A fun family-filled side trip West


Posted by whalerho | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 03-04-2010

A few weeks into our stay in Arizona, the kids and I decided to head north to visit with family and friends along the way. Our ultimate destination was to see Silly Grandma (My mom). She lives on the beautiful central coast of California in a small picturesque town called Los Osos (Valley of the Bears). Of all the places we have visited during the last 22 months, this area is one of our all time favorites.

We took off early Friday morning, donuts and coffee in hand. Our first stop (after 7 hours of driving) was to visit Uncle Kurt, Gina, Ryan, Weston and Kyle. While the drive was long, we were excited to reach Simi Valley to see everyone. Kurt suggested I pick up the twins after school and then drop by to see Ryan during his interning session at the local fire house. Unfortunately Ryan was out on a call but we did manage to pick up the twins and chat with them a bit. We met up with Uncle Kurt at the mall and he treated us  to an “all you can eat French fry” bash together with free ice cream sundaes for everyone (he told the waiter is was everyone’s birthday!) We also had time to sit with Gina, Kurt’s new wife, and  finally got to give them their wedding present – a festive array of treasures we bought them in Mexico.

After our wonderful time with the Jaeger gang, we drove a short 15 minutes to Mac’s house. Mac is Steve’s dad (Steve is my sister Robin’s husband).   He is 92 years old and is one of the most interesting, funny and generous people we know. He seems more like 62 than 92. Really, it’s amazing. We loved spending the night in his simple house and he fixed us a breakfast of cereal and juice in the morning. He also tucked some gas money into my pocket along with a map. Not just any map, but an atlas that included Canada and Mexico. I think he has little faith in my ability to get from point A to point B!

We drove the spectacular 101/1 highway along the coast through Ventura, Santa Barbara and over the San Marcos Pass into San Luis Obispo. Along the way, we stopped for a yummy lunch in Los Olivos, a very special little town. We arrived at Mom’s house mid afternoon and the kids were as excited to see “Mr. Lucky” (her funny cat we picked up with her at the local shelter) as they were Silly Grandma herself. After a couple hours, Mom and I took off for San Luis Obispo to meet up with Robin and Steve. What a great time we four had together! Steve treated us all to a fabulous Italian dinner. I deeply cherish the time we had to talk about life and our futures.

The next day, we all headed down to the Embarcadero in Morro Bay. We enjoyed strolling the streets dotted with picturesque shops and finished the day with an amazing Mexican dinner at Taco Temple. We had more wonderful times with Silly Grandma and Robin (Steve had to get back to work) and can’t wait to plan our next get together.  Mom’s house is so amazing as it has huge windows with spectacular views of Morro Rock and the tides as they ebb and flow. We all loved just sitting around watching the tides come in and out, drawing and listening to our new CD we picked up at Boo Boo records in town.

It was really hard to say good bye (she is such a great grandmother!!) but we all really missed Ken and Hobie and it was time to get home. On our way back to Arizona, we stopped to visit with my  dear friend Sandy (we met working at Taco Bell at the young age of 16) and her daughter Emma (who is same age as Nikki). Whenever I see Sandy, it’s as if I just saw her yesterday as our friendship has a long and fun history. The two of us talked away while the girls played together and we were lucky to have Kyle (Sandy’s brother Dan’s son) come by the house and hang out with Andrew. We got back from shopping and dinner and Sandy shared some of her creative projects with me. She is such a creative girl and oh so organized. During our creative session, Dan came by to say “Hi!” He’s a great guy with a big dream of having the freedom to live on the road in his own RV!

We came back to Arizona the day before Easter and were so happy to be all together again!

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