Signs of Spring

fullsizerender-2Spring weather beckoned us to our favorite backyard park for a weekend get-away, and we happily obliged. We arrived on Friday evening with plenty of daylight to set up and settle in. Chef Cliff prepared a perfect filet mignon for Date Night, along with grilled asparagus, baked potato and caprese salad. An always reliable Ravenswood old vine zinfandel provided an ideal accompaniment.

Saturday morning was brisk and breezy, but soon gave way to a crisp afternoon that found us walking the length of the park to check out the Be Happy Chili Cook-Off being held in one of the camping loops. The event included more than 40 entrants, hundreds of people, a Jenga tournament, and plenty of festivity–all in support of OWLS, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults with intellectual deficiencies. We met Tom Dozier, a two-time winner of the Terlingua International Chili Championship, as well as many other competitions. He helped convince us to enter next year’s event and introduce folks to Cliff’s authentic Texas Red. Our only regret was that our lunch of grilled hot dogs and crinkle cut fries left us with little stomach space for Tom’s tasty chili.

The long walk back enabled us to enjoy the sights and sounds of spring, including budding trees and flowers, as well as a cacophony of tweets from the many species of birds. Our excursion ended with a luxurious nap, which then gave way to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, including grilled shrimp shared by neighboring campers. A nighttime campfire served the dual purpose of prompting quiet conversation and guarding against an encroaching chill.

Sunday morning was cool and clear, but didn’t turn out to be the frost event of weather forecasts and mobile alerts. We watched CBS Sunday Morning, read The New York Times, listened to Baroque music and enjoyed Bloody Marys, all with dogs happily snoozing on our lap and at our side.

We plan to return next weekend for more of the same–but only if we can get a spot. We’re currently No. 3 on the wait list.