Friday, October 17, 2014

The Journey Begins

3 Oct 2014: Sarah and Dylan were excited to be on our way
when we stopped for gas on our way out of town.

Two weeks ago today, my children, their spouses, and I all embarked on our long-anticipated California vacation. I had planned to blog part of the trip as we experienced it, but I'm not loving the Windows 8 operating system on my new laptop, so after a brief and frustrating struggle I decided to blog after returning home. It's just as well, because it turned out that each day was so full of activities that there was no time for anything extra! We've been home for 5 days now and I'm still recovering!

Dylan takes his place in the backseat of Jacob and Danielle's car.

The California part of our trip wasn't scheduled to begin until Saturday, but the kids were all able to arrange their work schedules so we could leave on Friday evening, and we were on the road by 5:30 p.m. This cut 3 hours of travel off our drive on Saturday. Anaheim is surprisingly close to Phoenix: less than a 6-hour drive. However, with the 3-hour drive from our mountain home to the Valley, it would have been closer to a 9-hour drive if we had done it all on Saturday. No, thank you!

Danielle and Jacob pose just before takeoff.

Sarah and Chris joined me in my car for the long trip.

We stopped at our favorite place in Miami for dinner: Burger House!

We stopped for dinner in Globe-Miami, about halfway down the mountain. Our favorite dinner stop, Burger House, is wildly popular. And the prices are surprisingly reasonable (about $3.50 per burro). We had to wait in line longer than we'd planned, but we enjoyed our spicy-hot, red-chili burritos.

Burger House has the world's best burros! We each bought two:
a green-chili burro for dinner and a red-chili burro for next day's breakfast,
along with deviled eggs I'd prepared at home for the trip. Keeping it cheap!

It was after 9:00 when we finally reached my sister Karla's house, where we enjoyed a visit for about an hour and a half. Then we drove back to San Tan Valley in the East Valley, where we spent the night at the roomy new home of my niece Celesta and her husband Riley.

3 Oct 2014: We got to meet my brand-new grand-nephew,
1-week-old Levi. Love those sweet lips. A definite highlight of our vacation!

It was a treat to spend time with Riley and Celesta, but it was an extra-special treat to meet their precious firstborn child, Levi, born just 7 days earlier. He is too adorable for words, and it was a huge pleasure to hold and cuddle him.

Levi with his parents, Celesta and Riley (who is wearing his wife's glasses).

The light isn't as good, but the glasses are on the correct person!

Great-Aunt Mary loves that little bundle!

I love the divinely new smell and taste of newborns.
Just had to kiss that velvety soft head!

Everyone took a turn enjoying an armful of sweetness, starting with Dylan.

Next came Sarah, the Baby Whisperer.

I think we ended up visiting until about 1 a.m. before we all gave up and headed to bed, a bit on the delirious side. Nonetheless, we were all up at 6:30 that morning, anxious to forge on toward our ultimate destination. We reheated our green-chili burros and ate them with the deviled eggs. Then we said our fond farewells to Riley and Celesta's little family and loaded back into our two cars. California, here we come!

Then Jacob and Dylan enjoyed their newest little first-cousin-once-removed.
(Sorry about the blur! Still figuring out my new camera!) 

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