Travel Notes; upcoming events worth your notice!

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park; photo courtesy of the State Park

‘Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein’, the classic film runs on Friday, Oct. 24 at the Fox CA/Bob Hope Theatre, brings Halloween fun early (with costume contest for the kids), organ concert included, and tours of the venerable theatre following the movie!

Sometimes the best travel ideas are either “close to home”, or, somewhat esoteric.  Here are a couple of each, coming soon:

Classic Movies at the Fox California/Bob Hope Theatre, Stockton:

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein – Friday, October 24 at the Fox California/Bob Hope Theatre, downtown Stockton (doors open 6 PM, entertainment and organ concert; movie at 7 PM).

Bud and Lou play freight delivers who think the exhibits they are delivering to a house of horrors are fake. The fun and fright begins when the monsters turn out to be real and alive. The boys get tangled up with Dracula, played by Bela Lugosi, the Wolf Man, played by Lon Chaney, Jr. and, of course, the Frankenstein monster, played by Glenn Strange. This hilarious fright-fest was released in 1948 and is considered to be A&C’s best picture.

The Thin Man – Sunday, November 23, doors open at 1 PM, movie at 2 PM.   William Powell and Myrna Loy star as Nick and Nora Charles in this first entry in the Thin Man series. After a four year absence, one time detective Nick Charles returns to New York with his new wife Nora and their dog, Asta. What starts out to be a vacation turns out to be hard-core sleuth work as Nick is drawn into the investigation of the murder of a former associate. Released in 1934 and based on Dashiell Hammett’s best seller, this picture was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture in 1935.

Events at the San Joaquin Historical Society and Museum in Micke Grove Park:

Pioneer Farm Fest, Friday, October 24, 9 AM at the San Joaquin Historical Museum in Micke Grove Park

Monthly San Joaquin Historical Society meeting, Monday, October 27, 6 PM, including potluck dinner.
Program features Mr. Frank Tortorich who will talk about the California Immigrant Trail across which the Elliot family came to California with the light freight wagon in 1859 that is now displayed at the museum.  A fifth generation Californian and historian, he will discuss the Mormon trail (or the Southern Trail or Hope Valley Trail) and it’s branched which saw more more than 20,000 pioneer trekkers in 1849, reaching more than 100,000 annual trekkers by 1852. Call the museum office at 331–2055 or 953– 3460 for insight and to sign up.

November 7–9, Sandhill Crane Festival at Hutchins St., Square in Lodi, and surrounding countryside.  Cranes have been visiting the Lodi/Woodbridge area long before the two towns were settled.  They return each year at the end of their migratory journey, some from as far away as Siberia.

The festival celebrates their return, with informational and inspirational programming, and wonderful viewing opportunities.  For 18 years, Lodi’s Sandhill Crane Festival has celebrated the return of the cranes, partnering with the City of Lodi, the Festival continues this November, welcoming visitors and offering the annual splendor of the Sandhill Cranes.  For more insight, go to, or call 800-581-6150.

Sutter Creek Winefest – 17th annual wine fest Will take place on Saturday, November 8, 4 to 8:30 PM in Sutter Creek.  We attended last year’s event in this cutest of all Gold Rush towns, just an hour from Stockton. Stroll Main Street where 25 shops will offer tastings of different Amador County wineries; at 7 PM, the Sutter Creek Auditorium will host the grand finale which features music, desserts and dessert wines, silent auction and more. Tickets in advance, $25, or $30 at the event; for information, 209.267.9038.

Railtown 1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown will offer a behind the scenes shop tour on Tuesday, November 11, Veterans Day. Tour-goers will have the chance to get a close-up view of repair work on Sierra No. 28, an historic workhorse steam locomotive.

Visitors can peek into the roundhouse to watch the work being done. Sierra No. 28 has been disassembled and work is being done in welding steel plates to replace corroded material. Reassembly will soon begin, and progress can be followed on Railtown 1897’s blog,

Once repairs are completed, number 28 is expected return to service in the parking 2015. Cost for the tours is included with park admission – five dollars for adults, three dollars for youth ages 6 to 17, kids five and under, free. Information: 209.984.3953, or www.railtown

For more inspiration on other travel destinations in California and the western United States, see my blog, http//, or contact me at 

Happy travels in the West!

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