Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The rest of the trip

Driving to Utah was a bit more of a bear than we bargained for. Sylvia and I packed up the car on Thursday afternoon, which was an adventure in its own right, involving two poopy diapers, a bloody nose, a flooded bathroom, and Sylvia puking cat treats. We finally picked up Derrick around 4:30, which meant we had the joy of driving through rush-hour traffic to get out of town. Yeah.

We had dinner at the Mad Greek in Baker, CA, then drove a couple more hours until both of us were too tired to go on. We pulled out the tent and set it up in the blustery, freezing wind, and then discovered Derrick neglected to pack the sleeping pads. So, we slept on bumpy caliche, which didn't seem to bother Sylvia much, but didn't really agree with my back. Between that and the noise from the wind I didn't sleep well.

We were up and driving by about 6:30 the next morning and hit snow somewhere between St. George and Cedar City. This being April, the snow was wet and sticky, turning to slush as soon as it hit the road. Since the weather was bad Derrick didn't want to stop for real breakfast, so we picked up donut holes and some of those lovely wax chocolate covered donettes for breakfast. A couple of hours later we stopped for "lunch"--this time of cheetos and bean burritos (for me).

In spite of the snow we actually made pretty good time. It helped that about the time we hit Kanosh the snow turned to rain and eventually just overcast skies. We got into Lehi, where my cousin Elisa lives, at about 12:30 or 1 and stopped, happy to get out of the car. Elisa fed and entertained us, and then offered to take Sylvia for a few hours so she wouldn't have to get back into the care and so Derrick and I could go to MacBeath Hardwood without worrying about a small, easily squished human.

We finished shopping and got to my Dad's at about 4:30. At about 5 minutes to 5, Elisa called and let me know Sylvia had puked and asked if I could come down and pick her up because Elisa had plans with a neighbor she'd forgotten when she offered to take Sylvia.

Yeah. 5 pm on Friday. Driving anywhere near Point of the mountain. sounds fun.

Elisa said Sylvia was doing okay otherwise, and didn't seem to feel sick or have a fever. After talking to her a bit (and stressing over either driving to Utah County on a busy Friday evening or leaving my potentially sick child to play with other kids) we finally decided her puking was probably just a response to eating so poorly earlier in the day (I don't think I mentioned the earlier cat treat puking incident) and that I'd just make sure to be available to drive down and pick her up if she started looking sick again. Shortly after coming to that conclusion, my phone died.

Fortunately, Derrick's phone still had some juice, so we went to dinner at Rumbi's with my dad and then the two of them went out to the garage to work on a carving vise. Sylvia was apparently just fine and came home a few hours later wearing a pair of striped pajamas that was pretty much her favorite outfit for the rest of the weekend.

The next day (Saturday) we met my mom for breakfast at Village Inn and then my mom took Sylvia to a "What Women Want" showcase thing at the Salt Palace. Derrick and I went to Marshall's, a hardware store that has two locations--one in San Diego and one in Salt Lake. While we were there I tried to call my dad to ask him about a tool Derrick was planning to buy and whether he needed to buy one of the accessories for it. My dad didn't answer his phone so we went ahead and purchased the accessory, rationalizing that Derrick could then just keep the extra piece if my dad didn't need it.

When we got back to my Dad's there was nobody there, so we just unloaded Derrick's new toys and hung out a bit. My dad got home a few minutes later and told us he was just at Marshall's trying to buy the same tool I'd called to ask him about. Marshall's apparently only had one on hand (which they sold to us). The guys there told my dad, "We don't sell one of these a year and today we've had two people ask for one." They then went on to describe the purchasers as a guy from San Diego and his pregnant wife (reassuring in its own way that I now look pregnant rather than just fat). My dad didn't tell them immediately that we were his son in law and daughter.

Shortly after I got ready and left for the wedding. The weather was pretty bad--cold and snowy--so I wandered around the temple grounds for just a few minutes taking pictures before finding the waiting room where the rest of my family was waiting. When Andrew and Melinda came out, we took pictures--quickly--and then rushed back into the waiting room to warm back up. The funniest thing about the pictures was that the woman helping the real photographer kept calling Melinda "Melissa."

Lunch was at an Asian (Chinese) place called Sampan, where we had sweet and sour chicken, fried rice, lo-mein with chicken, and some beef dish. At the end of the meal, my fortune cookie told me I would soon receive many gold coins.

After lunch I just drove to the chapel where the reception was going to be and waited for the people with the keys to show up. The weather was finally starting to clear, but it was still cold and gray. When Mindy and Drew showed up with the keys, I went in and started taking pictures of things like the decorations, the cake, and the rings.

My mom brought Sylvia to the reception and dropped her off, which was really nice. Sylvia apparently enjoyed herself at the What Women Want show, arriving decked out in a frilly purple dress, complete with feathers, and a pair of metallic pink squeaky shoes. My cousin Lara eventually showed me how to de-squeak the shoes, but Sylvia was unhappy with their lack of noise-making, so I put the squeakers back in and she squeaked the rest of the night.

The last couple of days in San Diego I put in a lot of time making kimonos for Sylvia and her cousin Liesel (Lara's daughter), but by that point in the day I was so tired I didn't even try to make her put it on. Oh well. Liesel cried when her kimono was inflicted on her, so it's not like we would have gotten the nice pictures I was hoping for anyway.

The reception ended at about 7 and we stuck around 'till about 7:30, mostly to take a few more pictures of the happy couple in the sunshine that finally appeared at the end of the day, and then we drove (carefully, since we'd neglected to get Sylvia's car seat back from my mom) to the Red Iguana. We had a delicious dinner there and then went home and crashed.

Sunday Sylvia and I hung out in my Dad's house while Derrick and my dad continued to work in the garage. At about 2, Sylvia and I drove up to my Grandma's house in Fruit Heights for my Aunt Lynette's birthday celebration. I showed off the pictures I took to my grandma (which wasn't so much showing off as sifting through again to see if, by some miracle, the pictures had improved--that was a hard wedding to photograph from a technical perspective and I'm really not happy with the job I did. Oh well), did a little work (since my advisor emailed and apparently was in town at the same time), and then had a delicious dinner of salmon burgers, asparagus, and stuffed mushrooms. It was a wonderful dinner, and an especially wonderful dinner to have left Derrick at my dad's house. I apparently inherited my mom's bone-finding gene because the piece of salmon I got had as many bones in it as everyone else combined.

Lynette's two older daughters both made cakes--one a flour-less chocolate torte, one a simple yogurt cake assembled as a strawberry shortcake--and there was cheesecake to boot. I ate way to much, then packed up Sylvia and our stuff and drove back to my dad's.

Monday Derrick decided he needed to do actual work, so I gave him the car and Lara picked up Sylvia and me to drive down to Elisa's again. Mostly we just hung out and talked, which was unbelievably nice. Other than Derrick and maybe two people from church, I just don't get a chance to talk to many people in person for any length of time anymore. Visiting with all of my family was the best part of the whole weekend. Anyway, we went to Target, picked up a dinner of corn dogs and french fries, then Elisa picked up her son, who, unlike her other two kids, was not on spring break. Sylvia and I probably should have left about then, but Elisa promised me a haircut, so we stuck around for a little while longer.

While Elisa was cutting my hair (and discovering I have white hairs growing), Sylvia and Ira (the son who was in school) got into the mud Elisa's oldest child had created earlier in the day by flooding his and the neighbor's back yards. Within the relatively short period of time it took Elisa to cut my hair, Sylvia and Ira were both covered in mud, as was the front porch and front door. Sylvia and Ira got a shower together, and while Elisa was taking care of the kids I tried to do some damage control on the mud caked on the front door and scattered from the front door to the bathroom. The kids were clean before the door was, so all three cousins (Sylvia, Ira, and Liesel, who just wanted a shower) ran around naked for a while. This was apparently too much for one of the kids in the neighborhood who was visiting Elisa's daughter because she made several snide comments about the inappropriateness of letting children run around naked. Elisa, Lara, and I all found the suggestion we were allowing our children to behave inappropriately highly amusing.

When Lara dropped me off at my dad's house, I found out we'd missed the dinner my dad's wife, Christine, had planned for us all. Of course, so had Derrick and my dad. So, we warmed up the left-overs and ate, and then Derrick went back to working and I went back to packing for the return trip--a feat made more complicated by the dozens of articles of maternity clothing I've borrowed from cousins.

We left the next morning by about 8, stopped for burgers at In 'n Out in St. George, stopped again for gyros and shakes at the Mad Greek in Baker, and were home by about 7:30.

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