Although the travel day was long, things ran relatively smoothly taking into account all of the changes and rearranging of flights. Our original flight stopping in Chicago was delayed making it impossible to meet the connecting flight at O’Hare. We were able to switch routes to stop in Philadelphia then go on to San Diego from there. The only moments of stress came at the time that they erased all of our preferred seating from our first itinerary and we were unable to upgrade online to better seats. The idea of six hours in the middle seat weren’t very appealing. In the end we managed to get aisles and the trip went easily although departing nearly two hours later than the initial booking PJ had made.
Our brother in law, Lee, was waiting upon our midnight arrival and graciously shuttled us to our AirBnB in Oceanside, filling us in on family happenings along the ride. A quick stop at 7-11 to get creamer for PJ’s coffee and we were soon at the door of our little retreat at the back of some guys house near MiraCosta College in the Tri-City neighborhood. We found it without a hitch and Reza, the homeowner, had left the light on for us just like Tom Bodet. It was 1:00 a.m. and we were ready for sleep. The place is quaint and the neighborhood is quiet and sheltered lending itself to a good night’s sleep for the two of us.
We slept in this morning then enjoyed a couple of the bagels our host had left for us along with plenty of coffee and other goodies. We had a long lazy morning reading the newspapers from yesterday’s travel and swimming in the pool at our disposal in the backyard. Very quiet here and not another soul to be seen. Great views of the valley facing Oceanside Blvd. and some of the office spaces off in the distance. Super private and peaceful.
At 4:30, we dialed up an Uber and made our way over to my dad’s to help celebrate his 90 years of roaming this planet. Our Lyft driver was a cool young marine moonlighting for extra bucks by chauffeuring people around. Dad was out in the street when we pulled up, so our driver wished him a happy birthday then sped off for his next fare.
My cousin from Denmark, Iben, has been out visiting with her husband Christian and daughter Sofie. It was great seeing them. He’s a funny guy and Sofie just gets lovelier every time we see her. So far, they’ve been on a road trip up to the Bay Area and have a few more tourist activities up their sleeves before flying out for Copenhagen on Friday.
It’s always awesome to see our rapidly growing niece and nephew to catch up on what they’ve got going in their lives. My cousin, Andrea, and family were all down from the Los Angeles area to see the ageless wonder and fill us in on their upcoming move to Nashville. It seems itchy feet is in our DNA. Best of luck on the new adventure.
Lots of the old neighbors dropped in. My dad has been in the house now for almost 50 years and there is a small cadre of the original families that moved in at the same time that are still there in a small cluster right around dad. It was great to see them and hear about their paths in life and even meet a grand child or two. I was 12 when we moved there. My younger sister was born in that house and never lived anywhere else until college. I guess by 1969, pop’s feet weren’t so itchy anymore.
Sandy was a whirlwind of activity setting things up and seeing to the taco cart caterers who were out on the side barbecuing up some adobada, marinated pollo and carne asada. Around 30 people showed up to honor the man including a few of my boyhood pals who have always kept in touch with him. Awesome talking surfing with Larry and the never aging Kevin O’Kelly. He’s kind of a modern day Dick Clark. The food was amazing. Haven’t had any real Mexican food since rolling through El Paso in April. Everyone ate their fill and sat in groups chatting in the newly landscaped back yard. For a guy turning 90 on Wednesday, Raymond sure has a hard time slowing down. Must be the new knees.
As the sun set, we all moved inside to sing happy birthday and then the crowd slowly melted away until there was just family and a few close friends. Kevin and I hacked away on my old guitar and pushed out a few passable tunes for the hopefully, not too judgmental audience. By 10:00, the time change and travel started to catch up and after stacking a few chairs and breaking down a few tables, PJ and I bade the crew good night and started up the old reliable Honda and cruised back over to the AirBnB for an easy night’s rest.