We had a great visit to California and I must warn you, there are a gazillion pictures contained in this post [sorry but I just couldn't resist!] I'd hoped to have this posted yesterday but I ended up spending most of the day recovering from our 27+ hours of traveling [14 hours to CA and 13 back]. Southwest is great [especially when the tickets are free like ours were!] but their flight routing from Dallas to Sacramento leaves a lot to be desired! We stopped in San Antonio & Vegas on the way out and Denver & Amarillo on the way back. Although the travel portion was a bit of a pain, the actual visit was well worth it!
After arriving Thursday we went straight to my nephew's soccer game. His team played awesome and won 6-2 [I think]. Unfortunately, I was so wrapped up in the game I didn't take any pictures. The next day we spent helping my sister prepare for a huge fundraiser she was helping coordinate for Jordan's school's music department. It was modeled after the old time USO Shows and it was fantastic! They transformed an airport hanger into a true masterpiece. The show that evening was incredible. They had approximately 150 students performing and serving the evening's meal. Watching the individual performers took my breath away and I had to keep reminding myself that these kids are no older than 13! Absolutely incredible!
After the wonderful performances the kids broke out and took over the dance floor. They were having a ball and it appeared my nephew was leading the charge. From what I saw, he's clearly on his way to being a great class clown. He was having an absolute blast!
I'm still not sure where the glasses came from but here he is stopping for a quick second to tie his shoe. While it appears he knew I was taking this picture, he had no idea. He just happened to look up and I snapped the picture. I felt like the paparazzi!
Here he is surrounded by a ton of girls. They are totally drawn in by his curls! I've heard stories of how they'll just walk up to him and touch his hair but I couldn't believe they'd be so bold [I surely wasn't in jr high/middle school]. I was clearly wrong. Not sure if you can see it or not but the blond took this opportunity to feel them for herself.
Here is Jordan showing off the cool military jacket he got to wear for the evening's festivities. It looked awesome!
A local resident allowed the school to showcase one of his old planes. Isn't it amazing?! I was in absolute awe of it.
After he had his fill of the "ladies," Jordan whisked his mom [my sister] out on the dance floor and showed her some of his moves.
The next thing I knew he was pulling me out to the dance floor. I'm never comfortable on the dance floor so Lee quickly snapped this picture as proof that I can at least fake dancing.
Here are Lee & I shortly before we headed back to my sister's. After spending the entire day decorating and the evening enjoying the festivities, we were completely exhausted.
The next morning found us back at the hanger getting everything set up for that night's performance [it was a two night deal]. Luckily there wasn't as much to do and we were able to make it to Jordan's baseball scrimmage. This was the first time I've seen Jordan play baseball and I was definitely impressed. He played shortstop for a few innings and even pitched an inning. I know I'm biased but I think he was pretty awesome!
This picture is one of my favorites from the trip. The funniest thing about it is how he was in a hurry after the game and didn't want to take it. Up until the moment the picture was snapped I wasn't sure if he'd smile. Luckily he did.
The half marathon Jordan and my brother-in-law were running in the next day was in Sacramento so we all opted to spend the night there to make their early morning call a little less painful. After Jordan's baseball game Lee & I headed up to Sacramento with my dad and step-mom. A good friend of ours from Tahoe [Tracy] was driving down to spend some time with us. It was SO good to see here! We got caught up over a glass of wine and then headed to a great Mexican restaurant to enjoy a really good dinner. Given it was Saturday night we had a lengthy wait but that didn't bother us at all! We just bellied up to the bar where Lee got to see some basketball and Tracy & I did more catching up over a glass of sangria - yum!
Tracy - thank you SO much for driving down to see us! We miss you bunches and it was great to have a little time to catch up. Hopefully next time we'll have more time together!
The next morning found us up at the crack of dawn in order to head over to the half marathon site. Jordan & Keith had to be there at 6:30 to check in but, luckily, we didn't have to join them until 7:30. Excitement was definitely in the air as we walked over to the bridge to meet them.
Here's the group Jordan & Keith trained with for the half marathon shortly before they headed to "take their mark." It really was an incredible sight!
Keith & Jordan as it was getting closer to time for them to head to the start of the race. It was a staggered start and they were in "wave 2."
We got to see them six miles into the race as they ran over the bridge. I'm not sure if you can tell but in the above picture Jordan is waving to us. I don't know about you but there's no way I could wave to anybody six miles into a 13.1 mile run!
He becomes a little more focused as he sees the "gu" Carol is about to hand off to him. If you click on the picture you should be able to see that he's totally zeroed in on it.
And with that, the hand off is complete. Whew!
Unfortunately, when Keith came by a few minutes later we weren't as lucky. Although it looks like it was a successful hand off, it wasn't. He was focused on tossing us his hat and there wasn't time to get the "gu" handed off. Luckily it didn't seem to affect his time [more on that shortly].
Here is Jordan crossing the finish line. Although the clock shows 1:43, Jordan started 10 minutes after the first start so his time was actually 1:33:19! He finished in the top 3.9% of all finishers [142 out of 3603] and fourth in his age group (19 and under). Keith crossed the finish line in 1:36:52 and was in the top 5.5% of all finishers [201 out of 3603] and 35th in his age group [40-44]. Jordan's pace was 7.07 minutes/mile and Keith's was 7.24 minutes/mile. We ware so proud of both of them and I still can't believe just how fast they both are!! The person who placed first finished the race in 1:11:36 and had a pace of 5.28 minutes/mile. Wow!
Here's Jordan about ten minutes after he finished. His face isn't even red and he wasn't breathing heavy! He still had quite a bit of energy to burn and given he wasn't sore the next day makes me think we'll see him run a marathon at some point.
This picture cracks me up! While I know Lee is tall, I never really think about it until I see pictures like this. Pretty soon Jordan will be taller than me too!
On Monday Carol, Keith, Lee, and I drove to Chico so I could show Lee my college campus and give him a taste of some of my favorite "Chico things." Carol attended Chico State too so it was fun to reminisce together.
This was always my favorite building on campus and I love all the big trees! Although the campus was practically deserted due to it being Spring Break, we were lucky enough to have a student offer to take our picture together...
After snapping a couple he told us to be silly. This is clearly not something I'm good at as evidenced by the picture below...
Keith, on the other hand, complied quite well with our photographer's request!
Lee took over the photographer duties to snap this one of Carol & I posing at our alma mater. Hard to believe how long ago it was that I was a student on this campus!
Another shot of my favorite building.
This is the main entry into the above building and I've always loved the saying that is inscribed...Today Decides Tomorrow. How perfect is that?
The following pictures are just some random ones I took while we wandered through the campus...
I couldn't help but snap the below picture given it's the California State flower and I'm a California girl at heart...
One of my favorite places while in school was Madison Bear Garden ["The Bear"]. It's a great local hangout so we just had to show Lee. A pitcher of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale later [Sierra Nevada is brewed in Chico] and here are Carol and I doing a little posing...
After that we drove around downtown for a bit [it's definitely changed but not as much as I thought] and ended up at my favorite burger place of all time. Seriously, I still crave their burgers and fries to this day! I was like a little girl in a candy store when we walked in and loved that nothing about it has changed. It looks the same, smells the same, and the food was just as good as I remember it! Here we are very shortly before diving in...
My stomach is growling just thinking about it! Their special sauce is the kicker and I so wish I knew how to duplicate it!! We ate WAY too much but it was definitely worth it!!
As you can see, we had a very busy visit but loved every second of it! It was great to see everyone without dealing with the craziness of the holidays. It still wasn't enough time but I'm so thankful to have had the time we did. It definitely made me wonder what it would be like to live closer. I think I could quickly get used to driving an hour or two to see Jordan play in a sporting event or just to enjoy a quick weekend visit. While this idea isn't exactly feasible at the moment, a girl can still dream, can't she?
We didn't get to see my mom and step-dad [they live about 7 hours away] but knowing we'll be seeing them in July is enough to tide me over.
Thanks for indulging me. I hope you enjoyed the rundown of our long weekend in California!