I wanted something substantial, like bacon and eggs, but when I saw Frosted Flake strawberry pancakes on the menu, I was torn...luckily, our waiter made both happen for me in smaller portions (YES, these pancakes were the smaller portion, haha). Delicious!
Then we set off for Vasona - even paid to park so we'd be closer to the boat docks:
Six dollars?! Life was cheaper when we were kids and our parents paid for everything.
We headed over to the docks, passing by this awesome company picnic going on:
Now this looked like fun - it's called bubble soccer - and we really wanted to join in! Also, please note the geese in the foreground...there were gangs of geese throughout the park, which was quite the change from our childhood - back then, the place was full of ducks. Weird how nature changes like that - I think we saw one duck the entire time we were there.
We got to the docks, but they were locked up with a gate, which wasn't there back in our time - no more free range at the docks, apparently:
We thought we might have been too early to rent a boat, but when we found the rental area, it was closed. We'd missed it by one week - they literally just changed over to weekend rentals because school had started. Such a disappointment!!! We were really bummed. Now, astute readers might note the glassy surface on the water, meaning an absence of wind, which would have made sailing a little challenging, but dang it, we were ready to sail! We walked off our disappointment, going around the part of the lake that we didn't get to the other evening. There was beauty everywhere:
OK, maybe not EVERYWHERE...
The trees were gorgeous and smelled so good! These pinecones were tiny; I told Matt he should pick some up for his fairy gardens.
Mostly I got a lot of pictures like these:
I'd look at what Matt shot and say "send that one to me" - he was better at framing nature than I was.
Then we decided to go check out the railroad. This was the coolest thing when we were kids - it was called the Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad, and while we remember seeing the train go through the park, neither of us remember getting to ride it. We reasoned, as we walked over to the train station, that it must have been on the expensive side and that's why we weren't handed the money to ride it. We got there and checked out the ticket price:
$2.00 in 2016?? It was probably a quarter back in 1971! What the heck, Mom and Dad??
Of course, the railroad was only open on the weekends too, but that didn't stop us from trespassing - er, getting some photo ops:
The train station - and we might have climbed over that "keep out" chain...
How else could we have gotten the pictures on the left of this collage?
We walked across the miniature bridge and basically had about as good a time as we could have without actually riding the train.
We sat on a bench under the trees and people watched for quite a while; the weather in northern California makes it so easy to spend time outdoors, and getting to hang out at the park where Matt and I used to roam back when we were kids? Perfection.
After we left Vasona, we went to Petroglyph, which is one of those you-paint-it ceramic studios. Matt was working on a gnome for his fairy gardens, so I chose a few tiny pieces that would go in them as well. We had a blast, just sitting and painting and talking - and it didn't hurt that we were only a couple doors down from the burger place so when Happy Hour hit, Matt went and got us milkshakes:
I think at one point we had just about every paint color on the table.
I painted a frog and a ladybug, and started on the dragonfly, but didn't finish it. Matt was really detailed with his gnome; he painted the Nike swoosh on the shoes and then painted the box that the gnome was holding orange, like the Nike shoebox (complete with swoosh), so naturally, we named it the Gnike Gnome.
Later on, after the pieces had been glazed and fired, Matt incorporated them into a new fairy garden:
So fun to see all of our handpainted art in this garden!
Barbara finished up teaching and came over to Petroglyph to pick me up. We all ended up chatting for quite a while before we finally put everything away - it was a nice, relaxing way to spend the afternoon.
I got to see Matt one last time before I left - because I had such an early flight out and the airport is a 45 minute drive from Barbara's house, I ended up spending the night at his house. I was expecting to crash on their couch, but his sweet wife made me up a bed in her office, so I got a few hours of good sleep before a long day of travel. Our last adventure was as we were driving to the airport just before 4:00 am - the "mileage to empty" on Matt's van read 9 miles when we started and was on fumes when we arrived. As I waited in line to check in, Matt texted me a picture of him filling up the van with gasoline, so we both were good. Thus ended another epic round of adventures with my amigo!