This should be a quickie. We’re relaxing, not doing much, not thinking a whole lot, which means mission accomplished for this week.
We arrived in Alamo mid-afternoon on Sunday after a leisurely (and again, gorgeous) drive down a little more coast, through the Anderson Valley, and then a good bit of Sonoma county.
My dad had gone through the considerable trouble of pruning (heavily) the trees at their driveway entrance so that we could fit. It was a precision operation despite the chainsaws – only a foot or so of slop on all sides, at least based on measurements taken previously. It worked out perfectly though, with no scraping whatsoever, other than a slight bit of front-jacks-on-driveway due to the slope. Couldn’t have prevented that one. After a few orientation missteps on my part, we were comfortably leveled and plugged in in their driveway, awning out even. Plenty of room to spare.
The kids were thrilled and ran up to greet their grandparents, followed very shortly by claiming bedrooms.
I previously mentioned that we had no plans, but that’s not entirely true – we had the Stanford home football game at the end of the week at which a school friend and I had arranged us to both camp and tailgate. And I had a work trip to fly in the middle of the week which necessitated a commute back to Boston. Plus we were working hard to integrate ourselves into my sister/brother-in-law’s busy family schedule so that we could get some time with them and allow the cousins some play and reacquainting time.
It turned out that the best (only, actually) time for a family dinner with them was that night, so we headed over to their house for some amazing food and hang-out time. They’ve created one of the coolest back yards for gatherings that I’ve ever seen – it’s about a fifth the size of ours and puts it to shame.
Such a blast hanging out there with them. They’ve just sent their oldest off to Pepperdine on a water polo scholarship, and the other two kids are athletes as well, so they’ve got their hands full. As do most of us I suppose, but it’s always interesting to compare lifestyles with them. I’m not sure it’s so much a glimpse of our future as our kids have different interests and personalities, but all three of theirs are older than all three of ours so it’s been very helpful to be able to go to my younger sister for advice of the trailblazer sort.
The rest of the week was throttle-back time. Firebolt helped Papa with his morning puzzles, we started a puzzle, and went to a few water polo and volleyball games.
I was fortunate enough to reconnect with a college friend in Seattle just prior to my layover there this week, and we decided to get together for a catch up session, which we manage every couple years or so. Plus I got to stay at his house instead of our layover hotel in Tacoma (apologies Tacoma, no matter how much I try to appreciate your charms, I can never contort you into as fun a place to stay as Seattle. Or even Tampa. Syracuse. Hartford. Anyway…) It was a glorious, mid-80s day in Seattle, I got to nap in their hammock in the back yard, we ate like royalty (oysters, fresh salmon, Pike Place-fresh veggies), and spent several hours walking around town, having a few beers, and catching up with him and his family. Good for the soul.
Upon my return to the Bay Area and the fam, we solidified our plans for the weekend game. Plan is now to do dawn patrol to Stanford Saturday morning, set up, tailgate, watch the game, and then spend one night there, hopefully with a stroll or bike ride around campus with Tacco and the kiddos that night. Stanford differs from many college campuses in that the campus itself is huge and self-contained. Students rarely leave because they don’t have to. If things haven’t changed, Saturday is a pretty big party night on campus, and the students will have just arrived for the school year – I’m curious what the kids and I will see…