Saturday, March 20, 2010

Bluegrass and Pizza

Happy first day of Spring!

Katie and I spent a beautiful--and quite warm---morning at Temecula's Old Town bluegrass festival. Old Town was bustling and humming with people and music and motorcycles, and I loved the energy and activity. We did have a bit of a time finding parking, though eventually we did, and we began to explore. Small and larger bluegrass bands were everywhere, some impromptu jammers tucked behind stores or little alleyways. At the larger outdoor stage we ran into friends from work, although we didn't linger long at that venue given the heat. I figured it was better to take Katie to the theater and to stay near some of the shade of the storefronts.

A man playing a harmonica and spoons intrigued Katie particularly. When we got home, we played around with our own spoons and used some kitchen items to make instruments. At the bluegrass festival we got to sing along to some songs we knew. I loved the Irish sound in one of the groups. Bluegrass, folk, country, and Irish music are all big enthusiasms of mine musically, and I just love that Temecula celebrates such music---and mostly for free (there are one or two paid performances, but the rest are totally free).

I also took Katie to see the Old Town jail, which, in some respects, made a bigger impression on her than the rest of the festival, especially with the two lifesize male dummies inside of it.

We also made a stop for gelato, which was thick, rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious on such a hot day. We ordered one scoop of spumoni and one scoop of vanilla caramel and shared them both.

Katie relaxes during the bluegrass festival and eats some gelato...

Quite tasty!

Home again, we began work on our dinner, making a double batch of homemade pizza dough for two pizzas. Katie helped with all aspects of the pizza making, pulling the dough in the pans and preparing and putting on our toppings. We made a spinach, tomato, mozzarella, and sausage pizza, and we also made a pizza with pear, provolone, proscuitto, and sweet onion topped with chilled arugula and a vinaigrette once it emerged from the oven. Yumminess. Katie enjoys these tastes and has been increasing her willingness to try new foods lately. Healthy and delicious.

We had a busy day yesterday, as well. After our music class, we drove to Orange County with Amie and Boppa to have lunch with Nana, Aunt Jenny and Aunt Anna (visiting from Berkeley), Uncle David and his fiancee Ashley, Fon, Violet, Jed, and Aunt Debbie at Claim Jumper. We also stopped by Nana's so that Katie could visit Aunt Jenny and Aunt Anna's doggies. She loves them so much and loves to pet and kiss them.

Back home again, I gave Katie a quick bath and then freshened up for a Toastmasters competition with Dad. We weren't competing, but we wanted to see what competitive speeches (both prepared and extemporaneous) looked and sounded like. It was an "area" competition, so we met members of other clubs. We had a fairly large delegation from our chapter, Toast of the Valley, there. I loved the chance to spend time with our chapter outside of our regular meeting and to support our contestants, Sonya and Daryl. I had so much fun experiencing that competition, and someday I would love to compete as well. I returned home about 9:30, and then cuddled with Katie and went to bed.

So I have had a beautiful and full weekend so far. Tomorrow might be more mellow and directed at accomplishing some chores at home and savoring the spring in our backyard.