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Snapshot: News-Sentinel readers rate their vacations Lap and Yee Wong recall beauty of daffodils

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Posted: Friday, October 28, 2011 7:41 am

Who: Lap and Yee Wong, of Lodi; Yau and Yuk Kong, of Stockton.

The trip: Daffodil Hill and Dutch Windmill.

Highlights: Take a bucolic drive to Shake Ridge Road of Daffodil Hill, three miles northeast of Volcano in historic Old West Amador County on Highway 88. Much of the landscape around the old homestead is a bursting hill of yellow and white trumpet bloom daffodils, surrounding  a barn with an alpine setting, wagon wheels, rusting mining equipments and farming tools. The daffodil flowers provide endless fascination for public viewing between mid-March through mid-April. Several cherry trees are vivid display in blossom. Hundred of tourists swarmed to the fragrant garden beds as a destination for photo collections.

Wagon pioneer Arthur McLaughlin and his wife, Elizabeth, came west, settled in California, acquired the property in 1887 and planted the first delicate daffodil bulb on their farm. Since then, their descendants have nourished more bulbs on this carpet of green.

Just before reaching the Great Highway on the John Kennedy Drive, or northwest corner of Golden Gate Park (48th Avenue and Fulton Street), there is an impressive 75-foot 1902 Dutch windmill, with 102-foot spars and 33-feet in diameter. You may think the windmill would be purely decorative, but actually, it was capable of pumping fresh water from underground to the reservoir atop Strawberry Hill for irrigation purposes.

The Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden erupts in a symphony of colors early each spring. It seemed soberly like something from “Alice in Wonderland.” Join those nature enthusiasts as they zoom in and out with their lenses. Take a seat on a small bench; bask in the giant windmill, and mull over the flowery setting against the green grass to your heart’s delight.

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