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Last Visit With the Kids Until October

August 10-15, 2015
Written August 10+

Dear Diary, Friends, and Families,

Summer is flying by now.  The hottest parts of summer weather are probably behind us and, on balance, it has not been bad at all.  We are hearing from friends in Bavaria that they have had almost as hot a summer -- weeks on end in the 30sC (90sF) and very little rain.  What is extraordinarily hot there is nice and cool in Fresno.  And we will have no ice and snow to contend with in a few months.

Now that Marianne's heart difficulties seem to have passed, we have plans for an extended road trip, from mid-August through early October.  We will be headed north into Oregon, Washington, and, maybe, British Columbia or Idaho and Montana.  The goal is to reconnect with my friends and extended family, most of whom I have not seen in decades.  But, before that, we needed to spend some time with the little local family.

We arrived at Sam and Ava's house, one they share with Gabby and Mamal of course, on Tuesday, looking forward to almost a whole week visiting.  We will do the usual: play, talk, dine, and read stories.  I can't think of anything better.  We will have pictures, lots of pictures.  Grandparents can never have too many.
Day One.  Stories, a birthday gift from Mamo, and some backyard play with Ava as coach and Sam as lead-off batter.

Day two.  Start with cooking and drawing.
Then, a fun morning in soccer camp.
Then, after an afternoon of Opa babysitting, it was on to dinner out by the pool and an end-of-the-day dip.

Day three.  More of the same and bye to Mom.
Soccer give-away.  "Free" ball, bag, and jersey.  And kids not paying attention.
Mom left for the airport at about 12:30.  Plane left at about 2pm, and was back in San Jose 90 minutes later!  Weather in Las Vegas was too stormy to land, so they came back and tried again in another hour or two.  Successfully.
Back home, it was time for Gigi to sponsor a mask-making project.
Even Zoe thought it was worth a laugh or two.

Day 4.  Dress for the last day of soccer camp.  Camp.  Oak Meadows with carousel and train rides and just playing.  Dine at Willow Street Pizza. Back home for an evening swim at the Rahimi Resort.  Watch cartoons-with-messages.  Crash.
It doesn't get any better than this.  It really doesn't.

Day 5.  Special breakfast and then just wait for mom and dad. 
Playing with mom and dad in the pool.
Chillin and then ready for a bit of golf.
And evening out with friends for Gigi and me.

Sunday, Day 6:  Breakfast with the family and then a special show by Ava and Sam.  Their energy is amazing!


From there it was head home to prepare for our trip to Oregon and Washington. Stay tuned.

John and Marianne

ps:  On the way home, we stopped by the Romero Visitor Center, above the San Louis Reservoir.  We wanted to document just how dry California is.  The total capacity of the reservoir is 2,041,000 acre-feet.  On this day, it held only 435,231 acre-feet, about 21%.  The surface is over 100 feet below the top of the dam.  Hopefully, we will see this lake grow in the next months.


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