Thursday, December 19, 2013

Getting Out and About - Beach Rides, 4-H, Community Service, and Road Trips

While we spent a lot of time on the farm this year, it seemed like we spent even more time driving to and from town for a variety of activities from 4-H happenings to ballet rehearsals. We had a lot of fun this past summer with Cuesta College for Kids for both girls, dance camp in Santa Barbara for E which equated to a Santa Barbara vacation for V and me, beach rides with friends, volunteering at La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, a trip to Los Angeles to visit grandparents, a weekend trip to Nevada to camp with Grandpa to camp with a Utah cousin, and a weeklong trip in the fall to visit the Utah cousins in earnest. With animals to tend to, it's tougher to take long trips. Though Mr. B generally chooses to stay home, it seems a bit unfair to have him doing all the heavy lifting if we hit the road, so we try to stick around.

The girls did really well with 4-H last year. They attended loads of presentation events, including this SLO County Field Day.

We didn't know what to expect, but since the girls were showing their photos, posters and sewing projects, and it was touted as a mini-fair, we invited the grandparents along. It was nice to have them there - the girls feel extra special when their grandparents come to their events - and it was a cute mini-fair-like event, but since there were no horse events (our girls' only 4-H animal), their presentations were pretty static, and all quickly ran out of things to do. V found the milking station, and we all enjoyed a picnic BBQ.

A week later, the girls went to State Field Day, for which E had qualified with both her presentation and her sewing project. There, V enjoyed her first chess match, and we were thoroughly befuddled with the 4-H shuffle. E got to show off her 1913 bathing costume and earned a state gold medal for her presentation, but our lack of event knowledge led us to miss a lot of the available activities. It's all a learning curve, isn't it?

In other 2013 lessons, the cousin campout in Nevada taught us that there ARE rivers in the desert. We met up with Utah cousins to camp near Fort Churchill State Historic Park, a halfway point between their Utah home and ours. We spent most of our time on the river, soaking or floating or throwing rocks. The float down was fun, but the heat was brutal so the hike up, even in ankle deep water, was a bit tough.

The Carson River on which the campground rests is a short walk from the actual camping sites, and we found the best seating was with our chairs in the water under the shade of the trees growing from the far bank. It seems to be a seasonal drainage; we watched its flow drop day after day during our visit.

The costumed docents were on hand at the neighboring state park, so the girls got their hands into music making and quilting while cousin Jim checked out the weaponry and Grandpa Randy eyed the canon. It was a good spot, but one better visited much earlier in the spring.

In other news: V's dire need for a rabbit, which she bought with money she earned taking and selling photos this year, led us to learn that not handling rabbits regularly leads to feral, mean little bunnies who actually growl and bite and carry on...until you flip them over. V named him Stevie. Mr. B and I created an enclosure, caged on the bottom from digging predators and on the top to keep out raptors, at the top of the big garden where we put Stevie's house. He seemed to like free run to graze, but turned out to be pretty danged territorial.

We established that it's a full day's ride from Morro Rock to Cambria and back again if you take time to enjoy fish tacos or fish and chips on the beach before heading back. We found an almost ideal parking spot for Maddie, but think they should add a trough and perhaps a bale of hay there at the Cambria store. While the girls were exploring Cuesta College for Kids classes, Aleta joined me for a ride on the beach, a bucket list item, before she headed off for a year in Germany.

We found out that water wars are just as popular at the Templeton July 4th Parade as they were 15 years ago when I last took part with this group in this fun-filled, family-friendly event:

That Barnum Bailey's Circus is just as amazing as I remembered it from my childhood:

Volunteering with La Purisima remains one of the girls' favorite activities:

1 comment:

  1. It's always good to see how you use the world to teach the girls. they are growing so rapidly.


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