Wed, Nov 4th: A nice long morning of getting packed for my trip--sure is nice to leave in the afternoon rather than super early! Everything went smoothly with the travel itself, and thanks to a page-turner I couldn't put down, the hours between Minnesota and Arizona didn't feel terribly long at all. Got in late due to a long layover, and ended up talking to my mom until midnight--or 2 am Minnesota time! (Oh yes--my mom's German Shepherd Abby again recognized me the moment I got out of the car, even though it's been 11 months!)
Thursday: A nice quiet day around my parents' place, with a great dinner of my mom's homemade beef stew to savor, along with fresh-baked corn bread. In the evening my parents introduced me to the 'Foyle's War' tv show, and I quite enjoyed the first episode.
Friday: This was my mom and I's 'big outing' during my visit. Off around 8 and back at 4, for a day spent at Apple Hill, about an hour east of Sacramento, in the foothills where vineyards and apple orchards do wonderfully. We had a great time visiting just a handful of the 50-plus places there, and enjoying fabulous things like apple cider, apple donuts with walnuts on top, apple fritter, apple turnover, and plain old sliced apples too! There are a lot of local artists and crafters who set up booths on Fri-Sun, so a big high point for me was finding a lovely black wolf print by an artist my parents had discovered on an earlier visit and bought a different black wolf print for me years earlier. And now I've met the artist, which is wonderful. Then there was the Fudge Factory Farm where I just had to buy candy for my coworkers... But the quirkiest sight of the day had to be the brussels sprouts we bought for dinner at the big produce market at Boa Vista Orchards. I'd never seen them right on the stalk before! =)