Where do I start? Guess had better start at seeing my brother (been 5 or so years) and sister-in-law. It was wonderful seeing them in their own environment.
My drive in from Needles was pretty uneventful. Next time cross that desert from Needles to Barstow, think will bring my own porta potty as that is a very long drive with rest areas closed. I did pass a "Korman Woman on the Go" pink semi. I waved as I drove by and the driver honked (I have KS Driving for the Cure plates on my truck).
They had just finished an extensive kitchen remodeling and it is beautiful - so different from my last trip out to see them in 1985, when my brother turned 40 (that was a fun time with stupid birthday presents). So most of the stuff that had been in the kitchen, laundry room, etc was still stored around the living room and in a POD storage. It was just a beautiful kitchen.
I got there in time for lunch and then my brother wanted me to see what had happened to Imperial Highway we use to drive back and forth to school and town. The spot where I ran out of gas one night and tried to turn around blocking lanes, he likes to point out, is now - you guessed it - malls, stores and more malls. We drove by the house we use to live in Yorba Linda and then went to Trader Joe's - one of my favorite stores.
Nephew Jeremy came over with his son Dustin, whom I had not met. Since my brother was getting a new storage shed put in the back yard, we took their Airedale dog Skye down to Camp Bow Wow for the day. The Camp is a doggie day and overnight care facility. Skye just loved going to the Camp and running and playing with the other dogs her size. She was so excited in the car, she couldn't contain herself. After lunch, my bro drove me around to other places we use to frequent. For dinner Monday night, we went to Benihana's - a Japanese restaurant where they cook the meal in front of you. I had never been to that kind of restaurant before and was just thoroughly enjoying the entertainment and the food. And, it was good too.
Tuesday we went to Disneyland. Nephew Jeremy works there and he gets a certain number of guest passes each year. His son, Dustin, myself and my brother and sister-in-law all went for the day. I had a ball, got myself a souvenir Mickey Mouse sweat shirt and just got wrapped up in the whole day. Prices certainly aren't like they were when it opened in 1955. I remember when we got in for under $10 each and had a coupon book with A, B, C, D and E coupons. Now to go one day, by the end of this year, it's $101 for 10 years old and up and that's for Disneyland and California Adventures; for 3 thru 9 years it's $91; and if you just want to go to one Park it's $76 for 10 years and up and $68 for under 10 years. They are doing lots of restructuring in California Adventures as it hasn't been very popular. The only ride I really liked there was California Soaring - gliding over various scenic sights of California. I could have done that 3 more times. It wasn't crowded so we didn't have to really wait for rides. Wow, how do families afford it? And then you eat and buy souvenirs inside and $14 for parking. My Monte Cristo sandwich was around $25 at the Pirates of Caribbean restaurant. That fun day will be with me for the rest of my life.
Sabrina, my nephew's wife, met us for supper at Anita's New Mexico Style restaurant that night. She is expecting in mid-April. They were both going to find out the next day what the sex of their baby is. My brother is hoping for a girl.
Wednesday, I slept in and then met family to have lunch at Tranquil Tea Room in downtown Fullerton. That evening we went to Costa Mesa to meet niece Jennifer and be introduced to her husband Mike. Jennifer and Mike were married last June and were very happy to "officially" announce they are expecting in July. We waited for her brother to show up and when they did, we peppered them with wanting to know. My brother got his wish - a girl. We all went to dinner at a locally owned Italian restaurant called Soprano's. While we were waiting for dinner to be served, I gave Jeremy and Sabrina a family heirloom that belonged to their paternal grandparents and to Jennifer a special ceramic piece from her paternal great-grandmother. I also gave them ribbon windsocks I had made. I had selected a pink one for nephew before I had left and before everyone knew the sex of the baby. Jennifer got a yellow one - is that more female then male? We'll see. Dinner was very good by the way.
By the way, my brother has 5 cats. Here are a few of them:
The others didn't want their pictures taken. Anyway, more in the next blog entry. Having trouble saving this whole week in one entry, so splitting it up. Will start with Thursday's activities next.