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21 September 2018 @ 12:56 am
Summer is winding down...  
and our kids will be heading back to college in a couple of days. Too soon!

We've tried to squeeze in some fun things with them during their brief vacation time. We went to Apple Hill with our daughter last Friday, a beautiful day with no crowds and a chance to stroll through crafts booths and eat apple donuts and fritters. It brought back memories of earlier trips, the first of which was when our daughter was two and had a wonderful time chasing an apple through the grass at Rainbow Orchards. Oh, I miss those toddler years! We went to a few places we hadn't been to in a long time, and briefly thought we might stumble across the red barn with a donut-making machine, but no. There were some shenanigans with yellow jackets at High Hill Ranch. I kept trying to sit down to eat my apple fritter, but had to get up and move around—and keep moving—because yellow jackets would start crowding me as soon as I stopped. HalfshellHusband and our daughter stayed put, and insisted that the yellow jackets left them alone as long as I was gone. /o\ At that point, HSH said that he'd always thought I was kidding about my recurring problems with yellow jackets. Well, clearly not! !!!

There were no Gravenstein apples at any of the farms we went to, which was really disappointing. Boa Vista had a display of Gravenstein applesauce, which to me is like selling ground beef made from prime rib. What a waste! It's a good thing I happened across some while visiting family up in Oregon this summer.

This Monday, I went hiking with our son up in Auburn. He still had energy and stamina after all his hiking in Yosemite, so we went to Hidden Falls Park, which has a lot of short trails winding around through oak forests. There are so MANY short trails, in fact, that I miscalculated how far our total distance would be. Plus, there are randomly created spurs and shortcuts, which didn't help. The upshot was that the targeted 7-8 mile hike to the farthest part of the park wound up being 10 miles, beyond both our water supply and our dinnertime ETA back home. Still, it was really pretty and a nice opportunity. That's the longest I've hiked since before the kids were born, I think. How I've missed it! I'd always thought I'd get back to it again, but HSH can't hike anymore, and our son has been pretty busy.

Today, I went to Old Sacramento with our daughter, just to spend some time with her. She's usually either in her room or off with friends (it's like high school all over again!) We looked at the most epic display of neat socks imaginable. Hedgehog socks! Drunk dinosaur socks! Bigfoot Socks! Obama socks! Superhero, narwhal, and Van Gogh socks! And also visited a couple of candy stores, one of which had Zotz. I bought orange, cherry, and green apple for both kids. Haven't seen those in awhile. I looked for a Marathon bar, which was a childhood favorite that I haven't seen in about 40 years. Still no luck with that one!

The next couple of days will be devoted to getting The Boy's stuff together and packing the car for the drive south on Sunday. I'm recharging the MP3 player now, and I need to download more podcasts for the long solo trip back from L.A.

Then... back to the office grind again. It's been nice having the time off. :)

bleodsweanbleodswean on September 21st, 2018 02:24 pm (UTC)
*hugs* It's gone in the blink of an eye, K. I miss the toddler years, too.

We do a lot of hiking and that hike sounds amazing! You need to join the Sierra Club!

Saw the socks two weeks ago when we took the underground tour which was a yawn fest but at least got us all out of the house on my dad's birthday. Sac has changed so drastically in the past 30 years, it boggles my mind!

I hear Idol is back, you writing?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2018 06:38 am (UTC)
There are a lot of nice trails in that park, in a fairly compact space. I still miss my favorite California hikes, in the Sierra Buttes area, and of course the Oregon hikes in the Central Cascades. :)

I've never done the underground tour, though I've heard that there is one. Hard to believe there is a lower level under the street, given that the river isn't far away and the bank isn't very high!

Still thinking about Idol. Workwise, it would be a terrible idea, but it's so tempting... You?
passing_through: dean says exactlypassing_through on September 22nd, 2018 01:33 am (UTC)
That's awesome that you got to do something special with each of your kids.

You must give off some kind of yellow jacket pheromone, lol. They seem to really like you. I attract mosquitos.

I've never heard of a Gravenstein apple. Are they sweet or tart? I used to eat Red Delicious all the time but now I'm all about Gala :)

The hiking sounds like fun. It would be nice to spend the day in nature.

I haven't thought about Zotz since I was a kid! I don't know that I've ever had a Marathon bar before. When I was growing up we used to go to the pool in the summer and I would always get a Zero bar from the snack stand. They kept them cold and I always had such good memories of them. A few years ago I bought one, after not having any for probably three and a half decades, and it was nothing like I remembered. It was way too sweet and I don't like white chocolate now so I was disappointed. Some memories are better left alone :D
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on September 22nd, 2018 06:56 am (UTC)
This last round with the yellow jackets might had something to do with the Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunblock, which smells fantastic. Kind of citrus-y. Of course, it may smell good to non-human creatures, too. I had it on my lower legs, and our daughter had it on her arms, and the yellow jackets seemed most attracted to those areas. But mainly, it could just be me. The hovered near our daughter, but didn't land on her. One got on my ankle and I thought it had stung me, but it didn't hurt enough. I think it might actually have bitten me instead, to see whether I tasted good. :O Little monster!

Gravensteins have a sweet-tart taste that is really flavorful. They're my favorite apple for regular eating, and SO hard to come by here. They'll grow in the foothills, and closer to the coast, but they like the Oregon climate better. I think it's a little too hot in the valley at sea level. :(

I don't think I've ever had a Zero bar! White chocolate is so sweet that it's almost sickening to me. Great on pretzels, but otherwise, it's a bit much.

Something else I really liked that I haven't seen around either was the 7-up Bar. Nothing to do with the soda-- it was a chocolate bar with seven different centers. The coconut was always a disappointment, but all the other centers were fabulous:

7 Up Bar

Edited at 2018-09-22 06:57 am (UTC)