Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hotel California

Not only is California on the opposite coast from where I live but I think it is opposite in many other ways too.  The first thing I noticed was the color change from green to straw, then from cloudy to clear, then the amount of traffic on the roads and the amount of lanes of traffic.  Another prominent item is the windmills strung along the crests of the hills.  Doesn't seem to be bothering environmentalists or birds in CA.

I came mostly for my grandson's graduation from High School but also to visit with all the Lents and their e x t e n d e d family.  My ex is now on his third wife (I am #1) and all 3 of us were to spend quite a bit of time together. It could have been quite odd but really wasn't.  We each have such different personalities and I, certainly, have gone on with my life.  My son Matt was created with husband #1 (Bob) so we still have that wonderful person in common.  I discovered we also have playing in Photoshop in common as well.  With wife #2, Margrit was created 10 years after Matt.  Both Margrit and her Mom, Marianne, stayed at a nearby hotel so spent most of a few days with us as well.

I arrived Wednesday evening giving me some time to sit with Matt, Liz and the kids and get my clock a bit reset to 3 hours earlier on Thursday.  Thursday was also the last day of school in Livermore so Liz and I spent time at Andrew's 2nd grade party.

We then took Alicia and Bryan out for Thai lunch while Andrew went off to a park with a friend (he had already eaten pizza at his school).  It was fun for me to sit with my almost grown-up grands instead of being on the phone and imagining them.

On Friday Liz and I went to the party store and purchased balloons and yard signs for Bryan while Matt went over to the football field and duck taped 3 blankets to some seats to save us some space.  He was far from the first to do that. We then met Marianne, Margrit, Bob, Bryan, Alicia, Andrew, Andy (Liz' father) and 2 of Bryan's friends at a local Tacqueria.

 Late afternoon brought in even more family for the big event.

The school kept it short and to the point so the 15 of us were only out there for 1.5 hours. Afterwards we went out for pizza.  Are you noticing an international food theme yet?

Saturday we hosted an open house with locally made sausages and salads around the pool in Bryan's honor. Lots of kids and adults playing on the slide and jumping from the cliff above the pool.
When my son first put in this creation I sent him a metal sign saying:
"Matt's Wet Dream and Theme Park"
It hangs on a post near the pool.

Sunday was relatively quiet with an outing to a local American restaurant for brunch and then picking out a car for Alicia, ending with dinner at Fondue celebrating her birthday a night early.

Early Monday we traded the grad lawn signs for Sweet 16 ones and hung a few sparklies around the house.  Then Liz and I put clues around the neighborhood while Matt moved the new to Alicia car into its to-be-found position.  Bryan drove her around from one clue to Find the Car.

The cami Jim and I spun and I knit fits her perfectly and is just the right color and feel.

On Tuesday Bryan took off for San Diego with some friends, Alicia to Mendocino for a few days of beach with some friends and Liz to work so Matt suggested we go to the Delta and play on the boat.

Windmills really abound north east of Livermore and as the land became flatter in the Delta the farms had more and more lines of them.  There was a For Sale sign near one saying 405 acre wind farm.

The California Delta is extensive with a long history including gold being discovered along its waterways.  Nowadays it is mostly used for recreation, irrigation and as a bird refuge.  We saw many birds including Great Blue Herons, geese, ducks, pigeons, seagulls and several I could not identify.  Its a beautiful area.  Matt and Andrew like to zoom through the channels where wakes are allowed.  For CA the temps were cool, low 70's and very windy, but for this easterner they were just right.  
That's the latest Knit Picks sample sock enjoying the ride.
Oh and we went out for Greek food for dinner Tuesday evening.

Time to come home and get back to reality.

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