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Friday, July 2, 2010

Gualala Fun

Last weekend Eddie and I headed up to Gualala so we could spend a day on the Gualala river with the Watershed Council.

We first drove Edward to Concord so he could take BART to Dublin since he was going to drive up the coast with his friend Katie that night. Because Eddie ended up waking up near the BART station, we decided to get a snack and let Eddie burn off some energy crawling around outside. The World Cup game was on so we got Eddie some beans and rice in a taqueria so we could watch the game (clearly I'm not a huge soccer fan since I can't even recall who was playing).

Eddie and I arrived in Gualala around 3pm, then went "downtown" to run some errands for my MIL. (If you've ever been to Gualala you'll understand why I put downtown in quotes...) Since all the shops I needed to go to were close together it didn't make sense to drive from one to the other. So I loaded Eddie into the hiking pack so I could walk around--I was going to be picking up 4 pizzas so a stroller would not have worked. I got some REALLY weird looks carting him around in that pack. People smiled and slowed down their cars and pointed. Um...weird. In Davis no one would have batted an eye but in Gualala things are different for a few reasons: 1) there are no sidewalks downtown (yet!) so no one really walks around; 2) there are very few young families there; 3) people don't really multitask up is a bit slower up on the coast.

We dropped one of the pizzas and some other groceries off at the Coast House for Edward and Katie since they'd be arriving too late to buy anything (Gualala completely shuts down at 8pm). By the time we got back to the house Dave was off work...we were so happy to see him! My MIL and I made a quick run through the house to Eddie-proof things (removing fragile items from low shelves, etc.).

Saturday morning I made a copy-cat recipe for those scrumptious cornmeal pancakes IHOP used to serve. They were sooooooooooo good. Edward and Katie met us at the house and then we loaded into our van and headed down to the river. The Gualala River Watershed Council hosted a day on the river, complete with a tour of their restoration efforts, a yummy picnic, music, games, and a raffle drawing.

The restoration tour was pretty interesting, at least to folks like me and Dave.
Eddie was a good boy the whole time and just entertained himself with sticks, leaves, and clumps of dirt.
I think Edward and Katie would have preferred to still be sleeping (it was at 10:30am), but they were happy to play with Eddie amongst the redwood trees.
After the tour we all went to the picnic site, which was located on a rocky beach. The mouth of the river is still open to the sea at this point so the river is pretty shallow. Once it closes the river will fill up and it will be perfect for kayaking! But shallow was good for us, since it was safe for Eddie to play in the water. (Interesting fact: "Gualala" is a Native American word meaning "where the river meets the ocean.")
The food was divine: BBQed oysters, wild Gualala pig, tons of salads, and yummy strawberry rhubarb crisp for dessert. I ate waaaaaaaaaaay too much!

The pig was cooked inside this pig roasting was complete with directions and everything! Dave and have decided that we need to get us a box like would be much easier than digging a giant hole in the ground to roast a whole pig.
After eating Edward and I participated in a GPS treasure hunt to find puzzle pieces--once put together the puzzle indicated that another clue for the treasure could be found under a giant "X" (which we'd all clearly seen the moment we arrived at the picnic...). One of the younger kids got to tromp off to find the treasure (a metal box full of candy--he asked if he could keep the box and not the candy!).

Then the raffle began! We bought 10 $1 tickets and I put them into the sacks for wine, an emergency kit, a Bones Roadhouse gift certificate, native plants, and a sun hat full of various outdoorsy items. For only $10 we made out like bandits: we won two bottles of local wine, the emergency kit, AND the Bones gift certificate! Not too shabby.

My FIL, deciding what to put his raffle tickets towards:
After a FULL day on the river we were all tired--except for Eddie, apparently. He was not interested in sleeping at all. So Dave and I moved our pillows (and an unplugged phone with lots of buttons) onto the floor of his room and took naps while Eddie crawled all over us. We felt pretty refreshed after about 30 minutes. After Eddie was down for the night Dave and I picked 2 gallons of cherries and a gallon of loganberries for me to take home. I also got to take home a pint of fresh pico de gallo made by my MIL's friend Donna (she sells it at the farmers market). It is so good.

The next morning right before Eddie and I left, we met up with Katie and Edward at Trink's Cafe for white mochas and scones. It was so nice outside so we sat on the grass behind the shopping center so we could see the ocean.
Then, since it WAS so nice out and Eddie didn't seem ready for a nap--I try to plan my driving for when he needs a nap anyway--we decided to play at Bower Park for a while.

It was Eddie's first time at the park and his first time on the swings. I'm not surprised he liked it so much--he likes moving fast!
He also played a long time in the tunnel with Dave.

Eddie slept the whole three hour drive back to Davis! We must have really worn him out that morning! It was funny, nice, and surprising to see my mom's friend Gayla at our house when we got back. My mom stayed at our house for the weekend to take care of Emmy, since she's not allowed in Gualala because she REALLY doesn't get along with my in-law's dog, Poppy. I had about 45 minutes to unload the van, put stuff away, tidy the house, and get some drinks chilling in ice before some of my mama friends came over with their babies for a get together. We had a very full house that afternoon because Edward arrived and our housemade, Arek, was also home!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

We had never heard of Gualala before we met you guys and on the 4th Jeff and I were talking to Dave about where it was, how to pronounce it, etc. When we got home that night I took a second look at a little bag that Jeff's mom's friend had brought earlier that day to carry some food in. It was a bag from Four Eyed Frog Books, Gualala, CA!!! Crazy coincidence :D And she lives in Oakland, I'll have to ask her about it.