A few days after Christmas, we headed north to Sacramento. The city was a top contender for our new home, along with San Diego. Apartment hunting was our main reason for the trip, but we also wanted to get our bearings and imagine what it would be like to call the Central Valley home.
Coming from San Francisco, living inland was a change that I was hesitant to embrace. First, of all I won’t lie I was nervous about the heat (my mother seemed equally concerned). Without coastal breezes to cool off, summers could easily reach triple digits. Thought living in Izmir and then Pleasant Hill has made me realize that air conditioning does make everything all better. Plus dry heat has nothing on humid summers (ahem, Boston).
Most of all, I’ll miss San Francisco, like none other. There’s nothing quite like the Bay Area, but man those rental prices are seriously insane.
It took me a bit to warm up to Sacramento, but each trip I’ve come to discover new unexpected sides, and am falling a bit more in love with the City of Trees. This trip was no exception.
Read more: 30 Things To Do In Sacramento
Driving from San Francisco, you can feel the landscape change drastically, from skyscrapers to wide open fields. During the winter it’s especially magical with the mist- covered wetlands and flocks of birds flying low over the water.
We arrived in Sacramento just in time for lunch, and made a beeline for brunch at Old Soul in Midtown to fuel our search. Housed in a converted warehouse, the coffee is strong and the menu has an impressive (and delicious) selection of sandwiches and salads.
Our apartment search had us touring areas of North Sacramento, and Roseville. Some of them desirable, some of them not so much. I kept pinching myself in disbelieve on how cheap rental prices were in comparison to the Bay (though nationally it’s still quite expensive because well California).
For dinner, we headed to Lou’s in Midtown, where we shared a plate of some of the freshest sushi I’ve had in awhile. I liked the laidback feel with the vibrant décor, as well the friendly community feel. What I love about Sacramento is that it has excellent dining options, but without the pretentiousness that larger cities like SF can have.
Afterward, we spent a few hours at Temple Coffee Roasters nearby, where I sipped a delicious green tea/honey/soymilk concoction amid the penny-lined floors.
Later as the sun painted the sky with a magnificent color show (I heard the sunsets round these parts are especially spectacular), we passed the Tower Theater and I made Mustafa stop just so I could walk around and capture the scene palm trees outlines and all.
It was during this moment that I thought that Sacramento might be okay after all.
As darkness settled in, we headed over to East Sacramento to witness the impressive holiday decorations in the Fab Forties homes. Being abroad in Turkey this past December, I missed the holiday lights the most, and this more than made up for it. Whole streets were lit up, with each one trying to upstage the next. An impressive light show if I ever saw one.