Sunday, June 29, 2014
At long last, time with the grands and a few other adventures
June 1-15, 2014
Orangeland RV Park
Our two weeks in Southern California flew by. We arrived here in time to see our oldest grandson, Luke, finish off his Little League season by earning third place in a Tri-City tournament. At age ten, he has some impressive batting and infield skills as third baseman. He went 4 for 4 at bat in the first game we saw, and in the last game we watched he made several outs by scooping up all the bunts and getting them out at first base. Fun.
Too bad we didn’t arrive in time to see the younger boys play baseball. Our middle grandson, Nate, age seven, is a leftie pitcher. He can throw a four seam fastball and a change-up but their dad, a former college baseball player, wisely will not let them throw anything else like a cutter, splitter, or curve ball because it ruins your arm. Our youngest grandson, Tyler, age six, is also a leftie. I learned that lefties in the pros only play outfield, pitcher, and first base.
On a related topic, when we first arrived our former home college team, the Oregon State Beavers, were defeated at home by UC Irvine in the regional playoffs for the College World of Series. This was a big upset as the Beavs were ranked number one in the nation. Boo hoo. We had hoped to watch the games as a family while we here as we are all “Beaver Believers.”
Aside from baseball, we were able to attend grandson Tyler’s Super Preppy Summit—a “graduation” from Preppy K, pre-kindergarten. This special event required Tyler and a “friend” to dress up as a super hero of their choice for the celebration. Tyler chose G-Pa Vic to be his caped sidekick.
Another school event we enjoyed was attending a third grade play with grandson Luke performing. His class had been studying California mining history. The play, Gold Dust or Bust, was a comical review of life in a mining town.
We missed grandson Nate’s field day at the park. Somehow all the years of Vic supervising field days as a principal made him a little less than anxious to be a part of this event. Nate said he spent most of the time playing baseball, basketball, and track racing with his friends. Oh, the seemingly endless energy of youth.
One of my favorite times with the boys was our day at the 15th St. Beach in Newport Beach, about a forty minute drive from their home. The weather was absolutely perfect here the whole time—mostly highs in the 70s and low 80s with gentle breezes and sunny skies. Even though the outside air temps have been warm, it does not mean the water temp of the Pacific was warm enough for this grandma to join the boys in the water. The boys didn't flinch a bit as they enjoyed several hours racing around the beach, building sandcastles, and boogie boarding in the water.
While we were in Southern California, I planned a solo overnight trip to visit my niece and nephew in the San Diego area. I was lucky to be there for my niece’s husband’s birthday party so I was able to see everyone in one place. My niece Kelly and I spent the day catching up while prepping for the party. She is planning to open a restaurant and ice cream shop in the small town where she lives (Alpine) and was anxious to share her ideas with me as I was a former restaurant owner myself years ago and her grandmother (my mom) had a very successful restaurant in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for over twenty five years. So cute that she wants to carry on the family tradition. I warned her though—grandma made it look easy.
While I was in San Diego, Vic went to an Angels game with his daughter Mindy and all three grandsons. They went to the game early to watch the team warm-up and the players tossed balls to the two older boys. They were thrilled about catching their first baseballs at a pro game.
Next up was the grand event of the last day of school and the very fun party called “Jump into Summer” their local park throws for the kids the next day. Five hours of swimming, slip ‘n slides, inflatable houses, and all kinds of free goodies like popcorn, cotton candy, shaved ice, hot dogs, and lemonade. Luke won third place in the cannonball contest for ages 7-10. (It helps to have your own pool. . . .) After their fun day, which we only attended for a couple hours, we had a barbecue at their house and all settled in to watch the California Kings clinch the Stanley Cup in the hockey championship game.
Whew! We only had one more day in Orange County after the “Jump into Summer” event. We used it to give the kids a chance to celebrate Father’s Day with their dad while we got ready for our five day “camping” trip with the kids.
Coming up: three reasonably sane adults, three energetic boys, and two exuberant dogs head north on I-5 in the Big EZ to the Santa Cruz Redwood RV Park.