Thursday, August 20, 2009

Day 689 - Northern California Trip Part 2

Before we left Santa Clara, Lisa's family threw an early birthday party for the kids. Almost all of Lisa's brothers and sisters and cousins and friends showed up: Susan, Kerry, Jamie, Joey, Rosa, Jason, Jacob, Wes, Chieko, Mike, Manny, Mo, Shemp, Doc, and Brainy Smurf.

Pediatric Intensive Care Nurse Auntie Susan baked cupcakes for desserts, and she was very excited to see the kids eat them. Although Emma and Andrew love their toddler cookies, they had little interest in the cupcakes. Watching PICNAS and other family members trying to force the kids to eat sugar frosting and cupcakes was a very surreal sight. It was like an entire whorehouse telling their only virgin to just give it up and get it over with.

The kids had a great time opening up their gifts. They received everything from books to playhouse to Hello Kitty band-aids. But the best gift of all was of course the gift of money. Emma and Andrew were so sweet because after the party they came to me and said, "Father, please take this currency and purchase us a Tivo HD that we oh so desire." Obviously, they didn't get enough money to buy a Tivo HD, but because of the man that I am, I might use my own money to help them out.

We left Santa Clara on Wednesday afternoon for Sacramento. The plan was to leave for Sacramento during the kids' naptime. The kids usually sleep 2-3 hours every day, and the car trip to Sacramento is 2 hours. Perfect! For a change, we left on time and were making great time. The kids were asleep and the traffic was smooth. But then there was a snag: traffic. The traffic on the highway slowed down to a snail's pace. All I thought was that there had better be a good reason for this traffic jam. Like a busload of nuns hit a busload of elementary school students which in turn hit a busload of Nobel Prize winners which finally hit a hatchback carrying angels.

After waiting in traffic for twenty minutes, we finally found out the reason for the jam: a CalTrans truck was repainting the lines on the highway. So let me get this right...despite all of the economic and fiscal disasters that have plagued California, the one thing that will not be ignored or denied to its citizenship are freshly painted dotted lines on the highway. At first I was outraged that state workers were losing their jobs and so many services for the poor and elderly were being cut, but now I don't feel so bad about it because I have bright, white, distinctive lines on the highway. Thanks, Arnold!

When we arrived at Sacramento, Crazy Grandma was so excited to see the kids. We hardly had any time to unpack the car because Crazy Grandma wanted to show Emma and Andrew all of the toys she bought for them. But I think the kids thought Crazy Grandma was a cupcake because they just kinda ignored her. Crazy Grandma did not give up her heightened expectation of her reunion with her grandkids. She kept on showing them toy after toy after toy. And all the kids saw was one cupcake after another.

Lisa and I explained to Crazy Grandma that the kids just need to get used to their new surroundings. So Crazy Grandma gave up her prostitutional-like need for attention and allowed the kids to break in. Thankfully, the kids eventually felt comfortable within a few minutes and greeted Grandma appropriately with something we taught them in the car.

"Hi Crazy!" said the kids to Crazy Grandma.


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