I was putting off documenting my weekend until I had some pictures to go with the story, but my pictures are on my other computer at home and I'm on my computer at work and it is just a whole hullabaloo to get it coordinated, so I'm just going to write here and if you REALLY want to see pictures, you can either go to my Facebook page and see pictures or ask me and I'll send them to you!!
So, Friday night I had plans to go stay at a hotel down in Santa Cruz. Not the best hotel by any stretch of the imagination, but it is what I could afford and I figure I just need a place to lay my head that has clean sheets, a shower, and a locking door. I was planning on staying there on Saturday night as well. Well, during the day I was chatting with my friend Angie who lives down in San Jose and she invited me to just come hang with her and her husband for the evening and spend the night with them. I figured "what the heck, that'll be fun." I called the hotel and tried to cancel my reservation for one night, but they were being all squeaky about it so I just cancelled for both nights and figured something would come along. As I was telling my boss/friend, Terri, about my hotel situation, she offered to let me stay with her and her husband on Saturday for the low, low price of a bottle of Tequila. Yippee!! I now had a place to stay for both nights!!
I get to Angie's Friday evening and it is a pretty low-key evening, with her being VERY pregnant and just put on bed rest by her doctors. We hang out, have some dinner watch a movie and chat. We get up Saturday morning and in my head I'm trying to determine what time I need to leave in order to make it down to Pacific Grove in time to be early for class so that I can get set up. I figure class starts at 10:30, if I'm there by 10:00 that would be good, so I need to leave about 9:00 - 9:15. As I'm standing in the kitchen talking to Angie and Seamus (her husband), I'm telling them this. Seamus, who grew up in the area, looks at me and asks "Where is this class?" I respond, "Pacific Grove, why?" He responds with "That is about an hour and a half drive, you need to leave a lot earlier." It then dawns on my that my original plan was based on me spending the night in Santa Cruz....Ooops!
I get myself around and out the door and on my way. I still make it to class with time to spare and get all set up. I won't bore you all with the details of the class, but here are a couple of highlights.... The class was sort of a kaleidoscope quilt class, but called One Block Wonder where you take your fabric and find the repeat and the cut 6 triangles of the same image, blah, blah, blah. It is a very cool technique and I'm definitely going to do it again. However, the fabric that I chose was of these round, cartoony Indian faces with feather headdresses which when I cut it all up looks like just a bunch of screaming faces to me. It is very disturbing, although I'm going to finish the top and see if it turns out better than I think it is going to. The ladies in the class were all very nice and the teacher was great. I'm definitely going to be going back there for more classes in the future, if my schedule allows for it.
Saturday evening, I head back over the Santa Cruz mountains, which by the way I had no weather problems due to the fact that the Queen was not with me. I arrive at Terri's house, with my bottle of Tequila and settle in for another quiet evening. Terri, Chris (her husband), and her 5 year old step-son and I have dinner, chatted, played some dominoes (which was a new game for me as my family only plays Chicken Foot when we play), and watched a movie, which I fell asleep about half-way through.
Sunday morning, I got up and around and headed over to meet the horse-riding group. We headed out, back over and into the Santa Cruz mountains. After driving up this dirt road, we arrived at the area where the Pacific Coast Gaited Horse Adventures horses were being kept and all piled out. We signed our wavers and got our helmets on...none of us novice horse riders were about to get on a horse without some head protection. (By the way, I can actually be seen on a horse on their website!!)
After some quick lessons (left, right, stop) and filling up the saddle bags with our snacks and drinks, we were finally off on the trail. I had the sweetest horse named Chico. He was an older Peruvian Paso with the most beautiful reddish-blond hair. I actually wanted to take a swatch of hair as that is the color of hair that I want. We first took off through the redwoods on some fairly steep trails and came out in this open meadow that over looked the ocean. It was truly breath taking. There were a number of other groups (horse people, mountain bike people, hiker people) milling around in the pasture as it is part of a state park. One group of uni-cyclists showed up and we were all quite amazed that there is such a thing as mountain uni-cyclists!!
Anyway, we all had some snacks, wine, cheese, crackers, lovely conversation, great views, and the horses got to have a little bit of a break, as did our legs. After about 45 minutes, we all mounted back up and headed off again. Since it was a nice day and we were all pretty relaxed, one of the trail guides asked if any of us wanted to take our horses on a slightly faster pace, although the walking was fine, the horses were feeling a little frisky and wanted to stretch their legs. About half of the group, myself included, decided that we did want to pick it up a little so we took off at a nice clip. My poor little pony really wanted to keep up, but she was sorta like me, could run really well for a bit, but had no real stamina, so we had to slow it down to a walk, but she sooo wanted to keep up with the pack.
Eventually, we all made it back to the barn and dismounting was the next challenge. We were all quite sore and had bruised sitting bones. But we all managed and everybody had a great time. We were happy that nobody fell off their horse and aside from the soreness we couldn't have asked for a better day.
I now know what I'm going to do with my sister, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew when they come out to visit...we will definitely be taking a horse ride through the Redwood forest and over looking the blue, blue ocean!!