Monday, July 9, 2012

Vacation... at Gilroy Gardens

So we're back from vacation, trying to adjust to Ridgecrest again. Of course there would have to be a heat wave this week. Supposed to be 110 today, 113 tomorrow. Yes, it's a dry heat. But still.

We had a lovely vacation, despite the long drive (and it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared). It's always lovely to go up north, see the family, see the green. I imagine it's no greener there than when I was growing up, but I've gotten so used to bare dirt yards that all the shrubbery in northern California just blows me away.

We stayed at my sister's friend's apartment-attached-to-her-house, which is a paradise, complete with toys for the kids, and shelves of books I've been meaning to read, and great art on the walls, and a snazzy new kitchen, and a swimming pool. It is the nicest place you could ever stay, much nicer than any hotel could ever be.

We always have to do a special outing or two, so this time we went to Gilroy Gardens, which is an amusement park for little kids. It kind of didn't appeal to me when it was suggested, because Gilroy is HOT -- but the day we went, it wasn't! It felt as though it was about 75 degrees the whole time we were there. Maybe 80, but just barely. And they've clearly done a lot to the place to make it bearable even when it IS hot, lots of trees and artificial shade as well, so for us it was perfect.
We bought our lunch from a little food stand called Castroville Corners, that deep fries all sorts of delicious things. Here we are eating garlic fries, fried artichoke hearts, mini corn dogs, and fish & chips. Also Baby B wanted popcorn and Baby A wanted lemonade, and their indulgent aunt indulged them. We ate outside by the lake, and soon a female mallard duck joined us to eat what we dropped. As we were finishing up, a whole bunch of other ducks came to eat the rest.

The park has a great little train, which we rode, and lots of "produce" themed rides, such as this mushroom swing (too scary for little boos, but they enjoyed looking at it):
Our favorite ride was this one:
We rode it three times and Baby B did all the driving (Baby A loves cars but for some reason did not want to be the driver that day).
And after our long day we still managed to go out to dinner at the Lobster Shack in Portola Valley, where we ate divine food outside, the kids ran around with other kids, and the bulldogs looked for crumbs under the table. I think that was what you might call "gilding the lily," the lily being our lovely day.
We did a lot of other stuff on our vacation: celebrated 4th of July and my birthday, swam in pools, went to the beach, and spent a lot of time just hanging out. My sister puts out lots of toys for the kids, and books, and puzzles, and they play and play and play.

I'll write another post in a day or two about our trip to the beach, because that was special to me.

It's a bummer being back in Ridgecrest, but I don't feel depressed. The vacation definitely gave me a lift. Nice memories.

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