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Sunday Salon: A day out will do you good

What a week! My school's WASC accreditation visit was quite stressful at times (that's what happens when the visiting team points out weaknesses and some people don't want to hear it), but we did well.

Saturday was very fun; I took my daughter and a friend of hers on a day out, which is always rejuvenating and good for the soul. I forget how great it feels to have a change of scenery and break routine once in a while.

We drove about an hour north of here to Ballard, CA and visited a miniature donkey farm (Seein' Spots Farm). These donkeys are adorable, calm, and loved attention. Miniature donkeys are no bigger than 36" at the shoulder and, who knew, come in many patterns and colors. It was quite a stormy day so we were the only ones visiting, which meant that the girls got to ask lots of questions, groom the donkeys, feel the pregnant donkeys' babies kicking, and more. Did you know that donkeys are pregnant for a whole year? And, they like to kick soccer balls around! I also learned about the "Christ's Cross" on a donkey (the dark line of hair that goes down from their shoulders to their front knees and along their backs): the woman said it is said to be the shadow of Jesus' cross when he was crucified. My dad says its Christ's legs from when he rode in to Bethlehem. Anyone know which of these stories is the right one?
The farm also has a mule, a working border collie, and horses. It was interesting to see a stranger (who has no idea how much these 9 year olds know about reproduction) trying to explain what a mule is and how more mules get produced since they are sterile. I did jump in and help her. All in all a fun visit. Here's the mule having a good roll in the clover. I tell you, he is expressing the joy we felt.
After the farm we went into the town of Solvang. Now, Solvang is quite a place. It is home to the Mission de Santa Ines (unfortunately closed for a wedding) but its claim to fame is that it was settled by Danes who have designed it like home: all the buildings are Danish style, there are windmills, and all the shops and streets are named after Danish families, towns, and famous people. Basically it's got lots of bakeries, knick-knack shops, and Danish souvenir shops. The best feature, I think, is the outdoor theater where they put on fabulous productions during the summer. The girls got their nails painted and we hit the ever-fun "As Seen on TV" store, which the girls got quite a kick out of. And, of course, we found a couple things to buy because as much as we sneer at the stuff in these shops, we always find something useful.

The girls were great and indulged me on the way home and we stopped at the vista point to stare at the ocean. There is something about the ocean that calms me.

How was your weekend? Any rejuvenating activities?

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