Dere’s Uh Alligator In Dere

We finally made it home to good ole Lakeside, Ca. I drove in with the 4 kids about 2 hours after Thanksgiving had begun. I was really freaking happy to get to see all my family in one spot on return from my sojourn.

It’s funny the things one takes for granted in one’s environment. I remember when we first moved to Florida, pjdaddy and I were trippin’ on how flat it was. Not a hill in site. There was one area in our community called Fort Caroline Hills. HAH! Look at the picture of it.

This is the equivalent of a speedbump in California.

He and I missed the mountains. We missed the view, but mostly we missed the snow and snowboarding. We were really excited to leave the First Coast and return to the Left Coast.

When driving about town I don’t let the kids watch DVDs in the car, because I want them to look at the scenery. The drive across country was completely different. I packed every DVD we owned in the van. I was not going to listen to “are we there yet?” for the entire 2338 miles. DVD players in the car rock. The kids were strapped in their seats and I was able to force musicals down their throat for a good portion of the trip. These kids will be exposed to the classics if it kills me/them. Yes we watched Monsters Inc. but they wound up loving, “The Sound of Music” and “My Fair Lady” and “Annie” and “Oliver”. It was fun to show them that the nun in the first musical mentioned also played Mary Poppins in another movie. I even got to introduce them to Abbott & Costello. They were a huge hit. I’d never have been able to get my kids to sit down and watch these flicks any other way.

On the trip out to Florida years ago I’d bought the two oldest disposable cameras so they could take pictures of their trip and to give them something to do. I found them undeveloped as I packed for our reverse move. I learned my lesson not to develop their photos after I paid for 24 pictures of Tom & Jerry on TV.

I had this fantasy that we’d pull over at rest stops and have little picnics with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, yogurt and juice. I was going to save money and we were going to eat relatively healthy. Hah, yeah right.

Screw that. We went thru McDonald’s and Jack in the Box’s. I even made them, yes I did, I’m gonna say it, are you ready? Pee in cups. I couldn’t believe it when my dad wouldn’t stop for us to pee on trips and we had to go in cups, but because I’m a kinder, gentler person than my dad, I at least stopped the car. It’s soooo much faster that way.

Luckily we had some fake internet friends Sohos and Count, who graciously allowed us to stay at their home in Houston. They couldn’t have lived anymore on our route if they tried. Hopefully we became real friends after meeting them even though I did steal their USB cord. It’s in the mail, really. Course Count is the man who told my children that if they sang, 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” really loud 3 times in a row they’d be able to fly. I only still love him because he took my kids fishing off his parent’s dock. Sohos couldn’t go because she has to work. She needs to quit so things like that don’t happen in the future.

 

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The kids had a blast. I wanna have one of those in my backyard.

img_3003How many times have I told you NOT to eat the bait?!?!?!

Graham put his bait to good use.

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Oh you don’t want me to take your picture Garren? Ok, I won’t. Oh hey wow, look at the bug mommy has on her camera lense!

img_3018SNAP!!! Gotcha sucka.

Count even took us on a little boat ride. Gavin was freakin’, well for about a second.

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We stayed in Houston for two days to wait for poor pjdaddy to catch up as he was still in Jacksonville painting over tiny hand and footprints on the wall to make our home rentable.

So off we go on the rest of our trip. Our friend Dan Coffey, who seems to show up every time we move, ready and willing to help, showed up again. Weirdest part is he never knows we’re moving……he just has bad timing. He even helped us on our original move from Arizona to Florida following us across country driving our rental truck. Dan followed us this time as well. He coincidentally had to be in California today.

In addition to my “side of the road picnics” I thought I’d have, I also thought I’d take a picture of my kids in front of each state’s welcome sign. It was dark when I left Jacksonville, so it was dark when I hit my first state. Alabama. I didn’t see the sign till too late and there was no way I was gonna make a U-turn and unload the kids for a photo op. Oh well, nother idea down the drain.

About the time we made it to New Mexico, I realized my bottom 3 children had either never seen a mountain or couldn’t remember ever having seen a mountain. What a weird thought to me. The mountains I cherish so much. I was cracking up at how amazed they were at something I took for granted my entire life. My mountains.

We’ve been getting settled in. We’ve taken over my poor parents home until we figure out what we’re gonna do and where exactly we’re gonna settle here.

I took my kids to the park playground I loved as a little girl. There happens to be a lake there and I couldn’t get my kids to go near it for nothin’. I couldn’t figure it out till Gavin points to the lake and says, “Dere’s uh alligator in dere”. It took forever to convince them there weren’t any alligators here in San Diego County.

I’ve been trying to go everywhere and visit everyone since I’ve arrived. I feel like a dog. I need to pee on everything. You are my territory and I will mark you.

On one of our trips today, my bottom 3 kids started gagging like crazy. My daughter said, “oh mom, what’s that smell?”. It dawned on me that I have not smelled that particular smell ever in Florida or even in Arizona, but smelled it often in my hometown growing up. It was a skunk.

Welcome to California kids. It’s good to be home.

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14 Comments

  1. Welcome back home! well, you know what I mean. Having grown up in So Cal and with my family all still out there (Inland Empire and then out in SD as well – Rancho Bernardo and Del Mar), there are times I miss it…definitely miss the fam though!

    Enjoy getting settled in and having everyone you love, near by!

  2. I hate you! No, not really. Just heartbroken that we all won’t be meeting up anytime soon. I’m glad you made the trip without too much drama. I was worried.

    Mountains! I hadn’t realized after spending all that time in reclaimed swamp land (Jacksonville & DC), how much I missed our Appalachian mountains. Now, from where I sit in our valley, I have them on three sides. They show me the seasons, hold large amounts of grouse, deer, hawks and beaver and renew the soul with a gaze.

    I hope you will continue to update us on the continuing adventures of the “Pajama Clan”. . . I can’t wait until the little ones go to the ski slopes for the first time!

  3. Glad you made it safe and sound!

  4. What a trip! I envy your new surroundings! After dragging my husband to see Twilight, I’m determined to get us all moved to Forks, WA. /nod

    About 2.5 years ago I made the drive cross country from AZ to Melbourne, FL. Actually, it was right during hurricane Katrina. A little humid, but it was a beautiful trip. But, outside of Louisiana, no place I would want to reside permanently. Hope you and the family get settled in time for the rest of the Holidays!

  5. I learned my lesson not to develop their photos after I paid for 24 pictures of Tom & Jerry on TV.

    HAHAHA!!!

    Glad you made it safely.

  6. So glad you made it safely!! Those pictures are so great!

  7. hey! so glad y’all stayed!!!! Thanks for the gift cards woman!!!!!!

  8. Your family is beautiful. It looks like you made a great time of your super long trip. It actually seemed like fun to drive across country when I was reading your story.

  9. Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?Are we there yet?

    kicking the back of the seat…

    Welcome home, PJM!

  10. Hmmm..how are housing prices in San Diego and the surrounding areas?
    I’d wait for awhile to be sure the market has stabilized. B.O. might tank it some more.

    You are lucky your parents seem to like you.

  11. So glad you had an uneventful trip. Pee in a cup. Yup, I remember those days. My Dad didn’t stop til we got there (Chicago to Orlando) either. Keep us up to date. And send me a msg when you get on Ravelry!

  12. In my family’s sojourns across the country in the mid-70s, the eight of us would pack into the VW van and off we’d go. We’d have to piss in a coffee can. To this day, the mixed fragrances of urine and VW vinyl seats sends me back to my childhood.

  13. Auds- YAY! I didn’t know you were a Cali girl?!?! Pjdaddy and I even lived in the Inland Empire for a while. It was called San Jacinto. too funny. you’re welcome to stay in my parent’s garage with us anytime.

    MCPO- I don’t really have seasons out here either, but I have my mountains and it does snow here in san diego, but it’s far enough away that I don’t have to deal with it. I am bummed I didn’t get to meet you however, I needed you to help me paint.

    T- been catching up with your blog……I’m sorry, unless it’s a good thing then I’m not sorry. sounds like it’s a good thing though

    The Right Wife- it’s a shame I didn’t know you when I lived in Az. Bend, Or was on our list of places to move, but the job offer for pjdaddy didn’t come thru and I JUST got the call yesterday from a preschool I applied at wanting to hire me. Too late. It’s ok though because I LOVE being around my family.

    mesablue- yeah, that was a fun purchase. So glad there’s digital now.

    kd- I look forward to stalking your blog again.

    sohos- you and count rocked. thank you so much!!

    TDF- Thank you very much! I was actually dreading the drive, but it really turned out well.

    abbadon- Sit down and shut up!!!

    porknbean- there’s no way in heck I’m buying a home anytime soon. We’re going to be forking out cash on our home in Jacksonville every month as there’s no way we’d be able to rent it out for the amount of the mortgage.

    Linda- YAY! I begged pjdaddy to get my crochet stuff out of storage because I couldn’t take it any longer. He got it out yesterday, but I haven’t had time to even open the box yet.

    Rich- You STILL have the opportunity to smell a mix of urine and VW vinyl? You need to quit letting the homeless sleep in your hippy bus.

  14. There’s certainly a lot to learn about this issue.

    I really like all of the points you have made.


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