Even weeks later it still makes me smile! On a bright summer morning, Cindy, Jackie, and I met at 28th and V, the headquarters of Hysterical Tours. We were excited to embark on a Segway tour of Midtown Sacramento. When I first approached the machine, it seemed awkward and a bit intimidating. But once our guide (also named Cindy) showed us the basics and gave us an opportunity to practice a bit, riding the Segway became almost intuitive. And fun! “It’s like a horse,” Cindy (our guide) said. How’d she know that a reference to horseback riding would get me hooked? See our horseback riding adventure for more information about that.
Throughout the 90-minute tour, our guide kept up an interesting narrative about Sacramento sights, history, architecture, culture and climate, sprinkled with safety hints and tips such as "stay in the center of the ramp” and “a bump there,” etc. Our physical skills and confidence with the Segway built as we went. Even getting off and back on became easier. Our favorite story from our guide was the one about the time she played John Sutter’s wife at a wedding reception - at the Sutter Club, no less. All the while, Cindy kept us safely grouped together like a herd of ducklings, navigating through crosswalks at the stop signs and intersections.
I found the Segway tour to be such a layered experience. At faster than a walking pace, we seemed somewhat apart from the neighborhood scene, yet with all the notice we received, definitely part of the scene. I particularly enjoyed the sweet, seconds-long interactions with people who talked to or greeted us:
- Man at Temple Coffee: who’d taken a Segway tour on his vacation in Greece.
- Woman across the street on a scooter and a yellow dress: I waved, she waved back.
- Man with cane at Garden Apartment: “Good mornin’” and a smile
- Two men coming out of the state office building as we spun by: One said to the other, “That looks like fun.”
- Woman and man walking a dog outside Grocery Outlet: She paused, smiled, and said, “We’ll give you the right of way.”
Plenty others waved and said hello, proving what our guide Cindy said about Sacramento, “People are friendly here.”
Highlights of our Segway excursion included:
- Weaving slalom-style through the pillars of a state office building just east of Capitol Park: That was a thrill!
- Making a brief stop for a photo op by the rose garden, mingling with other tourists and lunchtime joggers.
- Viewing numerous sidewalk art sculptures and murals as we whisked by.
- Passing places we’d previously visited as Hometown Tourists: Sutter’s Fort, State Indian Museum, Capitol/Capitol Park.
- Rolling along shady residential streets, past the former home of author Joan Didion and the historic EK McClatchy library.
The time flew by and we covered an amazing distance compared to walking. Did I mention it was fun?
Our Segway tour ended just before noon. Even though we were riding on a platform, it’s physical, and we were hungry. We walked up 28th and agreed to spontaneously partake of the first food we saw. The happy result was discovering Lou’s Sushi at the northeast corner of 28th and P streets. Lou’s is very appealing because the space is bright, cheery, artful but not overdone, and clean. The restaurant was busy with people enjoying their food. Our selections were all fresh and tasty. I would even call them works of edible art served on real dishes. This is a big deal at lunchtime. I’ve already recommended Lou’s to a friend who loves sushi. After lunch we walked to the 29th Street light rail station as we planned for our next HTT adventure.
So for something different, try a Segway tour. It’s fun! It’s not like a bike, not like a skateboard, not like walking, not like a car. It’s great to have a guide to follow who clears street crossings and makes the majority of route decisions. This allowed us to focus on the FUN. Isn’t that what a good guide does?!