We ended our California vacation with a couple of days in our old stomping grounds. It feels good to pull up to Amanda’s house and pick up right where we last left off. And now Juliette and Sadie are picking right up where they left off, as well!
Amanda’s house is kind of a toddler wonderland – a roomful of toys, a trampoline, and…a spare pair of pink boots!
Amanda and I had plans that night to go out to dinner with the ladies, and though the little ones weren’t invited, they still wanted to gussy up with us.
We spent the evening catching up with old friends at the neighborhood bar and grill – it was like a mini high school reunion, sitting around a table with these ladies that were a part of so many of my teenage memories. We relived the ups and downs and then caught up each other’s latest. Although it’s been 17 years (!) since we were fellow Bulldogs, I still see so much of the girls I used to stroll the aisles of Hollywood Video with in each of these women.
We laid pretty low on Sunday, playing Barbies and Legos and drums.
Juliette was so at home there. I mean, the plethora of toys is amazing, but it’s Uncle Josh and Aunt Amanda that seal the deal.
Oh, and can we talk for a minute about this kid?! JACK! You’ve won my heart, you sweet little softy.
We ventured out for a bit to the college to feed the ducks and run around the amphitheater.
THESE GIRLS! If only our playdates were weekly rather than annual…
While the ladies played and lunched, Shane was catching up with his buddy Steve during a hike around Knight’s Ferry. Shane said their morning together was a 5-hour meandering-but-seamless conversation. Lifelong friends, these two…
Any trip back to Turlock wouldn’t be complete without a drink with Marco and Lisa!
We ended the day with group story time (focus, Jules!), all piled on Amanda’s bed. My heart hurts a little when I look at this picture – next time we do this, Jack will be well out of the bottle phase and Juliette and Sadie will likely both be four.
The girls squeezed in a little more playtime on Monday morning…
(For the record, lest I paint too rosy a picture of our time there, this game of Candy Land ended with both kids in tears!)
And then it was time to say our farewells. Thanks, Amanda, for making your home one of the most welcoming places on earth.
It was a long trek home, with a nearly 2-hour drive to the airport and a delayed flight, but Juliette was a great sport through it all. We’re making a pretty good traveler out of this girl.
She’s even started pulling her own weight, luggage-wise!
That was exhausting (see Shane’s eyes?), but really, so much fun (Juliette’s smile says it all!).