After we left San Jose, we headed down I-5 to Bakersfield...boy that drive is BOOOOORING! Yes, even more so than driving I-70 through Kansas...and that's saying something. At least in Kansas you can stop and see the world's largest prairie dog...
At any rate, Capt Chaos slept half of the 4-hour drive through boringville...I mean California. We stopped for lunch at a really dirty Denny's along the way, and pulled into PreacherMan's driveway around 4pm last Friday.
We spent the evening watching him follow his big cousins around the house, rescued Legos from his mouth, and DVDs from his hands. He did really well adjusting to following around the big kids, and they LOVED playing with him.
Saturday we hung out, napped, and then went to one of the million parks nearby. Bakersfield has 450,000 people, and they were SMART when they started new developments...there has to be a park of a certain size related to the size of the development...so each new neighborhood has a park that is shared with 2 - 3 other neighborhoods. There are lots of trees, fun equipment, often ponds or lakes...very cool, especially as there are picnic tables, and bbq grills! We hung out for over an hour watching Capt Chaos and his cousins play on the swings, kick the soccer ball around the huge grass area, and climb the climbing wall (like a 4 foot wall!). We had some dinner, and spent the evening remembering things about growing up.
It's funny how PreacherMan remembers things so differently than I do...granted, he is 10 years older than I am, and so was a teenager for most of the memories we brought up, but, honestly, how can you remember Mom's rules for a "CLEAN ROOM" so incredibly differently?!?!?! I mean, her standards didn't change, so I had to do all the same stuff he did...makes you wonder if parents truly relax their discipline with the younger kinds in big families...FarmWife - do you have more leniency with the little ones than with the big ones? I mean...at this stage in the game, is it too early to say?!?!?!
Anyway...Sunday, we attended church with them, and were treated to a good message, followed by the always heartfelt worship, and a time of sharing testimonies about the church, and where some folks were 4 years ago, versus now. It was neat, but unfortunately too long, and not structured...but what can you do?
This was followed by a potluck dinner, and ice cream sundaes with fruit toppings.
We were supposed to take an afternoon trip up the highway to the Sequoia National Forest, but, alas, a pastoral crisis occurred, and we ended up taking the little kids and Capt Chaos to a really beautiful park on the far NE side of Bakersfield, where are literally acres and acres of park. Trees, picnic areas, fountains, lakes, ponds, playgrounds, an entire soccer complex of dozens of fields for community play. We spent about an hour there, and on the way home grabbed a bucket of KFC. Somehow, there's nothing quite like the Colonel to end a good day in the sunshine! We then spent several more hours hanging out and catching up.
It was so nice to be in an environment where there was no judging of us, or us of them! We simply visited, had a good time, and it was so refreshing!!!
Monday morning, we packed up, and headed up the road to Fresno...