Friday, October 10, 2003

Over the hill and through the woods to granpa's house we go...

Or, the promised trip report

Don't EVER EVER get driving directions from Expedia. They doth SUCK. If you do anyway, buy a map before you leave. They give you 'shortcuts'. Meh.

We left last Thursday morning, and got to where we thought we were supposed to turn off (no exit number was actually given, very bad), and we actually miss the exit. Lo and behold, thirty miles further there's another exit ... For The Same Road. Bad sign. We take it, since it seems to be going in the right direction. It actually isn't. it's narrow, and dark and has no other cars on it. We pass a prison, while going down this lonely road that reminds me of Close Encounters. Creepy.

To cut it short, we drove for miles in the wrong direction (south) trying to find our way back to the highway before we gave up and declared that we would take the next road that carried significant traffic in the right direction. Bonus: I saw a sign for a town I recognized in the direction we needed to go. So, back on track, we head off, with only 150 miles of needless backtracking under our belts.

We stop for gas and a map, and the remainder of the trip is uneventful. We get to our hotel and check in ... at 2 am.

Sleep happens, and we get up, have breakfast and try to jog my rusty memory of how to find D&I's house. Much fairly aimless driving around, during which we discover that a favorite old cafe is gone (sniffle) and are forced to resort to Staryucks. We buy another map, and discover I was on the wrong expressway. Embarrassing. We go see freinds, D&I approve my choice of guy, coo over my 'little wiggly pink thing' and we arrange to have dinner. Discover Chris likes Indian food. Go back to D&I's and bullshit, and then back to the hotel for sleep.

Saturday & Sunday are mostly set aside to visit Chris's aunt and Uncle in Grass Valley.
Beautiful, uneventful drive. We arrive at dinnertime and see their amazing house. It's really gorgeous, they have all manner of wildlife, a small koi pond, a gazebo, a veggie garden, fruit trees, a pool, a hot tub, and just all the neat things we'd like to have when we retire. They, of course, love FX. Everyone loves FX, since he's really charming. We sit up late and tell stories on the patio, then go to bed. In the morning we have breakfast and go wander around Nevada City, buying little cool things (I got new cheap silver hoops for my ears, and new cheap hairsticks, FX got a gobbly-noisy-thing and a book, Chris got a box of color-block magnets for the fridge, and we got some little booklet thingies for gifts). We stop for dinner at a yummy Chinese buffet, go home, take pictures with T&R and baby, head off to SJ.

Back in SJ we stop by and visit D&I again. D. is evil and introduces Chris to Star Wars Galaxies (hereafter referred to as "crack") while I. and I talk. Around midnight we finally pry Chris away from D's computer and say our goodbyes. Back to the hotel for sleep...

Monday we see my sister and the town I mostly grew up in.
We drive up to Oakland, I take Chris to my favorite dim sum resataurant EVER (if you ever go to Oakland, go to the Jade Villa on Broadway. Expensive, but worth it), we shop a bit in Oakland's Chinatown and buy a real wok (I do a lot of Asian cooking and my old flat-bottomed American wok isn't cutting it) as well as some nice cheap dishes for our asian food nights.

Next, we head to the house I grew up in. We tour my old neighborhood, take some pictures. The newest owners of our house have painted it a pale slate grey (not blue, for the first time in 30 years) and put in a slate walk. It's not so much my old house as it used to be, and I'm sad. We head off to the Mountain View Cemetery in Piedmont, becaseu it's beautiful, we have a couple of hours, and I have to show it to Chris. We end up (as I expected we might) spending 2 hours taking art photographs of the views and monuments. Off to the Windmill to meet my sister.

We get there, and Chris decides he likes my sister and her intended. We hang out, her mom gets there, and we go off to see our bio-father. He likes the baby, pictures are taken, we go to dinner. I am disappointed that nobody else could come, but we eat anyway. After we eat Far Too Much, we go back to my sister's house and talk and catch up a bit, then it's back to the hotel.

Tuesday we go see my Dad (step-dad, but we are very close) in Carmel.
We check out of the hotel, get gas and head off down the coast. The drive down 17 is pretty, and we decide to eat lunch in Capitola after we get on 1. We find a nice little diner-style restaurant with decent prices and the undersides of duck decoys tacked to the ceiling. Really Good Food, nice service (eat at the Capitola Beach House if you are ever there). We have 45 minutes left on the meter so we go shopping, not intending to buy anything. So, of course, we find a little shop that has reasonably priced frog netsuke, which I buy for Mom and Dad for Xmas gifts, and a suprise for Chris's grandma, as well. Then, having spent too much money, we go on to Dad's.

Off into the hills inland of Carmel, and we sneak up on Dad, who is vacuuming. After scaring the crap out of him (hee hee), we introduce the Baby, and Dad, of course, loves him. We go out to dinner, walk along the waterfront in Monterey and watch the seals beat each other up and cavort in the night waters. Back to Dad's, sleep. In the morning we let Chris sleep and Dad, FX and I go out to breakfast (well, alright, lunch). After that, Chris, FX and I go to the Aquarium, while Dad does some maintenance on the house. The aquarium trip is expensive, but, as it turns out, worth every penny. FX loves fish. Really loves them, as in crawling out of the stroller or my arms to press his body against the glass to be closer to them, and sitting fascinated for 20 minutes at a time. So, we must have a fishtank, later on.

Very tired and achy, we head home and pick up Dad for dinner. After dinner we go for a walk in Monterey's downtown and Dad buys Chris a congratulatory cigar, which Chirs happily smokes. We go back to dad's watch a strange movie and go to sleep.

Thursday, after my younger sister comes by and meets the baby, is an uneventful drive home, with a couple of stops for food. At about 10 we're FINALLY home. I've never been so happy to see my messy living room. FX spends a couple of hours crawling around on the floor getting tired, and we get to bed by 12:30.

I'm tired. I don't want to get in a car for a LONG LONG time. I just wish we'd had time to see everyone - I missed a whole bunch of beloved freinds ( , for example, who was out of town, sigh) and some family (my aunt&uncle, some cousins, my brother) who I wanted to see. Ah, well, next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! Comments are moderated, so do not be alarmed if your comment doesn't show up immediately.