2. Visiting the Boys in wonderful California!…2.2020

Day 5 2.23
This morning was rainy…the first so far on this trip.  The area is really lacking rain this month, however it’s making some beautiful sunny days.  Leia & Pete & I took three of the dogs for a walk down to the river from their house.  Dexter, Pete’s dog, is getting old, just like Blue.  I think the days of running, frolicking pups is long gone.  But it was great to be outside walking around & enjoying the scenery.

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How nice to see flowers blooming in February!  

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Then it was time for Pickleball!  Pete & Luke both are tournament players.  Pete just got back from Hawaii where he placed 2nd in both Men’s Singles &  Men’s Doubles.  I love to watch them play…together or against each other!  And meeting the other people they play with is always great too.  Pete & I talked about the possibility of me taking up the sport.  He offered me one of his paddles…do you think it would give me some good Karma?  Because I’m not very good at sports like this. It will have to wait until next fall or winter….I’m on the cusp of my travel season.




After the games, the three of us went to the Burger Joint, which is right next door to Dead Reckoning.  We headed over there to grab a beer & the boys played pinball.  The food was good but mostly I just loved spending time with these guys!  I miss them so much! 

We went back to the house for a bit, then when everyone was back together, we drove to a new place called The Pub.  Id never been there before but its in a cool old building in Arcata.


And, there was more competition.  Give them a game & they’re happy!

The night ended back at home with several games of Yahtzee….I hadn’t played that since the kids were little.  Another good day!

Day 6 2.24
I was up early this morning & hitched a ride into Arcata with Pete on his way to work.  He dropped me at Brio…a quaint little coffee house on the Plaza.  I was meeting Terri to walk the Marsh this morning.  Terri is an old friend of my sister in laws, but we’ve become friends since she moved out here.  We try to take a hike everytime I come for a visit.  She’s a fascinating woman & I always enjoy our visits!  And, the extra bonus is that it’s always a wonderful conversation with a view!



So, earlier this morning I started having a cough.  But after our walk, I was feeling super crappy.  I’d walked to the drug store earlier to get some cough drops, but they didn’t seem to help.  Terri told me she had gotten sick after her last flight & some things to try.  We were all meeting a Japhy’s for lunch…home of the best curry.  I walked from the Plaza to the restaurant, but didn’t feel like eating; I got mine to go.  But it was still nice, sitting at the table, enjoying everyones chatter.  

After lunch, Luke drove me to a health food store for Umcka…the stuff Terri told me about.  We went back to the house, I chewed up one of the tablets, drank a bunch of water, took a Tylenol & slept for an hour.  I never sleep in the middle of the day.  So, I knew something wasn’t right for sure.  But, I woke up feeling better & was super happy about that.  I still had the cough, but my energy seemed revived.

Pete & Leia were at work, so the four of us took Blue to Moonstone beach…I love this beach; there’s always quite a few people here & always tons of doggies!

Blue still enjoying a romp on the beach!


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Wonder what he’s thinking?

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A guy & his dog.  I love watching how gentle, tender & loving Luke is with his old pup.  Blue is such a part of his life.  Luke’s decided Blue can no longer travel with him, so the times Luke is home is even more special.

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We stopped at Smugs Pizza (sooooo good) & grabbed a couple & took them back to the house, where Pete & Leia joined us.  Then we all went to the Logger Bar about 3 blocks away from the house.  A really cool small local bar where they fresh squeeze any juice that goes into a drink.  It’s also decorated with the lumber cutting them…huge saw blades sunk into the floor & huge saws hanging around.  Sounds creepy as I type this, but it’s not…it also has twinkly lights & a pool table.  But we were there to watch the KU game.  While I’m not a huge basketball fan, I am a HUGE fan of watching my boys enjoy the game & discuss sports & players.  

Beat & ready to take another Tylenol & chew more magic tablets, I went straight to bed by the time we finally made it home.

Day 7 2.25
Today was a work day for Pete, so I was up & giving him a guarded (because of my cold) hug to say good bye.  He’s so happy & I love that!  The rest of us enjoyed coffee at the house, then I packed up my bag & Leia, Luke & Steve & I all went out for breakfast.  I had a huge glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, hoping the powers of Vitamin C would kill my cold, but I sure wasn’t hungry for food.  Too soon, it was time for Luke to drop me at the tiny airport.  Another big hug & a few leaky tears & I said good bye to Luke.

After an hours wait, I walked back out to another little jet headed to Denver.  I was given an aisle seat, but was lucky that the guy sitting at the window, moved to another row to sit by his wife.  No one else was in my row, so I moved over.  I couldn’t take my eyes off the view as we flew fast over all the barren desserts & snowy mountains below.  I kept trying to figure out where we were, but to no avail.  I just enjoyed the beauty of below.

I landed in Concourse A so I took the train to Concourse B where I’d be flying out of in 4 hours.  I took the long walk to the New Belgium Hub for some food & a beer.  And it was all good!  I was hungry by now & it was a nice way to kill the layover.

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I had been assigned a middle seat for the 1 hour 15 minute flight back to Kansas, & while I didn’t care about a window flying over Kansas & in the dark, but I didn’t think my seat mates would enjoy my coughing, which wasn’t too frequent, but no one likes to sit by a cougher.  So, before the flight, I took my chance & asked at the counter if the flight was full…it was not.  Was I allowed to switch seats after we took off?  The United employee reminded me that I’d bought the cheap fare (this was United…nothing’s cheap) but said yes as long as I stayed out of the first 24 rows.  As I waited to board, I think she glanced at me coughing & crouched down in the chair, & very nicely moved me to an aisle & brought me a new boarding pass.  I was grateful & thanked her twice!

I landed to 33 degree weather which felt super cold as I waited for the long term parking bus to arrive.  It was 11:45pm.  But, I soon made it back to my lovely old 4Runner & cranked up the heater & headed home.  I got back about 12:30pm.

I was so grateful to have spent a week with the boys, Leia & all their friends.  They live in such a beautiful place & this was the best stretch of weather I’ve ever had since I’ve been traveling out there all these years.  We took full advantage of both the weather & the hiking while I was there…it was awesome!  The boys, while living very different lives are very close to each other & both very, very happy.  It’s a Mother’s wish come true…that your children are happy & good!

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A gift from Leia…& so true!

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While trying to read all the rules regarding flying United Airlines, I also read that their most famous snack is a cookie called Stroopwafel.  When the attendant asked me what I wanted, I told him I’d never had one of these before & wanted to try it.  He asked me if I valued by teeth….not sure he was kidding.  Then he told me the cookie is intended to sit on top of a cup of hot tea or coffee which then warms the cookie & softens the caramel inside.  It was really sweet but really good too.  Since I had four different flights, I brought two home with me.  Tomorrow morning over coffee, Danny & I are going to eat them the way they're intended to be eaten.  It’s a tiny delight, but I’m looking forward to it!

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So I conducted a couple of experiments during this trip.  

Experiment #1: Because I was flying United & trying to avoid the $60 dollar baggage fee, I was testing to see if I could fit everything into one backpack for a week.  Technically, I was above their skimpy measurements for an under seat bag (which is way way smaller than Southwest’s under seat dimensions), but no one made me put it in a sizer & it fit under all the seats in the four different planes.

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Experiment #2: I never travel in jeans…they’re just too bulky & heavy & take forever to dry if they get wet.  I have a couple of light weight technical black pants that I always travel in…until this trip.  Pete, Leia & Luke have four dogs between them & they had one extra visiting dog this time.  I’m not a fan of having dog hair on my clothes, so I wore jeans.  I wanted to see how long I could wear them before they became uNwEaRaBLe.  I took one other pair of pants, that I wore for a couple of days, but I could have easily stayed in my jeans for the duration.  Success on both experiments! (I realize not everyone would think it’s a good thing to wear the same pair of jeans for a week…but it works for me!)

And finally...Bringing home a cold as a souvenir is not that great, but I have a head & heart full of memories that are fantastic!

Follow up posted on 3.10.20:  Danny & I did try the Stroopwafel over a hot cup of coffee…it was great!  The moist heat made the caramel inside warm & gooey…yum yum!

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