Bocce at Juilliard Park in Santa Rosa...

Our son and his wife have gotten into playing the Italian Classic- Bocce. So today we headed to the very cool Juilliard Park, one of Santa Rosa's oldest. The park site was once home to the Juilliard Family. A two-story Victorian house stood near the center of the park, and the rest was orchard. The home was built in 1872, by Charles F. Juilliard, a winemaker.

Frederic Juilliard gave the property to the City in 1931 after he moved to New York. Frederic was the brother of Mrs. Isabella (Mark) McDonald who lived on McDonald Avenue. Frederic's uncle, August Juilliard, established and endowed the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. Another of Frederic's brothers, Louis Juilliard, was a State Senator. History is EVERYWHERE.

Gaming and a picnic... what an idyllic Sunday in Santa Rosa. Fantastico!

Side note: JUST HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE BOCCE? Most people say bah-chee. While it's the Americanized pronunciation and commonly used, it is incorrect. Bah-chee, in Italian, is spelled baci, which means kisses. The correct pronunciation is more like bow-chay. If an Italian hears you saying bocce balls, and you're pronouncing it bah-chee, that Italian might think you're saying something else altogether. So be careful when you say bocce. Bow-chay will keep you closer to the authentic pronunciation!

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Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies...

We hit the incredible farm trails for Blossoms, Bees & Barnyard Babies, a special weekend when Sonoma County farmers open their gates & barn doors to offer a taste of life on the farm. So very awesome!

Who is not enticed by this PR? "Meet farm animals, watch honey bees make honey, learn about Sonoma County's rich agricultural history from the farmers themselves, sample delicious food & discover some of the County's best kept secrets!"

We chose to explore the Bale-of-Fun Farm (great name). These farmers have lived in Sonoma County their whole life. The farm started with three goats and quickly grew into a farm with over 50 animals. They are a family who cannot turn down an animal who needs a home (80% are rescues).

The sweet critters were varied, from chickens, ducks, sheep, goats, a llama, a miniature horse, a donkey, a pony, doves, dogs, cats, bunnies, pigs, a pot-belly pig, a mini-pig, to various birds.

What a wondrous celebration of Spring!
“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops,
but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
– Masanobu Fukuoka

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Ace: America’s First Cider Pub...

Today we visited the way cool Original Independent Family-Owned Cidery (circa 1993).

The Ace-in-the-Hole Pub is the first of its kind. Only open on Fridays from 1- 5 PM, the Pub has all nine of its ciders on tap at all times, including the harder to find seasonals. With tasting flights costing only $10, we had the opportunity to find our favorite.

According to their write up, "Its unique orange color and full rich flavor will leave you craving more. Ace Pumpkin is perfect for the pumpkin lover that just can’t get enough.  Ideal for Halloween and Thanksgiving this cider pairs well with beef. Our pumpkin cider also makes a great snakebite when mixed with a heavy lager."

My daughter-in-law made a sumptuous chocolate cake. It was the perfect taste sensation for our afternoon of cider and fun together. I loved this day!

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Deck Dining with Casey & Linda...

We are so fortunate for the kind and loving friend we have. We were wined and dined to much delight.

 "Eating, and hospitality in general, is a communion,
and any meal worth attending by yourself is improved
by the multiples of those with whom it is shared."
-Jesse Browner

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Sleuthing for Author Cindy Sample...

A couple of weeks ago, I stopped by to see my author friend, Cindy Sample. While visiting, she told me about her newest novel which is set in South Lake Tahoe. She needed someone to visit the Police Department to help her with the details that make her novels so incredibly interesting.

A little about Cindy: "When she was a little girl, her dream was to be a super cool detective like Nancy Drew, racing around town in a sky blue roadster. After realizing her inherent klutziness could be an impediment to becoming a private eye, her new goal was to become a world-renown mystery writer like Agatha Christie."
So how fun it was for me to be Nancy Drew, if only for an hour, to help her out. I was given an excellent and very thorough tour. I was impressed by it all. Just another reason to love South Lake Tahoe.

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Crafternoon String Art...

Hostess with the 'mostest', Mary Jo, led the creative goddesses in a cool art project that seemed almost retro and a little manly! It was so dang fun.

Ingredients for an incredible afternoon: nails, hammer, embroidery thread, a piece of log, the image of Lake Tahoe, delicious food, coffee, and the company of encouraging and wonderful women.

“Think left and think right and think low and think high.
Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try.”
– Dr. Seuss

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Earth Day Tree Planting...

Organized by the Sugar Pine Foundation, Jan and I donned our grubbies and headed out to do something special... plant trees.

The Emerald Fire began at 1:28 AM on October 14, 2016. It was a wind-whipped wildfire which raged out of control, forcing evacuations, closing roads and schools, and triggering power outages. By the time it was extinguished, 176 acres of forest were charred.
How appropriate that on Earth Day, an amazing team of volunteers gathered to replant this beautiful spot with 750 trees!

Jan and I made a great team as we planted approximately 70 Cedar, Jeffery and Sugar Pine trees.
And what stunning scenery.
There were several little girls there, too. These helpers, ages 3-6, trudged up the hill and worked hard. What troopers they were.
I was intrigued by this can. It is definitely "vintage", a three piece can with a pull top. Wild to think it has been there for decades.
Someone is sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
-Warren Buffett

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104th Annual UC Davis Picnic Day

Since its inception in 1909, Picnic Day has become the crown-jewel event of the UC system and the signature event of UC Davis. Believed to be the largest student-run event in the nation, Picnic Day showcases the richness of diversity and achievement at UC Davis and the surrounding community in the areas of research, teaching, service, and campus life. This year, the whole community celebrated its 104th year of tradition and success with over 200 events and 75,000+ attendees.

This long-standing campus tradition began in 1909 when the University Farm invited the surrounding community to view their new dairy barn. Two thousand attended, bringing picnics to complement the coffee, cream and sugar provided by the University (though attendees had to bring their own cups). Following the success of the 1909 picnic, the faculty of the University Farm continued to plan and sponsor the event until a student committee took over the task in 1912.
Some number of years ago, our friends, Chris and Jan, graduated from this exceptional school. How incredibly special it was to wander about with them, sharing their collegiate memories.
A visit to campus wouldn't be the same without stopping by a fraternity party. Go Greeks!
We arrived just in time to see some of the parade. With 85 participants, no matter where you were in town, you caught a glimpse. I love a parade!
Happy 70th birthday Israel.

And what's a parade without an amphibious car? I want one.
This is actually student transportation named Unitrans #2. Bloody awesome.

For the last 46 years, the Doxie Derby has been iconic to UCD Picnic Day. The little dachshunds ran their hearts out, center stage at the Pavilion, looking to win first prize and the hearts of thousands in attendance! The laughter, from the zaniness of it all, made the event unforgettable.

There were far too many events to do anything as thoroughly as we would have liked which means we will have to return. I definitely want to return to Hutchison Field and experience more of their animal events. I mean who doesn't want to meet a Weimaraner or play with chicks?

Picnic Day wouldn't be without a picnic (and possibly a nap).

We seemed to have been drawn to Briggs Hall like moths to a flame. The Entomology Club put on quite a day of fun.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love to stick my face in holes for photo opportunities. This place had a wonderful selection.
Words I never thought I would ever say, “Let’s paint with maggots!”
Yes, Jan and I got to create beautiful pieces of art using live maggots dipped in non-toxic paint. So dang fun.

And when does one get to sport a tomato bug on one's breast? Only at Picnic Day! There were a number of those unique opportunities.

Okay, the most fun was had at the Band-uh!’s Battle of the Bands. What’s not to love? Eight hours. Nine bands. Way fun.
Not only were the musicians extremely talented, they let their freak flags fly and we were entertained beyond measure. What a blast!

There is absolutely no words to describe what it was like to be an Aggie for a day! Thanks to Jan and Chris for an unforgettable experience. Let's go again next year.

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