On Vacation, Part 3: The party’s over already?

Last Thursday morning when we woke up we knew we had less than 48 hours left in California. At least me and the hubby did. Time to cram EVERYTHING IN that we hadn’t done yet. Oh, wait, that’s not possible? Okay, let’s go to the coast instead.
We crammed the 6 of us into my stepdad’s truck, plus all our junk for an overnight stay, plus snacks – because, helllloooo, ROAD TRIP – and we were off! Then we stopped at 15 places like the bank, the gas station, Rite Aid, etc., before we left town. But then we were off!! Woo-hoo. 
We made it about 45 minutes to Kettleman City. If you don’t know, Kettleman is a town that survives for the sole purpose of being a major pit stop for people traveling down the I-5 corridor. Back in a previous lifetime I used to go on patrols in this town with a law enforcement type friend of mine so I got to know the area better than most people who pass through. There’s very little to recommend it other than all the country roads, away from the light pollution, and the gorgeous starry skies. Oh, and the In-n-Out Burger. Yep, forget the starry skies – In-n-Out is probably the best thing about Kettleman. 
So, duh, we stopped there. Now I typically order straight off their simple menu – just a cheeseburger (no grilled onions or tomatoes), but In-n-Out has a not-so-secret-menu that they don’t advertise. You just have to know what to order. For examples, you can say you want your burger animal style and they will add pickles, extra spread & grilled onions and Mustard fried into the patty. Or a 4×4 is 4 meat patties and 4 pieces of cheese – this is the largest burger they will serve. You can also order a Flying Dutchman – you can Google that one yourself. Or, if you are brave, just order it next time you swing through In-n-Out and find out what it is. But, hey, cool, right? Secret menus FTW. 
Okay, back on the road after our burger fill. Morro Bay or BUST! And my bladder nearly did. But we made it to our hotel/motel place. (Never stayed there before. It wanted to be good but it just didn’t quite make it. Sad Panda.) But YAY. Morro Bay. 
Morro Bay. Ah. My heart belongs to Morro Bay. I love Cambria and Cayucos and now Avila Beach as well, but there’s just something about Morro. It tugs at me. It’s my spiritual home. I want to eventually live there. In my good, long retirement years. (Fingers-crossed).
We drove out to the rock first thing. What rock, you ask? Well, this one:
Confession: I didn’t take this pic. I don’t know who did, but I do know that I love Google Images. Amen.
Big, right? And awesome too. 
So we went out to the left side of the rock and hung out on a little beach there for a while. I snapped some Instragram pics (duh) while hubby and the boys climbed all over tarnation. (Spell check doesn’t recognize “tarnation” as a word. Obviously spell check isn’t Okie or Southern at all. It’s a word, dang it). 
Boys. Hubby. Tarnation. 
I perched on a rock (not THE rock. a significantly smaller one) and snapped away. This was at the rock (yes, THE rock) looking back at the little coastal village that is Morro Bay:
And then I said, oh, look, there’s a boat!! And let’s use a different IG filter:

With a boat or without, with an IG filter or not, Morro Bay is gorgeous. It’s quaint. It’s touristy but not. You get the impression that the locals just go about their business and they don’t mind the tourists too much at all. There’s the embarcadero for that, but the little downtown area really shouldn’t be missed; little book shops, antique stores, unique coffee places, and all with a coastal charm. Love, love, love. 
We stayed at the coast that night and until about 4 pm the next day before jumping back in the car to drive the 2 to 2 1/2 hours back to my hometown. Then the hubby and I packed and fretted about leaving our boys with their Grandma & Papa for “up to two weeks.” We had made the decision long ago but that didn’t make it any easier. In the end, we got up the next morning at 3:30 AM, kissed our sleeping boys, and drove to the airport. We were back home (via two planes and 3 airports) before they even woke up. 
It’s been 5 days since then and they tell me they don’t want to come home. They want to stay at Grandma & Papa’s where they can swim every day and go kayaking at Shaver Lake and go to the Zoo and go to the movies and go to Adventure Park as well. Well, YEAH. Duh. So apparently Grandma & Papa will return them kicking and screaming at the end of next week. Something to look forward to.
Oh, yeah, one last thing. 11 years ago today this happened:
 
Don’t we look ridiculously young? We were. We were leading with our hearts. Happy 11th wedding anniversary to my life partner. Mwah!
(And, yes, there was nothing in the champagne flutes. They were/are awesome, and engraved (thank you Auntie) but at the time the photographer wanted to snap the pic we didn’t have an champagne or sparkling cider available. C’est la vie, I always say.)

Things I love in this blog post? At least 3: Morro Bay, vacation, and my guy. (In no particular order).

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On Vacation, part 2: Partying like Rock Stars

We are having a little too much fun at my mom & stepdad’s house in California. Just a smidge.

Sunday, July 3rd, we had our annual Independence Day BBQ/Swim Party. 45 people, and it went for about 10 hours. Marathon party. 13 people slept at the house that night.

Yo, our parties are off the chain (or hook. either one, really) . Slammin’. Bangin’. Totally ballin’. The bomb. Badass and whack. Like yo.

Okay. Forgive me. Sometimes my thiry-something self reverts back to a 21 year old. A 21 year old that was nothing like ME at 21. In any case, WE HAD FUN.

We swam. A lot:

It was really freakin’ hot (seriously, like 106 degrees Fahrenheit. No lie.(that’s about 41 degrees celsius for you people from across the pond.))

And we lit about a bazillion fireworks in front of the house:

As you can imagine, we were a little overheated and peopled-out the next day. The guests left and we kept out of the sun at the movies in the afternoon (Kung Fu Panda 2. Cute.), then went down to my old high school for a community fireworks show.

We waited for the sun to go down:

And took some pics:

We had snow cones:

And the boys played with bubbles: 

Then we had fireworks:

IT.WAS.AWESOME.

That night we all died from exhaustion and heatstroke.

Then we got up the next morning and went to breakfast with the best grandma ever. Like, in the world. I couldn’t love her more. We hung out at Grammy’s house and did a whole lot of nothing, which, at Grammy’s, consists of putting together puzzles, playing dominoes, and eating Taffy cookies. Sometimes stale. Oh, and sucking on butterscotch candies. The boys played in her “playroom,” sometimes affectionately referred to as a “junk room.” Toys from the 1960’s & 70’s hide there among aging avocado green lampshades, lodge robes and memorabilia from kids and grandkids alike.

My mom & gram. Puzzle making.

Have I mentioned how much I adore my Grammy? She’s going through radiation right now for a very deep melanoma that was removed from her temple a few weeks ago. She’ll be 84 next Saturday. I heart her with my whole heart.

*moment of reverence*

Moving on –

That night we partied AGAIN. See what I mean about being rock stars? It’s like every night with us. No stopping us. Somebody better hold an intervention.

So, y’all know Joni, right? She came over, with her brood (husband, baby Ella, and 3 big kids) and her old friend (and my old acquaintance), Staci, and her big kid daughter, and we all hung out in the heat gulping water, laughing, and sharing stories. Oh, and we ate some sumptious BBQ fare, cotton candy ice cream and Joni’s delectable chocolate, chocolate cupcakes.

Photo courtesy of Staci. 🙂 (I realize my boobs appear to be missing. It’s the swimsuit that I had on under my dress. It has failed me terribly in the support category. Not that a blame it, per se. The job is onerous.)

I’m very sad to say we only have two days left of vacation in California. We’re heading to the beach tomorrow for the last two days so you can all wait for a third, and final, installment of our on-vacation antics.

Mwah!

On Vacation, part 1: the U.S.S. Hornet

Saturday we got up early and caught a flight to San Jose. This was the first time the boys have flown since they were babies and they LOVED it. My oldest was a little afraid when we were taking off, and that’s naturally his way, but he relaxed really well after that.

My mom & stepdad picked us up and we drove up to Alameda to tour the U.S.S. Hornet. This is the ship my grandpa was on in WWII, circa ’43-’44. It was surreal to walk in areas where he may have been as a young man. Incredible.

Here are some pics we took there:

A friend told me my husband looks a little like Richard Branson. What do you think?

Stay tuned for the next chapter of our vacation travels. Happy Independance Day everyone!