Wednesday, March 23, 2011

California trip - March 2011

My trip to California was absolutely GREAT!!!

The immediate Schumachers were at the airport to meet me. I had to exit at the baggage claim area and asked for the terminal number before I called Mary to tell her where I was. She told me to go out and stand by the stop light. I barely got out the door and they were right there. Perfect.

We met Katie at a "South of the Border" place. Gracie was having a sleep over with Katie and had her bag all packed and in the trunk. Had a good dinner and then Gracie and Katie left and the rest of us went home. Libby had her choice of car seats and she chose to sit right behind me. She talked all the way to Murrieta. The strangest part was that I understood most of what she said. Yay!

Lexie and Charlie came over Sunday morning so I got quite a bit of snuggle time with Charlie. He's sure a cutie. Really gets around now. He isn't really crawling quite, but he does get his knees up and rocks, then scoots. He'll get it figured out one of these times.

Left for the reception around 1:00 and got there in good time. Got hugs from all the relatives and also from the husbands. Not sure the husbands know exactly how I fit in the family, but they have seen me enough to know I'm one of them. I invited them all to Wyoming.

The "Family Blessing" was a really neat thing. The actual wedding had been the night before, but at this ceremony they said some different vows and included the two boys. Rob's sister read a poem about fatherhood that was very poignant. There was a "sand ceremony" where each one had a small bottle of colored sand. Each one picked a color that meant something to them and they poured their sand together into another container with a lid to signify combining the family and sealing it. Very nice. Meghan read her version of Dr Seuss "Oh the Places You'll Go". It was suited just for their family. Very nice.

There were several games for the kids in the lobby, including bubble blowing (big time) outside, and a lemonade stand. Waiters came around with trays of popcorn and lemonade. The bar didn't open until after the "Blessing Ceremony". There were circus type performers milling about. Then the dining room was opened and we entered the "Big Top tent". The centerpieces on the tables were all different circus themes. Each food station had some circus animal performing picture. The food was geared for all ages. They had pizza, popcorn, french fries, cold cuts, cheeses and crackers, shrimp and clams or oysters in a shell, two different kinds of pasta, roast beef (prime rib, I think) and chicken on a stick, a couple of dessert stations, and a fruit station with a chocolate fountain to dip the fruit if you wanted. So the food covered all ages as well. The DJ was really good. He played music suitable for all generations and did a lot of interaction with the audience. Gracie got to be his partner right up on his stage for the macarena. The entertainers included jugglers, a unicyclist, a magician, balloon shaping.

When it was over it felt like it must be midnight or later, but it was only 5:30pm.

Between potty stops, saying our goodbyes and thanks, we lost Keith. Gracie said she'd find him and off she went. She went right in to the DJ and had him page Keith. Keith was already outside at the car. All rounded up we were off for home. Took a tour by the new house on the way home. Mary told me I don't need a map now because I've been there and can find it. What a dreamer she is. I need a map.

Monday Lexie and Charlie came over again. Mary was babysitting that day as Lexie went to work at 10:30am. We started out for the airport at 9:45 and got to Temecula when Mary discovered she didn't have her cell phone and she needed it. So we had to go back, but we had time. I needed to be there at 11:00 as my plane left at 1:00. It was 10: 00 when we started out again. Did well until we got to Escondido where we got slowed to nearly a stop for traffic jams. Then away we went again and got into a bit of hard rain, but it didn't last long. Got to my terminal at 11:15, not bad. As soon as I found out I was in the right place I called Mary so she could quit circling the parking lot. After I got through the check-in and through security I called her again. She and kids were off to Katie's. We made it!

We did a lot in just a day and an evening. And enjoyed every minute of it.

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