Yes, I've morphed into Grandma mode again and here I sit at Alice Nan & Joe's house, having just enjoyed a lovely evening with them, with Walt's mother, and with Tom & Laurel. Brianna was, of course, the center of attention.
(We are all watching her be burped.)
Every single person, at one time or another, asked us how our ride down was, which got to be pretty funny after awhile. Actually, the ride down was fine. It's 8 hrs no matter how you look at it. I slept a good part of the first section of the trip. I had been up until 1:30 working on my review of the show we saw last night, and then got up at 5 to finish it, so I was pretty out of it .
Since we were traveling on Saturday, we seem to have missed the bulk of the Memorial Day traffic, at least people who were planning on traveling long distances. We had a bit of a jam-up around an air field where there were lots of helicopters, of all sorts of types and sizes, all loading up with flame retardant to dump on the fire burning just over the ridge in the Santa Cruz mountains. Everybody became a gawker and it slowed progress briefly.
We also stopped just outside of Gilroy at a stand selling fresh cherries. They actually had more peanut and pistachio products, but we did buy a nice bag of cherries, which helped us make it down to Gonzales to the Burger Queen for lunch. The Burger Queen is an independently owned hamburger joint that Walt's mother discovered many, many, many years ago when she was still working for the Department of Education and traveling up and down the state. It's perfectly situated between Davis and Santa Barbara for a nice lunch stop. Total greasy spoon, but it's become a family tradition--Walt's sister stops there when she travels, Jeri stops there when she travels, and we frequently stop there as well. They have huge hamburgers, and the best onion rings ever.
I did some of the driving after we left Gonzales but I was sleepier than I realized and before I'd even driven 100 miles, I was weaving dangerously into the next lane, so pulled off at a rest stop and Walt drove the rest of the way in...I slept some more.
When we were here last time, right after Bri's birth, it was the middle of April and Joe, an accountant, was up to his eyeballs in taxes and we hardly saw him. Big difference tonight when we arrived and discovered he was putting together a big family dinner for all of us. He was so much more relaxed and I didn't worry about being a bother for him (not that he would ever feel we were, I don't think).
So we just sat around and had hors d'oeuvres, and then dinner, and oohed and ahhed over the baby.
I decided that while I would rather be here all the time to see her frequently, there is a perk in being the "far away" grandparents. We get a chance to see the "big" changes, to see how much she has changed from month to month, in a way that you don't notice when you see a baby every day. It's also so much fun to see how Tom and Laurel have already grown into parenthood
She had her fussy time, and they took her to the back of the house and got her all taken care of. Then I held her and walked her around for awhile so they could eat dinner with two hands. Then, before they left, she got passed around to everyone so we could all have a chance to bond with her a bit.
Tomorrow we are going to i madonnari, a street painting festival at Mission Santa Barbara, which should be fun...and give me a chance to take lots of photos.