I just returned from a wonderful 2 week vacation in Europe. I saw the beautiful cities of Zurich and Amsterdam, took a paraglide over the Alps, hiked some spectacular Alpine trails, and cruised the Rhine River visiting historic towns and marveling at the art and architecture.
Nightfall in Amsterdam
The trip was a budget buster, but well worth it. I learned so much about the places I visited, met incredible people, and spent some priceless time with my daughter.
Throughout the trip I was reminded that this region too has so much to offer that we often overlook or take for granted, and in fact, a lot of the highlights of the trip reminded me of our regional assets. For instance, while touring beautiful Lake Thun in Switzerland, another tourist actually remarked to her friend, “This reminds me of Lake Tahoe.” While dodging the bicyclists in Amsterdam, I was reminded of the incredible recreational opportunities afforded by the American River Parkway, and while learning about the windmill system in the Netherlands,
Paragliding over Interlaken Switzerland
I couldn’t help but think about the potential flooding challenges that this region faces and the hard work that so many leaders are doing to mitigate that risk.
But what reminded me most of home was the spirit of the people that I met. Everyone I encountered was helpful, generous, and enormously proud of their city or town – the same attributes I see in my friends and neighbors. Gone are the days when the Sacramento Region was nothing but a stop between San Francisco and Sierras. We are the farm-to-fork capital with a wonderful restaurant scene and a rejuvenated mid-town.
The Windmills of Kinderdijk
Our art scene is flourishing – just take a look at our new Crocker Museum. Civic pride has never been stronger as we came together as a community to keep the Kings and support the rebirth of the downtown core with the new arena and its related development. And, on May 6th, this region resoundingly demonstrated its spirit of generosity when nearly 19,000 donors raised more than $3M for area nonprofits. Even more remarkable was that, more than 60% of the donations were less than $50. This was a grassroots movement proving that this region has the capacity, the willingness, and the commitment to give.
So take that East Bay, San Diego, Los Angeles, and all the other cities we crushed on May 6th. Sacramento is awesome and I couldn’t be happier to be home.