Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Break in California

The kids were getting antsy the last half of their Spring Break so we decided to surprise them with a trip to California to visit their grandma.

Nothing warms your heart more than to see your kids jumping up and down with excitement in anticipation of a surprise trip. We all needed to get away from home to get a little California sun and kick start Spring. 

After we decided we would leave for California the next morning, Hailey asked if her friend could go with us.  We happily said yes and decided we needed to pack a little lighter so everyone would fit.  Megan took the statement to heart and literally packed light, she only brought one t-shirt for all four days! By the end of the trip we were all asking that she never wear that pink, swirly, tie-dye, volleyball shirt again!  I may have to put that shirt in the Goodwill bag. 

This is how the trip went.... 

Our 6 1/2 hour journey there was pretty uneventful, we spent the time talking, posting funny messages to our friends on Facebook, texting, rolling down the windows gasping for fresh air while saying "who did it this time?!"  Then, my ever so sweet and handsome husband said, I want to stop off at this house I was at a couple of weeks ago.  My mind began quickly thinking in flashes, what house...where...we are in the middle of NOWHERE!!! Or you could say we were between a cactus and a shrub!

 "What house?" I said.

He reminded me of the drive he took a couple weeks ago when "curiosity killed the cat" in his mind and he had to stop at this place he saw. It was an old boarded up motel, run down house that wasn't fit for a rat and more junk spread amongst the property than a junkyard could hold.  He stopped along side the desolate road so he could see what was going on at the - place. 
Why would he care?

After he said he wanted to stop there, I thought to myself...when you see a stranger drive up to your house, what's the first thing you think? Who is this weirdo, what is he doing and what does he want?!!!  So basically that stranger was my husband two weeks ago when he stopped to take a look at this place he wants to stop at...again! Nice.

 What possessed him that day to stop, read the No Trespassing sign and ignore it, and pull in through the opened gate of the chain-linked fenced in property in the middle of nowhere?  He said every time he had ever been by the place it looked liked it was abandoned but that day it looked like it was opened up.

I guess he thought that was his green light?

A few miles before we got there he reminded me of the events that happened two weeks prior where he met the sweet lady that owned the place.  He said the place was unbelievable like a museum of old stuff. She has 5 or 6 old delapodated buidlings filled to the ceilings with things like old furniture, signs from resturants and gas stations that were out of business, pots, tin cans, pictures, pianos almost anything you could think of and he had to show it to me...and all of the kids in the back seats!  

When I refused, due to fear of the unknown and trespassing, he reminded me it was his birthday and he really wanted to go there and say hi to this old lady. "Ok, I surrender birthday boy, whatever makes you happy." I said.

As we got closer he pointed out the landmarks that make it possible to see the  property, otherwise you would speed right past by the place.  He slowed down to a snails pace as he pulled off of the road and we passed over the highway onto her property.  My stomach sank as we drove onto her driveway and through the gated chain-linked property, and my eyes were bigger than saucers as I looked around at all of the junk, boarded up buildings, tiny corrals for goats and an old horse, when he yells out, "there she is!"  "Where?" I ask as my stomach sank further. He pointed to an old wooden house with a rusted corrugated metal roof where all the windows were open with curtains blowing from the inside out and in the garden just below the windows were empty tin flower pots, glass jars baking in the sun and a scarecrow.  I kept saying, "where is she, I don't see her, where you are pointing?"  Just then, the scarecrow stood up! 

Ahhhh!!! I yelped....oh my...she was the scarecrow! From afar she looked like an old broomstick dressed to scare the birds away.  Her frail body was loosely draped in a frayed blue denim shirt and tan polyester gaucho pants three times her size. She sat so quietly and motionless as if she were in deep thought. We startled her when we pulled up to her yard. As we drove closer to her she walked around some tin buckets to get a better look at us and said, "who's there," with a forceful tone in her voice.  My husband said, "hi Ruby, remember me, Vic, I was here about two weeks ago?"  She smiled with the warmest toothless grin she could muster up and said with a little-lady voice, "well you said you would stop by again, but I never thought you would, what a nice surprise!"  I could tell she was starving for company, maybe not for our California bound car load, but just for someone to talk to. Vic and her made small talk and she muzed about the fact that he came back to see her, then she offered us a stay-and-look-around-the-place. I gave Vic the look that said it was time to go.  (We had a sushi dinner waiting for us for his birthday and I didn't want to get there too late that we wouldn't be able to go.)  She was a bit sad that we didn't stay longer but our stop made her day.  

After our goodbye's, we drove out looking again with amazement of how all of that stuff got there and I watched her through my side mirror as she stood there with a permanent smile watching our car leave.

While on the road, I had the time to think about her smile and the conversation we had.  But more importantly, I think our little pit-stop made an old lonely woman and my husband feel good inside.  It made me realize how important it is to take time for the little things in life.

We did make it to La Jolla, not in record time, but safely and in time for his birthday dinner.

Here are some pictures of our trip.

Here are the 4 girls, Sophia, Megan, Hailey, and her friend Brette.

Mr Peacock struting his stuff at the San Diego zoo.

We took the kids because we had never been, and some friends from our home-town were there. We enjoyed it but didn't stay long.

This sleeping Koala bear reminded me of Vic, who likes to sleep a lot.

This Flamingo reminded me of...well nothing but I liked that I got to take a picture of a zoo animal that didn't have a screen or fence in front of it! Pictures don't turn out to hot when you have a Grid in front of it!

Sophia looking at the giraffes. She liked them.

One of our favorites.

Sophia is saying "Roar," Megan is making a funny face and Hailey is saying hurry up and take the picture DAD! I like to hide behind the Jaguar's head.

This will be the only picture of me you will see from this trip. I'm not photogenic and I would rather be taking the pictures than getting one taken.

Last Zoo picture, Brette's favorite animal is the elephant so we stopped at the "fake" one for a rest and picture.  There's Megan with the lovely Volleyball shirt! Gotta love her style.

Bye-bye Zoo.

Hello Beach.

The girls are watching something and I don't think it's the sunset. Probably the cute surfer guys.

Vic's beautiful Mom, MaryLou, and the girls.

 Hailey and Brette dig for sea shells.

Vic, my chameleon, is a surfer dude today.

He gets his braces off soon!

Time to roll up the pants and run through the water.

Sophia tries to chase a bird, unsuccessfully.

Our three girls. We are so blessed.


cari said...

LOVE LOVE the last picture :-) ...and loved the story about Ruby...anyone that is lucky enough to have Vic in their life giving fun/non judging lucky!! Can't wait to see you guys.... :-)

STORIES Photography said...

Oh my good grief ... I just found your comment from back in Feb on my Photography Blog. And so I came over for a visit. So glad I did.

I read with suspense your Ruby story, as well. Something tells me this is not the last we will hear of Ruby ;-)

So nice to meet you! I'll be back for more.

Love, love, love your pics!

Anonymous said...

I want to meet Ruby, I'm looking for a traveling partner!

GRAM said...


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