Saturday was the annual Picnic Day at Chris' alma mater, UC Davis. Its like a college open-house on steroids, with activities put on by all of the different departments, live music, shows, food, animal activities (including the Doxie Derby - weiner dog races), and a Battle of the Bands with school bands from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Humbolt, UC Irvine, UC San Diego and maybe one or two more I missed. Chris went to Picnic Day from '96 through '02, and I've been once or twice with him as well.
We debating taking Mac with us all the previous night. One on hand, he'd absolutely love it. On the other hand, it would be hot and a lot of walking, and he's a bulldog. Maybe next year we'll take him and not walk around a great deal.
The first place we went was the Mondavi Institute. If I had the space, I'd love to have a garden like this.
I convinced Chris to stand near the artichoke. I realized I didn't really know what an artichoke looked like on the plant.
Here's a close-up of one of our favorite dinners.
And the Mondavi Institute was giving away grape vines to take home and plant. You could choose between several wine varietals, but I went with table grapes. The tag on mine said it was a Princess type. Its now planted (more on that in my next post), so hopefully some future day I'll have grapes from my Centennial Picnic Day vine.
We walking along the Putah Creek pathways, where Chris and his friends used to ride the bikes back in the day.
Chris told me to go stand by the pink flowers. It was getting warm by now (next time leave the sweater in the car).
More campus wanderings: I think this is the financial aid department. I like the rays of the sun falling over Chris, imparting wisdom...
We stopped off in a few buildings. Chris says Social Sciences 1100 smells exactly the same as it did thirteen years ago, though it looks a bit smaller now. Then we walked over to where the parade was beginning, with the UC Davis band playing the introductory song. Instead of waiting for the parade to start moving, we walked along its route and saw all of the participants (floats, bands, etc.). I saw this fire truck and thought of Dad - can you see the brass fire extinguisher on toward the back?
We headed to the animal area where they would be holding a K9 demonstration, flyball, agility, terrier trials, the Doxie Derby (inside The Pavilion), and more. We've seen them all before and were more interested in checking out the campus, so we moved on. The next stop was Chris' freshman dorm complex.
He said it was weird seeing all of these places and thinking of how long ago it all actually was.
By this time we were hungry, and all of the food booths we selling burgers, hot dogs, and such, so we headed to The Silo. The little crepe stand was still doing business, as was the Taco Bell where Chris had so many meals. We went to the Gunrock Pub since they'd probably have more veggie-friendly meals. We sat with our soda and beer for about half an hour, while the large table behind us, seated 10-15 minutes after us, got their appetizers. I've written before about how often we are forgotten when we go out, and I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this was no exception. We couldn't even flag down the waitress, so we left a $5 on the table and walked out. At least some things are consistent...
We looped back around the campus and checked out the new performing arts center. Its a beautiful building, and very nice inside. As we were walking out the door we heard a docent tell another couple that they'd have to wait for a tour and weren't allowed to wander around. Umm... no one stopped us! Being so forgettable has its benefits after all.
In front of the Alumni Center there's a waterfall that was cool, and beckoning! I'm sure it would have felt nice to stand under the falling water in the heat.
It was great reminiscing on the UC Davis campus, listening to Chris' stories and enjoying ourselves. It was interesting to us how much smaller things seemed, compared to when we were just college kids experiencing (almost) adult life for the first time. Its a trick of perspective now; we've grown since those times and have had wider experiences in life. I wonder what comes next...