California dreamin’

As happens in many families, each member lives in a different part of the country, for one reason or another. Getting everyone together in one place at the same time can be exceedingly difficult, and sometimes nearly impossible. One of the main reasons Bill and I wanted to live the RV lifestyle was to visit our children and grandchildren as much as we could. The problem, of course, is that while we are bouncing around the country, the other members stay put. Now that we have a new baby in the family, it was high time my son, Aaron, made the trek to Northern California to visit his sister and meet his nephew.

Here is Aaron meeting Thatcher for the first time. That look on Thatcher’s face says it all – “Hi Tio Aaron, happy to meet you!”
I hadn’t seen both of my kids at the same time since Felicia’s wedding two years ago. Aaron was unable to bring his son, Brando, with him this time. Brando turned 3 on October 16th. We were so sorry that we weren’t able to be there, but maybe we can get there next year. Still, it was definitely a family weekend, and we made the most of it. Saturday we all drove up to Mill Valley to my niece Wendy’s house. She, her husband, Adam, and their daughter, Laura, were exemplary hosts. Adam cooked a proper English lunch for us and a fine time was had by all. On the way up, Bill and I picked up my sister Cathi at her house in Redwood City. The weather was a picture postcard perfect day. After we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, we pulled off at a vista point and took this picture.

We actually took more, and you can see them, if you like, in our Campbell’s Photo Gallery link on the right side of the page. After lunch, we just had to get the whole family together for a picture.

Cathi and I couldn’t have been happier getting our kids together after all these years. The last time Cathi had seen Aaron was at a Graham Family reunion in 1995. Wendy and Aaron had never met! What a great day.

Sunday, Bill and I had Felicia, Aaron and Thatcher over for dinner. I figured, while I had them both here, I would give them their Christmas presents a little early. Now that they both have a child of their own, they should have some pictures of themselves when they were kids. I scanned a ton of pictures from the old family photo albums and had them printed into books. It was a huge undertaking, and it got to be a bit of an obsession, but they turned out really well. Here they are looking at their books and remembering their childhoods.

It was a gift to ME to see their faces and to hear their memories. Another picture perfect day.

Aaron put on the charm with Thatcher and got him to smile and giggle just by eating an apple. Aren’t babies just the best things on earth?

Monday, we granted another wish of Aaron’s to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory. It had been a family tradition to have birthday dinners there. When they were little, Felicia would order a Shirley Temple and Aaron would have a Roy Rogers to drink. Being in the nostalgic mood, they ordered them again!

Naturally, Aaron had to add his tough-guy look, while Felicia has retained her perky look.

On Aaron’s departure day, I got a great picture of Felicia’s dogs with Aaron. We are all major animal lovers, and Aaron had a grand time with Jack and Chico.

This visit will need to last me for quite a while, I’m sure. But for the time being, my heart is singing and all is right with the world. Thank you, Felicia and Aaron, for making me a very happy Mama.