Gov. Brown jetting off to Ireland, Germany for two-week vacation

July 12, 2013|By Phil Willon
  • Gov. Jerry Brown aboard a high-speed train in Beijing during his trip to China in April.
Gov. Jerry Brown aboard a high-speed train in Beijing during his trip to… (Ng Han Guan / AP )

SACRAMENTO -- Gov. Jerry Brown on Sunday jets off to Ireland and Germany for a two week summer vacation.

Brown said he plans to meet with the Irish prime minister and German government officials while there, but hopes to spend most of his time as a tourist and reconnecting with his family roots. Two of Brown’s great-grandfathers emigrated from the countries, and he still has relatives in both.

He will be staying on the same farm in Tipperary, Ireland, where his relatives once found shelter in a "little mud hut," and also visit cousins in Germany, include one who owns a little pub.

"It's a working vacation. But I'm also going to reconnect with my inner-Prussia," Brown said Friday evening. 

First Lady Anne Gust Brown is joining the governor on the trip along with the governor's sister, Kathleen Brown, and her husband. Brown said he is paying for the vacation "out of my own pocket.''

Brown, 75, will be in Ireland for five days, with stops in Dublin and Tipperary. He'll spend the remainder of his time in Germany, in Berlin, Bremen and Munich. 

While in Germany, the governor will meet with renewable energy officials, and tour an electric car plant.

"Germany is the world leader in solar and wind" Brown said. "We're trying to do something similar here in California."

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will take the helm as California’s acting governor once Brown leaves the state. His chief of staff, Chris Garland, said there are no essential duties or other major state business expected to come up while Brown is away.

“The best way to be the acting governor is to not act like the governor,’’ Garland said.

Still, Newsom will have all state agencies at his disposal if a crisis or emergency arises, he said.

Newsom will probably stick close to home in San Francisco as well. His wife gave birth to a baby girl July 3. Brooklyn is the couple’s third child.

Earlier this year, Brown led a 100-member state delegation to China, where he met with top officials and opened a new trade office in Shanghai. That trip was funded through money raised by the Bay Area Council, a nonprofit organization of state business leaders that has been a strong supporter of Brown.

Twitter: @philwillon

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