This post covers a lot of ground since I haven't been covering much ground lately in these posts.
We'll start with last weekend, when Mrs Notthat and Irbua (whose real name means "Wind" in Klingon, requiring this blog to refer to her as The Big Wind from now on) took the grandkids to the Pismo Beach area.
Mrs Notthat is a firm believer in beach safety. Helmets provide an added touch of security when exploring tide pools. Riley is the one that looks like he has an orange horn sticking out of his helmet. The grandkids spent a fair amount of time bonking their heads together - the 49ers would have been proud.
They spent an hour terrorizing the sand dunes in this souped up sand buggy. Mrs Notthat drove it for a bit before turning it over to The Big Wind, who promptly managed to run it into a sand dune.
The next day they took a "Sub Sea" tour in a boat with large glass underwater windows. The highlight of the trip was when the captain (as he had done when we had taken the same tour several years ago) dangled a plastic octopus in front of the windows. Riley said this was the best part of the whole trip, especially since the captain let him dangle it too.
Meanwhile, back home, the neighborhood ash trees are all infested with aphids. Lots of them. This is the top of our car after being parked one night under one of the trees - those sticky white spots are all aphid poop. The streets around these trees is sticky and a bit shiny - very odd. It's a problem throughout the Bay Area with this particular type of tree. Unfortunately parking is so scarce on our street that we are often forced to park here.
On Saturday, Mrs Notthat, Luap, and I went for a challenging 16 mile hike in Big Basin State Park. We talked to a ranger before heading out and asked what would be a good hike to add to the 11.5 mile Berry Creek Falls hike; he looked at us for a bit (probably trying to work out how many helicopters it was going to take to rescue us and mentally making odds on our survival), noticed that we at least looked prepared with Camelbacks and lots of water bottles, then suggested the Buzzard's Roost hike.
The above picture is from the top of Buzzard's Roost - this was a great little hike to warm up on with 1,100 feet of climbing. We then set out on the Beery Creek Falls loop which was very cool, with four waterfalls, a snake, thousands of well hidden tree roots to trip on, and an angry hornet that stung the back of my leg (and another that stung the back of Luap's head). It also had about 2,500 feet of climbing.
Needless to say, we were tired after all this. And the ranger almost looked disappointed when we made it back safe, barely limping, and still well hydrated.
On Sunday, the grandkids showed up for a bit, which was good, because the garden needed some attention, and the grandkids are good at giving attention to it (at least for a bit).
They started by harvesting the carrots that we planted several months ago.
Here Darci is rinsing them off. Both kids love eating these.
Then it was time to pick tomatoes. Our cool summer (which may have something to do with our pooping trees) has not been kind to our tomato plants. A few renegade tomatoes managed to ripen in spite of the lack of sun. We only have one cherry tomato plant this year - the rest are normal tomatoes from plants that were given to us. They are producing lots of green tomatoes, so hopefully if we are patient, we will be eating fresh salsa well into the fall. Unless it starts snowing.
Mrs Notthat and the grandkids showing off their bounty.
Once the garden had taken all the attention it could stand, the grandkids turned their eyes on creating other mayhem. They liked running little cars down these tubes.
And I have no idea what this was about. It reminded me of Dr Dolittle's Push-Me-Pull-You.
And that's about it. This coming weekend is another Brazen race (Summer Breeze) and the grandkids are hoping for more medals.
That's it - move along...