Sadly, our time in CA was rapidly drawing to a close. Tuesday was another kick back day of games and family time.
Tyler had been eyeing this classic car in the neighborhood, so he finally got a picture of that.
Tim took Pearl back to the fish store, where they were able to buy four fish. Two similar looking fish that could someday have babies. (Pearl named the girl Lily, and I named the boy Luke.) Also two little glowy fish. They were yellow and orange. (Robyn named the yellow one Butter and Tim named the orange one Dakota.) Here is Tim by the fish tank.
Sidenote: When we got home from CA, Tim sent me a text to tell Pearl that the fish were doing fine. She asked me if he sent a picture. I said, "No...no picture." Pearl said, "Tim said he would send me a picture of the babies when the fish had babies, so if he didn't send a picture, I guess they didn't have babies yet." Haha. I'm not sure what the gestation time is for a fish, but I think one day is a bit fast. And who knows if those fish even like each other.
We went swimming again, for the last time. We made good use of the pool at our hotel. Many fun jail games and although it took three of us to push Ethan into the water, it was worth it. Erin came, and although she never got in, we gave her high fives from the pool.
We played many of the usual games, but we tried out some new ones as well. We played some BS, and that sparked my memory of SCUM. We played a lot of SCUM, and we had many respectable rulers like Mr. Rockefeller the Third Esquire, and Madame President. The scum...well, they were just scum. (Just kidding, we love you too scum.) We also played some Liar's Dice. (Jeannie is a pretty good liar.)
And of course, we played more Scotch Bridge. But that is serious business. No time for pictures. June won Scotch Bridge at one point. Jeannie won the last night. (And truthfully, we aren't all that serious. I have images of us chanting 'Jeannie doesn't want one' with crazy grins on our faces. We are a strange group.)
It was getting late, but we made time for s'mores. Luckily, Ethan had a dozen hoodies that we could borrow. It was a tad chilly, but we dressed warm and stayed close to the fire.
We sang happy birthday to Erin, who had a birthday recently, and then Daisy and Tim, who have birthdays coming up. (It's never too early or too late to sing happy birthday.)
And then it was time to go. We were leaving very early the next morning, so we said most of our goodbyes in the evening. One last group photo. (This picture was really tricky to take.)
(Picture to be inserted when I get it.)
Early and not so bright, it was go time. Tyler woke up the sleeping beauties at the hotel. I got the ones at the Kelly's ready to go.
A few more hugs and goodbyes. Then we were in the car and on the road around 5. Tyler was the only one awake when the sun came up.
If we are headed home, I usually want to drive straight through with no stops, but Tyler insisted we make our usual interesting detour. So, we stopped in Nevada at the California Trail Interpretive Center. It was pretty cool, and the perfect stop to stretch legs and explore.
There is a wagon just as you walk in with different period toys and items inside and everything is touch friendly.
There were plenty of places to dress up and feel more authentic.
I think Pearl was more interested in checking out herself than the exhibits.
There is a phrase called 'Seeing the Elephant'. It is one thing to have an elephant described to you, but a whole nother thing to see one in person. That is how it was for those on the trail. No one could quite describe how it was to travel along the trails and see the tragedy along the way. One had to go 'see the elephant' for himself.
The girls almost left on a ferry. I told them to catch the next one.
Ivory packed her wagon well. I don't think there was any room for people. That doesn't matter as long as you have food.
One exhibit showed the trail of death and carnage across the desert. Bones were littered along with wagon pieces and discarded items. It was moving. There was even a box that you could open to smell what the pioneers smelled. (I do NOT recommend opening the box. The scene should be sufficient.)
We listened to a vignette about the Donner/Reed party. There were so many unfortunate events that ended up in a tragic winter for that group. We have been to see the monument before. There were stories about that group all around the Interpretive Center.
Okay Robyn...hurry up and finish your log cabin. I hear the salt flats calling and home is not far away.
We finished up our audio book on the last leg of our trip. Thanks Harvey, for your gambling tendencies. They kept us well entertained. I would recommend Help! I'm a Classroom Gambler by Pete Johnson. Paul Chequer was the narrator and we thought he was brilliant with his British accent. Tyler decided he needs to use the word 'Daft' more often.
And then we were home again! Granted, the house was trashed because we left in the middle of summer room changes, but that is okay. We just picked up where we left off. But a trip to see the Kelly's in CA was just what the doctor ordered. We can't thank you enough Tim and Jeannie. You kept us well fed (no small feat) and we adore your family. All the activities were great. The fireworks were amazing. The beach was peachy. Let's get together again soon!
p.s. I thought of two things I wanted to add in here. One was that Pearl was always calling Jeannie, Jami by mistake. I'm sure it is because of her aunt Jami, but we spent a lot of time repeating "JEANNIE" to Pearl.
Also, you know how you always seem to forget something when you leave? Well, like champs, we didn't forget one thing...we forgot seven. Seven swimsuits to be specific. They were still damp from the last day swimming, so I put them all in a plastic bag. Tyler put them by the door, so they could air out a bit, but somehow they got pushed behind the door, and subsequently left. Boo. The Kelly's were kind enough to mail them out to us. Luckily, Robyn, who uses a suit daily had an extra at home. We others have just done without, although Ivory improvised one day and used a leotard when she was invited to a friend's house.