Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Gilroy Gardens Horticultural Attractions

Last week I took vacation days to be with T (and give my parents a break). We didn't really go anywhere. I'd originally planned to spend 3 days in the Tahoe area at my friend's condo, but with T getting a nasty cough that turned into a bad asthma episode with sinusitis, I decided it was best to stick closer to home. He's doing much better now, but let me just say that the few days we took the prednisone tablets were challenging! The side effects of that drug are icky! He was so hyper and badly behaved! So much so, that I asked he be delayed for his Tae Kwon Do testing for his next belt so he might have a chance to show "self control" and think more clearly, 'cause self control--if there was ANY chance of that--was not going to be possible on testing day. Although T was pretty upset at not getting the chance to test with the others, he aced it the next week and now proudly wears his new green belt.
Wednesday we went with a school friend (a girl in his 1st grade class who also does Tae Kwon Do with T) to Gilroy Gardens. It was a beautiful amusement park, geared mostly to kids under the age of about 10. But the reason that Mr. Bonfante created it was to showcase his gardens and have a place for the 19 specially grafted Sycamore trees created by Axel Erlandson, a farmer and nature lover, in the 1920's. Erlandson took this grafting trick with him to his grave and his work has not been able to be replicated by anyone before or since. The trees were abandoned and nearly died but Michael Bonfante bought them and was able to transport them from Hilmar, California to Gilroy successfully.
The park was beautiful to walk through and small enough that you could easily see everything in an afternoon. Most of the rides were for small children and a few were more for kids T's age. He's afraid of roller coasters (that's my boy!) and wildly spinning rides, so he steered clear of that, but his favorite ride was "the Mushroom". It was a huge mushroom (most rides have a garden theme) with individual seats hanging from the edge of the mushroom cap. Then they lift the riders off the ground and go 'round and 'round. It even tilts giving a different sense of flying through the air. It's a common carnival type of ride. T loved it so much he got me to agree to ride it.
About 60 seconds into the ride, I wished it was over, and then I couldn't shake the nausea and headache that I got and was quietly miserable with it until late that evening. Ugg. I guess I'm just a sensitive kind of chick.
Overall, I was happy to see the park. It was on my to-do list for a few years but I don't think we'll be back. T will outgrow the rides shortly and for the money I'd rather go to Great America amusement/theme park (just 10 minutes drive away). That's on the list for next year.
But that's not the News.
We spent a few days at the community pool. That was fun. Mostly we played ball or Marco-Polo, but I was able to get T to practice his freestyle and backstroke and he actually wanted to do it. I'd tried to get him to practice before, but he would always do about 4 strokes and find something better to do. I think it was just a matter of giving tons of positive reinforcement on what he was doing right, instead of pointing out what he needed to change or work on (which is what I tended to do before). And why not? That method seems to work best for most people, doesn't it? :) Isn't there a song like that, "Accentuate the positive..."
Pretty soon he was doing his best to swim the whole 25 yard length and getting stronger and better with each effort. Yay.
That's not the real News either.
Last Saturday my mom, T and I went to the County Fair. I love going to the fair for all the fun to be had for kids. I tried to get another boy to go with us but we were unlucky in recruiting anyone. Bummer.
As soon as we arrived, we found the ticket booth for a wrist band pass for all the rides. One look at the selection and I knew I was not going to ride at all. They are all "throw-up inducing rides" and I'm not having any of that! But T was excited at all the prospects. Once inside the fair though he didn't seem like he could stomach the topsy turvy, brain slushing kind of rides either. It didn't help that it was at least 100 degrees on that black top surface. He rode the most benign ride he could find and checked out a maze/house of mirrors before he was done.
Great. I just spent $28 for 2 rides. Lesson learned.
Then we ducked into a big air-conditioned building to check out all the stuff for sale. LOTS of cool things to make life easier (new fangled iron board cover to make ironing a breeze. Yes, we bought one-- I need all the help I can get!), costume jewelry, comfy beds, super-duper pots and pans. Even a sale on teeth whitening--done right there on the premises with a glowing blue light and everything. Mom wanted to spend more time in there than T was ready to tolerate, so we decided to split up and meet later. T and I went towards the back of the fair grounds and found more rides. Some were the same as the entrance but all were displayed on a grassy ground which made the heat WAY more tolerable. Suddenly the rides looked more appealing and T was ready to try the "swing" ride and a few others too. His favorite was still that "mushroom" ride but he also went on the Giant Slide about 100 times! Just the stair case up to the top would be enough to slow me down after about 10 times. He was running on adrenaline, I think.
Along our travels discovering all there was to do and see (and before the Giant Slide), we came across a dog show. They were amazing with their tricks and abilities. As we watched, we noticed a tent off to the side with a whole bunch of dogs. We made our way there and T was immediately begging for a dog. "Pleeeez Mama, can we get a dog??? Please, please, pleeeeeez?" The display was to showcase dogs for adoption, rescued from the "E list" (euthanasia) from shelters in our state. There were some beautiful dogs too! I can't imagine there were no takers for these gorgeous, well behaved doggies! With the heat and all these strangers hands coming to touch and cuddle them from all directions, each one of the dogs were so calm and accepting of the attention. If I were one of those dogs I would have cowered in a far corner. Near a fan. They had fans and water misters going but still. It was miserably hot. Certainly oppressively hot if covered in fur.
Somehow I was able to continue walking past all the dogs, with T nearly dragging on my legs to say yes to a dog. Any dog.
But the second time we past by, with my mom in tow, we spotted a cutie in one of the rescue worker's lap. A little dog with curly white hair. I had to ask a bit about her. T was excited to see me pause with some interest. We asked to hold her but were immediately warned that they had just received her from a shelter the day before and to picture "the after" images rather than the way she was today. She did kind of smell and had a cough (common with shelter dogs) but nothing that put me off. I could totally see the way she'd clean up. She was A D O R A B L E.
I think I walked around with her and held her for about 45 minutes. Not sure what to do. T was cuddling her between rides. My mom was in love with the dog already. I couldn't come to a clear decision.
And then a woman walked up to us with her family and said, "There she is! We've come back to adopt her. We have another dog at home and she's going to be it's buddy." Then I see the rescue worker walking the grounds looking for me and the doggie.
Suddenly I felt a pain in my chest.
I wanted her.
But here was this lady who said she was here earlier and SHE wanted her too.
I spoke with the rescue lady and explained that we had an uncomfortable situation here with both of us wanting this dog. I kept holding her, figuring possession is 9/10th of the law. :)
As I spoke to the Rescue worker, she asked me about my family and my home and the other woman stood back about 20 feet. After a while the lady yelled over, "Are you going to take her or not?"
And I say "Yes." Oh Lord. I said it out loud. I'm going to be a dog owner.
She walked off in a huff.
I looked at the Rescue worker and I said, "I feel bad."
She quickly said, "Don't. I spoke with her earlier and I didn't get a sense she was the right owner for this dog. You seem like a much better match."
Really?? Well alright then.
So I filled out the paper work and the plan is they would bring her to their vet to be spayed and then I could take her home. Their headquarters are about an hour's drive from my home, so I'll pick her up on Saturday (work days and traffic make it near impossible to do it any earlier.
T was crushed that we couldn't take her home right away. But he was SOOO excited to finally have a dog for his very own. I wish I could post pictures in this post but, as you might remember, my computer is old and I might not be able to upload it. I'll try later. You really gotta see her cute little face.
It's a good thing we have a few days before we get her home. I have nothing for a dog, so we went shopping and got all the necessary stuff--crate, leash, collar, food, food/water bowls, comfy bed and some toys. Boy, oh, boy is my cat going to be surprised. :O
I'm pretty sure Hans (my cat) will balk at the newest member of our family, but I'm hoping after a few months they might be friends. Hans could use a buddy after all this time alone. At least I hope he thinks so. Eventually.
So THAT'S the News! We have a new dog!!! Now we get to name her.
T wants Bailey, but I'm voting for Ally (from the Alameda County Fair), or Elly (just sounds cute). We'll see. We're making a list.
Hard as it was, I was not ready for a dog just yet. Our backyard isn't ready and I'm not sure I can handle it on top of other responsibilities. But I also knew that I had planned for a dog at some point. I grew up with always having a dog and I think it's an important part of childhood. Plus it seems to really help T feel less alone as an only-child (judging on how he behaves and the pure joy he gushes when he plays with my parent's new puppy Lucy).


Laraf123 said...

A new dog?! That is so exciting! I love summer fairs--but boy are they hot. Glad T is feeling better. He will love having a dog!

Naomi said...

Congrats! And not one from a breeder...even better! Don't get me started on that...but I won't get on my soap box. Congrats on the new addition :)

Billy said...

A new dog! Wonderful news!! I think it's great growing up with a dog (or a cat).

Jo said...

yay--T will love having a dog..and so will you! I love how it came about. You were meant to be together. :)