Our Trip to California (Part One) – While we're here

Okay, so its been a really long time since I have written anything, here is the first part describing our (current) trip to California.

Ever since we got the word that my nephew Daryl was getting married, we’ve been planning on taking the whole family out to California to attend the event and have a vacation. A bonus was that Javen was selected to be the “ring barrow” so that sealed the deal for all of us to go.

On July 17, 2007 we all packed into our PT Cruiser and headed south. We picked up a couple geocaches along the way (including one cleverly hidden in a fence post) and arrived later on in Rochester, NY. We met Jennelle (a former roommate of Cindy’s) at Roberts Wesleyan College and she took us the rest of the way to the airport. We really appreciated her help and keeping our car for us while we are gone.

Everything went smoothly at the airport and the kids loved their first airplane rides. They traveled really well including having a long sleep during the second leg of our trip from Cincinnati to San Francisco. My brother Dave then picked us up late at night at SFO and brought us to our hotel.

We’re staying at a hotel that features “studio suites” that include a fridge, hotplate and microwave oven although we haven’t used them as much as we should. We’re eating out a lot. I mean eating a lot out. I mean eating a lot. Out.

Wednesday, July 18 saw us deciding to see a bit of Dublin, CA. You can guess how we did that – geocaching. We picked up 9 more and saw some sights including the library, a couple parks and the BART station. Urban geocaching is quite a bit different from what we’re used to. Things are hidden more cleverly and generally take more time to find. We’re starting to get the hang of it, though. The kids got a little tired, so we took them back to Dave and Patty’s place and my neice Breanna took them to the pool for a swim. Dave, Cindy and I went out and picked up a few more caches. We were almost at 90 by the end of the day and that has Cindy motivated to try to get to 100 while we’re in California.

Thursday, July 19 started slowly by us playing some family games in the hotel. That afternoon, Dave and I went to SFO again to pick up our Mom and Dad. We didn’t do much more that day other than eat out a lot, help Dad rent a car and then went to sleep early.

Friday, July 20 was an exciting day. We drove to Santa Cruz and visited the Mystery Spot. At the Mystery Spot Javen grew taller than Kendra, Cindy was as tall as a 6 foot dude from England and we all stood at weird angles. (Pictures are available in our Photo Album.) The tour guide was great although she kept trying to get us excited which was really hard for a tour full of Canadians and Brits. We all got bumper stickers and that was great. We had planned to maybe look for a geocache in the area, but for some mysterious reason, my gps wouldn’t work.

We then took off to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where we ate themepark food (corndogs and chili cheese dogs) and took in the sights. I got to take Kendra on her first roller coaster ride – a wooden coaster called the “Giant Dipper” that was originally built in 1924. She was really scared, but she said it was a fun scared. Javen was just a little short to ride a lot of the rides, but he did get in quite a few including one that both kids rode twice that kept taking them up into the air and dropping them. We picked up another geocache and then we walked the beach so that everyone could put their feet in the Pacific Ocean. It was a really good time. I wish we could have stayed there at log longer, but we had to be back in Dublin by 6 pm.

Then it was time for the Wedding Rehearsal and Javen was anxious to practice and meet the flower girl, Chloe, because everyone kept bugging him that he would have to either kiss or marry her. The rehearsal went off without a hitch and Javen was all prepped to go. We then took off to Chevy’s for the dinner and ate a ton of Mexican food. Thanks, Dave, for letting us come along.

Saturday, July 21 was the big Wedding day. Daryl and Sam had a great ceremony even if it was late due to Sam’s limo being really late. Javen looked really sharp in his tux and vest complete with brown Chuck Taylor shoes. He did everything he was supposed to perfectly including he and Chloe almost stealing the show with their cuteness. We went to the reception, ate a lot more good food and talked a lot. Since we’re teatotallers we expected cider for the toasts, but it was the nastiest tasting cider I’ve ever had. Oh, maybe that was champagne. The kids had a lot of fun in the jumping castle that was provided to help keep the kids occupied.

So far, we’ve had a great time. We have a few more days left in California and we’re still hoping to pick up our 100th cache here. I know this writing might be kind of rough, but I’m whipping it off at 7:30 in the morning before everyone else wakes up and I expect I may touch this up a bit later on or add more posts to provide more detail.

Pictures are available in our Photo Album.

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