“Are we there yet?”

by

On Father’s day the four of us packed up the rental mini van and headed up north for a little road trip. Mike had a meeting to attend in San Francisco on Tuesday, so we thought if we made a “vacation” out of it we would all be together and have a little fun.  Two years ago we drove up to Portland, OR to visit family and had a fabulous time.  Jay (who was almost 4 at the time) was a delightful little traveler in the car. That was TWO years go! This road trip was not all fun & games like before. Our almost 6 year old was, to say the least, challenging! The 4 month old baby was also challenging, especially in the beginning. She actually started doing really well in the car for long stretches once she got used to it. But let me tell you, having to stop every 3 hours or so to nurse a baby in the car was not one of my more graceful moments. 

Our first stop was in Monterey where we were able to stay at a collegue’s house of MIke’s. The house was great and walking around Cannery Row was refreshing. We had a great Father’s day dinner at Willy’s Smokehouse then we walked over to the Ghirardelli ice cream shop for a dark chocolate hot fudge sundae to celebrate the end of kindergarten and the start of summer! This was truly a highlight of a difficult day!

sundae

The next morning we were driving from Monterey to Walnut Creek to see the new CUE office space. Again there was lots of ugliness on the drive. There was a particulary bad scene at a turn off where I was trying to nurse Kellen and Mike was dealing with a beligerant Jay. Finally after many tears by everyone (except Mike), things cooled down thanks in large part to MIke’s brillant thinking. There happened to be lots of dirt and bushes around, so of course as any 5 year old boy would do Jay started kicking dirt into some holes. Mike told him to stop. Jay asked, “why?” Mike answered, “because you don’t want to upset the snakes.” Jay sorta freaked out and shaped up at that point, even insisting on being held by daddy until it was “safe” to come back in the car with mommy and Kellen. (Time will tell how this little story will leave an imprint on Jay’s mind – snakes and holes!  I loved it!)

Our stop in Walnut Creek was great. I’ve now been able to see every office space that CUE has had since Mike started working there.  We even got to see Marisol who stopped by. After lunch we then headed toward S.F. with a drive by of the Pixar studios in Emeryville. (MIke had the priviledge of attending a meeting there a few years back, totally cool!) Once in SF we drove down the twisty Lombard street and headed over to Pier 39 to see the sea lions. Jay was really squirmy the whole time because basically all he wanted to do was ride the BART. So after Jay & Mike enjoyed Pier 39 (again I was in the car nursing the baby and completely missed Pier 39) I dropped the boys off at a corner in downtown so they could take the BART to the MIllbrae station. Kellen and I drove down in the car and picked them up. If you asked Jay what his favorite part of the trip was, he’d say the BART ride. Our boy loves his transportation vehicles.

One highlight for me was the stay at the Marriott hotel that overlooked the bay and SFO airport. The room was awesome and we could just let down and relax a little. Mike’s meeting was accross the street the next morning, so I just hung at the hotel with the kids and let Jay go swimming in the hotel pool (another hightlight for Jay) until 2pm our check out time. We found a little park for Jay to stomp around in until it was 3pm and time to pick up Mike and head to San Jose for a stay with the Schilemans (Kali is Mike’s friend from UCSB days.) They are just about the most hospitable people I know, and it was so fun to see them and their two kiddos again. We happened to be in Hawaii last year at the same time they were, so it had been almost a year since we’d seen them. (Of course Mike sees them more often when he has trips to San Jose area.) Jay hit it off with Zack and Kira and the adults had some great food and conversation. Kali has a true talent with gardening, so I was picking her brain for ideas. Their back yard (more like back 40) was just beautiful. There is a little creek that runs behind their property and made it easy to catch frogs when the sunset. We even saw a mama deer and her two does walking by along the creek. Truly wonderful. I especially enjoyed all the freshly picked strawberries Zack got for me in their very own stawberry patch! Yum yum! After kids went to bed, the rest of us played a game called Carcassonne. I forgot how fun it is to just sit around with adults and play games, and Kali & Scott are great game players!

Be sure to check out Mike’s site to see the photos he “moblogged” along the way from his iphone.

We finally made it home Wednesday night, and it was good to sleep in our own bed again! I was telling Kali that really our “vacation” with a nursing 4 month old and almost 6 year old was a crazy misnomer. That’s why I’m so looking forward to our (mommy & daddy only) getaway in August to celebrate our 10th anniversary! Now that’ll be a vacation!

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3 Responses to ““Are we there yet?””

  1. Amy Says:

    Hi Julie,

    I enjoyed talking with Mike yesterday as he told about your trip, I understand now that he just gave me a short overview as your description here is great! We just pulled in tonight from a 10 hour drive from our vacation in South Carolina and I totally am in sync with your title… “Are we there yet?” Imagine having two of them who can ask the same question all the way there! Seems they forgot how to ask on the way home though and decided to fight over the headphones and take turns demanding food all the way back. I do remember the driving trips we took when I was nursing and your descriptions bring back some interesting memories.

    Amy

  2. Debbie Calvert Says:

    O.K. I love the photo of the four of you on the bed and Kellen crying!

  3. christy Says:

    That photo of your hubby with the two kids is precious….Kellen’s face is so stinking ADORABLE.

    You are braver than I am….I could barely handle 5 hours on a plane with my crew. Driving to SF??? No way.

    Glad you are going to get some alone time in August. Enjoy it! 🙂

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