Saturday, December 31, 2005

On the Road

Here we are in Southern California. Not sunny all of the time. But close enough.

When I stepped off the plane on the 21st, at 9:30 or so at night, the temperature outside was 63 degrees. And it occurred to me that New Hampshire would not be seeing that temperature at any time of the day or night for over four months. I think I'm going to have trouble getting back on the plane on the 7th.

On the 23rd we went to Disneyland. Crowded, as we expected, but a fun, full day. What a joy it was to see Danny getting so much into the rides, though a couple of times he had a hissy fit when we had to take him off at the end. Especially at the Autopia (where, for those of you who don't know, tots get to drive cars--well, steer anyway, if they can't reach the pedal). Danny just couldn't accept that his turn was over. Even harder for Danny was leaving the giant animatronic figure of Buzz Lightyear, his favorite superhero, to actually go on the ride called "Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster," though once he got on the ride he enjoyed shooting at the targets; Astro Blaster is like the world's largest video game, with a car that you can spin while shooting beams of light at a target for points. At the end you get to email a picture of yourself to your home email address, and when I get someplace that I can properly retrieve our pictures I will add them to a gallery.

On Christmas day we were at the Reisch Cottage with Marylou, Tony, Peyton, and Madison. The family had a big party, and we all had fun eating, talking, and singing karaoke. Karen sang, I sang until my voice gave out (and even a bit beyond that), but we couldn't get Tom anywhere near the karaoke. We did get Peyton to sing, and 4-year-old Madison sang a capella.

We also visited Aunt Flo on Christmas day, and she enjoyed the decorations we gave her to brighten up her room, including some pictures of her with the boys that we had taken a few days earlier. Ah, the magic of digital photography!

On the 26th we went to Legoland, where we would have been better off spending two days, but we very much enjoyed the rides and the massive Lego sculptures throughout the park. One new additions that we particularly liked was a Florida section with models of the Daytona speedway and the Kennedy Space Center. And all of the city models had little seasonal touches, including a scene of Santa getting rescued when his sleigh fell off the side of a building in San Francisco, complete with a hook and ladder crew and one of his reindeer peering over from the roof.

Now we are in Fresno, visiting family from the Central Valley and the Yosemite area for the next couple of days. Then it's off to Oregon for more family visiting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

One Flu Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I'm in a house full of sick people!

As we came home Sunday from a fun but not entirely relaxing trip to see everyone in New Jersey (well, not everyone in New Jersey--just family), poor William got sick. Car sick, we thought, but today we know better. Last night around midnight Danny started in, followed by Karen in the morning, followed by Thomas in the evening. The only one to have escaped the nasty little bug is me. So far. But I wouldn't bet on it.

Actually, the part of the trip that wasn't entirely relaxing was the driving, on the return trip for the reason mentioned above, and on the outgoing journey because of snow. A blizzard, actually. By the time we had dropped Bonnie at the dog-sitter (yes, we have a dog-sitter), we encountered white-out conditions and had to stop in Rochester for a couple of hours to let the heavy snow blow over. After that it wasn't too bad, except for two things: five people packed into a little Subaru (my Astro van was in the shop, and the Subaru handles the snow better anyway), and all of the cars (and SUVs, and semis, and a snow plow!) that were stuck in the ditch by the side of the road.

But the actual visiting was fun and long overdue, and I'm looking forward to seeing the Garden State gang again soon. Although I hope this time both the weather and my van will cooperate.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Danny is Three!

Yesterday was Danny's third birthday. The celebration was unusual; Karen couldn't be there in the evening because of school, and I coudn't be there in the morning because of work, so Danny had two birthday parties, a breakfast party with Karen, and a dinner party with me.

Actually, those were two of the four birthday celebrations Danny had. The first was at Chuck E. Cheese's on Monday. We all crammed into Karen's Subaru, because my Astro Van was in the shop getting looked over for a new transfer case. The boys had a lot of fun, and I couldn't get Danny to leave until I chased him down and carried him out of the door. The party animal!

Temperatures are getting very low around here, well below freezing every night, never above freezing today, although we are expecting some milder weather, in the thirties, next week. We are also expecting snow, so it's a good thing my all-wheel drive is getting fixed at the end of this week. Lately I've been parking on the vacant lot next to our driveway at night when slick conditions are expected, so that I don't get stuck trying to get up our driveway, something I never had to worry about when the AWD was healthy.

I see that Southern California is expecting daytime highs in the sixties and seventies next week. I wish I could experience a little of that in the middle of the winter. Oh, wait, I will be!