|Another reason why I was a bit nervous ...|
But Kenen was the biggest surprise ... how well he adjusted to being on the road, sleeping in different beds ... being in different places.
We left on Thursday evening, picked Dave up from work and headed straight out of town. We made good time and stayed the night in Yreka, arriving at about 10:30pm. Kenen and Kristen shared a king size bed, and Ryan and Ethan shared a sofa-bed. Slept longer than we would have liked, and went down to have breakfast at the hotel. We expected a continental breakfast, and instead were surprised to find the biggest hots to plel breakfast we've ever seen. Eggs, sausage, biscuits and gravy, and much more.
We were going to be headed into the Bay Area on a holiday week-end Friday afternoon, and expected to be in heavy traffic for a couple of hours, but instead were surprised to sail through until we were about 10 minutes from the exit to my dad's house. Also surprised my dad by showing up an hour earlier than he expected ... good thing we had a key to his house.
The next day we made plans to go to Santa Cruz for the day. It was surprisingly hot, and not surprisingly crowded. It was still a great day. I re-connected with my dear friend Kari Gale and her husband Noah while the kids played, and then we splurged and bought a few tickets to ride a couple of rides on the Boardwalk. Kenen was not tall enough to ride the Giant Dipper, so I sat with him while he ate an ice cream cone. Then he got to go on his first roller coaster-type ride ... and loved (no surprise) the Logger's Revenge. Wish we could have sent all the kids on more rides ... maybe next time.
|He loves the ocean ... just like Dad|
|just a wee bit crowded|
|Heading onto the Giant Dipper|
|Kari & Noah Gale chatting w/ Dave|
|Not sure what Kenen was doing ...|
|Forgot to zoom in ... trust me Kenen's on this ride|
|Brothers heading up the water slide|
|Playing a 35 year old "Whoosh" game. Now dubbed |
"The Speedy Bead Game"
Instead of BBQ'ing something ourselves, Dad treated us (as he had been all week-end) to some exceptionally yummy food from Famous Dave's BBQ restaurant. We ate while watching the 4th of July special from Wash., D.C. ... and then Dave and the boys and I went up to watch fireworks across the valley from the "mountain" behind my dad's house. Kenen was absolutely delighted by the display, and it was perfect because they weren't too loud.
However, the purchase of an overabundance of rolls ended up being a highlight on our drive home. We stopped at a rest area, and saw a neatly dressed man with a sign saying that he would wash our windows to earn some money. I suggested Dave offer him some bread, and so he went to talk to him. Turns out he has a ministry working with recovering addicts. They are 9 of them ... So we gave him the 10 free rolls. He was thrilled.
Oh, and one of our traditional stops between CA and Portland is Rice Hill ... just north of Roseburg. I don't think it's even a town ... just a highway stopover. However, they have this great ice cream place ... served out of a trailer. We were standing in line trying to plan out our double dip cones ... and then noticed a menu item called "The Pig Out". This was 15 scoops of ice cream for $12. Well, since we are always the frugal ones, we figured out quickly that this was a great deal. So we did that instead of a bunch of separate cones. I guess I thought somehow, the scoops would all be in a line, but instead they were all piled on top of each other. SURPRISE! now the peanut butter/chocolate is mixing with mocha almond fudge which is mixing with the coconut cream. And the problem with all this mixing is that there are family members who hate peanut butter, coconut, nuts, coffee ... well, you get the picture. Next time, we will only order flavors that everyone likes. Best decision was giving Kenen his own cone.
All in all ... it was a good trip ... not as long as we would have liked ... but we're thankful for the time together as a family.