Sunday, Jack and our son Zac worked at an ongoing project of trying to repair our refrigerator. Originally, something caused the refrigerator section to freeze the food. After they replaced the parts, the freezor section began to defrost.

This project to determine the cause has resulted in weeks-long analyses, watching YouTube videos and moving food to our outside freezer. The latest attempt to replace the damper failed. We probably will replace the whole appliance.

After this last attempt, we loaded Zac’s kids in his car and trash in my car, and all headed to the Transfer Station. Then we went to lunch and kicked back a bit.

Zac and the kids went back to the house but I asked Jack to go to the Village Lane with me. I was in the mood to play tourist and had visited the lane since most of the little shops emptied. Now, most of them are filled.

So was the town. Tourists abounded on this beautiful day that warmed up into the 80s.

Still, we found one open parking space in front of Idyllwild Bake Shop and Brew. We had eaten but visited the restaurant anyway to look over the menu. We took note of many interesting sandwiches and specials for another time.

Jack, not a shopper, moved quickly through the lane and then found a place to sit, dozing off.

I visited the Sage and the Butterfly, finally meeting Violeta, and perusing the beautiful art in her store, much of it from local artists. A couple of locals stopped by, too, visiting with their friend. Unfortunately for Idyllwild, Violeta will be closing her shop at the end of the month to take on the life of a gypsy, traveling with her husband and selling wares online and at shows.

I wandered to the back of the lane to visit El Buen Cacao where I met Erik, Jessica and Sofia, their adorable 3-year-old. What a treasure that place is.  Erik and Jessica roast and grind their own cocoa beans, and make candy, shakes and hot chocolate from scratch.

Erik enthusiastically and engagingly explains to new customers the process of making their consumables. I left with a bar of 100 percent dark chocolate and new friends.

I then wandered into Sub Rosa Apothecary and enjoyed a chat with Julia, who owns two of my son Zac’s knitted monkeys, and I pointed them out in a top corner shelf. I shot a photo of them with my phone and shared them with Zac, who was thrilled. I purchased a few delightful things from her shop.

Then I headed to Merkaba to purchase some herbs and asked Ron about coconut sugar, since I don’t eat cane sugar. He pointed out something called hail sugar, made from beets.

I enthusiastically bought a jar and when Jack and I got back to the house, I melted that beautiful Amazonian chocolate in a double boiler, and added beet sugar, coconut oil, chile spice and orange peel. Then I poured it into a rectangle container, let it cool and had myself a very satisfying taste of my own paleo chocolate bar.

Erik said he makes chocolate bars with coconut sugar but was fresh out at the time. I will be back for that.

That cute little Sofia and my little grandson Finley are about the same age. I imagined them playing together in a few years on the Idyllwild School playground.

Becky Clark