Santa Rosa, San Jose, Spring Break

This year’s spring break trip was fun and sad at the same time.
My youngest daughter and I flew to San Jose, CA. rented a car and drove up to Santa Rosa. We spent most of the week with my younger son, his girl friend and their little guy, Gauge.
For those who don’t know, Gauge was born 4 months early and weighed in at 1lb. He truly is a miracle baby, who’s here because of God, the many prayers and faith of wonderful people all over my real world and my blog world. As you can see, he’s doing great! He still has to be on oxygen at night, but, that’s about it. We are blessed. He’s a fantastic baby, and was fun to take care of.
I was a naughty grandma and let him really have fun at dinner times, as you can see by the photos.
Santa Rosa was in the 60’s and 70’s. I was running around with short sleeves and people were asking, "Aren’t you cold?" lol Heck, that’s sunbathing weather!
I had fun hitting some Nurseries, (bought myself a new Bay tree), and with GPS in the rental car, took advantage of just seeing the area.
When I lived in Yakima, WA, there were orchards and vineyards. I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed them until you see those beautiful rolling hills and the gorgeous vineyards.
Every where you look it’s green, lush and beautiful.
Charles Shulz, who drew the ‘Charlie Brown’ comics, lived in Santa Rosa. After his death they opened a Museum, and a huge ice rink. I convinced my daughter to come with me to the museum. She was bored to death, but, at least she can say she’s been there. lol
We hit Chinatown in San Fran. Did some shopping, and had dinner. It’s one of my favorite places. After dinner we drove to a little Italian deli/bakery that has THE best desserts.
I drove back to San Jose to spend the last few days of vacation with my father. He had been there taking care of his oldest brother, my Uncle John.
Uncle John died quietly in his sleep. He didn’t want a big funeral and is buried in the family graveyard, which is near the bottom of where the family ranch used to be.
It’s sad to think that of the 6 children in the family, 3 are left. My father is the youngest. It is always an eye opener that when you die, you leave behind everything earthly, and your loved ones are left with memories and deciding what to do with the things in this life that were important to you.
There was some scandal. The Philippine woman who was a live-in care giver, convinced him to change lawyers and his will towards the end, when he was not quite all there. She had herself put in the will for 1/4 of everything (which is a lot) and if one of my other aunts hadn’t been around as much as she was, she would have married him, thus taking everything.
This woman then tells my father that she was not only John’s caregiver but was taking care of him sexually as well…
What kind of person does things like this and then tells the person’s family member?
Needless to say, shit hit the fan.
People and greed… it’s not something I hope I ever have to deal with, or feel.
While we were in the area, my dad took us around and showed us the places of his childhood, (and some of mine). Then he showed us the property that was owned by the family.
The first place he bucked hay, his first girlfriend’s family home, etc.
I showed my daughter the place where the ranch house used to be, and the drive way, hills and eucalyptus trees,  that my brother and I would play on. I showed her, Olivera Egg Ranch. My Grandmother’s family owns it. I remember going there as a child to see cousins.
I found a brick from the old chimney, and brought it home with me. I got some funny looks at the airport.  They finally had me check it through (it was too close to a weapon.)
It was fun to be able to show my daughter a bit of my past. Because of my father and mother’s tendency to move constantly, I’m not usually able to do that.
Enough of my rambling. The weather was great, the people were all very nice, I had wonderful visits with my aunts and uncles, and enjoyed the whole trip. BIG HUGS, Steph
Either way, I’m a happy camper.

11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. g
    Apr 05, 2008 @ 11:19:16

    What a beautiful baby!  And a miracle baby at that.  Glad u had fun.


  2. Jade
    Apr 05, 2008 @ 15:25:35

    what a wonderful wonderful post… birth,death, memories, and travel..just beautiful!


  3. ZePp...
    Apr 05, 2008 @ 17:11:36

    Wow.. nice trip it sounds like !!!!  So glad you got to touch base n show off some off your roots to your child 😀
    N who woulda EVER figured YOU to spoil that baby ????
    Now .. R your eyes rolling still from my post ???  LMAO
    Sorry.. It was something that hit my demented mind and just HAD to share..roflmao…thats OK ..Jade was right there with ya rolling her eyes ;-D  LOL


  4. Jean
    Apr 06, 2008 @ 14:19:03

    Gauge looks great!! He\’s getting bigger and less "premie" looking!
    I\’ll bet Mary Ann and Pat are telling each other stories on us! I\’m so sorry you lost her, too. Are you sure we weren\’t separated at birth??lol Hope you\’re doing ok.. We\’ll see them again someday… And by then, they\’ll be friends, too. Isn\’t it weird that they died only one day apart? They thought Pat would have at least a month! Although I\’m glad she didn\’t. She was suffereing. I always feel slightly guilty for feeling so sorry for myself!
    Yes, I soak them, they just throw them out there and scrape a little dirt over them! We have planted them without doing it, and we don\’t get as many coming up. I can\’t wait, either!!
    love and hugs,


  5. R U Serious
    Apr 06, 2008 @ 16:02:58

    WOW!!  Gauge is looking GOOD!!  LOVED the dinner pic!!  LOL!  As for Becky\’s cooking??  Looks like \’Walt\’s Wharf\’ for the next few days, darn it!  lol!!  (Sorry……)  Sounds like you had a great time!  That Philippine woman??  WTH!!    Just NOT right!!
    LOL!!  Leave it to you to bring home a brick!!  LMAO!!  And you had to check it!!  LOL LOL!!! 
    Glad you are a Happy Camper!!!


  6. Ms Noanie
    Apr 07, 2008 @ 05:33:03

    Sounds like a very nice trip, glad you had a good time.  The people from that area are funny about the temperatures – they wear fur coats when it is 70 degrees in November, because it is November! Very silly.


  7. Born
    Apr 07, 2008 @ 07:28:00

    Hey there !!
    first time on your space. its always great when you get to meet with family. and when there are kids involved although its tiring its a lot of fun. as for the caretaker. well its scary. but it happens a lot. and i guess when people are on the last leg you tend to feel immense gratitude for the people caring for you. most times its not even gratitude though, its like the caretaker becomes indespensable and you are so sick and dependant on them you  cant imagine a life without them. Again i always wonder how the American senior citizens survive. in our co untry we either live with out parents yes even after marriage or our parents live with us. Caring for our parents well its just one of those things you do. it get tough and inconvenient sometimes with jobs to handle but we tend to keep in mind the fact that when we were younger and fell sick those parents too juggled a lot of stuff and handled much more inconvenience to make sure we would be alrite. In India our health services are really sad in the sense that caretaker is still only just a concept. so its family all the way. even if parents stay separately when they are unwell we have to take turns looking after them in the hospital. I dont know why but i alwyas feel that it would be less scary to die if you had atleast one blood relations hand to hold to in the end.


  8. suzy
    Apr 07, 2008 @ 11:05:00

    he\’s precious!  we had a scare with our yazzberry (who has new pics on my blog…not too far down) and I can\’t imagine how it was with your little man.  I\’m sooo grateful both our babies are healthy and happy now!
    That looks like the FUNNEST museum in the world…I\’d love to go!
    Big hugs.


  9. Mercy
    Apr 08, 2008 @ 10:11:19

    The spaghetti dinner pic is the BEST!  My husband constantly wipes my babys face when he\’s eating…LOL…he\’s such a prude at times!  Sorry about Uncle Johns "girlfriend", but then…I\’m always reminding myself that what people will do shouldn\’t surprise me…but then I am always surprised!have a great day,Mercy


  10. Jane
    Apr 08, 2008 @ 10:17:38

    I bet it was hard to leave the greenery and blossoms.  I wonder if that will ever happen here.  Ha.
    Guage is a cutie… but I didn\’t see Grandma anywhere…


  11. Greg
    Apr 08, 2008 @ 18:57:42


    Hi Steph…
    Yep…Gauge is a miracle baby.
    He sure is a happy little fellow.
    I think having one of the chimney bricks is pretty cool.
    You all be well out west. Your bud in Branson…Greg


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