So, yes, we went away for the weekend. We went to the Sierra Foothills (also known as "gold country") to visit several small towns and go to a few different festivals.
First off, we headed out to Lake Turlock (I might have that wrong) and rented a boat to tool around in. SS was our intrepid captain and did a wonderful job. The boat didn't go as fast as it would have been fun to go, but we enjoyed the lovely scenery.
After boating, we headed to Columbia...I put the link in the post below. Most of the town has been preserved as a historic park. It was really fun to wander around and see the restored buildings. We stayed in the Columbia Hotel which purports to have a ghost, although we didn't see any.
Saturday morning was the Annual Fiddle & Bango Contest (apparently one of the originators couldn't spell Banjo). It was a lot of fun and a couple of the younger contestants rocked!
We hurried off from there to the Annual Murphy's Grape Stomp where SS & I were entered as grape stomp contestants. S took lots of pictures, if he sends them, I'll be sure to post them. We had dinner and also went to watch belly dancing that night in Murphy's.
I got to sleep in the next morning while S & SS went off on a mine tour. The tour included some serious rope climbs and rock climbing. SS thought she might die a couple of times. I watched Animal Planet, then wandered around Murphy's meeting all the local dogs. After their return, we headed to Big Trees and went on a hike around the north grove. I have to say that it is a shame what people once did to these beautiful Sequoias (i.e. thinking that stripping their bark off to show off to others would be a good idea. It's like saying that someone could live without their skin.).
Monday, after brunch, we went to tour Mercer's Cavern. Lots of stairs to climb (16 stories, to be exact), but well worth it. The cave was beautiful. Then we took the scenic route home...literally. At one point, we stumbled over what may be the remains of a stamp mill...this was where the rock that was mined from the big gold mines was processed and gold extracted. So if it was a stamp mill, there was an old mine nearby.
I came home, ate dinner, watched some television and dropped off to sleep.
Today was a bad day at work. I don't want to get into it, really, but it was a sucky way to come back. Then I had my rheumatology appointment today. I don't know what to think really. I didn't want to have a diagnosis from him today, but I'm still in a waiting pattern. I do now have a new personal best for a lab visit - I got to pee in a cup and have 7 vials of blood drawn. Woohoo!