Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 1 of our Cali adventure

Thursday the 18th of December was such an exciting time. There were 9 of us from Boise headed to Sacramento. My dad had just gotten home from Iraq the week before and we were going to see the last of us 4 children get married. Everybody was excited to get away for a while from work and to just really get away. We all love spending time together so this offered 5 days of dedicated time. This was also the first plane ride for Gunnar.

We had to get to the airport about 5:30am or so in the morning. Boy was that early but I think the anticipation masked that. All of us arrived and we were ready to go. Gunnar got his own paid seat. We were going back and forth on wether we wanted to use the carseat or not. We ultimately decided to gate check it. Gunnar was such a trooper. He loved the entire experience. He was not scared at all and really soaked it all in. The first leg of the trip was not crowded at all. Jeff tried to get some shut eye but I was stuck sitting next to a busy toddler.So what do you do with a wide awake toddler? You feed them...You buy a Thomas the Train DVD to play on papa's portable DVD player...About an hour or so later, we arrived in Portland for a layover. My mom and I questions where the carseat was because it should have been at the gate. It was not there. We were connected to this guy that went down below to checlk for us. It was not tagged with any thing more than our name. He tagged it for us to make sure that it was loaded onto our new plane. He couldn't do anymore than that because he couldn't touch it and bring it up. So frustrating. Nobody told me anything about tagging it. We were just hoping that it made it to California (it did). We were all so hungry, so we ended up at the Capers Cafe. The lady behind the counter was so what you would think of someone from Portland. She was so great. I would tell her that I wanted french toast and she would say something like, "way cool choice"...I can't really remember most of them now but we all walked away telling ourselves that that place had the nicest workers and so indicative of the city. We ended up sitting in the airport longer than planned. When that happens you started taking random, silly pictures. Gunnar would just follow papa every where he went and helped with whatever he was doing. It was snowing quite a bit and flights were being delayed. Just as quickly as it showed up, the snow stopped, the flight to Spokane at the gate next to us got cancelled, and so we all boarded their plane, had to sit there while they de-iced the plane, and then we were off. Our plane never showed up at our gate. What do you do with a toddler on the final leg of the flight? You let them open presents...I wrapped this CARS magnetic set for this trip. He was actually supposed to open it the night before and it never happened. He really liked doing it this way and then playing with it.

We finally arrived in sunny (but kind of cold) Sacramento. We were grateful to be there and excited for the rest of the stay. You can tell by Gunnar's face that he was worn out and ready for a change.

The airport has this really cool display of luggage around teh baggage carousel area. These are SO cool! Noelle was telling us that an artist took all of the unclaimed luggage from years/decades past and created this. I think that there were two of them. I could be wrong too. After we all of us got our luggage, we got on a shuttle to get our rental cars. The driver was CRAZY! He was driving like a crazy man. The shuttle is more like a mini bus type of thing and he would get really close to cars/other shuttles, cut people of and speed up then put his foot on the brake. Gunnar loved it...we all thought that he was insane.

We ended up getting two rental vehicles. I knew from experience, that Jeff would not be a driver of one of them. Mindy and Dan couldn't because they were younger than 25 and I am not sure why Heidi and Ren weren't. Anyway, I was up to the task. I really like driving and I consider myself pretty good. I also knew that we were headed to San Francisco later so Jeff was really out. Years ago we drove to Sonoma for a wedding and had to go through Sacramento. Let me just say, Jeff had a hard time with it and really didn't like it. I really like crowds and traffic for the most part. So Jeff, Gunnar, Dan, Mindy and I ended up being in a dirty Town and Country minivan. I was not thrilled but it proved to be the best thing ever later on. Everybody would tease me that I would want one when I got home. I can assure all of you that I definately do NOT want one. I couldn't stand the thing. It had no guts what so ever. It wass dubbed the SUan. A weird cross between an SUV wanna be and a mini van. My parents initially had some sort of old police car looking thing with a back seat that was coming out. They ended up getting a Pacifica.

We were the last in a caravan of my brother and Noelle and my parents and Heidi/Ren. It was crazy. I was not used to the vehicle or the traffic. I also had no idea where I was going and felt like I was driving in circles. It also did not help that my brother would drive so freakin fast that it was sometimes hard to spot him. We all ended up at some mexican food place and then onto our hotel.

That night we met Noelle's family for the first time. They fed us yummy chinese takeout and we had fun getting to know them better. They remind me so much of my own family. Just so fun and very welcoming. We all instantly liked them. We then decided to follow them to the Mormon Center, next to the temple, the reception was going to be. Things were coming along quite nicely and the temple was so beautiful at night.

I made this frame for Noelle's bridal shower. Her colors were green (a more subtle green), black/white and the damask pattern. Her mom, Katie, loved this so much that she used it on the sweets table at the reception. I really loved how it turned out too.

So this was day one of California. I really hope to continue documenting our few days before my mom's stroke. The days leading up to it were so fun and worth documenting.

1 clever remarks:

mandbrid said...

I LOVE the sweater Gunnar is wearing! I also love the wedding reception decor...stunning. Looks like you did a great job keeping Gunnar entertained on the flights. That's gotta be a huge job.