While on our road trip earlier this month, as mentioned we stopped along the way to visit Davis, CA. This is a small-ish city (though much bigger now than when C lived there 15+ years ago – !) about 10 miles West of Sacramento along I-80. It also happens to be home to University of California, Davis, which is where C attended University (Go Aggies!).
We spent a little time in its downtown area upon arrival, stopping in for lunch at Woodstock’s Pizza, a chain of pizza restaurants here on the West Coast that sets up parlor mostly in college towns. Always good for a dependable slice of ‘za, Woodstock’s delivered yet again with their all-you-can-eat lunch special of endless slices, including the daily special of spinach-artichoke (yum). We didn’t get the drink since they had Sudwerk on tap (more on that tasty deliciousness later), but for around $6.50 per person for just the pizza it is a great deal if you plan to eat two or more pieces (which of course we did… we were hungry from our 7-hour drive!). T even finished his (huge) slice and begged for more of ours, so we know it passed with him as well.
After that we headed out on the search for Slide Hill Park, also known as Manor Park but better known as the home of Davis’ concrete slide. This spot was a favorite of C’s while in college, but we had to resolve a couple of challenges first. One, C’d never been to the slide in the daytime, and two, he’d never been asked to find the place sober. Hmm. Anyway, after a little searching around (and a stop in another park first where C thought it was), we finally located an address for it on the Davis Wiki page and headed over.
Once we arrived, I immediately understood the slide’s draw. This concrete slide was something else: Tall, steep, and semi-dangerous. I already knew at first sight that I was going to play photographer on this mission and that this was all about some quality Dad-and-son time sliding together, and that was a-OK with me!
C and T headed up the steps with the cardboard sheets left behind by other sliders. They took their position at the top, then headed down the entire height of the slide.
Yep… needless to say, T was hooked love at first slide.
But look, someone else was even kinder and left behind a much sturdier plastic snow-sled. C knew immediately that compared to the cardboard that taking this sled from the top of the slide would be waaaaaaay too fast for T, so the two of them hauled it about halfway up from the bottom of the slide instead.
That was a perfect idea because from that point on, T was pretty self-sufficient in grabbing, hauling, and sliding all on his own, only requiring minimal assistance with getting on the sled to launch.
For about 20 minutes, the boys had a blast, shooting down the concrete hill one at a time over and over again. I am so glad we persisted and C was able to re-discover Slide Hill Park. Albeit C’s most recent experience there was from a very different point of view, I’m fairly certain it was just as good as he semi-remembers it from years ago, maybe even better.
Finally, no trip to Davis, CA, is complete without a stop at the Sudwerk Restaurant and Brewery. This was another favorite of C’s while attending UC Davis, so we made time for a dinner here while on our little journey. Honestly though, we weren’t going for the food but for the brew; one of C’s favorite beers of all-time if not his ultimate favorite is their Märzen, and it was just as fantastic as he remembered. Sudwerk is also infamous for serving liter-sized steins of beer, as pictured above.
I however opted for Sudwerk’s Taster Set. I was undecided on what I wanted, so what better than a few swigs of five different varieties? And look how cute these teeny-tiny mugs are? Cheers – times five!
Next time you and your family set out on a road trip, keep your Alma Mater in mind for stops along the way, and not just for the usual walk around campus. Visiting parks and kid-friendly restaurants in the college town where you grew up so-to-speak are just a few of the wonderful ways to introduce your kids to a lovely part of your own history without boring the pants off them. And you get to relive a little of the good ol’ days, too… well, relive what you can semi-recall anyway.