Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 3
Sunday, June 9, 2013

Going back to Cali

As we drew closer last Saturday to my parent's house, my kids all requested the song 'Going back to Cali' be put on. And then I read the words on Jeremy's phone and realized what my 7 year old was singing! I don't think I am a good influence on my children sometimes! A week spent in lovely California at my parents' house and visiting with family was wonderful. And this time Jeremy was able to stay with us the whole time which made it just about perfect. It couldn't be truly perfect as we were missing one family but they were in our thoughts. And since we had this guy with us:

 brace yourself for many, many pictures!

My brother David and his family were with us for a few days before leaving on a family trip to Hawaii.   My brother Peter and his family live close by and were over often and my sister Christina was around whenever she wasn't working or playing roller derby.

Monday for Memorial Day we went to the Golden Gate National Cemetery.  I have never been there and was truly humbled at the site of so many men and women who have served in the military.  The location was awe inspiring, the speakers good and the music hokey - just like a good Memorial day ceremony should be.  And they had hot chocolate and doughnuts which kids loved and helped make up for the cold and drizzly conditions.  Jeremy was thinking about his dad and I had teary eyes watching Peter stand up as they played the Navy song.
Then since it was Memorial Day we turned on our windshield wipers and those crazy enough to attempt it drove to Half Moon Bay.  Our plan as we drove through the rain was simply to park by the beach, eat our lunch and then go home.  But our kids saw a break in the drizzle and were off to play on the deserted beach.  They stayed there for a couple of hours ignoring the rain and the cold.
Then home to de-sand everything and enjoy cousins and hot dogs.
Board and card games were big in the late afternoon/evenings.

Tuesday we went up to San Francisco for the day.  We went to the Aquarium on the Bay and Fisherman's wharf for some clam chowder and then to meet up with David's family at the Exploratoirum.  The Aquarium was good but not my favorite.  The new Exploratorium was awesome.  You could stay there forever if your brain didn't go on overload after a few hours.  Spencer was Jeremy's shadow, Allison and Lathan were in their own world and I got to hang out with Robyn and Taylor and whatever cousin Robyn was playing with at that moment.  My favorite line from the day was when Jeremy pointed out to Spencer an apron at the Boudin restaurant that said "Dad, king of the grill" and asked him if we should get it.  Spencer's reply, "Yeah, that would be perfect for Jason" (Jeremy's grill crazy brother).  Jeremy slammed, moved on.

Wednesday we said good-bye to David's family and went to visit the redwoods with Peter's family.  We successfully made the drive there without anyone throwing up due to open windows, deep breathing on Allison's part and driving very slowly.  And coming back we bought out Trader Joe's supply of cookie butter as they are out in SLC.

Wednesday night we left tired out kids with my parents so Peter and Christina could introduce us to to this really good burrito place and then while Christina left us to meet her friends we went on to watch Star Trek together.  It was nice to hang out and visit a bit.

Thursday we got up super early to trek up to San Francisco for another day of touristy activities.  We took the ferry out to Alcatraz in the morning.  I was worried that Robyn wouldn't be interested in it but they all loved listening to the audio tour and walking around.
I thought this should be added to our family rules:
Then after reviving at Golden Gate Park for lunch we spent the afternoon at the Academy of Science.  An absolutely amazing place.  My kids could have lived in the butterfly house or aquarium.  Of course Robyn did and we lost her for a few minutes when we all went left through the one way eleveator and she didn't.  Thankfully really nice security guards work there.  Robyn pointed out that we kept leaving the exhibit for the next one before she was done.  Which is true...stinks to be the youngest sometimes.

After our cold and northern California style beach day Monday, Friday we tried again.  It was a beautiful day in Capitola.  No waves for the boogie boards but that didn't stop kids from trying.  I went out once and came back when my legs lost all feeling.  Kids thought I was pretty wimpy.  Spencer didn't think he needed sun block and now has learned that he does, the hard way.
Taylor knew he was at the beach and refused to walk out to his towel.  He kept trying to lay down and stretch out on the sand.
My lovely parents who cooked massive amounts of food and dealt with the chaos of my family descending on them with generosity and humor.
It was a wonderful week that flew by way too fast for all of us.  We got in the car to make the long drive back on Saturday at 4 am feeling quite sad yet glad for the family in our life.

You can view the rest of Jeremy's photos in this gallery, including ones he will continue to add after this initial batch for the blog post!