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Oh, my.

Day 5 in California!

After the drive from Texas, the relaxing day visiting family, the trip to downtown Los Angeles, two (2!!) whole days at Disneyland, visits with family each day and having all my children together in one place, I couldn’t believe there was still more ahead!

What a blessing this trip was!!

After a very late night at Disneyland, preceeded by two very full and busy days at Disneyland, preceeded by … well, you get the idea … I was tired.

I was beyond tired.  I was ready for a good night sleep.

I woke up in the morning on Day 5  …  with the baby.

Do you see a pattern here?

She went right back to sleep.

And I … could not … whaaaaaa! 😦

So, I laid in bed for an hour … hoping to fall back asleep, then being cranky that I could not fall back asleep, then planning out our day and what I needed to do to get us packed up and on the road … then I begrudgingly got my butt out of bed and started the day.


We packed everything up.

Well, I packed everything up.  Much of it was still packed.  But, somehow things become unorganized and I need to straighten it back up.  Then when someone needs something I know where it is.  And I try to make sure the items I think we will need will be close at hand and Texas guy wont have to shuffle all our stuff around in the truck.

Anywho … I packed us all up, Texas Guy brought a luggage/child cart from the lobby, and we were out of there.

First stop … breakfast.

And, oh my holy hash browns, Batman!

Why have I not eaten here before?!?!

If you haven’t either, you must find one.  And eat there.

It is sooooo much better than that other place.

The hash browns were the best I’ve ever had.


I drool just thinking about them.

The pancakes … stacks above the rest!

And they had really cool triangular crayons in a triangular box.

I’m just trying to give you a complete picture here.

After breakfast, we were back on the road  …  driving up to the Central Coast area of California!!

This is where the children and I last lived before we moved to Texas.

We lived minutes from the beautiful Pacific Ocean, in weather that hovered in the low to mid 70’s for much of the year.

It was heavenly, beautiful, and perfect.

Well, almost.

We were finally going to spend some time at the beach!  We were all excited about that!!

And, even better, we were going to meet up with oldest child and oldest daughter and granddaughter, again!!!

And waiting there when we arrived, two very good friends of mine that I have missed so much!!

As soon as we got out of the truck I breathed in that ocean air.  I love the way it smells.  Well, it’s not always a pleasant sort of smell.  But it says the ocean is nearby.  I love what that smells says to me.  The air was a bit chilly, so I put something warm on the baby and we all head out to the beach.

Hooray!!  The beach!!  Hello, Pacific Ocean, I have missed you so very very much.

The sand in this area is divinely fine and smooth.  As soon as my bare feet landed on the sand and sunk themselves in I felt bliss.  Something about the sand on my feet, I cant explain it.  Maybe it’s from growing up near the beach and spending plenty of time there.  But, there’s something about it.

Well, actually, when the sand is incredibly hot, there are words.  Lots and lots of words.  Words that explain it well.

But on that day, the sand felt perfect.

I stopped to visit with my friends … one who had had foot surgery about a week before, so they were planted just barely on the sand.  Who could blame them?!  I can’t believe they met me there!  They’re awesome!  …  And they’re my friends.  You may not have them.  Sorry.

Then I headed out down to the water to catch up with everyone else.

The water was cold.  But that didn’t stop the girls from getting in and splashing around … and shivering.  The rest of us settled for just putting our feet in the water.

I sat there on the beach, the baby on a beach towel, and watched Texas Guy and all the children, the grandbaby, and a few friends playing.  I watched the rhythm of the ocean as the waves crashed and the water moved up onto the shore and then slid back out to sea.  I looked out past the boats and the pier to the horizon and up to the blue sky.  I let the sound of the waves wash over me, interspersed with the sounds of my family having fun together.  And breathed in deeply the ocean air as the sun warmed my skin and my face.

And that’s when I remembered … the ocean is so much a part of who I am, the “inner me”.  As if it completes my soul.

There I was … with my family …  at the beach.  Complete.  Whole.  Happy.

This is my son (center) with his girlfriend and a friend he’s had since junior high.

It was getting close to dinnertime and everyone was hungry.

My dear friend offered to take the girls home with her for a while.  She’s a good friend!

My other friend left me with some of her delicious shortbread and 4 jars of her jam!  Plus some fun stuff for all the children.   She’s a good friend!!

I miss them both.

We all packed up and sent the girls off.

The rest of us stopped and grabbed a quick dinner to go.

I knew exactly where I wanted to stop.

It’s been calling me since we left home heading west.

For days.

From many states away.

It’s been calling me.

Hello, dinner!

I have missed you.

Now … get in my belly!

I was incredibly disappointed though.  😦

It had essence of onion on it.

Not onion.

But essence.

Texas Guy is the only one I’ve ever met with an essence of onion detection ability as keen as mine.

And it’s not out of love for the vegetable either.

I was so very very sad.

We weren’t able to go back and ask for new burgers.  And Texas Guy really doesn’t like the burgers there.  So, I wasn’t going to make him go a second time and eat there.  It was my one chance.  Bummer.

But the fries and shake were yummy.

And we were eating our dinner at …

The drive-in theater!


(There’s Cody, my son’s friend.  Isn’t he adorable?  Sorry girls, he’s taken.)

It was so much fun.  All piled into the back of the truck, bundled up with blankets.

(Brrr! It was cold!)

The movies were funny.

And so was my oldest daughter trying to open the stroller in that goofy way that only she can.

We had a great time.

A good ending to a great day!

Day 6 in California →