Teaching school was all about hats. The teacher hat. The judge hat. The social worker, stand-up comedian, the occasional medic and…the theatre connoisseur for 60+ 10 & 11 yr olds with varying amounts of enthusiasm for my endeavor :) With the goal to keep it truly educational we did our yearly play about California, the gold rush & its early industrial years. One of the songs was "California, here we come, right back where we started from…" and Tony & I recently sang this to each other in giggly voices (ok, mine was, his was a deep baritone with dulcet tones) because we were so proud of ourselves for coming up with a funny. You see, my family used to live in Southern CA eons ago & we headed back for the boys' priesthood ordination to be done in their dad's ward (different place in CA, but the stucco houses & bars on the windows/around the properties sure took me back!).
Here we have one of those attractive shots that 12 yr olds are bound to take at least once when bored.
While waiting in the airport for our ride to arrive we did a couple guess-what-they-are 'pictures' from Jaydon's trail mix. This is a tree in the fall if you couldn't tell…
And this is a Jyson vignette also to help pass the time :) Before that they found a rather large corner to throw their ball back & forth…the boundaries had to be re-established a few times after some minor people infractions (the airport staff were incredibly tolerant I must say)
Upon arrival we didn't waste any time...
...getting to know the most adorable California natives through a ritualistic bout of peek-a-boo
works every time :)
With limited time we mostly just walked up & down Fisherman's Wharf so we could see the sights and then end at the seals. So MANY to see!!
Hard to really see it, but I've always loved beautiful panoramas of the sea
Punkin' bonding with Sienna
Two pics to get all of the loved ones! Bro, wife & two darling girlies I wanted to [gently] squinch every chance I got.
"The" candy store where everything is Wonka-sized (we were strong & didn't buy a thing, we took pics instead)
San Francisco, where you can go to an oxygen bar? Is this Lorax-bottled-air-country or something? I asked my cousin who lives here as well & she said they flavor O2 & you can basically inhale 'shots' of it. Supposedly it's 'safe' but no thanks, I'll stick with the 'all-natural' FREE stuff all around me [albeit likely polluted!]
This incredible bread-art/restaurant place had a huge vent pumping the smell of their baking bread out onto the street. So not nice for those of us true window shoppers.
These spray-paint artists left me totally speechless. They do these pieces with a bowl, spray paint & a little board & end up with incredible skylines, planets, and galaxies. For $20 I was really tempted, but I didn't...
I wonder if I'll regret it later.
I was surprised to see so many of these…human statues? Better than just begging for money with a cup I guess :) And they suuure are creative! I honestly have no clue what this guy is. It's like green elmer's glue, plastic army man with flowers, a whistle and whirly-gig on top. Logically it does not compute, but this is San Francisco after all...
Our friendly little bread thief…like, out of your hand when you aren't looking--guard that PB&Honey with your whole body, folks!!
Okay. This was MY highlight of the trip. Stopped in traffic with your pet IGUANA?? hanging out the window?? What happened to Rover? And like, he doesn't fall out, really?
To reward our exercise we celebrated with Ghiradelli sundaes! Ohh, the richness of it all!
She loves these boys & it's reciprocal alright. They played so well with her…she even roped Jaydon into a tea-party & Jyson was especially obedient to her commands :) Darling!!
After we dropped the boys off to their Dad we headed to Ikea for dinner & browsing (got Rhett-man his b-day wooden train set!!!!). The best part is that we got to meet up with my cousin Aubrey, whom I haven't seen in years. Literally. She's a royal blast & we talked into the night until both of us just simultaneously stopped mid-sentence from sheer exhaustion. That's how you know you're tight :)
How did 12 yrs go by already? These boys have taught me so very much and I am so proud to be their mama. To see the righteous choices and decisions they're making, that's a mommy paycheck, to be sure.
Getting us all here was pretty miraculous: 3 different flights & 1 train to be met, & then the Tony story: After working all day Saturday he headed to the airport only to be told there was a mistake & there was no room for him on the flight. So, they paid for his dinner, his taxi to Indianapolis that night 2 1/2 hr drive), his hotel AND refunded the price of the ticket. I'm glad it wasn't me, hon-bun, but boy that's what I call a huge blessing incognito. He arrived at 9:15 (church started at 9:30, & whaddya know Jyson threw up that morning whilst with his other parents…) so we rushed over to the church only to realize he didn't have a tie. And I forgot the ordination papers back at Spence & Meagan's. Good thing the ordination was after the block. So…we get it all & get back just in time for Tony to go to 15 minutes of Priesthood with Scott while Spence & Meagan chased 2 toddlers & the rest of us hung out to see if Jyson was going to make it. Gratefully he was feeling better so we went ahead & it was all wonderful.
The whole entire crew
We took the boys back to Spence & Meagan's with us for the next couple days & I feel so remiss because I didn't get a picture of Meagan's foodie masterpieces (plural). We were all uber impressed. And there was a ton of food!! Which is saying heck of a lot with my bottom-less pit family. Honey/cilantro/soy sauce marinated chicken kabobs, veggie skewers, corn-on-the-cob (I haven't heard Tony effuse like that over a food item. like, ever.), brown rice, a GORGEOUS artisan-looking dutch-oven bread round, watermelon & apple crisp. Mmmmm…my mouth is watering…Sunday we just enjoyed each other's company & all 10 of us happily squished into their 2 bedroom apt for the night.
Nana & the boys found an apricot tree at the bank (where there was additional, legit parking at S&M's apt complex) that the boys climbed & picked from. The 2nd time the security guard came over and told them they couldn't anymore. The trees aren't sprayed and they might have bugs. Uh, we call that organic :)
Tony & my Dad left for home the next morning (Tony was in CA for a total of 24 hrs…that's dedication) in order to relieve our angel-babysitters--we had 3 different ones for the weekend & the kiddos had a ball!! I was blessed to stay and spend a little more time with my family :) He's a rock, that man of mine.
Here's a morning pic of my little miss from one friend who watched them. I feel so grateful that I have those I trust 100% with my littles!
Back to the vacation...
The garlic capitol of the world. Nope, didn't try the ice-cream. Sarin & Spence did (previously) and said it was disgusting so I chose to believe them.
The last pic Nana took for me before we took her to the airport.
After playing Phase 10 (& something else I can't remember at the moment) that next morning we went swimming in the pool (the water brings out the WILD in those dudes). Spence & Meagan's apt complex has a really strict 2 guest limit for the pool so I hung out with Maya by the side (& it's a good thing we're honest cuz we were carded TWICE by the security folks)
After that the boys headed back with their other parents (for the summer) & Meagan & I got some great bonding time in for that day & half of the next. She is the most easy-going person I have every met (my bro too)! Soo incredibly accommodating and generous. We had a bunch of 'maybes' in the plans that would have required a lot of extra driving/car coordination (they only have 1 right now) around on her/Spence's part & they were just willing to do whatever--and with a smile! Not only that, but it was tons of fun to just spend some one-on-one with her & the little girlies for the first time ever! We made delicious brownies, went clothes shopping (thanks Spence :), and talked and talked about pretty much everything! Thanks you guys, for one incredibly relaxing, true vacation!! We love you so much and miss you already!!