Monday, November 23, 2015

Thunderstorms in Santa Monica

Our less than two-hour flight from San Francisco to LAX was delayed more than five hours because of thunderstorms. Thunderstorms in California! All the irritation of boarding and re-boarding three times at least was met with a small chuckle. Thunderstorms in California during a drought and wild fire season!

All that commotion seemed to fit our situation. I was very much looking forward to our visit and being able to see some of the aspects of Grandpa and Cheryl's every day life, yet I also felt guarded about the trip. Calling my grandpa with flight departure time updates is the most we have talked in a long time - it's just one of the realities of our relationship.

Grandpa and Cheryl picked us up at the airport, we gave quick hugs and kisses, and we drove the short way back to their lovely home in Santa Monica. Since first traveling to California for the Rose Bowl in 2006, I have enjoyed the look of California homes in comparison to Midwestern ones - they're so stucco. Walking through Cheryl and Grandpa's house for the first time was really interesting. They've been married for about five years now, and it was neat to see how their "things" got married, too. 

We sat at the kitchen table and had a late dinner. Grandpa had made this really good one pan wonder meat dish that we ate with rice. It was still a bit stormy outside as we sat, gorged, chatted, and planned events for the next day. Samuel asked Cheryl about doing some laundry and we went to bed soon after the wifi password was secured. It was a really nice evening after a long day of waiting and waiting to get there.

The rest of our visit with Grandpa and Cheryl was sight-seeing, eating, playing card games, and spending time with family. Cheryl's mother and daughter live around the area, and we got to spend time with both of them. There are so many popular places around Santa Monica and Los Angeles condensed. We went to church on Sunday morning, and one of the announcements was about a pre-screening of a film made by a famous person about a famous thing (they couldn't disclose anymore information). It was all very "cool." By far my favorite part, however, was swimming in the pool in the backyard with Samuel and Ariel, Cheryl's daughter. Cheryl sat poolside while Grandpa cooked dinner inside. We swam and talked some more while the skies darkened, raindrops jumping on the pool water. I don't know exactly why, but that was very relaxing and natural. 

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