A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about family

An Old Car and An Old Friend

Driving our Jag to celebrate a friend's 100th birthday

sunny 70 °F
View Aunt Verna's 100th on Miss Chris's travel map.


We had to rush home from Canada because we had a 100th birthday party to attend for a family friend. We’d taken our Jag over to British Sports Cars to get a new top before leaving on our trip. We figured that we’d get that done while we were on our trip to Canada.

Our grandson came from work on Thurs evening and Friday morning we left early for the coast. He loves the Jag so he is always ready for a look at the old girl.
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We picked up the Jag and drove off to the 1st of the parties, in Los Osos at the park. We found our friends that Dale has known since they were children. Our friend’s children were there, some we haven’t seen in 30 years and 1 daughter for the 1st time. We exchanged text numbers, facebook info, and Instagram info.
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We were invited to a party that evening. The party was in a home in the foothills of Arroyo Grande and included dinner. We’d brought a few things to share from our small ice chest, and a bottle of wine. The views were amazing and it was nice to sit and get to know some of the kids and catch up with friends.

The following day we went to the official party. We found Dale’s brother and sister-in-law who we haven’t seen in a couple of years and an old friend who we haven’t caught up with in several years.

While we were standing and visiting, someone came up with an elderly gentleman. We were told that he wanted to meet the owners of the Jag. He had worked on Jag parts many years ago and loved our car.

We insisted that Dale give him a ride and convinced him that his wife and daughter would be fine. Before he got into the car, he had a walk around it, oohing and awing. When he got into the car, he had a smile from ear to ear.
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Dale gave him a ride of his life, stepping on the gas so that the car would leap out. I took photos and sent them to him so he could take the memory.

After the party, we were invited to our Moro Bay friend's house where our brother and sister-in-law were staying. We talked into the night.
On Monday, we were invited to yet another party and BBQ. We were feeling festive because it was Dale’s Birthday. Dale was surprised with a birthday cake.

We’d met the host couple many years ago but didn’t keep in contact, we didn’t even know that we had much in common. We all love traveling the world and we all love New Mexico and the NM food. They have a house in New Mexico so we are anxious to visit when we make it there.

Posted by Miss Chris 15:56 Archived in USA Tagged road_trip friends family morro_bay los_osos 1956_jaguar_xk140 Comments (0)

Sharing Some Family History in San Antonio

An old photo, a favorite restaurant are connected

75 °F

So much travel, back and forth across the country. Work, work, work.

In between the storms are down times. Fortunately, we are in a down time now and have a chance to catch our breath. Last year’s storm season lasted nearly the entire year.
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We packed up last week and drove to San Antonio, the site of this year’s Crawford Catastrophe Conference. I don’t go every year and wasn’t going to attend this year, but had to fulfill a promise. I’d promised a friend that I’d go to the conference and introduce her to everyone I know. Hopefully, that will prove to be more of a help rather than a hindrance.

We thought that since we would be in San Antonio, we’d combine it with seeing relatives in Oklahoma, food in Taos and Santa Fe, and shopping for an American Indian rug for a wall hanging. Our grandson said that the trip would actually consist of us waddling from one meal to the next. Out of the mouth of babes……

San Antonio has many ties for my family. My father was born and lived his early years here. My grandparents were married in the San Fernando Cathedral. My grandmother and my father were baptized in the Cathedral.

My grandfather told us that he had worked in the basement of what is now Mi Tierra’s restaurant when the building was part of Produce Row. We have a photo from those years with my grandfather, 2 uncles and my dad in front of his truck.

In Nov 2016 Dale and I had dinner at Mi Tierra’s. I told the waitress about my grandfather. Soon a supervisor came to our table and asked to hear about him. I told her what I could, that he had worked with the bananas and he had told us that it was in their basement. She, Myra, verified that Mi Tierra’s actually had a basement and it was used for produce in the early years. She asked for a copy of my photo.

As the past year has been really busy I didn’t get the photo off the wall to scan and send off. Now, before walking out the door, I took the photo off the wall scanned it and had it printed. I looked but couldn’t find a frame to use so just took the photo along.

On Wednesday, I emailed Myra letting her know that we were in town and had the photo and that we would go to Mi Tierra’s with the photo. We went to the Cathedral to shoot a few more photos, then walked on the River Walk, then walked to Mi Tierra’s. Myra wasn’t in yet but the staff was aware of our mission. We had margaritas while waiting.
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Then Myra showed up at our table, she remembered us and even the table we’d been sitting at over a year ago when she heard the story of my grandfather. I presented to photo to her and she appeared to love it. She said another person had already ordered a frame and that she would send a photo of its location on the wall.
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I was so happy to have my family recognized, I only wish my father could have been there. We ate at Mi Tierra’s so many times but never connected to the right person there. But the photo has found a home.

Posted by Miss Chris 16:34 Archived in USA Tagged food road_trip family san_antonio mi_tierra produce_row Comments (0)

Family Gathering, Part 2

Now for the extended family

sunny 75 °F

On Friday a.m. we woke up to see our sister-in-law Jan. We haven’t seen her since our Downton dinner and were glad to catch up with her. Other relatives arrived on Friday afternoon and those we hadn’t seen for several years. This included Carolyn and her husband.

Carolyn, Dale’s older sister is just 2 years older than he is. She reminds us so much of their mother.

Carolyn makes pies, always has. She also carries on the family tradition of making Vernika (dumpling filled with a ricotta type cheese, gravy, sausage and zwiebach (a double dinner roll).

On Friday afternoon, Carolyn and Laurie started making pies, lots of pies: peach, pecan, custard, lemon meringue, and apple. All pies were using fresh ingredients, not canned fillings. Unfortunately, I can’t eat the gluten but the pies smelled really good!
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Carolyn agreed to make a meal for Saturday night of these food items. She made the vernika early then sent them frozen for use at the reunion. On Sat afternoon, she showed several family members how to finish the vernika and make the zwiebach.
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While Carolyn worked on remaining pies and the vernika and sausage several of us went on a hike. Dale and I’d wanted to show the sibs the road up to the ridge. We did make it to the top, just won’t admit to the top of which ridge. We worked up an appetite for all of the rich food to come.
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Sunday morning had Nate and cousins making pancakes and waffles using the wheat that Nate grows. They also made eggs using the eggs from Elias’ chickens.

After breakfast family members started leaving and so we said our goodbyes for another few years. It isn’t clearly set who will take up the mantel for the next reunion, but this one was good.

For me, I couldn’t eat much because of the gluten issue. And because we have a gluten-free kitchen at home, and we try to stay with a vegetarian diet, these foods were a real treat for Dale.

Posted by Miss Chris 17:30 Archived in USA Tagged food travel driving family outdoors grandkids family_reunion Comments (0)

Family Gathering, Part 1

The gathering of the immediate family

sunny 75 °F

After a day at home, we had to leave once again, this time to our son’s house in the Lompoc area. This last part of our vacation was to last thru the week.

Upon the death of Dale’s parents, the siblings decided to meet every other year, for a weekend, at the site of the host sibling’s choice. We have met at the home of one, Lake Tahoe, Duluth and Rehoboth Beach. During this time, we've lost 1 sibling, 2 nieces, 1 nephew and a granddaughter.
Last year Dale and I decided that we did not have any ideas that would work and were not really wanting to get involved in the reunions. We decided that we were just over the whole thing and would go on our way.

Our oldest son has a ranch on the Central California coast. https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1651581?checkin=08%2F25%2F2015&checkout=08%2F26%2F2015&s=JxFL He and a 1st cousin Laurie, who is also his good friend, decided that they would have an expanded reunion to include all of their cousins as well as the “old geezers” as he referred to us siblings and spouses.

The 2 cousins and their spouses worked for months, planning food, sleeping arrangements and living arrangements. They built a wood fired hot tub, put in walkways, set up an area for tents, and built a bath house complete with bathtub.

For us, this reunion was actually a 2-part event. We had a gathering for our immediate family on Wed/Thurs and then the extended family over the weekend.

Our week started on Tues evening when we arrived at our son’s house to help with last minute help. We helped clean all morning Wed and took care of the “littles” so that Nate and Bekki could keep going. Our niece Laurie, the other organizer, arrived to help along with her husband.
By afternoon our middle boy Justin and 2 sons, plus wife and her daughter arrived. Christine is a great help and immediately pitched in to finish up the chores. Then our youngest son Clayton, wife and 2 kids arrived. We were all together except for our oldest granddaughter who couldn’t arrive until Fri.

Jen was very interested in the animals as she has started to collect chickens, ducks and dogs. She plans to add a goat or sheep and a pony. She has asked me questions before about chickens and goats for which I have no answers. She was able to ask her questions and finally get some good information.

It was fun to introduce Christine, Clayton and Jen to the winery next door where we are wine club members. Too bad they poured us so many wines, but we tasted everything poured and soldiered thru.

Kids played and ran amuck on the hills, swinging on the tree swings and carrying the new kitties. By the Alpenglow, we had a fire and roasted marshmallows. IMG_201508..5606631_HDR.jpg

We hadn’t been all together for a while so it was so nice for all of us to be together. Clayton and Jen left and we started preparing for the next batch of relatives. IMG_201508..4104584_HDR.jpgIMG_201508..3520085_HDR.jpg

Posted by Miss Chris 20:19 Archived in USA Tagged nature travel family outdoors reunion grandkids Comments (0)

Flying Adventures

Getting to Port Hardy

I made my 6:30am flight but had stuff in my hands still packing as I was trying to check in. Once I got down to the gate I opened my carry on and finished packing.

I knew that I had plenty of time between my 3 flights so that getting to the various was not a problem. The problem would be once I got into Vancouver there would only be 1-1/2 hours to go thru customs, pick up my check in bag, get on a shuttle to the next terminal and then catch my flight to Port Hardy.

I got into Vancouver and once I got out of the terminal found a transportation person who told me to go across the street to catch the shuttle. After standing there for a few minutes I asked someone else who didn’t know, asked yet another person who told me I was in the wrong area. Finally I found the right stop and found people who were heading to the same place. I stuck to them like glue!

The plane to Port Hardy was a little tiny commuter plane, like the little puddle jumpers of years ago. 1 row of seats on each side of the plane, so small one can’t stand up inside. The flight crew left the cockpit door open so I could see them flying the plane. Oh, it brought back flying memories!!!
The flight was mostly cloudy but near Port Hardy the skies cleared and I could see the road we drove so many years ago.

As I exited the plane the co-pilot asked how I liked the flight and I told him that I loved it! Love the little planes. When he asked why I told him that many years ago I was flying with a current pilot’s license. He told me to get back flying. Maybe I will someday!!

Bekki and Emilio picked me up at the airport. We made a couple of stops then went to the Bed and Breakfast place where Bekki got us a room. We thought that we’d stay for at least the night. It was a room with a bed, but really sharing a downstairs apartment. Off of the entry hall are bedrooms to the right and straight ahead and to the left a laundry then living room, dining room and kitchen.

I still had food that I’d brought and Bekki had a few things so we lit candles, opened wine that I brought, ate dinner and just enjoyed our being in Canada.

Posted by Miss Chris 14:44 Archived in Canada Tagged airport family canada vancouver bc airplane port_hardy Comments (0)

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