Bay seniors who cringe at the thought of being slammed by traffic on 80 getting to Tahoe do have an alternative. Amtrak’s California Zephyr leaves Oakland’s Jack London Station and after a stop in Sacramento arrives in Truckee 5 hours later (more or less). Granted it is not that much faster than the freeway but the stress level is considerably lower. You ride ( try to get a seat in the lounge car) in comfort along the Bay and through the Sierras where you can look at the peaks not the pavement (best views are on the left side of the train). There are snacks but not many more amenities. Don’t be surprised by unscheduled stops.Two unreserved coach seats are $90.65 one way. Wi-fi available.
Bay seniors who hesitate to attend summer concerts in Stern Grove because of the crowds/parking/seating should know that there is reserved seating, reserved packing and free food for you. The only requirement is that you volunteer. Positions include ushers, information booth staffers, bike valets,donation collectors,greeters etc. Sign up here. This Sunday Rufus Wainwright will be giving one of his prima don performances.
Bay seniors may occasionally regret that Walt opted not to open his first Disneyland on Angel Island (there were apparently serious rumors for a few months) but if you are looking for nearby massively fun theme park adventures with your grandkids, consider Scandia in Rohnert Park. Traffic on 101 is hellacious so plan to leave early but once there you’ll find a slew of safely wild activities including a L’il Indy Raceway, bumper cars, blaster boats, miniature golf and a major arcade.$19.95 per person through Aug.10. It has a loosely Viking theme and you recall what fun those guys were.