Earlier this summer, soon after returning from our two week RV adventure to Yellowstone and the Tetons, we planned to take Harold to the Beach Boardwalk to celebrate his birthday. But the RV broke down, we got stranded, and we had to promise him another time.
This weekend, we finally made good on that. Saturday morning was clear and cool, with a promise of a warmer day, even coast-side. We arrived at the Boardwalk to claim our wristbands, only be to pleasantly surprised not once, but twice: It was bring-a-friend-for-free day, and we also were just in time for the annual chili cookoff. Nice, there's our lunch!
Overall, we had very much a satisfying day, riding rides, spending lots of times at the shoot-em-up Terminator game, eating and rating lots of chili, and even kicking up some sand on the beach. By the time we left at about 6:30pm, it was already getting dark and we were all pooped.
It's a good thing we got to bed early on Saturday, because Sunday was another busy day. I went for a run at Almaden Quicksilver County Park with a few people from work, a trail run, a five miler. When I got home, Rita and Harold took off to do errands while Penny and I stayed back and finished installing Halloween decorations. Ol' Skelly Bones finally got himself a home, swinging from a high branch of a redwood tree out front. Harold got home, and got a little spooked when I animated Ol' Skelly as he exited the car. Harold likes being scared, but he does get scared.
In the afternoon, we cleaned up to head up to Concord to celebrate Aunt Jean's 99th birthday. Though she's slowed down, has lost some hearing and still battling some dementia, she is in generally good health. And from the looks of it at the all-you-can-eat Country Buffet restaurant, she hasn't really lost her appetite. Lots of family were there from Cousin Betty's (Grandpa Rex's) side of the family.
And I didn't even mention Friday night at the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace. Another busy weekend.
I mentioned the other day that we were going to go to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for Harold's birthday weekend fun. Well, on Friday night, as I described, we made it to dinner and a movie with grandma Christina. But on Saturday, things took a turn for the worse.
We had everyone show up as expected, and we climbed into the RV for a quick trip over the hill. About a half mile (one kilometer) before Summit Road, the RV seemed to slip into neutral. I quickly checked, and I was indeed in D (for Drive, as in Forward). Revving the engine in Drive or in Neutral didn't make any difference. We were headed uphill without a forward gear.
Luckily, there was a turnout coming up, close enough to coast to. We parked, I played around with the shifter but I was never able to get it to go into forward gear. Reverse seemed to work ok, though. But I didn't want to back up, downhill, too far. This turnout on the side of the road was much too valuable to lose.
We have roadside assistance, good enough to get a free tow of a 24 foot motorhome, but the tow truck would only hold two people, I was advised. To take care of the four others in the motorhome (there were six of us), I summoned up the Uber app on my phone. But it made me upgrade it before it would work. So I upgraded.
Twenty minutes later, the Uber car showed up and took everyone except me and Penny back home. The wait for the tow would take another three and half hours. The driver reported that traffic was so back coming up the hill on highway 17 that it took about three hours to go six miles. Wow.
We had the generator running, powering the air conditioner, and Rita had packed a good number of Coronas, so we were set for a nice, long, roadside wait.
In the end, Harold didn't seem to mind much that he and his friend missed going to the Boardwalk. Instead, they played a LOT of Skylanders and mama even took them to AVAC for some swimming pool time. He's a trooper, and next weekend, we'll try to make up for it with a trip to Great America. Stay tuned!
Harold turns eight today. I said goodbye to the seven year old last night, the little guy that has been so fun to hang out with. This morning, I woke an eight year old, who looked very much the same as the guy we left yesterday.
I got the chance to wake him, informing him there were things waiting for him on the table: his requested crepes, with candles, and presents.
He climbed on my back and we made our way to the dining area. Pictures were taken, breakfast was eaten, and presents opened. A real life tool set in a case, a Ryobi cordless drill/driver with a set of bits, and a birdhouse kit to build with those tools. We think he would have preferred a WiiU or more Skylanders, but he'll be occupied enough with these.
Tonight, we pick up Grandma Christina and head to Red Robin for dinner, then go see Secret Life of Pets. Tomorrow, Saturday, we head over the hill to Beach Boardwalk, with a buddy of his and grandma Carol and aunt Wanda. He'll have a great time, and we will try to take full advantage of the priviledge of getting to spend a year with an eight year old boy. Only one year, though, then again, we have to say goodbye to him before welcoming the next.
Last weekend, I hit the two hundred mile (322 km) mark for my running for the year. That's pretty good. Last year, I did 212 for the entire year. If I'm doing my math correctly, I'm on track for 500 miles for the year.
Nice side benefit is that I've lost 15 to 20 pounds (6.8 to 9 kg). And people notice, too. I'll take it!
Harold has a big, fat, plastic bat. We've been using it to hit balls around the backyard and even at the park.
He also has a toy Spiderman baseball glove, which I've been using when pitching to him, though the glove is small kid size.
On Sunday, I went to Sports Basement to buy a glove for myself; I couldn't find the one I've had for a long time. I want us to start playing catch in addition to just him hitting the ball with the bat. While there, I also picked up a wiffle ball set, with a bag full of spare balls.
If he starts to get into baseball, I guess that could be ok with me.