09 Dec 2008 vacation summation
 |  Category: Family

We’re back in SLC now.  We arrived home this morning at ~1:45am (got to sleep about 3am after getting the kids to bed, stuff out of the car, etc).  Vacations are great.  And, as I’ve told people, San Diego is a wonderful place – to visit.  Glad I don’t live there anymore.  Don’t get me wrong, the weather was nice, people were friendly, air was clear (no “Santa Ana” conditions while there, or brush fire smoke), beach was nice, etc.  But the expense and congestion, particularly on the roads?  Ick.  No thanks.

As for the rest of the trip, it was a blast.  After the evening with the J & J Smith family (and their pushy vaccum salesman), we met Mrs. Smith’s brother and his girlfriend for dinner (Mrs. Smith and the kids went to visit Aunt K., too, while I took my CA real estate broker exam – which I failed… remind me to study next time), and the next two days we visited Legoland (buy one day get 2nd day “free”).

The park was perfect for kids our ages.  Older kids (9+ I’d say) might have been bored as it’s a theme park geared toward a younger crowd.  But for our barely 36″ and just over 42″ kids, it was awesome.  And, given the unusual season, there were no crowds.  Our kids were able to repeat rides over, and over, and over (did I mention they did them over and over?), and over again without having to stop.

On Saturday we hung around the timeshare, met our favorite jeweler (great story for some other blog entry – if you’re in SoCal, I highly recommend Tony Bagdy’s jewelry shop!), and met with Mrs. Smith’s former music teachers and mentors, Martha Rossicker and Diane Geller.  Mrs. Smith was instructed in the “Kodaly” (pronounced Co-Die – go figure) music methodology (I may be incorrect in classifying Kodaly as a methodology – I don’t know; I’m sure Mrs. Smith will correct me as needed).

Sunday we went to the ward in which I grew up (or in which I aged, anyway – whether I “grew up” remains to be seen) and from which I departed for the mission field.  It was nice to see some of the old families from my youth, though there were a lot of new faces!  Afterwards we visited Mrs. Smith’s former piano teacher, Dale Warstadt, and had a great visit with her family.  And finally, we went to J & J Smith’s house again for dinner, some games, and creation and, shortly thereafter, the destruction and consumption of a traditional gingerbread house.

The next morning was spent cleaning/packing things for the road trip with Mrs. Smith’s bro who hitched a ride home for the holidays (yay! he was a big help with the kids in the car).  The trip was ~12.5hrs to drive.  Ugh.  There were four instances when we had to drop down to stop-n-go traffic due to traffic and Vegas afternoon construction.  And then from ~Cedar City to ~Nephi (in So. Utah) we had whiteout conditions.  Not fast, not fun.  Mrs. Smith woke up at one point when I went over the warning strip on the side of the freeway (I couldn’t see the road, afterall), and then decided she wasn’t going back to sleep.  She didn’t much like the whiteout.  Not a bad drive otherwise, though.  I listened to a book on tape (book three of a series by Lloyd Alexander, author of The Black Cauldron) and actually didn’t get sleepy throughout.

Nice to be back home, even though it was 46 degrees in the house (we turned off the heater while gone) and our waterbed was a bit above freezing (turned it off, too).  Brrrr.

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