Camping at Big Basin and garlic in Gilroy.
We registered and found our campsite, which was roomy and secluded at the far end of one of the campgrounds. We set up camp, went for a brief hike, and made dinner. We roasted marshmallows over a fire after dinner.
Monday morning, we decided to take a longer hike up to a nearby waterfall. It was a little farther than we wanted to go, so we drove to the trailhead. The hike was pleasant, but still long. Toward the end, we ran across a sleeping rattlesnake basking in the sun in the middle of the trail. Kate was in front and so she noticed it first. We backed away and waited for a few seconds, and the snake moved along.
In the afternoon heat on Monday we drove to Santa Cruz. We concluded that Santa Cruz is a strange place. Not sure what more to say about it.
Tuesday was the drive home. We were all exhausted when we got back. I helped unload the car and then I let Kate and her dad have the rest of his stay to themselves. He left on Wednesday.
Kate has been agonizing over the way that we can't get our cat until we move in at the new apartment (this coming Friday). Last Friday, I tried to placate her a little by taking her to a pottery painting place in Menlo Park, where we painted food and water bowls for the cat. Kate painted a fish on the bottom of hers, and I painted a cat on the bottom of mine.
On Saturday we drove out to Gilroy, to the Garlic Festival there. This festival has been heavily promoted around here in print and on TV news. Kate and I thought it sounded pretty cool, with everything that was supposed to be going on. In fact, there was a massive traffic jam for every direction in a 20-mile radius around Gilroy. Once we did get to the festival (and despite the traffic we had trouble finding it) and paid the $10 (!) entrance fee, we were disappointed. There was really nothing exciting going on, but it was absolutely swarming with people. There was some food, but everything worthwhile was insanely expensive and had a huge line. I did try some garlic bread and garlic mushrooms. It was flaming hot out, so we also drank a lot of water. After only an hour or two we bailed and drove back home, stopping for dinner at Chef Chu's, a good Chinese restaurant in Palo Alto at San Antonio and El Camino. We ended up renting a movie and falling asleep on the futon.
Today we built a birdhouse for the new apartment. Kate wanted to just buy one, but I'd never heard of buying a birdhouse. You're supposed to build them. We compromised that I could build one if she could paint and decorate. So we bought a 1x6 of rough redwood, a handsaw, and a bunch of nails. I cut and nailed together the birdhouse and she painted it bright red and yellow and glued on extra little decorative bits. It took hours and cost a lot more than a prefab birdhouse, but at least we had fun.
We can move in on Friday. I am looking forward to it.