Monday, February 15

Holiday Potpourri Weekend Bonanza

A weekend of holiday potpourri - Valentine, Chinese New Year, President's, Marriage Week - take your pick, and for us a birthday celebration for the youngest. We ended up with a five day weekend and picked the youngest after to school Thursday to head down to the San Diego area. We went to Crossroads CRC in San Marcos for the church denomination's local classis meeting. While the husband attended, I took the youngest one of his favorite eateries, Panda Express, to celebrate his birthday - it was fun finding where to eat on the GPS. I was also using it to listen to Octavia Butler's Kindred, which has me captivated; fortunately the youngest likes listening too.

The husband and I had spent the day preparing to leave. I had my hair done by Monique; Lynn is recovering from surgery - both very special ladies. The husband and I went to see the movie 'Avatar' we had attempted to see last month. That time something was wrong with the theater sound system and we ended up with re-entry tickets. We very much enjoyed the movie in 3-D, the effects, the story. Afterward we stopped quickly at Burger King, as the youngest's school was letting out.

Once the car was packed we set off east the 60 to the 215 south until it hooked up with the 15 and further. We veered off to check into the Riviera Oaks in Ramona and then headed back to San Marcos. I enjoyed seeing several of the classis attendees again - Lois Vanderpol and Mike, Neville Koch, Cor Pool; I missed the Karstens, Phil DuBois, and Al Breems - but while I met some new people too, the husband was able to meet with them all. He obtained good information about our denomination, much that would prove useful to our congregation and was encouraged. Afterward we headed back to our accommodations.

Friday we spent leisurely around the place taking photographs, the likes of which we only had to go out our door. Everywhere there were bees and other insects, a variety of colorful birds in an assortment of trees and bushes, horses, cyclists, and many flowers. I only saw a rabbit once. The youngest camera and DS along to amuse him; we never even hooked up the Wii we had packed. I've begun exercising and wanted the option just in case.

We took a ride into town, Main Street, and bought some groceries at the local Staters. We bring most of our groceries with us. Riviera Oaks has a fully equipped kitchen with stove and microwave, pots and pans, etc., and a barbeque; it also has a nice fireplace. We had sausage and eggs in the morning before and for dinner rice with lousiana hot link. On Saturday, we had breakfast of steak and eggs (which was going to serve us well for the long day ahead), before checking out and heading for the Wild Animal Park. These pictures will also be posted on flickr.

It took no time to pack at all, and we were on our way by 10:30, which was just on the way back several miles. Our destination was a surprise to the youngest, as part of his birthday celebration. He had been to the San Diego Zoo on a school field trip previously; but he quick concluded, and confirmed by the end of the day, this was much better!

We were not able to cover the whole place in the time we had - we saw the bird aviaries, the monkeys, the gorillas, the elephants, the meerkats and dik diks, lorikeet, and took the safari tour of the zebras, lions, cheetahs, rhinos, etc. We still had major areas like the botanical gardens yet to see when we return. It was a very full day of walking! My pedometer said it was. People watching was phenomenal as well - observing the dynamics of how well people take care or don't of their children was another study altogether ;-)

It was a very satisfied and tired family that left, stopping at MacDonald's before heading home. The youngest said "it's going to be tomorrow before we get home". What a sense of time! We even had time to put most everything away that same evening after the husband got us there safely.

Sunday, our day of worship service, was spent with our First Love and went very well. I enjoyed the worship and the Word and seeing the saints. One of the couples had celebrated Valentines Day at the Gold Classic Cinemas in Pasadena where they had a meal AND saw the movie 'Dear John'. They said it was most enjoyable. One of our newlywed couples had just seen Avatar, the frist time they had gone to the show with each other. I watched, while I was singing, the boyfriend of one young lady enter church with a bouquet of flowers, a stuffed animal, and such, and saw her face of surprise when she saw him as she mouthed 'oh my '! One dear couple is celebrating their 21st valentine anniversary! What a blessing! I love our church!

The afternoon we got the car washed, finished unpacking and relaxed. I marinated and cooked a tip round roast, served with mashed potatoes and a mushroom steak gravy. The husband made his delicious ice tea. In the time we had left, the youngest had visits from siblings remembering his birthday. He had some phone calls before the weekend started.

The last day of our time off, we've spent accessing our sore walking muscles and doing a few household chores, slowly coming back to reality. But all in all, it's been a very nice holiday potpourri weekend - one filled communing with Creator and His creation; love and nature; peace and relaxation; fun , family and fellowship - something we must do again real soon!

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'the highs and lows of' my Weight Loss Journey