California Dreaming

To Sacramento and Flights Back to Memphis Home


September 17 – 22, 2009


Part I:  Flights from Memphis to Sacramento

Part 5: Santa Cruz

Part 2: Sutter Lawn Swim Team Reunion

Part 6: Monterey and Pacific Grove

Part 3: East Sacto Neighborhood and Cemetery

Part 7: To Sacramento and Flights Home

Part 4: Lodi-Clements for Sac State Fraternity Reunion

Link to 2005 Sig Bust Reunion


Updated Oct. 23, 2009


About 85 photos mainly taken during the trip by Betty Nolan are posted at in five separate albums under member name of Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email for instructions on how to access.




SANTA CRUZ, Calif.  – Sept. 22, 2009, Tuesday - To Sacramento then Memphis


We got our requested wake-up call at the Dream Inn on the beach at 4:30 a.m. and arose to a typical foggy morning in Santa Cruz. I had a light breakfast of a banana, Trail Mix bar and glass of water. Then we headed out on the first leg of our long trip home in the pre-dawn darkness. Today is the first day of the Fall Season, but we couldn’t see much of the late greenery of coastal California.


Thanks to excellent driving directions given us by the very smart Marc Rush and his wife, Susan, we drove through the winding and steep U.S. Highway 17 through the Coast Range Mountains and onto Interstate 280 South, which eventually curves into Interstate 680 North. We paid a $4 toll to cross the Benicia Bridge and saw a dozen or more mothballed U.S. Navy ships from World War II anchored in a thumb of San Francisco Bay salt water near Vallejo. We continued on I-680 North until it merged into Interstate 80 East, and then stayed on I-80 to Sacramento International Airport.


After returning the rental car, we had excellent, fresh salads topped with chicken served by a concession in the airport’s food court. They were was so good that we wished the salad stand could be emulated elsewhere. After passing through Security, we got a telephone call from my brother, Patrick Thomas Nolan, who had just arrived at the ticket terminal. Rather than take another lap through Security, we said our goodbyes on the phone and proceeded to our boarding area. Though ticketed by Delta, our flights to Salt Lake City then connecting to Memphis were operated by Delta’s new merger partner, Northwest.


Takeoff at Sacramento was on time at 1 p.m. The landing in Memphis was also on time, 9:30 p.m. local time that evening. But our African immigrant taxi driver didn’t know the direct route to our home even though it is on one of the principal streets of Memphis; the ride ended up costing $30. But it was nonetheless a wonderful trip of nearly a week that we’ll long remember.


The next morning, Wednesday, was spent re-acclimating ourselves to home. Our saved newspapers had to be read, plants watered, digital photos turned into prints and posted on the Internet, pet Greyhound picked up from the boarding kennel, notes written and bodies rested.


Continue with Part 1, Flights to Sacramento  /  Return to Nolan Travels