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.
Saturday & Sunday are mostly set aside to visit Chris's aunt and Uncle in Grass Valley.
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
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.
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 (