We are back home, but the rest of our trip was so busy that I never got any more writing done. So, I’ll regress and pick up where I left off – Back to California with my older daughter and her family. Every stop along the way has been wonderful, and this was no exception.
COVID was in the rear view mirror, thank goodness. Nobody else in Seattle was affected, also thank goodness. But, just to be safe we stayed at a hotel, which worked out great. There is a pool which the kids have loved. My daughter’s house isn’t that big so two extra adults underfoot can be stressful, especially with COVID concerns. Now, we just retreated to our hotel space at the end of the day. There was a full kitchen so we stocked it with breakfast items and snacks. When someone was up and ready, they came and get us, but we stayed outside or wore masks inside for the first few days just to be extra safe.
The parties continued! Friday, we tried to put together a surprise party for the boy down the street but his dad had taken him out, so we enjoyed time outdoors with a couple of the neighbors. The party happened the next day though when his dad brought pizza and cookies, and the kids and the adults all had a good time in the back yard. Sunday was a birthday party for another kid in the neighborhood. There is a nice walking park across the street, the family had a slippery slide set up there, invited 20 kids, and served more pizza, drinks, and cake. The kids started playing as soon as they saw the slippery slide being set up so there were many hours of fun that day.
What else did we do in California? We hung out and played/watched Legend of Zelda, and a good movie, Brave. We had to stay after dinner because I couldn’t leave until I found out how it all worked out in the end. We had dinner at the in-laws which is always a pleasure, and they came over to my daughter’s house one evening also. There’s a very good breakfast and lunch restaurant at the hotel so we had breakfast on our first and last days there. Yes, there was a lot of eating on this trip. There was also a fair amount of walking in the nice park across the street and one outing, on foot, to the supermarket nearby.
Oh, and we went to the lawyer’s office for the final signing of all the paperwork, so our estate is planned and official now. You just never know what tomorrow will bring, and this way there should be no loose ends for our families to handle. It’s interesting though. My best friend (Panamanian) was almost angry when I told her we were working on this. She refuses to look at the fact that we won’t be here forever, and I think estate planning makes this reality too close for her comfort. It’s one thing here where families are close, and likely living in the same house as they age, and another thing for us where we have ties, assets, and property in two countries and no family where we live.
So anyway, California was good and we had very nice times with family and friends, as we always do. Then, it was time to head to Dallas but we had a hiccup getting there. We left from the Santa Rosa airport which is under construction, so there is a big barn like building for departures. There were three planes loading passengers and another badly delayed, so lots of passengers trying to change their travel plans. We were the last group to board so we got in the line with the only agent at our gate, and waited, and waited. I got concerned and asked if we could just please get on the plane. Oh no, they just closed the doors 😧
We were booked on an early flight the next day so we would miss one of our two nights in Dallas, but it would still be morning when we arrived so we’d still have time with our friends. And, we were in Santa Rosa where we could stay with my daughter. And, there was a super nice Uber driver who picked us up at 4AM! We have heard so many bad stories of messed up travel plans so we couldn’t complain too much. But still, it’s upsetting when things don’t go as expected.
But, soon we were on our way to Dallas!