I was in the US when I wrote most of this during the busy week in northern California with my other daughter and two grandkids. It was spring break (even at Montessori) so my daughter took the week off, and we had lots of family time and the opportunity to do a number of interesting activities.
There was a fun Easter egg hunt at the house of the other grandparents. Spring is starting so there are sunny days along with rainy spots, leaves are budding on the trees, and spring flowers are beginning to bloom.
There is a nice park with playgrounds, green spaces, and walking paths in my daughter’s neighborhood which is fun for kids and adults alike.
Both kids have increased their abilities to climb and enjoy the playground equipment. There were lots of dandelions blooming too, and Camden picked a big bunch to bring home. Funny, we went again later in the week after a night of rain and there were hardly any blooms. It had also rained enough to turn the playground into a lake!
One day we went to Cornerstone, a really interesting place with shops, restaurants, wine tasing, beautiful gardens, and picnic areas. Click on the link to learn more about it and see more pictures.
The huge chair was fun. The other grandma was walking along the pond with Camden in the second picture. Then, Marian and mom walked through another garden. There are some grape vines on the right just starting to get some leaves, which seems typical of most vines in the area right now. The redbuds have always been my favorites in the spring.
On the way home we saw many of the hills and other areas that had been burned in the fires (more on that in another post). Then, both kids are obviously very excited to be in Costco for a shopping trip. Ha!
Being in the US always feels different, of course. One thing that has come to my notice (besides the usual things I always mention) is advertising. It is everywhere! If you watch a TV program, you will see an increasing number of ads throughout the program. Ads come in the mail on a daily basis. And, YouTube…. I use it a lot for music practice but in the US almost every video is proceeded by an ad. It’s so tedious. If I lived in the US I would have to cave and buy YouTube red.
And, all those automatic flush toilets?? I never know if they are going to actually flush, and I usually can’t find the way to manually flush. There are a lot of automatic faucets and paper towel dispensers too, which I have trouble getting used to. I don’t seem to have the knack of putting my hands in just the right place.
And, for the love of everyone on the plane, get organized before you board! I got stuck behind people digging through their backpacks before they could put them in the overhead bin. Meanwhile the line of people in the aisle was piling up. It’s also good that you don’t pack your backup battery, earbuds, etc in checked luggage. At least I tossed a new, spare set of earbuds in my purse, never thinking about how hard it is to open those darn packages! Sheesh. I got a memory foam neck pillow though and really like it. It will be coming with me even on daytime flights from now on.
But, all in all this was an easier trip. I took a plane instead of the bus to Panama City. The direct flight to San Francisco was great and allowed me to go on to Seattle first. This meant I could return from San Francisco instead of Seattle without that overnight in the airport. It was an overnight return flight from SFO which is tiring, but there was hardly anyone on it. There was no one in first class, and no one sharing a row with anyone they weren’t traveling with. At baggage claim there were only 6 people waiting! After the SFO flight I went directly to my flight to David and made it home before we are usually eating breakfast.
Whatever the differences and travel arrangements I like or don’t like, it’s so important to me to have some time with my family. FaceTime is a wonderful thing but sometimes you up just have to be there!