Last month the boys and I had the privilege of flying to California to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousin, Johnny, who live there. I spent the summer of 2000 living there with them and helping out with my Johnny’s post traumatic brain injury therapy. And, they came to Texas for our wedding in 2002. We hadn’t seen them since then, and of course they had never met Elliott and Jude. My mom was traveling to Burbank for business and was generous enough to let us fly with her using her frequent flier miles. I flew alone with Elliott on his first flight when we went to Florida, but had never flown with both boys. I am so VERY glad she was with us! It was a tremendous help having two grown-ups around to wrangle our very rambunctious boys! Elliott did great. He is at the age where he can be easily entertained with toys, books, and DVDs. Jude did quite well, too, considering his age. He ate more than his fair share of snacks, walked the aisles, and nursed as much as he wanted. I am certain that it would have been complete chaos without my mom, though.
My mom went on to Burbank and I took the boys by myself on a short flight to Sacramento. Thankfully Jude was so worn out by that point that he slept in my arms the whole way there. We spent 5 days in Auburn with the family and had a blast. Here are some of the highlights of the trip: Uncle John took Elliott for a ride on the riding mower and they made a maze in the tall, tall grass. Cousin Jamie made gourmet tomato soup from scratch…it was delicious, and we all loved it! Auntie Julie gave the boys several baths in her enormous farmhouse sink. Those were a big hit! Uncle John took us out on the lake in his patio boat and then we played for a while on the beach. The boys LOVED the water there even though it was on the chilly side. We played cards with Johnny and he won mostly. He’s a great card player! Uncle John and Aunt Julie got to see, firsthand, just how much trouble a 1 year-old can get into in a house that hasn’t been child-proofed! I reconnected with a friend I made while living there and our kids had a play date together. Her son, Walter, and Elliott hit it off like I have never seen before. I just wish I had gotten a picture of that day. We visited the art center where Johnny makes incredibly beautiful works of art and met a lot of his friends. We spent one day sight seeing around Auburn with Aunt Julie. And, my mom and I took the kids to Sacramento for a day to visit Fairytale Town and Funderland. Elliott rode his first roller coaster at Funderland and LOVED it! Unfortunately some snow in the forecast caused us to have to head for a hotel closer to the airport a day early. We made the best of it and had fun swimming in the indoor pool.
There were too many pictures to post so I put them into a slide show. Here’s a little recap of our time in California!
We had so much fun. We were all very tired by the time we made it back to Texas, but would not have missed the opportunity to visit for the world! Thank you, Aunt Julie, Uncle John, and Johnny for having us come out. We love you all very much!