Description of a special family holiday get-together in Sacramento in December 2018. What do you like to do when family visits you in Sacramento?
I was especially blessed this year to have close family visit me for a special family holiday get-together in Sacramento this December. Joining me were my mother, daughter, brother, sister and brother-in-law. This family holiday get-together was special as we are one of those families where the majority live on the East Coast – so we only get together every so often.
The visit was staggered – with my mother and brother spending ten days, my daughter spending five, and my sister and brother-in-law spending three.
The limited mobility of my mother was a consideration, and figured in my planning of things to see and do during our family holiday get-together. On my list were:
- Crocker Art Museum and lunch at the Crocker Café
- B Street Theatre at the Sophia
- Breakfast at Bacon and Butter
- Dinner at One Speed
- Brunch at Ming Dynasty
- A movie at Downtown Commons
- Home-cooked meals featuring family favorite dishes
- Playing Cards
- Old Sacramento
SacramentoRevealed.com – All Things Sacramento (from a personal perspective)
Crocker Art Museum
Three of us spent several hours enjoying the exhibits at the Crocker Art Museum. Of particular note were two exhibits – Duane Michals: The Portraitist and Modern Menagerie – Sculpture by Loet Vanderveen.
The Crocker Art Museum has wheelchairs available for patrons – and while my mother can walk (but not for any distance) the wheelchair availability made our time at the Crocker Art Museum both possible and enjoyable.
During our visit we also took a break to relax and enjoy lunch at the Crocker Café. Note: Crocker Art Museum members receive 10% off when dining at Crocker Café.
See related blog post: Dale Chihuly Chandelier at the Crocker
B Street Theatre at the Sophia
Four of us enjoyed two productions at the B Street Theatre at the Sophia. The first was Halftime With Don by Ken Weitzman. Halftime With Don was produced at B Street Theatre as part of a National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere.
The National New Play Network, of which B Street Theatre is a core member, is an alliance of professional theatres that collaborate in innovative ways to develop, produce, and extend the life of new plays. Other participating theaters producing Halftime With Don are the New Jersey Repertory Company and the Phoenix Theatre.
Halftime With Don is about Don Deavers, a retired NFL player, who has suffered traumatic brain injury. He has undergone surgery after surgery, experiences violent outbursts that terrify him, and relies on Post-It notes to remind himself of things. He is visited by Ed, a longtime fan, a visit arranged with Ed’s wife and Don’s daughters help. The plot thickens – and both Don and Ed (who is also struggling with personal problems) benefit from the visit.
The second production was the B Street Theatre adaption of A Christmas Carol by Buck Busfield.
Penned in 2015, this second B Street Theatre adaption of A Christmas Carol pairs a new version of Scrooge’s redemption with a commentary on society’s obsession with it. It was very well done!
I had heard great things about the B Street Theatre adaption of A Christmas Carol, and I am glad we went. After the performance my mother observed, and I agreed, that while children would certainly enjoy the play they were unlikely to understand all the references.
See related blog post: B Street Theatre at The Sophia
Bacon and Butter
My brother had read my blog post about breakfast at Bacon and Butter, so one weekday morning four of us went out for breakfast. We had a bit of a wait before we were seated, but as always it was worth it. I was not surprised when my brother ordered the Biscuits, Bacon and Gravy which I had reviewed.
See related blog post: Bacon & Butter – Sacramento Restaurants
One evening four of us went to dinner at One Speed, one of my go-to favorite neighborhood restaurants. Three in our group enjoyed pasta dishes while I relished mussels and clams in a tasty broth.
As we were returning to the car after dinner we were treated to the sight of a holiday-light adorned hay wagon pulled by draft horses. The wagon was filled with people enjoying a tour of the Fab 40’s Christmas decorations – an annual tradition whether on foot, bike, car, hay wagon or horse and buggy.
Four of us headed to Ming Dynasty for brunch one weekend morning. It is always fun to choose both favorites and new dishes from the passing carts at a dim sum brunch. We enjoyed a wide variety of dishes that morning including several I had not previously tried – like the light and airy Chinese Donuts with custard filling – yum!
See related blog post: Ming Dynasty Dim Sum
Mary Poppins Returns
Four of us made a trip to the movie theater in Downtown Commons (DOCO), where we sat back and relaxed while enjoying Mary Poppins Returns. This is definitely one of those movies that can be enjoyed by both children and (young at heart) adults.
See related blog post: Sacramento Century DOCO Theatre
On the second to the last day four of us visited Old Sacramento where we walked around looking at the sights, including the Tower Bridge, while I explained a bit of Sacramento history. My mother stayed home. We stopped by the Delta King to enjoy a beverage – sitting inside as there was a bit of a chill in the air despite being sunny. Before we left Old Sacramento we stopped at one of the shops to allow my sister and her husband to purchase a refrigerator magnet. They have a tradition of collecting magnets as a souvenir of their travels. Before returning to the car we also made a brief stop at DOCO so my sister and brother-in-law could see the Golden 1 Center.
Also see related blog post: The Holiday Season in Sacramento
Traditional Family Holiday Dishes
I am sure that many families have favorite dishes served especially during the holidays – and my family is no exception. In preparation, I spent a full day making two batches of potato and cheese pierogi (which happens to be my favorite). Making pierogi is very labor intensive – so I did not even attempt to make more than the one kind.
One night for dinner we had Polish Kielbasa (sausage) and pierogi (with onions cooked in butter), and on Christmas Day we enjoyed baked ham and pierogi for dinner. In my family pierogi are enjoyed at breakfast, lunch and dinner. The pierogi turned out pretty good – if I say so myself.
Another traditional family dish often served on Christmas Eve we call Grandma’s Shrimp Creole to differentiate it from other Shrimp Creole recipes. My paternal grandmother’s recipe calls for three cans of tomato soup (!) and two pounds of shrimp. The rest of the ingredients are what you would expect – celery, onion, green pepper, etc.
Sticking with family tradition I made Grandma’s Shrimp Creole. While the recipe is not what one would consider “authentic”, we all enjoyed every bite!
Some of my earliest memories include my extended family playing cards during every family holiday get-together – and Pinochle was a favorite. During our time together this holiday season we played numerous games of both four-handed and five-handed pinochle. It was great fun!
Comments on my or your family holiday get-together in Sacramento?
Did you have a family holiday get-together in Sacramento this holiday season? What fun things did you do?
Subscribe to SacramentoRevealed.com to receive the weekly newsletter direct to your inbox!