I haven’t blogged in a while, but I have a good excuse: out of town visitors! My dear friend Katie and her son Jacob were in town. I lived with Katie and her partner Martin when she was pregnant, and I had the privilege of being like a second mom to Jacob during his infancy and for most of his young life.
I was worried that going from seeing me daily to seeing me twice a year would affect our relationship, but Jacob was so excited to see me (and I him, of course!) and our bond was none the worse for wear.
Katie brings the rain everywhere she goes, and a freak three-day June gloom settled over us. We enjoyed ourselves despite Mother Nature, braving the weather for a wet walk through downtown and an hour at Todd Grove playground. Carson and Jacob had so much fun together.
On the third day the sun decided to shine in the afternoon and we headed back to Todd Grove to hit the playground and swim in the public pool. The weather had kept most people away so we had it largely to ourselves, which was nice. We also picked plums at Caitlin and Addison’s house.
The sun finally came out in the morning on their last day here, and we took full advantage by going swimming at Cow Mountain as well as Lake Mendocino. We also ran through the sprinkler in my backyard.
From here Katie and Jacob went to Lake Tahoe to visit more friends, and then came back a few days later to Mendocino to camp in Hendy Woods for the 4th of July. Her brother and sister-in-law and their 2-year-old met us, as well as some friends of hers and their 6-year-old, all from the Bay area. Yes- I was the only one without a kid. A few years ago that would have been torture, but I’ve cultivated patience and a slow lifestyle so it was actually pretty fun.
Speaking of rain – a freak thunderstorm came out of NOWHERE on Wednesday night! We’d been seeing flashes of light in the trees and speculated on its origin – flash photography? fireworks? aliens?? Finally we heard some low rumbles and realized it was heat lightning (it was 111 degrees when I left Ukiah that afternoon, and still about 100 in Anderson Valley 45 minutes away). “There’s no way it’ll rain,” I assured them. Except, it did. Bright lightning and ground-shaking thunder was accompanied by a veritable DUMP of rain that lasted from 11 pm to about 6 the next morning. Yeesh. A woman told Katie that in 21 years of camping at Hendy on the 4th, it had never once rained.
Thursday morning was the 4th and we headed north to the town of Mendocino to catch the quirky parade and spend some time on the beach. Unfortunately it’s hard to wrangle three young kids so we missed most of the parade, but the weather was perfect and we spent a lot of time relaxing on the beach. Caitlin drove from Ukiah and spent the day with us.
That night everyone left but Katie, Jacob, and me, and the next day they headed north to Bend, the last stop on their road trip before heading home to Seattle. I followed them to Fort Bragg so we could stop at Glass Beach, a famous landmark that I love to visit. I will never visit the coast on the 4th weekend again! It was overrun with tourists, and what is usually a private activity was jam-packed with people filling bags of glass to take home and likely shove in a closet, which is sad because eventually Glass beach won’t have any glass left. Alas…
They managed to make it the 10 hours to Bend in one day (a feat for anyone, let alone a 4-year-old). I miss them already but we all had a wonderful time and we plan to make this an annual trip. Luckily I’ll be in Seattle for a few days in August, so I’ll get to see them again soon!