13June2014 Visiting Stella and Giovanni at their house

Oh my gosh, this was an adventure! So, Stella and Giovanni (and Celeste) are the kids of Jacki Rigoni, who started up Thinkering Day 3-4 years ago, and who are some of Luke’s best friends. They all used to live in Belmont, where Thinkering Day happens, but last year, they decided to buy 10 acres down in Morgan Hill, well, not really in Morgan Hill, but about 20 minutes away up in the mountains more. The only downside is that Morgan Hill is south of San Jose (way south) and so commuting to Belmont for Thinkering Day on Thursday can take well over an hour. But they love it, even though they are living in a RV, depend on a geodesic dome for extra living space and use a composting toilet until they can build a house because 10 acres is a virtual natural playground for three kids who love being outdoors. Jacki invited us and some other friends to come down for Nature Fridays (she does this with local families) and so Luke and I headed down, planning on spending the night since it is well over an hour for us to get there as well, and he didn’t want to miss any fun. 

Jacki’s husband Maurice is a big kid himself and spends a lot of energy in of coming up with fun stuff for the kids to do. One of the things he has rigged up is this huge swing that you can harness into, and then leap off a little land bridge that overlooks their pond (which is very very low, since this is summer and it hasn’t rained in months). Luke was one of the first ones to go, and by the time I realized what they were doing and headed down with my camera, I was only able to take pictures of Katherine using the swing. Just put Luke into the same harness, and you will see why the kids were absolutely loving this.

This first picture shows the land bridge/small cliff that overlooks the pond, and is where you jump off from when you are ready to swing. The kids were standing there while waiting for their turns, and of course cheering on their friends, it looked like it was just a bit scary!

And while I didn’t get any pictures of it, the kids spent the entire day running around the property and having so much fun together, it was an awesome day!

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 The pictures of Katherine show the harness, and the rope set up, although I couldn’t get a good shot of the pond, you can imagine how much fun it was.

The following pictures are of their cooking station for BBQ, they do have a stove/oven, but this was a lot more fun for a camp out. We made hot dogs and Polish sausages for dinner and then we had marshmallows. Luke and I brought the ones we had made the day before, but they weren’t looking too good (I think the heat curdled the egg whites a little bit, Morgan Hill gets hot), but they tasted pretty good. You can also see the geodesic dome in the back – a lot of the kids slept in there that night, and Luke started with them, but then decided Mama would be happier if he was with her. I did bring our tent, but then decided it was too much work to put it up, so we slept in the back of the Flex with all the seats down. It would have more than enough room except for the fact that we were parked on a slight incline and so you kept waking up to inch back up. I even moved the car a little but it wasn’t perfect. Ah well, you almost never get a perfect night’s sleep on a camp out. 

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