As I hadn't been to Davis in a while, I decided that Picnic Day 2013 would be a great day to return. Picnic day is "the day" at UC Davis. By that I mean the day when alumni, students, and family converge on the campus to see what the university and town is all about.
I headed out bright and early in the morning with Heidi Doxey, a friend from Pleasanton, and Charity Tanner who used to live in Davis and now also lives in the Bay Area. We were supposed to leave at 7 am, but Charity was confused and showed up at my house at 6 am. I feel somewhat bad that she had to see me immediately after having woken up. Although I am generally a morning person, my appearance after having been woken up by surprise is bad beyond amusing.
We arrived at the LDS Institute breakfast early enough to get the biscuits and gravy while they were fresh. I don't know what I think about the new Institute Director there, but if I had to judge the man solely on the quality of his gravy, I admire him greatly. It was good to meet up with a few of the old timers, though there weren't as many there as I might have hoped. Either way, it was nice to be back in that place.
A group of us then went to watch the parade. To my surprise, we found perfectly nice seats in the grand stands. The quality of the parade was better than I would have hoped for. My favorite part of the parade was probably the cool variety of bikes. We also saw a few bands, and lots of floats of agricultural type clubs, UCD being the foremost agricultural school in the state.
Then the three of us that came together along with my buddy from LA, Stuart Hall, went to several exhibits. My favorites were watching chickens hatch and watching the horse breeding process. Though the horse breeding process is not as cutesy wootsy as chicken hatching, they at least brought out a 19-day mule for the crowed to see. I will say that I'm now far more educated about the collection of stud semen and impregnating of mares than I was before!
We then headed over to the Doxie Derby, one of the classic events of picnic day. We only made it for the last few rounds, but it was well worth it to see the championship between the standard Dachshund and the mini. The standard, named Pancake, smoked the mini, yclept "Little Joe Henry" in the first round. It was almost insulting, unfair that the little guy had to face the giant Pancake. But alas, in round two, fatigue wore on the standard, and little Joe Henry won! The crowd roared it's delight at the comeback and upset. And then in the final round, again Little Joe Henry came racing back after a slow start. Truly it was a great moment for the little guy! Here is a link to the final race! Always remember Little Joe Henry!After that we just walked around campus, swung by the battle of the bands, strolled though a small section of the Arboretum, and headed back to the institute. At he Institute, we watched the Institute Choir sing. Though the choir was small, they sang with power and beauty.
From there, we headed home, stopping for dinner and ice cream at the Vacaville Fenton's on the way back.