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Friday, July 22, 2011

Toddler Heaven

This past weekend we made a last minute decision to go to Gualala. We left Friday at noon and returned on Monday afternoon. With my exam coming up, I figured this was the last time until autumn that we could visit. Since I took Friday and Monday off to travel and hang out with Dave, I spent the weekend working on my proposal.

It turns out that Gualala is a great place to work on papers. I can hide away in the Ritter building where there is no internet, rooms without distracting windows, and a bathroom. After my soils field class in the summer of 2008 I had to write an extra term paper in order to qualify for the graduate level course credits. The professors said we could write about anything we wanted, as long as it related to something in the class (and as for the page limit, they said "you'll know when you've written enough."). So I spent a week doing TONS and TONS of research on mineral weathering of minerals and humic substance interaction mechanisms with mineral surfaces (humics = complex organic "goo" in soil). I brought all those articles and photocopied book chapters up to Gualala, holed away in the Ritter building, and churned out a 19 page paper over the course of three days. I was sooooooo tired afterward, but had learned SO much. The topic is something people in my department/field always talk about but I'd never taken a class about it so I didn't fully understand. The note on my graded paper said, "Congratulations. You get the prize for the most complex topic." (Turns out most other people wrote some dinky six page paper about wetlands or glacial tills. Sheesh.) I have a feeling that building will become a favored dissertation-writing place, too...if that day ever comes...

Anyway, so I got my proposal done in peace and quiet. Dave kept Eddie occupied/fed/happy both days and it was really nice to have that alone time to work.

It turns out that Gualala is not only Julie Heaven, but also Toddler Heaven. Eddie got to drive backhoes and excavators, watch airplanes land and take off, eat tons of strawberries and blueberries and cherries right off the plants, go to the park, and eat lots of fishies crackers. The best part, though, was that he got to hang out with Dave and his beloved Papa.

The icing on the cake, I think, was an airplane ride with me on Sunday evening. A nice guy offered to take us up in his plane that day because he knew how fascinated Eddie has become with airplanes. It was SO COOL to see Gualala from the air! I can't believe I left the camera with Dave...but next time I'll make sure to have it to take pictures. Eddie was able to point out the ocean to us: "Oooh, water Mama!" And he made sure to remind us constantly that we were in an "air pane!"

On Sunday afternoon we went on a little hike to see a "big tree" on the property that is considered old growth. This is a poor picture because Eddie and I are in a sun spot, but you can still see us:
It was a great visit. John and Peggy have always enjoyed Eddie but they really like it now that he can communicate (and is interested in heavy equipment...). See you in September, Gualala!

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Sounds like so much fun!! Well, not the writing part, but everything else :D