Family Time in NorCal and New Year's Too

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Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tue, Dec 30, 2008

The day started off slow enough; we finalized the packing, then DH and I each drove one of the cars. He drove my car which had two spares on the back tires. We had to drop it off at the Anaheim Hills dealership (long story).

From there, we had to take HWY 5 which is not our normal route, for the very reason that the traffic is so bad through there, and it was. I think it took us two hours to get from Anaheim Hills to Fullerton!

We were all hungry and had to pee, so we stopped in Burbank. We decided on Tommy's Hamburgers, an L.A. food icon, one of which I have never experienced. We ordered at the shack's window, and ate outside at the picnic tables, which was perfect because we had our dog, Pasha, with us. Plus the weather was a perfect 78 degrees F.

We ordered the classics as recommended by my DH: he and I had hamburgers which come with chili, onions, pickles, and mustard on them, DD had chili cheese fries, and DS had a chili dog. Quite old-fashioned fast food. Of course, after we eat, DH then informs us, "yeah, Tommy's chili tends to clean you out." "Uh, what?!" I ask, thinking what the possibilities could entail when we have several more driving hours left. Even though he was serious, none of us suffered any "cleaning out" incidents on the road, thank God.

Eventually the traffic went from stop-and-go to crawl-in-a-cluster. Through the Grapevine the pace picked up a little. There were patches of snow here and there. The temperature continued to drop.

As we neared the mouth of the valley, we could see the fingers of fog trying to escape. I grew up with the valley's Thule fog, and it can be a real pain. Fortunately, most of the drive through the valley, the fog was fairly light. Every now and then it got dense, so that meant it was going to take even LONGER to get to our destination.

We finally got in, and went straight to my mom and dad's house. We visited awhile, the kids decided to stay the night with them, and DH, Pasha and I went and got checked into the hotel. The hotel is quite nice, our room is huge. The dog can stay free of charge; I just had to sign a pet agreement. This is our first time traveling with our dog, so it's a new experience for us. This seems like a good hotel choice.

Wed, Dec 31, 2008

DH and I woke up with 10 minutes to spare before breakfast was over, so we hurried and threw some clothes on an jammed downstairs. I don't know why they have breakfast from 6 to 9. Why 9? Why not 10? 10:00 seems so much more reasonable. Anyway, we had plenty of time, they really didn't start shutting it down while we were there. I had a waffle. They had quite a few different hot items though.

Then we went upstairs and read awhile, then went to the little gym room and had a great workout. After showering and stuff, we went over to my parents' house and had lunch. We visited for quite awhile, then we needed to do some shopping for snacks and stuff for the New Year's Eve party.

DH, DS and I went and got the things we needed, then we went back and got DD. The four of us had dinner at our room which consisted of fresh, just-made French bread, three kinds of cheese, wine for DH and I, and 7-Up for the kids. It was quite good. We've come to like our little hotel picnics.

The party started at about 8 pm at my niece's house. I think we were the last ones to arrive. It was pretty much everyone in my sister's family: lots of adults and even more kids. We played Scattergories, snacked, talked, and hung out until the ball was dropped. It was quite fun.

Oh, yeah, it was my great-nephew's 15th birthday. (Happy Bday T)!

We got back to the hotel at maybe 1 am and eventually got to bed. The kids wanted to party all night, sigh.


Thur, Jan 1, 2009

This morning we all (ok, mostly me) were burnt out tired. My three roommates went down and had breakfast just before 9. DH brought me a waffle, which I scarfed down and then went back to bed. When they got back, the kids were relatively quiet, so DH went back to sleep with me.

We got up at 10 something I think. Pathetic, I know. But, hey, it's New Year's Day. We got ready and went to my parents' house for lunch. My brothers and my sister-in-law were there also, and that was really nice because I don't always get to see them. We had a nice lunch and time to visit.

Afterwards, the four of us plus my parents met my niece at her new house. She showed us around. It is such a cute house, great layout and perfect for her and her daughter. I am very excited that she finally got to buy her own abode. She wants me to help her decorate, and I'm very excited about that too!

At 4 pm we had to meet everyone at Round Table Pizza for a double bday great-nephew's and his step-dad's. It was a nice gathering of family, lots of pizza, and yummy cake that my sister decorated with the new Yankee field on it. My sister got a corner piece with loads of frosting, so she gave some to me, knowing I'm a frosting fiend too. :) It was a very nice party.

We are now at the hotel, chillaxing. I'm beyond holidayed out. I wanted to do something with my niece, but just couldn't find the energy. We'll be going to bed soon. Tomorrow we head home.

Fri, Jan 2, 2009

We got up at 8 am. I called my niece so she could join us for breakfast. She brought her daughter, of course, and my nephew's daughter too. They are both the same age as my daughter. We had a nice breakfast.

They left and we packed up and headed over to my parents' house. We had a nice visit with them, then finally got on the road at 12:45 or so. We stopped for In-and-Out burgers in Fresno, then met my step-son in Bakersfield at Barnes & Noble. He was on his way back to Chico from Palm Desert. We hung out for a little bit, then we left in opposite directions.

I fell asleep for awhile at some point, then snagged one of the kids' Nintendo DS games to solve an important mystery. We needed gas, so we stopped for fuel and then got dinner in Norco at El Gran Burrito for me; everyone else got stuff from Pick Up Stix. We ate on the patio since we had Pasha with us.

We were SOOOOO glad to get home at around 8:30. I can't believe how long it took to get home!
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