jeffsoesbe (jeffsoesbe) wrote,

the Santa Cruz report

Now *that* was a busy Labor Day weekend.

Summary: Friday was drive, burritos, Star Wars and then sleep; Saturday was manual labor, barbeque, Star Wars and wine; Sunday was Highland Games, snakebite, and Star Wars; Monday was Santa Cruz Boardwalk then head on home.

We drove down Friday afternoon/evening to the house of C's sister D and husband J, getting there about 7pm after some not too bad evening traffic. We ate burritos, watched part of Star Wars Attack of the Clones and then I crashed due to sickness and tiredness from the long week.

Saturday, we helped them prepare a site in the backyard for a new shed. First we moved a palette of rocks to the backyard from the street. I mostly manned the wheelbarrow and moved the big rocks. I took a short break and watched part of the Stanford-UCLA football game (bad, but not as bad as last year), then returned to help move 3 yards of gravel. Shovel, wheelbarrow, dump, all afternoon long. It was great manual labor, shirtless, sweating, etc. At the end, we celebrated with barbeque, wine, and Star Wars Revenge of the Sith.

Sunday, we got up bright and (fairly) early and headed out to the Scottish Highland Games, run by the Caledonian Club of San Francisco at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. This was a real blast, with food, drinks, games, music, and a grand old time.

Highlights were:
- A couple round of sheepdog herding trials in the morning
- The kids and nieces enjoying games at in the Children's Area
- A fantastic Fiddler's Jam Session led by Alasdair Fraser
- High-powered (and *loud*) concerts by the Wicked Tinkers and Albannach
- A thrilling Women's Weight Over Bar competition, with the two (big, strong) gals getting up to almost 18 (eighteen!) feet. That's 28 pounds, one hand, over a bar 18 feet in the air. Amazing.
- One Tasty Chicken Pasty and many beers
- Getting fitted for a proper kilt at the Utilikilts booth (now we just has to wait for our sizes to be available online)

All in all it was a great day at the Games. We made it back about 6, had various forms of leftovers, drank some snakebite (cider & lager) and watched Star Wars (the original movie, aka A New Hope). Yes, there's a theme to the movies: D and J had recently gotten a new HD TV and the entire Star Wars DVD set.

Monday we managed to crawl out of bed and head over to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The kids rode tons of rides, I did a turn on the Giant Dipper coaster (sample videos from night and day), we ate the food and drank the drinks, then headed back to the house, loaded up and got home about 6pm.

All in all, a great fun weekend. All that other standard boring stuff, like writing and housework and reading and life organizing and bills, didn't happen but I'll just have to catch up. I did do about 1200 words on "The Very Difficult Diwali of Inspector Thirumala Naidu" on the drive to Santa Cruz, so that was something.

The sinus congestion continues; the trips over the Highway 17 summit were not fun. But I did finally understand what *real* Afrin feels like - woah, baby - and how people get hooked on it. It's pretty sinus-blowing (and mind-blowing).

Tags: life, santa cruz, travel

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