With Matt at work and Duane playing pickleball, Beth,the kids and I had nothing better to do on this hot sunny Saturday than to walk and scooter down the hill and round the corner to the Clayton old town center. We were here last Saturday for the Soap Box Derby (see Ok,Ok blog), but this time Tugg, the golden retriever got to tag along.
Clayton old town center is quite large, with 40 historic spots listed on its walking tour. We were only concerned with one side of this street (the same one on which the Derby was held. The city of Clayton is located in a beautiful valley on the northern slopes of Mount Diablo in California. In 1857, attracted by coal and other mining prospects, Joel Clayton established Clayton as a supply center for local miners. After the mines declined, ranches, farms, and vineyards bolstered the economy for 50 years. Now the area is mostly residential.
There were several historic buildings in old town including this little museum (with Jack and Katie in front).
Some of the buildings and sites have these historic markers. I included this one because it was presented by E Clampus Vitus. This is a semi serious fraternity. Check it out on the web. It is absolutely hilarious!
This was the local saloon then and now, except during Prohibition when it became a “café”.
Formerly a dry goods store, now a coffee/ice cream/smoothie shop.
In 1878 this area was a Eucalyptus grove. The trees grew more than 100 feet tall and lived 112 years before they had to be removed for safety reasons. The Grove park, (which the family calls The Grave as a spooky joke) opened in 2008, features space for games, concerts and picnics just as it did over 130 years ago.
But we weren’t here for a history lesson, we were here to PLAY!
We started out at the local farmer’s market for caramel corn and strawberries (which we augmented later with Icees, smoothies, and ice cream for lunch), then headed to the swings. Note Jack’s signature shoes (one green Croc, one blue flip-flop.Takes after his Grandma with her mismatched socks.)
Katie and Mel goofing off in the baby swing.
The real objective was the splash fountain. Push the button and several different fountains spurt up.
The water was really COLD!
Time to warm up. Katie and Jack chose the sculpture of children.
Mel opted for a swing.
Let me tell you about Mel. She is 3 1/2 years old and in her terminology is a grown-up kid. She is fearless when riding her scooter at break-neck speed down the hill, hoisting herself up on this swing (which comes up to her chin) and swinging herself as high as she can go, and in jumping into the family pool, even without her floaties.
Only one thing scares her—public restrooms. She hates the noises of the toilets flushing and the hand dryers. That’s why she opted to shuck her clothes and put on her swimsuit in the middle of the sidewalk. Did I mention she was very quick? She had those clothes off before Mom could get her suit out of the bag!
Of course she had to redress in the same place. She was out of her suit before Mom caught her. Jack and Katie formed a human dressing room, but bad Grandma didn’t close up the other side. I sat snapping pix and laughing.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and what goes down must go up, so back up the hill to home we went.
More fun and games tomorrow.
Louise and Duane