We sniffed that possibility out by touring UC Davis this morning.
Davis is 45 minutes from our house, on the way to Tahoe. I'd long wanted to see more of the campus than we see from the freeway so Eldest Daughter and I tagged along with my sister-in-law and niece, the high school senior. Eldest Daughter has always said it was too close to home to consider and, although she came along today, she appears to still feel that way.
UC Davis is a college town. It felt like Berkeley to me in that crunchy way. But it wasn't as dirty and the buildings weren't as pretty. The campus felt fairly laid back and it would be a great place to go, in my opinion, if you studied agriculture, natural resources or environmental sciences. Bikes were everywhere and the campus was flat.
One of the things I liked about the school was the salad bar garden in front of the plant and environmental sciences building. From time to time the garden team hosts salad lunch days and students bring their own bowls, harvest their own greens and mix ins, and the school provides a washing station, salad spinners and salad dressing.
This was my second official college tour and it made me realize how much the tour guide influences the visiting prospective student's experience. While this tour guide was fairly knowledgeable and could speak from a memorized script while walking backwards, she lacked energy and the ability to engage tour participants.
Pictured here is one of the Robert Arneson Egghead sculptures. It's called Bookhead and sits at the entrance to the Shields Library.
My brother, my dad, Thing 2 and I played poker on the last night of the annual three-generation ski trip. We didn't have poker chips up so we played with pastel colored M&Ms. It definitely changes the game when the colors don't have a set value. At one point my brother was out of greens so my father reminded us that blue and yellow make green. And then, after laughing hysterically, we continued.
It was also funny when, on the way home from Northstar, we talked about a book I've had on my Tahoe nightstand for several years. It's on the Donner Party. I started telling my brother that I've been meaning to read this book and my father said, "Oh. It's a cookbook?!" Again, hilarious. But only if you know California history.
We had three days of beautiful weather and togetherness. The snow is what you'd expect from the amount of rain we've had this year-- minimal. The best ski conditions are in the morning and you'd think that being right here on the mountain we'd be the first ones out. But no, we're a little lazy that way. Especially Thing 2. I love the way Thing 2 skis with my brother -- more aggressively and without whining. He challenges her.
My rocket scientist moment occurred when I took my boots back to Granite Chief because they'd been bothering me. The guy in the boot department managed to keep a straight face when letting me know that the likely reason they hurt was because I'd put new liners in without first removing the old ones! Lovely. Being able to laugh at yourself is a gift.
A storm was coming in as we headed back to the Bay. This weekend, as my family divides and conquers between Disneyland, a lacrosse tournament on Treasure Island and the NCL Tea, will be epic.
They're purple and grey and green with a little orange and made of cotton. And they're sewn together with lots of love and a super soft Minky backside. Then they're mailed to a city on the eastern seaboard, a city still cold and snowy and deep into winter. To someone who needs to know that her California cousins are thinking of her and wishing they were there to make her matzoh ball soup. And drive her to appointments.
Do you recognize the smiley girl on the right? Yeah, neither did I. Apparently she's an 11-year-old dance wunderkind, a role model for miniature dancers worldwide.
As it turned out, Sophia Lucia was at the same dance competition Thing 1 was over the weekend. And she was sweet enough to pop this picture with Thing 1. She was also classy enough not to audition along with the other children, leaving them with a chance to win scholarships and receive recognition, which Thing 1 did in the form of a jazz award.
This was the last dance convention of the season and I have to admit, I'm glad. From here on out it's just performances and competitions. Up next: Disneyland. Oh yeah, Dave will take her. Eldest Daughter and I will be at the annual NCL mother-daughter tea.
I'm not supposed to blog about Eldest Daughter. She tells me that it violates her privacy and makes her uncomfortable, too. However, today's milestone is too good to keep to myself.
Here's your hint. My friend Sharon posted this to my Facebook Page: Welcome to the New Driver's Parent Club. Valium is to the left. Martinis are to the right. The sound booth for screaming at insurance costs is straight ahead.
Yes, that day is here. Eldest Daughter got her driver's license. I knew she would pass on the first try, just like I knew I wouldn't. She is a good driver. (For the record, my 16th birthday was the day we moved into our Anchorage house. My father and I pulled the five-speed out of the shipping container and I took the test in that, a car I had not driven in three months, on the ice covered roads of an Anchorage winter day.)
The proud mother in me is jumping up and down in happiness for her, and for our new freedom. The scared mother in me knows what's to come: worrying about her driving in the rain, worrying about her navigating the turkeys that linger on the roadside every fall or the bikers that speed out of Diablo, through the stop sign.
Dave deserves all the credit for helping her reaching this milestone. He spent hundreds of hours with her behind the wheel of the car.
For dinner I ate Scala carpaccio with my fingers. On the steps in Union Square. In the drizzle. Alone. Red lanterns are hanging for Chinese New Year. I shot this picture of a San Francisco heart. No one would recognize me. No makeup. Mist-curled hair. Raincoat.
I window shopped on my way back to the hotel. Louis Vuitton always has beautiful, creative displays. Loro Piana, which I didn't know a thing about until we went to the outlet near Venice. Kirk Geiger shoes. Bulgari, which I have never been inside. A twenty-something wearing a backpack on her cell phone telling the person she was talking to that she was looking for Powell Street yet walking away from it.