Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Grand Trip - Reunion and Discovery

Thank you for your sweet comments about the first part of our 'grand' trip.  It's fun to go back and see the photos and relive the miles and miles of travel my sweetheart and I enjoyed early this spring. The next part of our journey was very special. It involved a reunion and discovery of new places beyond.  After the wonderful visit with my dear friend we had a short drive to our next destination the following day. It wasn't long before we stopped at a beautiful RV park near my father's family. We had looked forward to a few days with them on our trip south. This was a reunion that meant a lot to all of us. It had been a few years since I had been able to travel their way.  We had a wonderful time together. I loved being with my father's family again - his sister, brother and his dear wife and my cousins and their children and grandchildren.  It was just what I needed!

My father's youngest sister has always been like a second mom to me. I attended college close to her home and I spent many weekends and holidays there when I wasn't able to come home. She watched over me and took care of me with the same love as she gave her own daughters. I've always told people my aunt and uncle had three daughters - and I was the fourth!  One of the days we were together she took us out to lunch at a favorite place of hers.  I wasn't too sure about eating there when I heard the name of the place!
 The food was incredible and the decor absolutely delightful. They played tunes from my younger years - 'my kind of music'. It was hard to keep from singing along when I was supposed to be eating! And we dined with Elvis. . .
And Marilyn!
These were life-size figures. It was hard to get good photos with the big windows and the bright  California sun shining in. What fun we had that day - good food, a great atmosphere and time with my sweet aunt and cousin.

We planned our schedule to include Easter Sunday with them. What a treat that was!  We attended church with my two aunts and my uncle. It was a special blessing to sit beside these dear people who mean so much to me. And it was a wonderful, uplifting service. Beautiful roses lined the walk from the church to the parking lot. I had to stop and take photos of two of them that touched my heart.  A yellow rose - my favorite.
And a gorgeous apricot-colored rose - my father's favorite.
That afternoon we all gathered for Easter Dinner at the home of one of my cousins and his wife.  This is an annual tradition and I have never been able to be part of it. It meant so much to me to be there with them - it might become an annual event for us!  My dear aunts and uncle, my cousins and their families gathered together to give thanks and share in a wonderful meal. My dear, little mother collected cobalt blue depression glass.  My cousin's wife (at whose home we gathered) began to collect it after she was in my mother's home. My mother had directed me to share some pieces of her collection with my cousin's wife when the day came that my dear mother was gone. I had carefully chosen, packaged and traveled with some very special pieces. There are no words to share the deep meaning of these gifts - for me or for my sweet cousin.  As we entered her home that Easter afternoon my eyes filled with tears because my mother's big blue vase greeted us. It was filled with an assortment of flowers my sweet mama would have loved. And her favorite cobalt blue candle holders graced the center of the very long dining room table. We had a great time together. It was fun to watch my cousins' grandchildren play and hunt for Easter eggs.

It was very hard to say goodbye. There were tears as we hugged and we promised to return again. The next morning we headed south toward places where we had never been before.  One of the nice things about traveling with our home-away-from-home is that we can stop for lunch when and where we chose - as long as there's a safe place to get off the road that is big enough for our vehicles. Rest stops along the way made good places to stop for lunch.  We stopped somewhere in mid-California and ate lunch. Later that day we made a brief stop at another rest stop and it wasn't long before we had neighbors parked beside us.  We couldn't help ourselves - we had to go over and talk to them and ask permission to take photos. This vintage car was parked next to us. . .
And this nineteen-thirty-six Yosemite National Park tour bus was right next to it!
These were both owned by the same family. They had taken them to be part of a family wedding in Northern California and they were on their way home again. We had a great time talking to them.  They were quite interested to hear about Daffodil, my little vintage trailer and they enjoyed seeing pictures of her. Vintage vehicle and trailer folks always have something to talk about!

We traveled quite a ways on the freeway toward Los Angeles.
 It wasn't long before we saw oil wells beside the freeway. That's a sure sign that we are in Southern California.  When I was a little girl we often traveled many hours from Oregon to Southern California to get to my grandma's house. I always knew we were getting close to her house when I started to see oil wells. I felt that again when I saw this first one.
Later we turned off the freeway and headed east.  We followed miles and miles of phone lines and wondered what might be ahead.
We drove on through dry countryside that is so different than where we live, but it has a beauty of its own.
Late in the afternoon we arrived at the RV park where we had reservations to stay for the night. We found a quiet spot under the trees. There was even a cute, little white fence.
The sun dropped behind the hills and canyons behind us as evening settled in. Big clouds moved in from the coast beyond and soon it was dark. We were comfortable and happy to be here. Tomorrow would be a new day and we had more adventures ahead. We were far from home and the memories of the past days were sweet.  Very sweet!

4 comments:

  1. What a wonderful grand trip you had dear lady! Oh I know you had so much fun with your father's family. How sweet. Love all the pictures. I am so jealous of you getting to travel so much and I mean that in the most sweet way dear friend. So happy for you. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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  2. I'm enjoying your trip. So very glad you were able to spend time with your father's family. Wish I had been there to see the vintage car and tour bus! ~Jeanne

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  3. You two really know how to travel. So much is packed into your trips. Chubby's looks like a fun place, and I'm sure your aunt enjoyed taking you there. It looks like you may have camped in the high desert area of So California. Those roses are gorgeous! Hugs.

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