20090308

Davis, California

I have returned from Davis! It was great weather; sunshine, few clouds, and not a drop of rain. I arrived early afternoon and got checked into my hotel. I walked not too far to downtown, where I was completely charmed. The buildings are fairly new (meaning 1950s-on) and they are small. A few of them have apartments above, but nothing is taller than three stories. The huge trees tower above. Most were leaf-less, but quite a few were blossoming. There are only a few chain stores downtown (I can only name Chipotle and 31 flavors). Almost everything is mom-and-pop.
I had heard of a restaurant downtown called Farmer's Kitchen Cafe that had a totally gluten-free menu. I was quite hungry, so made somewhat of a bee line to the restaurant. There I was greeted with friendly staff and was handed a menu. Sandwiches, soups, salads, pizzas, pastas, and desserts -- all gluten-free, bioregional, and organic! Welcome to heaven! I decided to eat one of my favorite sandwiches: the BLT (with bacon, or a vegetarian substitute, an heirloom tomato, and romaine lettuce). I had to wait a while, but could hear and smell the bacon cooking. They do not precook anything, which could easily be tasted. I meant to take a picture of the BLT, but was so hungry that I practically breathed in half of it. I ate the second half and completely enjoyed the buttery bread (I had to pull a cook/server aside to make sure it was gluten free!) and delicious tomato.
I then headed to UC Davis' campus where I was completely blown away by all of the bicycles! They even had bicycle round-a-bouts. I wandered around for about three hours, watching bicyclists, women and men's tennis practice, listening to two professors discuss a soil quality exam, and chatting with various squirrels, ducks, and rabbits. I found the Center for Child and Family Studies, where I checked out the playground and saw some cute cottages located very close to the center (they appear to be $900/month for rent... I want one...). I wandered back through town, and got dinner at Chipotle (I know, I know, but I was tired and knew that they were good with gluten-free diners). I then headed back to the hotel where I met another recruit and watched some mind numbing television until a fellow suite mate arrived.
The next two days were packed full! Quite a bit of fun! The first day and first half of the second day sort of made me wonder why I was there. But by the last two tours, I was starting to see where I would fit in. I won't bore you all with details. :-D
I spent Saturday at the farmer's market. The produce looked so good, but I only had the chance to eat two apples and a tangelo. I saw some adorable piglets, a baby lamb, and some goats. I then went to lunch at the Farmer's Kitchen Cafe, ate a chicken salad sandwich, and bought six rolls, some lasagna, and two boxes of cookies to bring home. Delicious.
It looks like I will have to put my photos in another posting. So look above!

2 remarks:

jennifer said...

saw the pictures on facebook! cute cottages!!

p.s. i'd love to hear the 'boring' details.

Natalie said...

I know! They look so appealing! After the midterm on Wednesday I can fill you in on some of the things I learned -- good and bad -- about the program.