A Day in Chico and the Twelfth annual Chico Bloomsday Festival

Chico Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 8 › view all entries
Bidwell Park

After our first late night together, we slept in until about 10:00 on Saturday, then got our showers and got our breakfast ready.  As always, with Donna, the food is just ridiculous; she is the ultimate cook.  After breakfast and much wonderful coffee, we all got on bikes for a day long bike tour of Chico.  Since I am so embarrassingly short, it was hard to find a bike that would fit me; I ended up on Donna's bike that she uses for Burning Man every year; a very old fashioned one speed and even then it had to have the seat lowered as low as it could go. 

We began testing the bikes; some needed extra air in tires etc.  Once my seat was lowered I tested mine, and thought I needed air in my front tire.  I told Donna, she wanted to see it, and then told me it didn't need air in it at all.

Farmers Market
  She then asked me how long it had been since I had been on a bike; a moment later, after the mental rolodex of memories was done spinning, I was forced to admit I was most likely ten at the time, and it had been about 25 years.  She had a good laugh over that sad fact, and the 4 of us took off on our ride.

After a few side streets we ended up going through Bidwell Park, which is beautiful.  It's named after the family that founded Chico and left it to the town.  Then, to the Farmers Market.  This was a treat on two levels; the first being just that the farmers market was great, and the second was that Michelle worked there!!

Michelle is someone I have waited a long time to meet; another Couchsurfer, she is one of two moderators on the Independent Women's Group, my favorite group on all of CS.

Michelle - prettiest flower in the market.
  I have long been amazed by her wit, wisdom, and insight, and considered her a friend though we had never met.  Now she was right in front of me, surrounded by the beautiful flowers she sold.  I have to say, she outshown them all.  Meeting her was  a treat, and we visited for a bit before confirming we'd see her again for dinner and the Bloomsday festivities that night.

Then we continued our bike tour of the city.  We went through the University of California Chico, and saw all the time capsules, and the beautiful rose gardens and the statues there.  Then we went to the Chico Museum; I was going to do a review but they are going to be closing it down in a couple of weeks for a whole year, so I decided not to.  The museum focuses on a few things, one being the history of this area of California during the Vietnam War, and also the nut industry that this area is known for.

University of Cali, Chico

We also went to a toy shop that holds the largest wooden yo-yo in the world.  CHECK!  I can take that off my "things to see" list I guess...  :-)

Then back to Donna's house to prepare for all our dinner guests.  We all started to prepare our big vegan feast for the night.  It was scrumptious, and the company was wonderful.  Michelle and Will came, both couchsurfers, and also 2 other friends of Donna's who, while not on the website, make a point of meeting and greeting all the couchsurfers that come through.

Then, off to the Bloomsday Celebration!

They celebrate this every year, and it's a celebration of the James Joyce novel Ulysses.  It was a very interesting night of talks, short skits and monologues, and song.

Seb, Amy, and Donna...and the world's largest wooden yo-yo.
  Some was hysterically funny, some was beautiful, some was a bit hard to follow - all was fantastic.  My favorite was a short skit of James Joyce talking to a friend of his when he decides to write Ulysses; both are clearly drunk during the conversation.  It went something like this:

JJ - "I've decided to write a book that all takes place on June 16th"

Friend - "An entire huge novel that all takes place on on day????  BRILLIANT!!!!"

JJ - "Yes!  I've decided that people would love to read something this long and detailed, as long as I put in a lot of swear words and bits about intercourse."

Friend - "Bits about swear words and intercourse??  BRILLIANT!!!!!!"

JJ - "Yes!  And the best part?  Once they've made it through the rest of the novel, the last 9 pages will be comprised of a single sentence; with no punctuation!"

Friend - "A nine page sentence with no punctuation????  BRILLIANT!!!!!"

It was very funny.

Bloomsday singing

After the play, we got to go to the cast party, since Donna was friends with them all, and it was very nice.  Seb, Amy, and I had a hysterical run in with a rambuncous 6 year old named Dylan, who's father owned the Theater, and then Michelle and I also got a great chance for a good in depth talk that was much needed.

After the party Will, Michelle, Donna, Seb, Amy and I went back to Donna's house for more talking, laughing and visiting, and some silly picture taking.

All in all, a great day.

kfree27 says:
Looks like you had a nice little trip to Chico! Seeing the pictures you posted reminded me how beautiful this little town is :) Thanks, and have a great day!
Posted on: Dec 06, 2007
X_Drive says:
On those last nine pages with a sentence with no punctuation, just a thought, no spaces either! :)
Posted on: Jun 19, 2007
AndiPerullo says:
How jealous am I!?! What an awesome day girl!!! I can't believe that I missed a vegan feast. That would have been enough to get me to fly 3000 miles. :)
Posted on: Jun 18, 2007
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Bidwell Park
Bidwell Park
Farmers Market
Farmers Market
Michelle - prettiest flower in the…
Michelle - prettiest flower in th…
University of Cali, Chico
University of Cali, Chico
Seb, Amy, and Donna...and the worl…
Seb, Amy, and Donna...and the wor…
Bloomsday singing
Bloomsday singing
My favorite one...
My favorite one...
Seb and Donna checking out the map…
Seb and Donna checking out the ma…
Chico Museum
Chico Museum
I thought my brother would like th…
I thought my brother would like t…
Dinner prep
Dinner prep
Dinner before Bloomsday
Dinner before Bloomsday
Michelle laughs
Michelle laughs
Opening talk of Bloomsday.
Opening talk of Bloomsday.
Silly Dylan, fresh from eating str…
Silly Dylan, fresh from eating st…
Rose garden and statues
Rose garden and statues
Chico
photo by: princessbride029