Low hgl saps my energy big time. I got a half hour's sleep, pushed myself to do my morning routine and finish packing. I had about an hour free before I needed to decide whether to go or just stay home. Filled up the dishwasher and started it up. Camped out in the recliner with Famous Amos.
9:30 I was in the car already out to the Tasman intersection. Got to the station and there was a parking space right where I hoped. walked out to the station, it was way windy, but not raining. Two other people were there early too. On went back to his car the other looked for a place out of the wind but there wasn't really any. I found a place under the overpass which was less windy, but after a while I noticed there was a lot more platform, and the train would probably pull up to the other end. So I stood around there.
Train was on time, but only 3 cars so I had to walk back a bit to get the first car. Bike car, but upstairs I found a good seat facing forward with window views out both sides.
Life was good until Berkeley, when the four seats ahead of me which had been marked off limits (for crew) suddenly became a day care center. Three adults, three children under 5. Apparently the rest of the train was too full for then to sit together.
I had my earbuds, and music, but gave up after a while because babies crying and almost constant train horns made it impossible.
At Martinez someone sat next to me, we chatted a little. A 42-year old widow with a boyfriend in Martinez and a job in Sacramento checking wristbands at NASCAR races. I guess someone has to do it.
At SAC, made the mistake of walking from the tracks to the station. It's at least a half mile, and it's a steep downhill ramp followed by a steep uphill ramp. I could have waited for the courtesy golf carts. It was a mistake because I still had a half mile more to the bus stop.
Bus stops here are not well marked. Most of the Bay Area, they are red zones and often indented. Here there is a blue on white sign with the numbers of the routes, but you have to find the sign first.
It was a long ride. 45 minutes, but felt longer because I was looking for 47th ave, but after 44th the bus turned 90 degrees and started anew at 6th. And a lot of streets were named not numbered.
I did spot my stop in time, thanks to a hint from Google maps.
Then it was a walk to the corner and deciding which way to turn. Made easier because in one direction was 47th, in the other it was a named street.
The exhibit was in a school administration center of some sort, and in the basketball building next to it, with a too-small art show in Room 15, one of a set of trailers. We had a name for those temporary-turned-permanent classrooms in high school but I forget what it was.
A very impressive exhibit, lots of work went into it, apparently it was created two years ago, and has been shown other places. As impressive for me as the exhibit was the number of Hmong-American volunteers helping out. Most were just greeters and guiding children's fingers away from the exhibit cases, but a few were giving guided tours, or explaining a section of the exhibit they helped build.
Lots of verbiage on big posters, lots of photos, walls of photos of ex-soldiers and a wall of photos of individual refugees holding a board with their name on it. Makeshift ID cards. One room held a Plexiglas container with about half a dozen pairs of mannequins dressed in Hmong finery.
I'll have photos in a day or three.
Had a conversation with a woman who was a small child in a Thai refugee camp for 4 years, showing her children a hint of what she went through. She said food was scarce, sometimes a few pigs were split up between clans, sometimes it was rice, there were military rations as well.
I did not get to the building with the veteran's presentation and vendors before they closed at 4.
Walked to the bus, Google maps told me when the next one was expected, and it was almost on time. Long trip back, the return bus stops one street right and one down from the going-there bus.
Walked to the Vagabond Inn, checked in, took off my shoes, plugged in my phone & tablet and took a nap. Pooped from all the walking, but also residual poop-edness from the morning's hgl.
Up & out at about 6:30, found a Thai restaurant hidden downstairs from the Wong Center, there was only one person eating there, and it was early so I walked further in search of other places, but there were none. The new stadium was all lit up and lots of people were walking there, so I hung out in front, there's something like a fountain with a circle around it to sit on. I kept watching the reader boards, but while they told me stuff in March through summer, there was no hint of what was on tonight. But since there were lots of children, many of them dressed as princesses and Tinkerbell, and some parents in mouse ears, it was clearly Disney On Something.
Back to the Thai Lotus, the waiter is from Bangkok, he came to work on his masters, but needs to work on his income first, and his mother is the chef. And that's pun, because in Thai the head chef is called "mother chef" or something which rhymes with that.
The tom ka gai was wonderful, the pot si hiew was a little overdone with too much soy sauce, and the sticky rice was super but the mango was not quite ripe. Close enough. Reasonable prices. I hope they find more customers - the location is horrible.
Back to the motel, I've finished off two diet Cokes and need to put some pants on and get some more out of the machine.
Plans for tomorrow:
Free breakfast buffet next door
Plan A: If it's sunny and not too windy, walk around Old Town, have lunch there and take the 3:45 back home
Plan B: If the weather is bad, check out at 11:30 and take the 12:10 home.