Saturday, November 1, 2014

Chillin on a dirt road

I love Southern California, but I admit that have a soft spot for Northern California. 

Not only did I spend seven years living in Davis in college and beyond, but my pops also bought property even further north and I've always had such a great time visiting him. The area he lives in is one of those that country songs are written's where the blacktop ends.

My first trip up there was the week after Nick and I lost Denise. We unplugged from reality and spent a weekend riding quads, fishing and drinking beers with my dad and the neighbors. It was just what we needed. We went again after Sal was born, and enjoyed our first helicopter ride overlooking the Sac river and surrounding parcels of land. It was my first (and probably only) helicopter ride ever. 

             Sal's first trip to Grandpa Jets house with his cousin Simon

This time, the kids and I flew up and spent a week and a half with my dad and his longtime girlfriend. I had been looking forward to letting Sal roam free and experience life on a dirt road. Quad rides, dirt digging, feeding horses, playing with the dogs...all of that good stuff that kids should have the freedom to do. 

                                                    Blue skies. I die.

But his favorite part of visiting grandpa Jet and meme? 

                            Opening the workshop up

The garage doors. He lived each day to open and close them. If we drove into town, we spent the next thirty minutes on our drive home listening to him ask to "close the gawage". He also loved riding the quad--and even helped spread manure in the pasture. He was sure to point out where Meme missed some poop. I'm sure she appreciated his supervision. 
                      Riding grandpa Jet's quad   

He proudly fed the horse hay each afternoon, and although skittish at first, he finally came around to feeding the dogs. 

                                "He-whoa, Maggie. I feed you hay"
We went to Turtle bay one afternoon and visited a kids garden. It was the only hot day we had. The rest of the week alternated between rain and sunshine, so we did our share of shopping (they have great second hand boutiques..scored a walker, holiday dresses and shoes for Carla!) and I was even treated to a half hour kid free to get my brows threaded! Bliss!
                            Children's garden at Turtle Bay

My dad came home from work with a surprise for Sal one night. His neighbor was grading their road and had invited Sal to ride along! We hopped in the truck and drove out to meet the grading machine. Sal's eyes lit up at the offer to drive it, but that quickly turned to uncertainty when mama got out of sight. 

                            Driving a real life grading machine

                                       Sunset with grandpa Jet

My aunt and uncle and cousin Simon drove over for a BBQ our last weekend there, and if it wasn't for Carla running a high fever and refusing to eat, it would've been fun. I took Carla to urgent care the day before we flew home and was told she may have hand foot mouth...a common childhood virus that just needed to run its course. 

Poor girl. She's been sick ever since we touched ground in the states. I'm ready for her to catch a break. 

Now it's back to life in Southern California. It's great to be back, but we had a fantastic time up north. 


  1. What a dream for a kid, eh! Riding a real grading machine and opening and closing a garage door. Benjamin has similar excitements I would never have guessed would thrill him. The everyday stuff that he gets going about. It's awesome.

    Claire had that ridiculous fever, you know. It's no fun. Your kids are amazing.

  2. I have heard wonderful things about northern California. I have several friends who are from southern California but then went to school in norther California and they just go on and on about how beautiful it really is up there. I am from the east coast and have yet to make it out there but I hope to someday soon.

    Howard Nguyen @ U.S. HealthWorks San Carlos