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July 09, 2004: The second annual sisters'-only trip, part 1

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Richard was probably thrilled to death that this weekend was the second annual Sisters' Only weekend not because I was going to be gone for a few days, but because my being gone meant that he got to take the Prius out instead. I packed everything this morning before work far more stuff than it might seem I would need for two nights away, but I was also responsible for bringing a blender (to make soup) and there was the bag of peaches for the pie, and I also had to bring some knitting along, so it was a respectable pile of stuff we dragged from the car to my office when he dropped me off.

I only worked half the day, but it seemed to drag probably because I was so antsy for my sisters to arrive. My younger sister flew down from Seattle and my older sister picked her up at the airport, and then the two of them continued on to Sacramento to pick me up. I waved goodbye to all my coworkers, we loaded all my bags into the car, and we were off.

It's a very long drive from Sacramento to Bear Valley, especially since a lot of that is down 99 and I-5, neither of which are particularly lovely stretches of freeway. Eventually we turned off onto a little two-lane highway that weaved and bumped its way into the hills and mountains and a host of obscure little towns that blended into each other over the course of the next few hours. But eventually we finally made it to Murphys, where we stopped to procure ice cream (to go with the peach pie I was going to make) as well as cones for the three of us. We needed, after all, to get the weekend off to a good start. And then it was back into the car for another 30 or 45 minutes of driving those bumpy, windy mountain roads I love so very not much, until we reached the cabin.

My older sister's in-laws bought this cabin with a group of their friends perhaps 20 or 30 years ago. It is very small, but very cute. Downstairs there is a tiny kitchen and a living room with a wood-burning stove, which I can see would be marvelous when it is cold and snowy outside. Up a flight of stairs so steep we took them very carefully each time, there are two bedrooms and three beds, and enough floor space that there could probably be a few more people piled in for a larger gaterhing. It's nestled into the trees on the slope of a hill. In the winter this area would be covered in snow and we would have had to climb through drifts to reach the door, but this being summer, we could drive right up to the very front of it and go right in.

We spent the rest of the evening being delightfully lazy. I started and restarted work on the second knitted afghan probably three or four times that night while my little sister worked on hand-made cards and my older sister did counted cross-stitch. Eventually we had French bread pizzas and salad, and I made a really good attempt at making pie from those lovely white peaches. Unfortunately the (store-bought) crust never cooked on the bottom, no matter how long we left it in the oven, so we ended up eating the peach filling and the top crust, and topping it with vanilla ice cream, which could not disguise the fact that the bottom crust was still mostly dough. Considering I've used this same crust umpteen times at home (because I am a lazy cook when it comes to pie crust and have never had success making it myself) I have a feeling the oven (which I suspect is quite possibly the same age as the cabin) was to blame. But at least the peaches were delicious and cinnamony sweet when cooked, so it wasn't a total loss.

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