Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Our days in California

After all the excitement of New Orleans, we are headed home to California and we have plenty to do. The first is the most sobering (judicious use of the word after New Orleans!), as we need to prepare for mom’s funeral and “celebration of life” luncheon. We have to shop as neither Tom nor I have suitable clothes for this kind of service. Traveling in a motorhome is not conducive to dressy clothes and all our good clothes are in storage. Macys for me and the Mens Wearhouse for Tom, which since they have 2 for 1 on everything in the store, Danny lucks out with new suit, shirt and tie also. We also have shopping to do for supplies for the RV and our travels and our favorite restaurants to catch up with. First on the agenda is Fats. This is one of the best Chinese restaurants around and as regular readers know, I love Chinese food and miss it. After that, we separate and I go for my foraging at Macys, while Tom and Danny go to take care of their own shopping. Since the weather is so nice, we take the time to relax and enjoy the pool at Bruce and Jeanne’s, who are always so accommodating whenever we are home and invite us to stay with them, our own house being leased. The plan is to leave for San Jose on Sunday and stay in a hotel overnight so we are not rushed Monday morning. Nicole will also meet up with us Sunday night so we can arrive together. The funeral is at Saint Justin’s church in Santa Clara which was their parish when they were growing up and the limousines are scheduled to pick us up at 9am. I have to say, Tom and Danny looked very dashing in their suits. The church looked amazing with some gorgeous floral arrangements sent from family and friends and many of their friends attended. After the service and internment, it was time for lunch at Marianis. About 60 people came and it was wonderful. Many stood up and spoke remembering not just Tom’s mom but also his dad and the many antics, stories and anecdotes about Tom and his siblings growing up. It really was a wonderful celebration of an amazing 91 year old lady. It was great seeing the kids together also. Our time with Nicole was too brief due to her work and school schedule and Danny leaves Tuesday to return to Utah. We won’t see them again until Christmas, when they will join us in Ecuador for the holidays; well that is the plan anyway. Wednesday we fly to Los Angeles for a final few days of “vacation”. Haley is graduating from USC (University of Southern California) on Thursday and Friday we will attend a 10K swim race before flying back to Santiago. Colette and Randy, Haley’s parents and Jeanne and Erin will also be there for the events, so it seems rather like the celebrations are continuing from New Orleans. The graduation ceremony was mercifully small compared to some as Haley is graduating with her fellow student athletes instead of the main graduating class so instead of thousands there were maybe only a couple of hundred young adults, bright-eyed, bright minded and with Haley’s group of swimmers brightly adorned with a gorgeous lei crown courtesy of an Hawaiian girl’s family. Friday we went to the 10K swim race for USA swim but unfortunately Haley had for her, a disappointing finish but we all reminded her she is a talented and loved young lady with a great future and as a family we are so proud of her accomplishments. She also bounced back and won the 5K swim the following day. After, yet another family celebration dinner, this time with Haley as the honoree, it was time for us to say goodbye to the family once again and get back to our adventures, our motorhome and most of all to Winston who between Easter Island and this trip must be feeling quite alone.

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