Henry Takes Tacoma

Six months of tournaments culminated this weekend with Henry’s participation in the 2017 Washington State Chess Championship Tournament at the Tacoma Convention Center. To qualify, Henry had to win at least 3 games in at least one qualifying tournament this year. He managed to do that in all six tournaments in which he played. He had to turn it up a notch for Tacoma, though, as every kid there had won at least as many games as he had; and most had been playing for several years. H-man took it all in stride, winning two out of his five games in the state tournament. We’re so proud of you, Henry!

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Nightswimming deserves a quiet night

We spent 50 percent of our time this week in the pool, so it’s fitting to have ended our vacation with a night swim. It took us a few days in La Quinta to realize the only thing Henry and Ruby really needed was several hours in the water every day. In fact, it’s probably all I needed, too. 

That said, Carl and Kaye showed us a wonderful time in the Coachella Valley this week. We loved every minute of spring break – from the wildlife in the Living Desert to speeding in the convertible, to yes, arriving 45 minutes early for mass on Sunday. 

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for another wonderful visit. Can’t wait to come back. 

Romance and Sex Life of the Date 

The headline worked on us, too. This is what the sign says in front of Shields Date Garden on Highway 111 in Indio, CA. After a four year hiatus, we’re back in the Coachella Valley to visit my mom and dad for spring break. We’d been craving a date shake ever since hearing about them, so Carl and Kaye took us to Shields today for some date education. The roadside attraction’s short film, Romance and Sex Life of the Date, taught us about this fruit’s unlikely existence. Apparently, there exist no insects to pollinate date palm trees, so date farmers must perform that process. Also, dates are of course not native to the desert, so growing them is quite a natural resource and labor intensive endeavor. Which is probably why no other place is likely to replace Coachella Valley as the date capitol of the world anytime soon. Ninety five percent of the dates grown in the U.S. come from the Valley. 

After learning about the sex life of the date, we paid $5.00 a piece to stroll through the garden behind the date souvenir shop, where the owners have constructed 14 scenes from the life of Jesus Christ.