Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 Summer Games

I went to the Olympic Committee to ask for an entry to the contests. They asked me why I was interested. "To win a gold medal," I said.

"What sport are you good at?" they asked.

"Ice skating," I replied.

"That would be the winter games. What kind of summer sports can you play?"

"I think I can do some gymnastics."

I had to show them a sample of my skill. They said they were sorry and that I should try the "Alternate Games."

"Can I still win gold?"

"Yes," they assured me. They said the competition would take place in the Caribbean. Sounded fun.

When I arrived in the Caribbean, the only sport with an opening was Pirate Fighting. Uh-oh, this couldn't be good. The only swords I have ever dealt with are the little ones spearing fruit in cocktails.

I met my opponent, William Turner. He looked very strong and was quite handsome. All my confidence melted away when I saw his smile. I was in big trouble. So much for the gold.

It was a long fight. I think Will practiced sword fighting three hours a day. He must also be a blacksmith, he really knows how to handle a sword.

After a lot of near misses, I finally got the winning swing. Wearing full gear, no one was really hurt. I think he let me win, after all the boy has a sense of propriety.

I was very happy to win the gold medal. When it was presented to me I was informed that it was cursed Aztec Gold, one of 882 pieces. This is not what I had in mind when I wanted to win a gold medal.

Sure, I may be cursed now but all was not lost. I made a date with Will. I don't expect too much involvement, he does live far away and I'm not good at long distance relationships. At least this will be a nice way to ease the pain of ending things with James Norrington.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Nut Tree

The Nut Tree was once a popular roadside attraction for people driving on I-80. It closed for some time and has reopened.

The present-day Nut Tree is no more than an outdoor mall with a few rides. It is new and clean and there are great stores and restaurants, but it's not worth a 90 mile drive just for the sake of checking it out. It is still a great place to stop and stretch your legs while on a road trip.

There is a Borders store which works for me since I love books so much. There is also a Jelly Belly which is the pride of Fairfield, just a few miles south of Vacaville. I tasted the new ice cream flavors of beans and bought a bag of pomegranate flavored beans. They were so good!

I was excited to see a bead store in the mall. I had no idea there was one there, and since I have been making a lot of jewelry lately, a visit was expected. It was a cute store with a lot of supplies.

This store is "Made In California." Is there any reason to think I wouldn't stop in? It was mostly wine, cheese, and some candy. I sampled some chardonnay artichoke salsa and it was delicious! I bought a jar of it and will happily snack on some later. I also bought a wood carved California shaped magnet to add to my collection.

I decided to check out the theme park area. The classic train is still there as well as the hobby horses from way back.

I took a ride on a train...

Drove a bumper car...

And rode a carousel.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Today I found myself in Gilroy. The weather hasn't been hot which is unusual for San Jose in August. So I went to Gilroy knowing I wouldn't roast.

I visited Gilroy Gardens pretty much to eat some garlic fries and look at flowers. It's nice to see the flowers that bloom at different times throughout the year.

Also in Gilroy is the Black Bear Diner. If anything says "bear" I want to check it out.

The food is mediocre. It is diner fare, probably meant for feeding travelers as they are on the way to or from Southern California.

There are bear touches throughout the whole restaurant.

Just about any souvenir you can think of is available for purchase. Lots of stuffed bears, of course, along with salt & pepper shakers, stationery, puzzles, statues, socks, neckties, hats, backpacks, magnets, keychains... anything a touristy gift shop would sell.

The food is not very good so I wouldn't suggest it as a plce to stop and eat. I couldn't even suggest to just order a soda because they sell Pepsi products. But it is a lot of fun to look at the photos, statues, souvenirs, and all the bear elements around the place, inside and outside.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saratoga Springs

My eyes were burning and I wanted to read Breaking Dawn, but I was invited to a party and I did attend as promised.

It was at Saratoga Springs which is a park in Saratoga. It has camping areas and a lot of trails for hiking. There is a creek that runs through the park, and lots of rocks and areas to explore.

In the park is an historic site where an old mill operated. There is a plaque there but it is not a California Historical Landmark.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


Stephenie Meyers' Twilight Saga is one of my favorite stories. I only learned about it while searching for Harry Potter Flair. I kept seeing crossover references between the two stories and decided to check it out. Since it is about vampires, I didn't think I would be interested in the stories. But I also didn't think I would like stories about wizards, either.

Bookstores had release parties on August 1st so fans could purchase the book at midnight. I went to Barnes and Noble and had a nice time. There were a lot of fun decorations and they even renamed the drinks and desserts in the cafe to the Twilight theme. Godiva also had a Twilight chocolate bar available for purchase.

I made a special "Team Jacob" shirt for the party. If you know the story, then you would know why. And even though it isn't a spolier, I still don't like to read and tell.

I was second in line and had my book at 12:01. I was home by 12:10 and started reading the book at 12:16. At 5:45 I forced myself to go to sleep. I didn't want to, but knew if I wanted to function that a nap would be enough to get me through the day. It took me about eight or nine hours to read the books. I finished reading the book in one day. I really did enjoy it a lot. There were so many twists and turns, unexpected plots, and big surprises. Twilight has helped ease my post-Potter depression, but now I need a new series to help me through my days.