Monday, July 16, 2012

Oh what a night!

After anxiously waiting for the week to pass by, Friday finally came.  It was torture waiting for the workday to end so we could hit the road & make the 2.5 hour drive to my Dad's house.  When the morning began, I was afraid something was going to fall through b/c it seemed like no matter what I needed to get done, it was foiled in some way.  First I tried to visit my Grandma.  I wanted to spend an hour or so with her while I didn't have Trinity in tow, but she wasn't home.  So my next stop was to the Book Exchange to try to get the online sales packed & shipped, but the internet was down, so I couldn't do that.  Resigned, I went home to finish the last of the cleaning & packing.  Once the van was loaded up, a light bulb went off in my head & I decided to fill up some jugs of my Dad's favorite Lithia water.  Of course, even that wasn't without it's difficulties.  When I tried to get on the freeway, I got blocked in traffic & missed the on-ramp.  So I had to pull into a gas station & turn around to hit the on-ramp from the other direction.  Then when I got to Lithia park, I couldn't remember if I had to use the drinking fountain or if I could fill up directly from the run-off hose beside the creek. I had hoped to surprise my Dad w/ the Lithia water, but I spilled the beans so I could make sure filling up from the run-off was okay.  As I was leaving the park, I ended up turning left when I should have turned right, which caused me to do a big loop around the plaza.  In all the years I've been driving that very same road, that is the first time I've ever turned the wrong way.  Talk about your bonehead maneuvers!

Not soon enough, 4pm arrived & it was time to pick the hubs up from work & hit the road!  We stocked up on jerky & rockstar smoothies before getting on the freeway.  Thankfully my luck (or lack thereof) changed & we managed to make it to my Dad's without a hitch.  Road trips w/ my hubs are always nice, but this one was a special treat b/c our kiddo was spending the weekend w/ my mother in law.  Alone time is a luxury in our lives right now, so it was nice to just chat with each other on the drive.

Dad & Annmarie
When we finally arrived at my Dad's girlfriend's house, the food was already on the barbecue & it was a packed house.  We met so many people that I can't even remember all their names.  I got to meet Annmarie's 3 sons, whom she refers to as my "new brothers".  My Dad & Annmarie made sure my cup was always full of Malibu rum & pineapple juice and my husband, who was suffering w/ a painful little treat called an "ice pick headache", sat contentedly by my side in spite of the pain he was in. Annmarie's best friend's husband played guitar & sang most of the night.  Eventually her sons started singing for us, too.  By the end of the evening, a singing circle formed, with folks popping in & out of it to join the singing or just listen.  We were all full of good food, stout drinks, and I couldn't stop smiling.  I have never seen my Dad so happy in all my life! It was amazing, all around. We made it back to my Dad's apartment about midnight or so, where my sister & I each ate one big piece of Annmarie's homemade lemon meringue pie.  Full and happy, I finally crawled into bed at 1:30am.  
The singing circle
Saturday was less chaotic.  We spent most of the day at Annmarie's house, where my Dad cooked us all breakfast & we sat in the backyard blabbering our head's off.  (And getting sunburned.)  My hubs & I had to leave the group to head across town for the Beach Boys 50th anniversary concert, which was the original reason for our trip up North in the first place.  On our way, we stopped into St. Vincent DePaul's & Goodwill, where my husband nearly died of a heart attack when I actually found a dress & a shirt for myself AND I DIDN'T TALK MYSELF OUT OF BUYING IT!!   I thought Justin was going to have another heart attack when he discovered the wall of board games on sale for half off at Goodwill.  He literally filled a shopping cart w/ games, but still walked out of the store having spent less than $20.  We had to drag ourselves away from the thrift stores to get to the concert on time.  Despite not being a big fan of the Beach Boys, I really enjoyed the show.  They sounded great, performed very well, and the amphitheater was the perfect venue.  When we first arrived & were finding our seats, we walked by the stage & saw Brian Wilson sitting in the corner behind a stack of speakers.  Justin caught his eye & waved at him, and Brian Wilson gave Justin a little nod in return.  My hubs didn't get to meet any of the other band members or get any autographs, but he still had fun.  We made it back to my Dad's house around 11pm that night & went straight to bed, exhausted.

My ridiculously huge breakfast. I didn't even eat 1/4 of it!
Sunday came too soon, as we had to say goodbye to everyone & head home.  We enjoyed a HUMONGOUS breakfast at a little mom & pop diner and spent a little time back at Annmarie's for more chatting before we had to leave.  With lots of hugs & promises of facebook friending, the hubs & I got back in our van & started our trek homeward.  (But not before we made a couple pit-stops for more Goodwill bargains.  We may need professional help for our thrift store addiction.)  We made it back to town safely, picked up the kiddo, unloaded the van, then grabbed some Subway sandwiches before settling in for the evening.  Being back in our own house was bittersweet.  Part of me was happy b/c there truly is no place like home, but another part of me felt sad that it's such a long drive to spend time w/ my Dad, my sister, brother, Annmarie, & her family/my new extended family.  It's only about 3/4 of a tank of gas to get up there & back, but we rarely have the funds available to make the trip.  It brings to mind that saying, "so close, yet still so far away".  Then again, it's possible that if we all lived closer, we might start grating on each other's nerves.  I mean, hell, I annoy myself to death, so I can imagine the effect I have on other people!  Maybe what allows us to get along & enjoy each other's company is the fact that it doesn't happen very often.  Regardless, we left Dad's promising to get together more often & I intend to make an bigger effort to do just that.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Template by | Header Image by Freepik