seagulls!! Are you sure you were not on the set of, "The Birds!" lol! When I lived in the Keys, we could see the seagulls when the fishing boats came in. We had to be careful or we would get some surprised droppings!

The farm picture reminds me of the scene in "Gladiator!"

Until next time,
* *

Marie said...

I always enjoy these trips you take us on Bonnie! You do ever such a good job of describing your day and the pictures. I always feel as if I have been there myself! Thanks so much! Have a wonderful sabbath day! xxoo

laura.elizabeth said...

Oooo- I love Benicia. I have long thought it is one place I could live forever! It is quite and quaint and has a small town feeling. I love that it is on the water too. As usual- you caught it at its best! Can't wait to visit in the Summer. We will have to plan an outing or two like this! Love you!

Caroline Craven said...

What beautiful, peaceful, SUNNY pictures. We had snow this morning (Tuesday, I'm catching up). Loved the picture of Jim and his unknown partner in crime doing the ipod thing. Too funny!!