Friday, April 30, 2010
Sometimes I dream of California, and I would live there, if we could afford it, and if I could get used to regularly occurring earthquakes, and if I wouldn't miss the dramatic seasonal changes we have here at home, although after the never-ending winter we've had, maybe I could do without the drama.
Our drive there and back was amazingly smooth, because I focused on keeping Penny fed and entertained. Oh, and we had the binky. She napped a little, but mostly colored pictures with her crayons, read books, sang songs, and talked to her dollies. We made a few pit stops so we could stretch our legs and keep our blood sugar up, and that was the golden ticket.
We stayed one night in Barstow, and were greeted the next day by the eye-popping colors of a state in full bloom. We stayed with my Aunt and Uncle, who graciously put us up in their house, and were treated to the excellent company of two of my cousins, some sight seeing, a trip to the aquarium, a picnic on the beach, and a family game night. It would be unthinkable to get together without playing games!
The weather was gorgeous, and it was fantastic to see the ocean again. Penny handled the beach a little better this time, but was still hesitant to walk on the sand, always keeping one eye on the crashing surf. Eventually, she walked a little on her own (but would not remove her shoes), and dug holes in the sand with some rocks. That's progress, anyway.
Oh yeah, and I worked a bit too, sort of. I attended a conference and it felt good to stimulate my brain and get back in the loop, chat with colleagues, and think about how to apply the things I learned to my job. Meanwhile, Britt and Penny got to spend a lot of time together, without me. (Thanks to my lovely cousin for taking so many beautiful pictures.)
I think they had a good time.
It's always hard to leave when you're having fun, knowing the daily grind is waiting for you at home. The drive back was less fun, but we made one last pit stop to see my good friend in Vegas, and it was a nice overnight respite (hello, hot tub!) before our reluctant return to reality.
I'm amazed at what Penny remembers from the trip. She can recount some of the things we did, like seeing the fish and playing with her cousins (whom she can name), Uncle's train set, the water of the ocean and the sand on the beach. It's all short-term memory recall, but I wonder if she will be able to store these details in her long term memory if we keep talking about them. I wonder how soon we can go back.