Days 9 and 10, Tuesday, August 27 and Wednesday August 28
We arrived in Escondito, at our friends' the Lawsons', last night at about supper time. Leave it to us. “Hi, nice to see you. Nice to meet you. What've you got for us to eat. Oh, and did I mention we need a special diet?” But Rob and Kristen were prepared, and so good-hearted. And Kristen was ready for us. She served a lovely and wonderfully tasty supper for us.
It's kind of a pastor thing. We know that wherever we are and wherever we go, the pastor in that area will be there for us. Just as we'd be for them. It's very good for the men to have a cohort to kick back with and shoot the breeze, and talk shop, etc. And it's fun for us women to get to know another pastor's wife, and to know that we've got friends all around the country.
We did laundry. Oh, Kristen, I hope you know how appreciated that is. We had so much, … smoky from campfires and damp from the rain, ... stinky from sitting in a hot vehicle for several days. Ugh, this small gesture was say beyond the call of duty.
We made posters for Matt's graduation, to hang in the van windows. Things like, “Abrahamson, Plt 1070,” “Delta Company,” “Go Matt!” and etc.
The Lawson kids had to go to school today for a short time. But their folks took them out of school early so that they could all take us to the beach at Oceanside.
|A little lunch|
|Our gracious hosts, Rob and Kristen|
Rob grilled hotdogs and Kristen had packed chips and cheese sticks, and frozen water bottles. She also provided the beach towels, so we wouldn't have to pack wet ones up again when we left. I had a big drink cooler full of water, and a bunch of folding chairs. The Lawsons had boogie boards and a shade tent thing called an Easy-Up.
The weather was nicely warm and the waves were just right. I was so happy that Joe got out there and had fun in the surf. He body surfed with the kids and bounced around. The kids did both body surfing and boogie boards. Those who did the boogies boards ended up with many scrapes and scratches, from being buffeted and dragged across the bottom by their boards.
|"It's coming!" Emma, Stella, and Donna|
|Playing in the sand|
After awhile Inge was content by herself, as long as she stayed in the very shallow water. So I foolishly let Joe coax me out to the deep. I didn't really know what to expect, since I hadn't played in ocean waves since I was on a high school choir tour throughout the south. One of the stops on that trip had been a day at Padre Island, on the Gulf Coast of Texas.
Joe went out to where the bigger swells were cresting. I went out to about waist deep, where the waves would come in over my shoulders, but then rush on past. I was not quite ready, in my mind at least, when the first crest came. And it was a biggy! I turned to press my back into it, thinking that perhaps I could withstand the onslaught and simply remain standing until the swell passed.
I was standing in waist deep water one minute. The next I was plunged into the maelstrom, hitting the bottom, sea water forced into my eyes, nose and mouth. I floundered around, kind of going with the flow, until I felt air above me and sand beneath. I clumsily found my legs and slowly emerged from the torrent. Wet, bedraggled, and feeling a bit sotted.
|Have sand, will bury|
|Sophie and John flee the maelstrom|
The kids were surprised their dad spent so much time in the water. They asked him about it later,
“How did it feel, Dad, to play in the ocean?”
“It was … like a great big release.” And with that simple statement, I knew that all the work and planning and stress of the trip was oh-so-worth it. Anyone who knows my husband well will know that “a great big release” was just exactly, perfectly what he needed.
|Rachel and Louisa's henna tats|
After we were done at the beach, we headed south to San Diego and the Wyndam Gardens Motel. It's a lovely building with graceful wrought iron railings on long porches across the upper levels. The foliage is mostly a variety of palms. Some are kind of short and squat. Short only compared to the towering ones above. They have very big leaves that spread upward and outward toward the porch railings. The littles were very intrigued with these big stiff leaves. They found it very interesting and cool to be able to stick their arms through the railings and touch these amazingly big leaves.
When we got to the motel, Joe's Mom and Dad were awaiting our arrival. They had flown in yesterday, and so spent the day today touring the USS Midway. They took the city bus a short distance, and then met the trolley that took them through Old Town and down to the USS Midway. It was fun to hear about their day. The smaller kids enjoyed seeing Grandma and Grandpa in such an unexpected place. "How did you get here?"
We indulged in a rare meal out that evening, in a real, sit-down restaurant. We headed first for a barbeque place adjacent to the hotel, that was alleged to be able to serve gluten free food. But it was packed to overflowing. The line was spilling out the door and onto the sidewalks. Since we were a group of thirteen, and several of us were small, hungry children, we figured we better not attempt the wait.
We continued on to Red Lobster. We had eaten in a Red Lobster once in Chicago. That would have been about the time Matt was a baby, so, nineteen years ago. They were able to accommodate Joe and his dad's special dietary needs, and we all had a great time.
After we walked back to the hotel, we got the kids ready for bed and tucked in as soon as possible. They were a little revved up, so it was kind of hard to settle everyone down, but we have an early start tomorrow to all the excitement at the base. Joe's parents have a room with two double beds, so Stella and John are staying over at Grandma and Grandpa's room.
I can't believe we're finally going to see Matt! It seems like it's been forever.