Sunday, October 4, 2009

Day 2 - Petaluma, CA

[Sunday, Petaluma, CA] Actually, this day wasn't very busy. But, it was relaxing and very, very enjoyable.

We had breakfast at the motel. It wasn't much (cereal, orange juice, coffee, Svenhard's pastries and lots of flies), but the price was right. John caught a fly in a Styrofoam(tm) cup, flipped it upside down and left it on the table. Can you say "Surprise?"

Picked Jay up at about 10:00a.m. sharp and off we went to what John calls the "Yacht Club". It's actually Schollenberger Park, a large wetlands area in Petaluma near the Petaluma River. Jay had hidden a letterbox there. Linda and Jay hiked out so Linda could post a "find" for the letterbox. Maggie and John waited with Wilma enjoying the windows being down and the cool of the morning. Much less wind. When they returned, they had the letterbox with them. Too many people who might have seen them stash it again. That's how letterboxes disappear, you know. The Rowing Club was having a race and there were lots of spectators and hikers and bikers about. The stamp was of a blackbird flying over a marshy area complete with cattails. Jay is an excellent stamp carver and had received lots of compliments in the logbook. He will place the letterbox in its proper spot in the morning on his way to work. To learn more about letterboxing you can go to or just google letterboxing.

Back to Jay's for the duration. We had sandwiches for lunch and then Jay started making his Pumpkin Porter (not Pilsner). He mixed and cooked and measured and cooled and finally added the yeast and put the lid on it. About a 5 hour process. This was all done outside on a day that could not have been more pleasant to be outside. Linda got to put in the pumpkin during 2 separate parts of the operation. Other ingredients were water, hops, barley, yeast, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves. She documented the steps with pictures which will appear in today's photo gallery. It was so much fun to get to spend some time in Jay's house. It is a wonderful reflection of his fun and intellectual personality.

During most of the day, Jay was streaming FarmAid from the internet. Speaking of internet, at the motel last night John couldn't access their WiFi from his laptop. This has happened once before on the Washington Trip. He was suspecting that his six year old laptop's WiFi card didn't have 2.11g capability. So, John lugged his laptop over to Jay's to hook up via cable to his internet connection. Jay had a 2.11g WiFi PCMCIA card that John was able to plug into his laptop and install. Question is, will it work?

While waiting for the brew to cool before the yeast got added, Linda and Maggie took a walk. Linda was able to find a Petaluma newspaper and on the way back to Baker street had a tour of a pottery studio. She exited with a nice handmade wall vase in her favorite colors with roses on it.
After brewing his beer, Jay fired up the grill and prepared a really delicious tri-tip and some grilled vegetables and grilled bread for supper. He did a superb job on the tri-tip. It was really tender and moist. Another yummy day!

Left Jay's around 7:02p.m. to go back to the motel. Stopped at Safeway for milk, buttermilk, cookies, cheeses and a fly swatter (you remember the fly issue). No fly swatters. Sold out. The full moon was just rising. It is so beautiful. At one point it looked so much like a Halloween moon with slivers of black clouds in front of parts of it.

We're back at the motel and John says he's going to have milk and Cote d'Or chocolate (in moderation) momentarily. He did turn on his laptop and sure enough, was able to connect to the motel's WiFi with the card that Jay loaned him. Life in the geek world is, once again, good! Linda, not tired of smelling pumpkin all afternoon, brewed up a cup of Stash Pumpkin Spice dekaf tea and had a some (OK, most) of her Violet Crumble from yesterday's candy store visit. Linda had been happy to see that she logged 7109 steps today. Besides the calories weren't listed on the package in "American" English so she just kept munching.

Good night for now. Tomorrow we're off for Ft. Bragg. There will be more photos of that day...we promise.

Link to Day 2 Photo Gallery The gallery will open in its own window. When finished viewing, close that window to return here.

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