Nonphenomenal Lineage

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Bakersfield, CA

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Flag of California
California state flag, taken at Hodel’s

I was amused at the amount of entertainment we were able to shoehorn into the family van. There was a DVD player, with a screen that came down from the ceiling, airplane stlye, with about 10 DVDs for the trip. I had my video iPod, and Mariah and Morgan both had their MP3 players (Mariah’s has video, too). Max had his Nintendo DS, Mariah and I both had our digital cameras, Suzanne and Jay had the lap top up front connected to the GPS device. We had some books, the requisite 5 cell phones, some poetry, I had my Moleskine, and there was even a newspaper involved. To top it all off, we had enough junk food in the car for all seven of us to live off for about 4 days.

The trip was just over four hours. I thank all the gadgets, though, because the kids were pretty contented and zoned for the whole trip. I spent most of the time during the trip chatting with Mom, drawing things I saw on the road and catching up on all the episodes of The Office I had given up for Lent.

We drove through the Mojave most of the way, but about 1/2 hour outside of Bakersfield, along highway 58W, the landscape changed dramatically. First we passed through a giant patch of power windmills in the mountains, and then those disappeared and were replaced by the most gorgeous of rolling hills. The hills went on forever into the distance. They were blanketed with green felt grass and covered with what looked like broccoli and green gum drops. I had never seen anything quite like it, it was dreamy and a little fake looking, like a life-size version of a minature scale model.

The hotel was lovely, and after checking in, we went over to Lori’s house for dinner. I haven’t seen Lori in 10 years, and Jenny in 20, so that was a nice reunion. We spent dinner with their family and then went back to the hotel, spent.

Easter was nice, we went back to their house for a breezy lunch and a relaxing afternoon. We went back to the hotel around 4 and I hung out with Mariah at the pool. I met some men there from Oklahoma, who were working in CA for Haliburton.

Suzanne, Jay, the kids and I went to a pizza arcade while Mom spent some time with Lori. We had a fun time. My favorite was racing Suzanne on the go-karts, it got pretty intense.

We met up with Lori, Jenny and her kids for a lunch at a buffet on Monday morning, which is where I took the above photo. They had some really great country food and we had a nice time, even though all six kids were kind of running around causing havoc. Well, five kids, really. Mariah, the oldest, was kind of sheparding them, which was so good of her.

We piled back into the family van, expecting the 4-and-some-change hour ride home. Instead we ran into traffic around Barstow, and were stuck in traffic for the next several hours. We arrived home about 3 hours later than we had planned, exhausted and cramped. I was about at my wit’s end, what with the kids in the back seat whining and whimpering about their bladders, and bouncing around because they were tired/giddy/touchy. I think it’s going to be a long while before I am able to take a road trip with them again.

Mom left this morning. I am at work now, finishing up my lunch break. It was sad to say goodbye to Mommy, but I’m relieved my life is going back to the normal schedule.

Currently listening to Wincing the Night Away by the Shins

Written by pocheco

April 10, 2007 at 6:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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