Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What a Trip!

Warning! This is an extremely LONG post, but I promise that I’ll pepper it with photos...that came from my Uncle’s camera since my memory card crapped out on me.

I’m home, safe and sound, after a VERY crazy and busy 4 days. Grandma was doing amazingly well, and I think she will be well taken care of once everyone has gone home. My uncle will be staying with her for a couple weeks, and that should help her adjust gradually.

My flight out there went exactly as planned, as did my sister’s, so we ended up on the same airport tram to the train station after we claimed our bags. I only made a little scene as I fawned all over Captain when I saw him, and I only almost fell over one time as the tram lurched into motion.

We caught the BART train that would take us to my Grandma’s town, and after a very loud and long and tiring ride (where I insisted on taking Captain out of his seat so I could hold him), we arrived at our station and found my mom. I had been traveling for 10 hours by then, Sis for about 12. We were starving, exhausted, and ready to take showers. After 2 tries, we finally got everything into the trunk of Mom’s Honda, and off we went. We were dying for some Baja Fresh...if you don’t know what that is, then you’re missing out! We had to go say hi to Grandma first, but then we ventured to the next town to get our fix. Ooh, that Baja Ensalada and chicken taco tasted good!

We spent the rest of the afternoon and evening at Grandma’s house (translation – NO nap and NO shower). All evening more people kept coming by...my cousins and their spouses, aunts, uncles, great aunts. I think we had more than 20 people in Grandma’s living room by then end of the night. And it didn’t really help that Grandma likes to keep her thermostat set at 80 degrees...we talked her into 78, and sweated through it.

Looking at old pictures at Grandma's...


FINALLY, we headed over to my aunt’s house right before we collapsed. We enjoyed the coolness and quiet of her house while we snacked on ice cream, checked out her redecorated kitchen, and waited for more cousins to arrive. The airports sure saw a lot of our family this weekend!

Sunday morning I woke up at 7am, after about 7 hours of sleep on an air mattress. I couldn’t sleep anymore because my tummy was growling, so I enjoyed the only quiet of that day by doing a little reading and eating a snack. We had a family breakfast and then Shell came to see me!! She doesn’t live too far from my aunt, so she stopped by to visit with us for a couple hours. It was SO good to see her! We chatted about all these pregnant, as well as our families and husbands, and we enjoyed the antics of little Captain.

Captain gets a bath...


Then the craziness began! Shell headed off to a party, while the rest of us made the next necessary food run when you’re in California...In N Out Burgers. Yum yum! My cousin is getting married this summer, and she wanted to show us a couple wedding dresses in a shop that just so happened to be across the street from the best burger place ever (In N Out, if you’re a little slow). We gorged ourselves on burgers and fries, and then fought the urge to scream as we dealt with the incompetence at David’s Bridal shop. And then it was off to the viewing at the cemetery.



For 2 hours we met family and friends of my Grandparents who we’d never known or not seen since we were kids. Because Grandpa was Mom’s step dad, there are a lot of other step-family members that I can’t keep up with. Grandpa didn’t really look like himself lying there, and Grandma was so overwhelmed that she asked me who I belonged to. She kinda scared me, but Mom said she was fine.

After the viewing, our family went BACK to the 78 degree house where Grandma lives for a spaghetti dinner cooked by my mom. Mom makes GREAT spaghetti! The cousins (there are 11 when we’re all together and 10 of us plus 3 spouses were there this time) hung out in the second living room where it was slightly cooler and we had a door to the outside that we kept opening to let the cool air in. Actually, my UNCLE opened the door originally, and when Grandma came in to get something, he beat it out of there so fast we didn’t know what was going on. For some reason, we didn’t get in trouble, Grandma just closed the door and went about her business.

We told story after story about growing up…we used to all spend A LOT of time together – holidays, summers, trips to the snow or to Santa Cruz. We’re all grown up now, and it’s kinda weird. There wasn’t a “kids” table, but we all still sat together. The difference was that our parents wandered in and out and shared the stories with us, too.

We also took time for family pictures. Here's Mom's bro's family...



and Mom's sis's family...


All the cousins...


Grandma and her 3 kids...


Exhausted again, we headed back to my aunt’s house. Things got a little stressful there though because we were inviting the ENTIRE family (step and blood) back to her house after the funeral the next day. My aunt had a list of stuff for us to do the next morning before we left for the cemetery – put our beds away, pick up our stuff, set up the chairs, go to the store, etc. etc. I don’t think she appreciated our giggles and side comments while she was giving orders. Oops.

I AGAIN woke up too early the next day, 6am! My sis was up because she didn’t feel good, and there was no reason to go back to bed, so we decided to make the grocery store run for my aunt. The perk was that we were able to get in our 3rd food necessity for California – smoothies from Jamba Juice. Oh boy! That was just what we needed to get through the morning.

Uncle D plays with Captain...


We managed to get the house ready for the after-party, and we all left for the funeral. It was a beautiful day. It had been raining for several days, overcast and kinda cool, but Monday morning we woke up to clear blue skies and beautiful weather. The service was very nice. My grandpa’s brother (who looks JUST like him) spoke as did his brother, and they brought us all to tears. Grandpa had a difficult relationship with most of his kids, and his oldest son passed away suddenly just 6 days before Grandpa (his funeral was 2 days before Grandpa’s), but things seemed to have been worked out.

Because the weather had cleared up, we were able to do the burial immediately after the service. Grandma was presented with our U.S. flag for the time Grandpa served in the Merchant Marines and the U.S. Coast Guard.



The rest of the day was spent at my Aunt’s house, eating, laughing, talking, looking at old pictures, getting haircuts (just me – my cousin is practicing for her state boards for cosmetology)...



playing cards...



and singing old hymns around the piano...



We really had a good time. The house was packed! I don’t know how we all fit inside.

Here are 4 generations all together (my grandma, mom, sis and nephew)...



Sis and Captain have some fun...



The step-family left after a couple hours, but our family stayed into the evening. Finally, people had to leave to get to airports or get home for work the next day, or just get out of the house...that was Mom, Sis and I. We headed to the next town over to do some baby shopping. Mom and Sis wanted to help me finish baby registering, so off we went. We registered for all kinds of things, and then we were starving...and what was across the street?? In N Out! Yes, we ate it again!

We went back to my Aunt’s to start getting ready for our long trip home. We were in bed by 11:30, but I couldn’t fall asleep until 1am, and the alarm went off at 4am. We had to leave for the BART station at 4:30am in order for Sis and her family to catch their flight. We left a little late, but had no problems making the train. Too bad it was packed! We had to squeeze in where we could, and our bags were blocking the aisles, but we didn’t care. We were so tired!

We made it to the airport, had time to eat a snack and say hi for 10 minutes to an old friend who stopped by to see us. Then I had to say goodbye to Sis, BIL and Captain as their flight left an hour before mine. Oh, and did you know that the airlines require PROOF of age on kids you hold on your lap? The ticketing agent had the nerve to ask for proof of age on Captain (whose birth cert has not arrived yet) to show that he was under 2 years old. He’s 10 weeks old! Come on!

Anyway, I headed over to my gate, got my bag checked, made it through security, bought a sandwich to eat on the plane, and sat down to wait. They boarded us on time, we pushed away from the gate, and I fell asleep. About 15 minutes later, the captain came on and said that we were going back to the gate because we were delayed to Dallas for an hour and a half...due to high winds. I only had an hour in Dallas! This pregnant lady was NOT happy!

After getting off the plane, waiting in line to talk to the agent about what I should do, and getting BACK on the plane, we finally took off an hour late. I was stressed because the next flight to get me home, if I missed my original one, didn’t get me home until 11pm. BUT, everything got delayed in Dallas, so I had 30 minutes to get to my gate that was only 5 away from where I came in. I finally made it home, just an hour late.

My Sis and her family had to circle Chicago for about 30 minutes waiting for clearance to land, and they only had 20 minutes left to make their connection by the time they landed. Luckily, their gate was also close, so they made it and got home on time as well. However, as soon as they got in their car and headed home, they were in the middle of a tornado warning, with sirens and everything. Sis called our good friend to ask if they could go over and hide in their basement since they don’t have one. The warning finally ended, and they were able to go home.

My Great Aunts ended up staying another night in CA because there’s a blizzard at their home in Washington state – a plane even slid off the runway a couple days ago! Mom and Dad started their drive home yesterday afternoon and got there just after I went to bed last night.

Besides the Great Aunts, we’re all safe and sound at home trying to get back into our routine. What a trip...

7 comments:

shell said...

but but but why didn't you post the picture you and me??? (and your mom would be proud the the gramatically correct 'you and me' :) oh well...hahah just kidding. i am glad that i got to see you and that the trip went so smoothly!!

how did your test go today?

Sally said...

Oh Shell...I posted a comment on your blog about that picture thing, but I just went back to look for it and it's not there. Figures, that's my luck...

My memory card in my camera crapped out on me, and I lost all pictures I'd taken in January. I was SOOOO mad! I had those cute ones of us, and a ton of Captain and of his great grandma holding him.

Did any of yours turn out??? I hope so!!

The test was not nearly as bad as I expected, and I'll get the results tomorrow. I'll let you know.

suezque said...

Glad you are home safe & sound, and that you had a good time (given the circumstance)- sounds like you have a lot of good memories though! :-)

Jana said...

OH MY GOSH . . i'm exhausted all over again just reading your blog!! augh. i'm still sick - worse, actually. stinkin' cold. how come uncle D gave you all the pics and we just ended up w/ the ones from the funeral and afterwards at their house??

Terri said...

glad you all made it home. I'm sure, in spite of the grief, grandma loved having everyone around for a few days.

abbagirl74 said...

Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for taking us along on the ride. Loved the pictures!

Chelf said...

I thought my family was big... wow, you have a huge family!

I will likely have a fam reunion in July over the 4th. I hope to have pics then.

Glad you are safe and sound!