K learned all about the California Gold Rush last year in fourth grade. She was itchin' to try her hand at panning for gold in the same rivers where the rush began. So two weeks ago we planned a short trip to Sacramento and Coloma. It was actually a lot of fun (I figured the summertime valley heat would put a damper on the fun part). We visited Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum, and Sutter's Fort. Then on to Placerville (Hangtown as it used to be know) and the Marshall Gold Discovery State Park where we saw Sutter's Mill (where gold was first found in 1848) and got to try our hand at panning. No "Eureka" for us (we just found some really pretty shiny flakes), but the man next to us found a big nugget--and he didn't even have a pan!! What a memorable trip for him! We still dug (get it?) the experience and had a great time.
M's favorite part had to be the "fancy" mermaid statue at the hotel in West Sacramento. My favorite part had to be our stay at the historic Cary House Hotel in Placerville. It houses the second oldest elevator west of the Mississippi and we could only go in it two people at a time. I think we will have to plan more "theme" trips in the future. There was something for everyone in this trip!