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In our little family that we’ve created, every member of the family has a Gemini Birthday.  We don’t know precisely when Boobie’s birthday is, but to the best of our knowledge, it is May 22, 2006, which makes her over 16 years old – ancient by cat standards.  Elke’s birthday is May 28, and Dennis’s birthday is June 3.  Our birthday celebration usually involves a trip.  This year, Elke and I decided to do a little more exploration of the Sacramento Delta.  Every time we explore this region, we find something new.  This time was no different.

On a Friday, we scooped up another couple, whom we love to explore the world with, and we took off on our Delta adventure.  After a relatively short trip by car, we all arrived at the B&W resort marina, in Isleton, California.  In March, I posted pages describing another adventure we had in the Sacramento Delta.  This is the first time we stayed at the B&W, and I have nothing but good things to say about it.  We stayed in cabin 21, the top floor.

This was our view…

One thing you will notice about this area is that people tend to be open, friendly, and willing to take the time to greet you and strike up a conversation.  It reminds me that I miss having this in my life.  I devote so much time to developing my working and personal goals.  In this moment, it seems that I’ve spent too much time inside myself and forgotten how enjoyable it is to reach out and touch others.  It’s a balance I didn’t know I was missing until this trip reminded me.

On our first day in the area, we once again explored Isleton, CA.  I’ve linked to another page that outlines things we saw during our Isleton trip in March.  The town hasn’t changed since then.  The Mei Wah is still a pleasure to visit.  This time, we were lucky enough to meet the owner of the Mei Wah, Iva Walton.  She’s interesting to talk to and hang out with.   Another great person to check in with in Isleton is Jean Yokotobi, whom you can find at the Isleton Chamber of Commerce.  Jean is a lovely person who will take the time to guide you around the area.  If you ask, she’ll probably be happy to tell you stories of her life and the area, which are well worth listening to.  Jean recommended that we eat at Manny’s Barzzeria, in Isleton.   On our first night in the area, we didn’t take her advice, because there are so many places to see in the Delta.  Instead, we ate dinner at The Point, in Rio Vista, California, which is only a few miles from Isleton.  We chose The Point because it was recommended on Google.  It serves American food and seafood.  Their Onion rings are pretty good.  Their clam chowder is over-starched for our tastes.  Their Fish sticks are ok.  Their Cadillac Margherita is pretty good.  They have one of the best restaurant views in the area.

After dinner, we explored the town of Rio Vista.  Earlier, I found an article about a famous (some might say infamous) Rio Vista tavern, Foster’s Bighorn.  Any pictures you find online, including the ones I’m about to show you, do not really do this place justice.  Foster’s is a shrine to Bill Foster’s desire to proclaim himself the undisputed collector of animal heads.  Bill personally killed and mounted over 300 wild animals, birds, and fish.  I imagine all of these animals with souls meant to be free, having at least a small part of themselves consigned to look down on humans enjoying themselves for the rest of eternity or until this bar collapses, whichever comes first.  It’s a gruesome and chilling reminder of human dominion of this world…but it is also part of the local culture, a place of local pride.  To me it feels like a crime that lives on, but I have to remind myself that all of these animals are dead and gone, hopefully to a happier place.

On the following day, our little group explored the Iron Works, at Walnut Grove, CA.  If the thought ever comes over you that we’ve lost true artisanry in America, you will be reminded that it still exists when you visit the Iron Works.  The outdoor garden area is something to behold with seating, at intervals, to stop and contemplate the beauty that is on display.  Every inch of the grounds invites your eyes to wander and explore.

And then there’s the indoor showroom!  They’ve taken an old movie theater, which was crumbling and falling apart, and rebuilt it to be both their work area and their showroom.

This has been a long post, but I will finish up by telling you that we did have dinner at Manny’s Barzzeria, which serves surprisingly good Italian food.  All of us recommend giving Manny’s a try.