Thursday, November 12, 2009

Community Connection and Museum Meandering

Yesterday, Aidyn, his grandma, and I went on a road trip to Gold Country, specifically Sonora. We enjoyed escaping the valley, driving over the rolling hills, and spying thousands of pine trees. After taking a brief drive through the heart of Sonora, we located the Tuolumne County Museum. Our tour was led by a knowledgeable resident who explained the history of the area, the wagon caravans that first traveled here, the old jail cell and wanted posters, the rocks laden with gold, and early civilizations of the area. We soaked in all that information as well as asked the museum staff about their particular knowledge of the area. Discussing cost of living, the closeness with nature, the beauty of the land, the richness of the history, we heard some really interesting things! One lady even told us about how at her house, deer have snooped up to her back porch and that she's even spotted wild turkies and foxes near her yard.

The area couldn't have been more beautiful. Sonora seems like it was delicately placed between rolling hills and mini-mountains thick with evergreen trees. The buildings and homes seem fixed between the natural elements: a babbling creek that passes through downtown and deciduous trees with raining leaves of red, orange, yellow, and gold. The antique buildings in town echo a forgotten way of life, and the townspeople smile as they pass by. We visited a store called The Candy Vault, and was it ever! It was filled with every sort of candy one could dream about and even some vintage candy that my mom had not seen in decades. While we browsed the aisles with wet palates, music from the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory filtered down to us. After scoring some sweet delicacies, we explored a nearby educational shop. Oh! If only I were a millionaire. Aidyn couldn't be torn away from this adorable, child-sized, grocery display where he pretended to sell me bananas, tomatoes, and apples. Later we ate in a 50's style hot dog diner and listened to oldies. Driving away made us wistful, but we have more places to explore!

Also during this week, we have been listening to our second composer, Johann Sebastian Bach, and reading books about California. I have also been continuing my work on next year's curriculum and fine tuning it.

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