Early this afternoon, once I returned home from work, Aidyn, Grandma, and I set out for a leisurely hike. We searched for a trail I had discovered on trails.com, but found that it did not, in fact, exist! Luckily, we had a backup plan, but on the way we happened on another sort of trail. On a whim, we decided to hike that one instead. It was a cute, roughly mile-long path in Ripon that actually crosses over the Stanislaus River. Aidyn sat in his wagon and observed all the flora while Grandma and I talked, handed Aidyn assorted rocks and sticks to check out and alerted him to nearby squirrels and lizards.
My favorite part of the hike had to be when we all played "Pooh sticks." If you're not familiar with classic Winnie the Pooh stories, "Pooh Sticks" is a game where players toss a stick on one side of the bridge, dash over to the other side, and watch it reappear. We did this a number of times with both leaves and sticks. Aidyn even experimented with dropping a stick on the opposite side to see if it'd go backwards; thus, he learned something today about water currents.
Walking along the path, Grandma shared some sweet stories about her childhood that explained her love for trees. She remarked that on Sundays when she was a child, her dad used to gather the kids and take them out in the middle of nowhere under a tree and allow them to play. He'd always bring along a watermelon and slice pieces up for them to enjoy after they were done frolicking. So in learning about trees this week, Aidyn and I both had the opportunity to hear a sweet, nostalgic story and learn something new about Grandma.
Wonderful, explorative, naturesque day!