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03-31-2002 @ 11:22 p.m.
Another Wonderful Springbreak

We have returned from our short vacation to visit Ken and Marti. They are such good friends--we've know then for 14 years now and I love how even when we've been apart for awhile, we fall back into our comfortable relationship like no time has passed at all. She remembers my food tastes and I remember hers and we talk and talk and talk. They are such good, solid, wonderful people. Devoted parents, loyal friends, generous hosts, good people. It is very good to have people like this in my life, even if they live 500 miles away. Hopefully they'll be moving north to Vancouver and we'll be able to spend much more time together again.

Though the drive was long--9 hours to get there (broken up into two days) and back (done in one long day), the middle part was great fun and adventure. I want to write about it in more depth later.

They have 4 children and the youngest 2 are very busy, very active, very independent types who were constantly giving me a worry about their whereabouts. I think the constant question on someone's lips was "Where's KC? Where's Gabby?" That part drove me crazy. First, I'm used to keeping track of just one child and second, that child is very good about hand-holding and/or staying nearby and within eye-shot. We almost drove away once with Gabby in the park chasing pigeons when we all thought she was in her seat in the very back of the minivan. It would have been so easy to do. But she is a very, very cute little girl and quite charming to boot so it was hard to be too frustrated with her. She reminded me very much of Mary's Emily, actually. ::g::

The oldest boy, Hunter, was fun to get to know again. He's 12, almost 13 and we used to babysit him when he was a baby. We went camping with him when he was 2 and went on a driving vacation with him when he was 3 and visited with him (and his family) in Europe when he was 6. It's interesting to see how the child we knew has grown into the young man we spent the better part of last week with. I can see the familiar features, spread out and grown up and matured. I can see how some of his personality traits have remained and some have mellowed out. He's a nice boy, though. Respectful, interesting, intelligent, confident. He chatted with me about several subjects and let me massage his poor neck when he had a terrible neck spasm that wiped him out yesterday and today.

Old friends are good friends. I have kept in touch with few friends from college. In fact, there are exactly 3 couples that we knew in college that we are still friends with now and of those 3, 2 are among the very dearest friends-for-life calibre. It is truly a case of quality over quantity.

Joey was a delight on the trip--she's such a great traveler. We had lots of diversions in the car--books, art supplies, music, Gameboys, videos, food, beverages, Harry Potter audio books--and so the travel was a piece of cake. And when we were with the other kids, she was a very responsible big-sister type for Gabby, holding her hand as we walked all over the streets of San Francisco. She took her duties as hand-holder very seriously and I knew that there was no way Gabby would get away when Joey was on the job. And, of course, Gabby loved having Joey around. Kept calling her "the Girl" because she couldn't remember Joey's name and then called me and Ed the Girl's Mom and Girl's Dad, respectively. It was pretty funny. She wouldn't give either Ed or me a hug goodbye this morning but she made a point to give Joey a big hug. It was very sweet.

So here we are--home safe and sound from another successful road trip. I love road trips. We really have a nice time with them and Ed and I share the driving well so that no one feels overburdened one way or the other (except when we rent a car and then Ed has to be the only driver--poor guy). Tomorrow is a Teacher Prep day (because apparently a week of Spring Break isn't enough to prepare) so we're going to have a nice day together. Ed leaves for AZ on Tues until Thurs. As long as he's back in time for book group on Thursday, I'm fine with that.

I am looking forward to this week. Tomorrow will be a nice day to relax and play; Tuesday starts up the new term at school and Thursday is bookgroup. All good. I'm even looking forward to Ed's trip. Not that I don't adore him and we had a great time together this week but I like having some time to myself. Don't know what I'll do--perhaps some scrapbooking??? Yessss...that sounds lovely.

Later...

--L

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