We stopped in Bend for the night and had dinner with one of my oldest friends. It was wonderful. She is one of those friends that years can go by, but once we're on the phone or together, the time is gone. We had the great joy of finally seeing our kids together in her backyard, just as we had planned decades ago.
Once home (after slogging through the dreaded Sacramento Valley in 107 degrees), we relaxed, cleaned out, and went on some of our usual fun excursions to Fairy Tale Town, the Jelly Belly Factory, the Train Museum... But my favorite day was the one we spent at home all day in the backyard. I read, the kids played and "helped" Grampa Jim in the yard and we had a bbq feast for a late lunch. I kept telling myself to take good mental pictures of that day to keep tucked away for those cold, February grey days when it feels like it will never be warm again.
We also got to overlap our visit a few days with my sis and her boys, so that was crazy fun. I say crazy fun because there were four very excited cousins wanting to play with all of our old toys in one house on the market that was shown every day we were there but one, at least once a day. phew! We are master repackers and quick vacuumers, I tell ya. But, there isn't a much happier sound than four happy cousins playing at Gramma's house!
One of the last nights we were there, Elias took a late nap and then would not go to bed. He finally ended up in bed with my dad, telling him about the coyotes and how they were washing their hands in the fountain outside. I woke up in the morning to find him still asleep with my mom.
We learned an important thing on this trip: if you travel by car for more than one day, a pool must be available at your stoppong points. There is nothing better than the cool feeling of weightlessness at the end of a long, hot day in the car listening to Adele over and over and over again..