I don't think I was born with a sense of kitsch, but then why do I have such good memories of the original Nut Tree?

The Nut Tree was an amazing outpost of glorious American culture in Vacaville, CA, about two hours north of San Francisco. Travelers from the Bay Area would stop there on their way to Sacramento for a bite to eat and to hang out on the grounds before getting back into a cramped car. My family stopped there a few times on our yearly summer camping trips in the 80's. I remember a lot of dried fruit being for sale in the shoppe above.

But the main thing that sticks in my mind about the Nut Tree is that they had my very favorite cookies, these delicious honey-spice flat treats coated with a hard frosting and shaped like animals and cartoon characters. (You can find these at grocery stores sometimes, but they are nameless and impossible to ask for! My mom always gets me one when she sees them. I love her.)

I think we ate in the restaurant at least once. Thank goodness, because alas, all this California-style magic no longer exists. I guess the audience for honey cookies and train rides began to have other interests, as the old grounds of the Nut Tree are now home to a BevMo! and Best Buy, among other lame box stores. I feel lucky to have these colorful memories floating around in my head.


Periodspacecapital said...

I have found memories of the Nut Tree also! There was a pumpkin patch in the parking lot and a carousel inside. It was always a welcome pit stop on long drives!

Jen said...

I also have the best memories of the Nut Tree!! We'd go there with my grandparents for extra special occasions... Pea Soup Andersen's in Santa Nella was pretty awesome as a child, as well!

lms said...

we would stop there all the time, on the way to visiting my aunt in sacramento. do you remember the little train? i remember begging my mom to let me ride, even while feeling the teeniest bit ashamed, knowing i was way too old already..