Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nature walk: Wilder Ranch

Or, My Second Mother's Day!

Because my first Mother's Day went so well, I decided to plan another one just like it--except in California. We would drive down to Santa Cruz, have brunch at the Walnut Avenue Cafe, and then walk at Wilder Ranch. We decided to execute said plan on Saturday rather than Sunday, partly because the weather was supposed to be a little nicer that day, and partly because our Sundays are already so perfect and we've been out of town for the past couple of weekends, and I've missed our routine of yoga, farmer's market, and a picnic at the park. (You know life is good when you get to pick whatever you want to do one day and you want to do exactly what you do every week, Brian said; he's right.)

Brunch was absolutely perfect--hot chocolate with whipped cream, orange juice, and French toast with grilled bananas, walnuts, and vanilla yogurt. I've been considering getting a bicycle, so we stopped at Spokesman for me to ride a couple and to check out their child seats. I can't remember the last time I was actually on a bicycle and I hadn't missed riding, but I don't know why not. I felt a little wobbly as I first climbed on, but you know what? It was just like riding a bicycle. (Why, yes, I do amuse myself.) I felt fast and easy and free as I pedaled and coasted in loops around a nearby parking lot. I still haven't bought a bike yet, but hopefully this weekend I'll be bringing one home.

We finally headed up to Wilder. There are nice walks on the far side of the freeway, but I really just wanted to walk along the cliffs, so that's what we did. There were tons of red-winged blackbirds around, chirping noisily from the bushes, and then darting overhead with their flash of brilliant red. The landscape was bright with flowers, and we saw otters playing and eating in the water below us. It was windy and chilly, so we didn't walk long and instead went back to the ranch where we watched a blacksmith work and Adriana was fascinated by the chickens.

Afterwards we stopped by the Boardwalk so I could take a quick turn on the Giant Dipper, which right there tells you that my day was pretty much perfect. How can one ever complain about a day that involves a trip on a roller coaster? And then we ate dinner at Al Dente before heading home. Perfect.

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