We took yet another long trip this last week and a half and so here, in prosaic form, I present to you the summary of said trip.
Jessica and Abigail headed out to Washington before me to get some extra time in with the Forland/Peer clan whilst I ‘slaved away’ at work.
What happened during that time is really a bit mysterious to me, but I know that great sums of money were exchanged with barely a trace on my end.
Items were bought, stuffed animals were obtained, and somewhere along the way Abby got a silverish plastic crown.
As if that weren’t enough she grabbed a handful of noodles away from her Grandpa Clair and was not beaten and left to hang in the dungeons.
The lack of discipline is not a surprise since Grandparents are well known perpetrators of baby spoiling.
I missed Jessica a lot and we talked on the phone some, but mostly we just missed one another since I had meals with other families who graciously hosted me.
That being said, Friday was a total relief – going to see my family.
Except that my laptop’s display was hard to see with the people in front of me on the airplane reclining – a real pain in the eyes.
Friday night, at what felt like 1:20 Central Standard Time (AKA Texas Time) I arrived at Portland International Airport.
John hitched a ride with Clair and they picked me up, even waiting for my luggage.
We lugged the luggage and headed home (home being in Vancouver, WA).
Upon arrival I was glad to see Jessica and Abby.
Abby was glad to be up near midnight and greeted me by running to the dogs.
I felt tired and second rate given that my daughter was more excited about the dogs.
The rest of the time in WA pretty much went the same as far as Abby was concerned – cats and dogs are cooler than me.
John and Becca moved to Seattle Sunday and we helped.
I rode up with John, Linda rode with Becca, and Jessica and Abigail rode with Clair.
Upon moving the contents of the truck into the 6th floor of the apartment via elevator (through a garage none the less) we returned the U-haul truck and headed to the Sound.
There we checked out the Aquarium.
The aquarium was cool.
It was the second aquarium I’ve been to that has had a sea dragon.
You should go to an aquarium with sea dragons, they’re about as cool as anything else called ‘animals.’
They look like plants if you don’t know what you’re looking for – but instead they’re like plants and sea horses mixed together.
Dinner that evening in Seattle was somewhat disrupted by the understaffed restaurant, and Jessica’s under cooked fish.
The waitress was cheerful and immediately informed us that the cooks (chefs?) often under cooked the fish.
She then offered to have the fish cooked some more.
Then, when Clair wanted to pay the bill the bill was not brought for a long time, the manager was awkward, and in the end we wondered how the place had stayed open.
The food was good for everyone else, but the staffing seemed to be a critical issue.
The rest of the time in Washington was really neat.
Tuesday we went to Mt. St. Helen – which ranks 4th in my all-time coolest places I’ve been to list.
If you haven’t seen Mt. St. Helen you should do so now.
Now that you’re back, what did you think?
What was your favorite part?
Oh, I liked that, too.
OR to CA
Wednesday we said good-bye to Linda and Clair (sadly, mind you, we did have a great time and we miss our families) and began what was a pretty long drive down to my Grandparents’ place in California.
The drive was a mere 600 miles, but due to the roads we had to drive it took us 15 hours.
We drove into Oregon and stopped for lunch in a town called [some town in OR here].
We ate lunch at ‘The Sizzler’ which is a restaurant that we had fond memories of in Nevada.
Those memories were either delusional, or we ate at one of the lesser franchises.
Jo, the waitress we had was about as friendly as a bowl of rice crispies – without the milk.
She was an older gal, and I think she lost her social skills one day in her purse, and they’ve never been seen again.
After ‘the Sizzler’ we headed to get gas.
I pulled up to the gas pump and a gal hurried up to the car and quickly shouted out to me, “Your tanks on the other side!”
I replied to her, “Oh, is this a full service pump?”
Which is a normal question, because I haven’t seen one of those in years.
“NO, You’re in Oregon,” she replied.
So I pulled up to another pump and another gal ran up to the car and asked what type of gas I’d like.
I quickly responded by saying, “Is this a full service pump as well?”
“No, you’re in Oregon,” was once again the reply.
I knew I was in Oregon – this was obvious. I knew it once I crossed the Columbian and the sign said ‘Entering Oregon.’
That was enough of a clue for me.
After that I never thought to myself, “Hey, what if I’m in Nebraska?”
So, when I was told for the second time I was in Oregon I was really sure I was in Oregon.
I asked her, “I know I’m in Oregon, but why can’t I pump my own gas?”
This was a silly question, because obviously, “Oregon and New Jersey don’t let you pump your own gas.”
So I told her to put the regular gas in the car and was done with it.
So here’s the dilemma: What kind of degree in school, special training, or certification does it take to spend your day breathing in noxious gas fumes whilst the drivers are carefully protected from them?
Why should women (or at some gas stations I suppose men) be forced to run around in the summer heat telling people that they’re in Oregon?
I will most likely never move to Oregon because this travesty is too great.
We finally left Oregon through ‘Grant’s Pass,’ which came with great recommendation from my Grandmother.
I was told it would be much more scenic.
We saw Elk, the ocean, boats, surfers, four-wheel drive trucks on the beach and Elvis.
OK, so we didn’t see Elvis.
We also saw really windy roads that were covered in fog and hellish to drive on.
Mostly the bad roads were due to a fine detail that my grandma failed to point out: Take the road to Ukiah (where I was born) because highway 1 is extremely curvy and slow going.
Jessica was going to kill me for taking that road because she was tired of being in the car, sick from the road, and tired from being awake so long.
We finally made it to Philo, CA at 12:22 and we went to bed shortly after that.
Since I had caused Jessica such great distress on the night before I promised her I’d get up with Abigail in the morning.
Well, as luck would have it morning came.
And like some mornings in life it came way earlier than I expected and Abigail ushered it in with great gusto.
So, I got up with her and we started the day in the home that I call home in California.
I grew up a good portion of my life in Mendocino, as a young child and as a teenager I would spend parts of my summers there.
So we started the day there off to a good start, Abby got to meet my grand-parents, they got to meet her, and grand-parents were dubbed great grandparents.
And they are great grand-parents, I’m grateful to have them.
Thursday afternoon we went up to my Uncle Eric and Aunt Willette’s.
These two are just a neat godly couple.
If you’ve met me, then you generally know how my uncle is, or as is often put, “Randy, you’re a lot like your Uncle Eric.”
Which is a good complement, I’ll take it.
Someday, I might even frame it and put it up in my office somewhere.
We talked about family stuff, funny stuff, and theology.
I think that Jessica and I learned more in one hour of talking with him than we have in the whole year from sermons at various churches.
He’s a gifted teacher and theologian.
My little cousins Hannah and Heidi were cute too, Abigail got along with them great and they were off having fun in no time.
Thursday evening my parents arrived, and later that night Ed and Shari arrived with Becky – but that’s skipping ahead.
However, it was so late at night we were in bed, so while we waited for Ed and Shari and Becky and Brennan, the rest of the family already there ate dinner.
After dinner my mom went into the living room with the little girls whilst the rest of the adults took a break.
The girls were screaming with glee and running all through the house, even Abigail.
Friday we got up and started off the festivities by exchanging gifts with the family – some for Abigail and one for me even (a hair early, I know).
Abby got lots of stuff for her birthday, including cats, lots of them.
She likes them all.
I got a Dave Brubeck CD (if you don’t know who that is, you should find out, you’d be pleasantly surprised) and the Complete Mr. Bean series on DVD.
Jessica was saddened by the DVD’s since she is not fond of Mr. Bean, however, he cracks me up.
Then we went to the beach.
OK, sort of.
We went to Mendocino, which is like going to the beach only different.
Instead its like going to the rocky cliffs along the ocean with periodic sand bars.
The sand bars aren’t too bad, but instead of having salty peanuts to make you drink more beer, they just have salty ocean water to make you crave fresh water.
It was cold and the water was colder, so the adults didn’t go in, however, the kiddo’s (Abby and Brennan) did go in – they got wet and sandy and about 2 minutes into it we all thought about how nice towels would have been.
Then, after the beach we went hunting.
You will not be surprised to find out we hunted for Ice Cream.
So we went and found “Cowlick’s,” a local ice cream shop.
Then, after desert we went to Denny’s and had dinner.
There, at a table next to us (and, as Dave Barry would say, I’m not making this up) there was a woman with a beard.
The sad thing is that she was pretty old and so I think that she simply gave up on her trimming of it, either that or she was one of the first hippies in Mendocino.
So we went home and all went to bed at some point after that.
Seeing how Friday is followed by Saturday in most weeks, we were glad that Saturday had followed Friday, but we were sad that our trip was nearing ‘the end.’
Saturday we had family coming from other parts of California to meet Abby and see us, so we hung out on the farm.
Becky and I had a good talk and a nice 4 mile walk (half downhill, and half uphill).
I was glad to spend time with my sister.
Then, we got back from the walk and spent time with the family, but later in the afternoon Ed and I went for a longer walk, maybe closer to 5 miles or so.
We too had a good talk and I enjoyed the periodic joking that Ed and I are wont to do.
I won’t tell you what we talked about because its none of your business.
But on our way back to the farm we ran into Sha’i, Jess and Brennan – who had also gone to take a walk.
They did so because they’re copy-cats.
That night we went to dinner to celebrate my brother’s 24st birthday, even though he hadn’t technically had it yet (we were a day early).
We went to a nice Mexican restaurant in Philo called “Libby’s.”
I had two glasses of wine, which was one too many, and so pretty much everything everyone said was funny.
What was even funnier was when we were leaving the place and Ed ‘let wind’ (barking spiders, fluff, toot, pass gas, fart, emit gas etc.) – I thought I would die laughing.
It was like laughing gas.
I sobered up in about 30 minutes and when we got home we played cribbage (Ed, Jess, Aunt Willette and I).
Willette and I won – we rocked.
Ed and Jess came close though – they were unfortunately not skunked.
Sunday was leaving time.
This was sad and I sobbed all the way down the hill but had pretty much dried it up by Philo.
Boonville hadn’t changed much either.
We looked forward to Sauceleto (sorry if I spelled that wrong) because there we’d pick up Sean Franzen and he’d accompany us to the SFO ariport where we’d fly home.
Seeing Sean was great, I recommend it for everyone.
You should contact Sean and ask him to take pictures of you because he’s good.
If you don’t we’ll have to hunt you down and force you to eat mushrooms until they really don’t taste like anything.
So, to sum things up, we took a trip, we flew, we drove, we walked, we talked, and on our flight home Abby stayed up the whole time except for the last fifteen minutes of each flight.
We got home late Sunday night and we’re finally beating jet lag.
Resting in Him,