After wine tasting, we headed over to Dover Canyon to hang out for a while with my brother, his fiancee, and some of their friends. Dover Canyon is a ranch that my grandfather owns and has kept pretty much in its natural state for our family to use for camping, hiking, fishing, barbecues, parties, etc.
The little area where we mostly congregate is perfect for an outdoor gathering. It's a flat meadow-like clearing surrounded by a hill leading up to a reservoir, a waterfall and a stream.
Um ... in order to make this post somewhat about food, let's just say that so much barbecue has been consumed at Dover Canyon, that you could probably make a small family farm out of the meat.
So, we went out to the ranch and met the campers. The tank top my brother is wearing is--I swear to god--20 years old. It's a shirt that was specially silkscreened for my dad's 40th birthday "Over the Hill Bowl" football game. I never thought I would see one of those again, but since my brother was about six at the time, I guess he had to save it all of these years in order to be able to wear it. His shirt features a lovely drawing on the back done by his six-year old self of some sort of deformed horse. A Picasso in the making.
The boys were playing Whiffleball, which is a sort of baseball with wimpy tools: a plastic bat and a plastic ball with holes all over it. My dad saw the baseball-like action and simply had to join in, but all of his years of high school and college baseball did not prepare him for whiffleball and there was quite a bit of whiffing going on. My brother pitched to me next and I did much better. I am a hitting machine. Too bad I can't do any of the other parts of the sport, like catch or throw or run.
Next we played "cornhole," which sounds disgusting but is actually just a midwestern version of a beanbag toss, using corn in the bags instead of beans. You get four cornbags and you throw them at a board/stand thing that has a hole in it and try to get the cornbags in the hole. Landing in the cornhole gets you three points, landing on the board gets you one point. I played against J. and lost the first game 3-0, and then won the second game 1-0. I decided to quit while I was ahead and while there was a weiner dog that urgently wanted to sit on my lap and be petted. J. played with my brother against my dad and my bro's friend John. John pretty much singlehandedly smoked the competition at first. It started out 12-1, but then the other team came back. It was so exciting that I forgot to watch the end and see who won.
God, I am so country. Sometimes I forget that I'm a total hick, having lived in cities for the past 13 years but I really am. I know how to play horseshoes and I have ridden around in a gigantic truck barefoot.
Once the mosquitos started to eat us alive so badly that one guy had blood running down his leg, we decided it was time to leave the campers and go get ourselves a fancy restaurant dinner.