my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Monday, July 17, 2006

the weekend

I dropped Maddy off at noon, which took all of my lunch hour (getting her stuff together and driving her there & getting back) so I didn't get a single thing loaded into the car. Fortunately, I'd been working on getting all the stuff to be packed by the garage door, so when I got off work at 5PM & picked up G, I got most of the stuff loaded pretty darn quickly. In fact, I stood there for a minute, going, "That was just too easy."

Despite that part, getting everything else, including my clothes & our beach stuff, packed took a while. It didn't help that the cold stuff wasn't assembled in the fridge and that I nearly forgot the pack of hot dogs that was to be Saturday dinner.

Finally, we set off about 6PM, anticipating setting the tent up at 7:30PM. But Bay Area Traffic willed it not to be so. We hit a slowdown at the Coliseum, zoomed up the lovely carpool lanes in Hayward/Fremont, then hit another slowdown at the constriction of lanes by the NUMMI plant. Went through most of SJ well, but hit another slowdown (anticipated, at least) just before Campbell (aftermath of someone's flat tire). Then, just to make me completely nuts, we hit yet another slowdown at Los Gatos. Beach traffic?

We finally got to our campsite (off G Hill Road, I kid you not) about 8PM. I whipped us both into action and we got our tent set up in no time. I fired up the stove and pulled out the Mac & Cheese... only to realize it was the "Microwave ONLY" type. Not to be deterred, I drowned it in boiling water and let it sit for a bit. When it was done it was still a little chalky. I drained most of the water and added the powder and G declared it the best Mac & Cheese he'd ever had. (Excellent. Low standards.) I got a fire started, which predictably died down, then got it going again for marshmallows for G.

We snuggled into our wonderful Coleman sleeping bags and drifted off. Aaaah.

I woke up a couple of times and looked at my watch with a flashlight. When I determined it was 8:40, I got up and started breakfast. Realized about a half-hour later that it had been 6:40AM. Oh, well! We poured out our cereal and I poured some of the Horizon Organic milk on my cereal, dazedly noting that it was unnaturally thick. This was a small single-serve box that I'd had on the shelf. Checked the date, and yep, would have been good last year... I chucked my cereal and we got into the car to go to Safeway for fresh milk, ice, and hair gel (I'd forgotten mine completely and that ain't pretty). Back to the campsite and enjoyed our cereal and milks.

Phoned my LA friend and woke her up (she of the "I'm up at 8AM" story; not this time!). We had a miscommunication till I realized she was still in Berkeley (I had thought they'd be in Santa Cruz from Friday on!). Since it sounded like they'd be moving slow, I got us ready and out on a hike. Wonderful! We went up to the Observation Platform, from where you can see... lots of trees, and then discovered a shorter route back to the campground, so we had a new, interesting, and less complaint-producing route back home. G is a better hiker than ever, but still had to insist on me carrying him the rest of the way. Not gonna happen, pardner. We found some fascinating, huge ants with mostly red bodies on the way. Cut back into camp and right away recognized the showers we'd used that morning. (One quarter for 2 minutes. I hadn't realized we could both shower in under 4 minutes.)

Had lunch and settled down for a nap. I napped well, but G just kept flopping around, periodically trying to nap on me. Yuck. Not in the noonday heat, thankyouverymuch. Got a call from my LA friend--ugh, caught in horrible beach traffic. Slowly roused myself and got us ready to go meet her. Got the campsite cleaned up and finally got the call that they'd arrived. We went off to meet them (G finally napping on the way) and ended up going to the Boardwalk, where I hadn't been since the mid-80s. It has changed a lot. We decided to use 2 of the free certificates for wristbands for the kids and let them take rides. This place also has tons of carny games, which I hate but my friend's gf loves--and is good at. We played a few at her insistance, and when we lost, G lost it but good. That competitive gene can be a curse.

Finally, we did the water-pistol-in-the-clown's-mouth one, just when a zillion people sat down, and our balloon burst first! G won a huge purple shark ("Sharky," of course) and was content for the rest of the day. Finally, at 10PM we returned to our campsite, just as we'd left it. I love the Camper's Honor Code. It's not like a little zipper is going to keep someone out of your tent.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
This campground is one of the undiscovered jewels of CA State Parks, I'll tell you. I got the very last campsite available from the online reservation system at this or any local state park. I thought, "Either it's an awful site and everyone else knows, or it's a handicapped-only or bicycle camp site." It was neither (although a number of the sites were marked as handicapped-accessible) but, I swear, the best site I saw. Easy access, pretty, plenty of privacy, close to the bathrooms, reasonably close to the showers, level, and plenty of room for our Hilton Tower tent. Great hiking trails for kids, poison oak but really not a lot of it ("unlike Big Basin," as one of the park rangers pointed out), not a lot of mosquitos, no insane raccoons or even squirrels.

And 15 minutes to Santa Cruz! The "day use" part of the park, although we had to drive to it (I think adults could hike to it in maybe 1/2-1 hour) was also lovely, even though we didn't have time to really enjoy it. And next to that were the Roaring Camp trains! Next time, next time.

We got up reasonably early on Sunday and got our campsite entirely packed by 9:15AM, which is not bad, considering I'd planned on 9AM. Met some folks at the Santa Cruz Diner, ended by a Michigan gal from the moms list (whom I had to meet, then leave, as I realized I'd been there 2 hours and was now stir-crazy!). We all met up again at Seabright Beach, which was truly lovely. I played in the water and sand with G for a while, even though the water is take-your-breath-away cold. We sat and chatted till we had to leave, picked up sandwiches on the way out of town, G falling asleep the second he was done eating. Got home, unpacked in a hurry, threw my hockey gear in the car, sat down to rest... then realized I was supposed to pick up Maddy. Sigh. Shoved my gear out of the way, got an unwilling G into the car, and picked her up. She had been so good for them the past weekend and most of this! But after they left her in the house for the afternoon, she shredded and ate an entire box of biscuits as well as peed and pooped in their house. ugh. The joys of an older dog. Took her home and left the back door completely open and put up gates to keep her in the kitchen. (Successful.)

Went off to my game, after driving back for the roster and score sheets (just in case--trying to keep those in my hockey bag!). We only had 8 v. 8, so played 4 on 4 (too bad, as we are still trying to learn positioning!). The game went well with lots of quick changes (although I find myself impatient with new folks climbing slowly over the wall!). We were nearly even on shots and were 1-1 till the last half of the last period. I was really pleased, though. We had a sub who had not subbed before and she did great! I had some fun little plays, too, including a few shots from near the blue line.

And the best news... G rooted for me! Which is great because he's finally watching the game. I have been waiting for this moment, packing him snacks and books and the now-stolen portable DVD player. This time, he ate his two snacks in the car ("I'm hungry again, Mom" "Too bad, sweetie; we'll have dinner afterward") and only brought Sharky and his water. But he did wonderfully and enjoyed the game. And the ice was pretty solid! I expected pools, it being hot & at Belmont...

Great weekend, all around.


At 4:21 PM, July 17, 2006, Blogger Dharma said...

A power packed weekend to be sure.

At 8:31 PM, July 17, 2006, Blogger asingingfool said...

makes me tire just reading about it :-)

At 11:19 AM, July 27, 2006, Blogger wen said...

sounds like a great trip! i love cowell and often day hike there. :) the boardwalk and seabright beach are each a few blocks from my house, too, so i'm quite spoiled!

glad you enjoyed your foray into santa cruz mountain and surf territory!


Post a Comment

<< Home