Cycling Round Sacramento

3Z0B0GuiQ8uWnfkA+GdsPgThis weekend I spent Saturday afternoon enjoying what my hometown has to offer. Sacramento has invested in protected bike lanes and traffic safety. And now the Jump scooters and electric bike programs are fully implemented. I rode my own cruiser round town and couldn’t help but smile at the number of people enjoying the bright red Jump scooters and bikes. Why not? The sun was shining and a light breeze kept the temperature in the 80’s. Trees are leafing out on every avenue, roses around the capitol are heavy in bloom, and the rivers are running full.

I cycled across Midtown to my favorite local spot, Easy on I, for a brunch steak with breakfast potatoes (yum!). Then I traveled across 16th Street into downtown. Families were excitedly headed to the Convention Center for the Lego event. Young girls in white were posing for photos after their first communion, wedding parties set digital memories in front of the Capitol, and a poker tournament was getting underway at Morton’s.

I stopped in the middle of Capitol Mall to check out the Jorge Marin “Wings of the City” statues. One is designed for taking photos to look as if you have just touched down from your own flight over the capitol. The other two are interesting and part of an exhibit sponsored by the City of Sacramento, the Mexican Consulate and the Jorge Martin Foundacion. There are nine monumental pieces of bronze sculpture located around the perimeter of the capitol.

eO%Gd6IhR3mXQnGxy9ExLAMy destination was the River Walk Park in West Sacramento. It is just across the Tower Bridge (on the other side of the river from Old Sacramento state park). The City of West Sacramento has done a great job developing their side of the Sacramento River. I was going to listen to my friend Nailah Pope-Harden speak at the March for Science. It made a great setting, but I wondered if participation was dampened at all by people who aren’t familiar with the River Walk Park. It was my first visit.

I cycled home thinking how wonderful our city is for young people, families, and old farts like me.  Next weekend Sacramento will be hosting the Tour of California bike race. We will welcome bicycling professionals and their fans to our fair city. See you soon.

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LEGO: Denmark’s Most Popular Export

IMG_1185If you love Danish butter or cheese, you may take issue, but ask any kid and they’ll pick LEGOs out of a line-up and agree that this, more than any other claim to fame, puts Denmark on the map. The headquarters of The LEGO Group is in Billund; and there is a LEGOLAND a 6 hour bus ride from Copenhagen, also in Billund.

If you are only touching down in Copenhagen, there is a wonderful store dedicated to LEGO at Vimmelskaftet 37, on the main pedestrian shopping street. You can get or use a LEGO VIP card. You will find a great variety of LEGO toys. It is an energetic, happy place.

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There is a saying in Denmark, “You learn best when you play.” Lucky for the rest of the world that LEGO founder Ole Kirk Christiansen took that and founded his toy company. If you love these colorful building blocks, you’ll thoroughly enjoy A LEGO Brickumentary.

If you have children or adults in your life who will be thrilled to receive LEGOs from DK, get thee to the store! Plus they are light to carry back.

Big Day Out at BrickCon in Seattle

BrickCon in SeattleI learned about BrickCon in Seattle in the movie A LEGO Brickumentary. I looked up the dates and was pleased that it was only a month and a half away. The tickets were affordable so I bought a group of four–a kind of family discount. I invited my son Tevis to join me and we figured out how we could fly up and back for the day. I have never thought to go to Seattle for the day from Sacramento. Thanks to Alaska Airlines it is very easy, affordable and pleasant. We were even able to change our ticket at the last minute to return earlier for just $25 fee per person.

Alice Finch coordinated the creation of Mouse Guard.
Alice Finch in the center of the photo (in green shirt) is one of the most popular and talented LEGO designers.

The documentary gave the impression that the premier LEGO hobbyist expo was bigger than we found it. Still we enjoyed seeing the many expressions of creativity in LEGO brick. People are clever.

Robotic R2D2 in LEGO ready for new Star Wars release.
Robotic R2D2 in LEGO ready for new Star Wars release.

There is also a fair amount of shopping opportunities. Memories of stepping on LEGO brick while Tevis was growing up inspired me to purchase a Swoop Bag that keeps LEGO brick together and speeds clean up.

Swoop Bags
Swoop Bags

After we satisfied our curiosity about designers and played with R2D2. We walked around the Exhibition Hall. We ate lunch at Dick’s and walked round the Space Needle and compared it to the LEGO version.

There is a nifty light rail option for getting to the airport. We were fortunate to have Spezia cousins willing to take us back to the airport.

Seattle Space Needle in LEGO
Seattle Space Needle in LEGO
Actual Seattle Space Needle
Actual Seattle Space Needle

Tevis was definitely inspired, And I made some good contacts with LEGO designers for a work project.