The Norcal Nomad

Traveling in Northern California

The Nut Tree Returns

The Nut tree in Vacaville started as a fruit stand.  In 1921 the original restaurant was opened by the Power family. It was named for a black walnut tree that shaded the property: planted in 1859 by Josiah Addison as he crossed the plains. He picked up the nut on the Gila River in Arizona. […]

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Memorial Day 2014

Today it seemed appropriate to visit a memorial site somewhere near my home. While my neighbors are barbequing and attending the “Kid Fest’ downtown, I’m going to quietly go visit some of the monuments that we’ve left for the next generation tp express my gratitude to the fallen heroes that ensure my freedom.   First […]

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A Suburban Retreat: The Ruth Bancroft Garden

One of the places that I never visited, but had heard a lot about is the Ruth Bancroft Gardens in Walnut Creek. The garden is known for its succulents but also has many varieties of drought tolerant plants that are perfect for the arid California climate and of special interest this year as we face […]

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The Old Borges Ranch and Visitor Center in Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek is a bustling suburb with shops and restaurants that rival the best in the surrounding area. If you drive past the town on Ygnacio Valley Road the scenery starts to look almost rural before entering the municipality of Concord. Just before you ascend the hills a turn on Castle Rock Road, toward Mt. […]

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Discovering Nepenthe at Last

Dust off your sunglasses and drop that convertible top! It’s time to take the first road trip of spring. Highway 1 beckons natives and tourists alike on warm days. Its twists and turns winding through mountains and hinting at secluded sunbathing spots at the water’s edge. On this road it truly isn’t just the destination; […]

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