All good things inevitably must come to an end, and so our little Christmas vacation has ended. I was exhausted when we returned home at midnight last night and all I did was ride in the car. PoorWalt, who drove from 10 a.m. until midnight, with a few key breaks in between. It is 5 a.m. as I start writing this journal entry and I am hoping he will sleep a lot more hours before he wakes up. He definitely deserves all the sleep he can get!
Our day started with a gourmet breakfast, cooked by Joe. He and Alice were going off too and so we were all busy about getting our respective cars packed.
The first stop for all of us was Tom's house, where we got Jeri and said goodbye to the family. I'm sure Tom and Laurel were looking forward to a quiet day, after four days of partying with many segments of both of their families. We had a short "hour Baur" goodbye and we took off in different directions.
We listened to playlists on the road -- 1950s rock, Bdwy tunes, the soundtrack from Book of Morman, and a few episodes of the radio show Says You, which I had downloaded for the trip.
We stopped at one of our favorite watering holes, V's Cafe in King City. This is the restaurant whose decor blends kitsch with religion. The place was decorated for Christmas and at one end of a row of booths we saw this...
while at the other end we found this...
Walt and I both had "guacamole burgers," which turned out to have guacamole so spicy that I couldn't eat it, and so full of onion chunks, Walt couldn't eat it either! (Jeri lucked out with her toasted cheese sandwich.)
Back on the road again for the last leg to Norm and Olivia's house, where we were going to have dinner with them and with Walt & Norm's cousin, Gerry and wife Melissa. Olivia and I started text messaging our progress. They had a bet on when we would get there.
We were rolling along surprisingly well until we hit San Francisco where from the outskirts of the city to the Golden Gate bridge was one solid line of cars. It must have taken us an hour just to cross the city and at one point we turned on the traffic advisory on the car radio and heard that "The Golden Gate Bridge is a nightmare." Nice to have our opinion backed by competent authorities.
Once we got onto the bridge, though, things immediately lightened up and it was pretty much smooth sailing to Norm & Olivia's house.
We had a lovely dinner of "Texas Crash" (I'm still not sure if that's a legitimate recipe, or something Norm created) and Norm and Olivia had a couple of gifts to open, from us, and from Tom and Laurel.
But we didn't linger because we were all fading fast and still had an hour and a half to drive home. I don't know how Walt made it. Jeri and I were napping.
We arrived home to ecstatic dogs, who were so clean and so sweet smelling (Thank you, Ashley and David!). Polly immediately raced out of the house and out into the street, this tiny black dog on a black night. Fortunately no cars on the street at midnight either. They way to get her back into the house is to go inside and close the door. She was back in a flash.
So it is over. Well, sort of. This morning we will celebrate Christmas with my mother and with Ned...and THEN it will be over!!
Addendum. This is my 5000th journal entry!!!!