Here's Zack telling two of his fish why leaving Saturday would have sucked. SUCKED. Ready for this? Saturday morning the pipe feeding our water heater sprung a leak. When the plumber came to unscrew things, the offending section of pipe just came off in his hand. Under his breath he said "you guys are so lucky." Yep, if we'd left Friday we would've come home to a swamp in our apartment.
Armed with our lucky vibes we crossed the Grapevine without incident and emerged onto Route 5. I don't know where on Route 5 I took this picture, but it doesn't really matter. It's a long, straight road flanked by flat landscape with few features. Hypnotic, and in the cow territories, stinky.
The Friday plan had the advantage of synching Zack's bedtime with the car trip, and we were worried that an afternoon would be too much for him to take. Not so! He was a champ traveller, he zonked out on the Grapevine for a few hours, then Mommy joined him in the back seat to keep him happy. He timed his fussiness with the emergence of Pea Soup Anderson's on the horizon, so we stopped for refreshing soupy goodness. When we left -- bedtime! Perfect.
We stayed at our friends Adam and Jeannette's house, which they recently remodeled. It looks great. Sunday it rained all day, and we were only too happy to lounge around in our PJs and do whatever, as you see here.
Oona reads a story to Zack.
Since we didn't go anywhere, we had friends of ours come to see us. Here's Joe Jordan sharing a photo moment with Zack...
and here's another one, because I couldn't decide which one I liked better.
Later Oona reads Zack his favorite book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?
And in typical Zack fashion, he lunges for it. That boy loves him some Brown Bear.
That night Blake, Jamie and Natalie came over to meet the boy, eat delicious Indian food and laugh it up. I love my new life in LA but I miss those guys like crazy. Hanging out was a blast.
I know Z looks really unhappy in this picture, but he wasn't, really. The following morning we had a leisurely time getting our stuff together and doing some more hanging out with the Woodburys (except for Jeannette, who had to go to work early. Boo.)
Some huggles with Adam before we left.
Before our return trip, we headed into Berkeley to have lunch with more awesome people who hadn't yet met Zack. Sherm commented on the intense stare Zack gave him in the backseat; we assured him it was just Z's "assessment" face.
I'm happy to include Elizabeth in this post because she apparently checks our blog a lot and never comments. A "lurker," in the vernacular. Hi Elizabeth! It was so great to see you!
Elizabeth's bohunk Charlie took a trio of pictures I once again could not decide between.
Also great to see was Alex, who was busy managing the restaurant. (That's his shirt in the background there, and the only picture of him I got.)
The food was deee-licious. If you get the chance, it's Corso on Shattuck in Berkeley. Yummy. And if you're really lucky, go there with Charlie. He's got an in.
With savory aftertastes on our tongues, we said goodbye and got on the road. Zack sacked out instantly. The sun, with its usual irony, decided to emerge just as we were leaving. Julie noted that the water gods had been particularly kind to us this weekend, when...
A lightboard beside the freeway let us know the Grapevine was cuh-losed! Dang it! We took the 101 down, which is less direct but much, much easier on the eyes. I'd never taken that route before and was knocked silly by all the pretty vistas. I was reminded of the countryside around Florence more than once.
But then... rain! Those water gods are fickle, all right. It came down off and on throughout the entire trip home, two times with such intensity we almost pulled over.
At a pitstop in I Have No Idea Where, I let Z stretch his legs while Julie hunted up supplies. Since we couldn't hang out outside, I stood him on my lap in the back seat. Anywhere in the car besides his carseat is terra incognita, so he was into it.
I shot these without knowing exactly what I'd get, resulting in some, ah, unorthodox compositions.
Oh, there's his face!
This is the last shot I took before my batteries conked out. We saw several of these big, fat rainbows, and sometimes saw the spots where they appeared to "touch down." Too bad we were on a tight schedule and had no time for pot-'o-gold-hunting.
The trip home was a long and stressful drive, but we traded off and kept our cool and it actually didn't take too much longer than the 5 would've taken. Zack was a trooper once again, keeping his spirits up or sleeping the whole way, only to wake up and freak out less than ten minutes from our house.
What a great trip.