Ah....my bed....finally. I never thought I would miss that uncomfortable cheap old matress we bought when we were newly married and poor. But it felt like bliss these last few nights.
We had a wonderful trip. We stopped in San Jose for a few days to visit with my brother, Robby, his wife Stacy and my nephews Alex and Zech. It was a great time. Our kids miss each other so much since they moved away. It was loud and chaotic but a blast.
Dan and I were able to convince Rob and Stacy to brave the trek over to San Francisco with all the kidlets. So we drove over to Oakland, hopped on the BART over to SF and then rode the trolley down to Fisherman's Warf. There we dined on clam chowder bread bowls which were disappointingly bland. Oh well, a reason to return in the future.
After San Jose we journeyed up to Portland and crashed with my Aunt just long enough to recuperate after the 12 hour drive. We were only a few hours from Portland when we realized our rental had a built in DVD player. SCORE. Then we rapidly made a trip to Target to stock up on movies for the kids. If I hear Barbie's Princess and the Pauper one more time I will puke by the way.
After a quick rest in Portland we made it up to Vancouver where I visited with my good pal Shana and her family. I just wish we had more time with them. The visits are just never long enough. There I stocked up on Oreo cookies (the Canadian ones are SO much better) and Purdy's chocolate. I introduced Dan to the best fish and chips in the world and attempted to get him to try poutine. But he wouldn't even taste it. I think the only thing appealing to him about it was that it just SOUNDED dirty.
On our way back down, we stopped again in Portland and wisked my Aunt over to Seaside, OR for the day. This is a cheesy little beach town that I grew up visiting every summer as a child. When I was a child, we stayed in a motel with the best, enormous swimming pool I had ever seen. Boy was I in shock when we walked by a couple years ago and realized that the pool was quite rinky dink and the motel was pretty run down. Ah, through they eyes of a child....
This trip, we did the classic Seaside things. We bought salt water taffy, played skeeball in the arcade rode the bumper cars - which was HILARIOUS with the kids. Man, kids do make things so much more fun. Then Gingers Mom made the classic mistake of forgetting that she is in fact old now and decided it was a fantastic idea to ride the Tilt A Whirl right before lunch. It was horrible. It spun so hard I thought my teeth were going to fly out of my mouth....or something else. It tried to giggle so that Stinky, who was sitting right next to me wouldn't get frightened, but really I was trying not to shower him with vomit. I have never felt so old and pathetic.
We walked over to Norma's after that. This is one of my favorte places in the world. Famous for the best clam chowder ever and a FABULOUS shrimp cocktail. I was DETERMINED to still have my lunch. So a quick visit to the bathroom and I was raring to go. I know that sounds awful and disgusting, but I will do anything for that DAMN clam chowder. Trust me....
Reluctantly, we piled back into the minivan and headed towards home. The kids really were great. I could not have asked for more from them. Of course there was bickering and some "He's touching me!". But all in all they were troopers. Vincent admittedly turned into the classic middle child and did EVERYTING in his power on the home stretch to annoy each and everyone of us. Of course, especially his sister. Why can one find such pure GLEE in irritating one's sister? And why is saying the word "booger" over and over and over again so much fun? And why does listening to one's little brother say booger over and over and over again require you to shriek like you are on fire?
Having said that, it was a wonderful family trip and I hope that my kids will look back on these adventures with the great fondness that I do about my roadtrips as a child. (Aside from my brother Kevin, poking me getting in my face claiming "Free space!")