California Vacation ~ Part 1

Posted on October 17th, 2010 by Jean

Our family reunion/vacation has come and gone. It really flew by, as I knew it would. Our first day consisted of driving to Vegas, hopping on a plane, landing in Sacramento, renting a car, and checking into our hotel. At 4pm, we gathered at my brother’s house for my sister’s surprise birthday party hosted by our nine year old nephew. He had the dining room decked out in a Spider Man theme, and had personally made spidey cupcakes to compliment the bakery cake my Mom brought. High on a sugar rush, the kids played Wii games while we adults talked, laughed, and absorbed the warmth of family.
 

 
After the sun set, our rumbling stomachs insisted we toss down a sacrifice, so we gobbled burgers, nuggets and fries to appease them. We slept well in our new surroundings, but I dreamt of cutting open my pillow and removing half of the stuffing. I wasn’t meant to sleep with my chin resting on my chest, eyes staring at toes.
 
At 5am, we woke and began to kill time before contacting family. We drank coffee and fed the kids ramen noodles. The girls bathed, using the cinnamon-scented soaps and lotions. Tom retrieved plates of complimentary bacon and english muffins. Finally the hour was respectable enough to make a phone call, and we were soon in my parents’ kitchen. The girls wasted no time drawing pictures to adorn Grandma & Papa’s fridge.
 

 
At 11am, we caravanned to the Texas Roadhouse for lunch. I hadn’t heard of this fine establishment, but we were encouraged to throw peanut shells on the ground while the staff burst into spontaneous dancing. Birthday celebrants, such as my sister, are forced to sit on a saddle while patrons yell, “Yee Haw!” Don’t believe me? Watch the short video.
 

 
After a delicious lunch, we ventured over to the Jelly Belly Factory for a tour. The best part? Samples were handed out along the way. We tasted honey and plum beans and juicy pear centers.Family at Jelly Belly The pace was brisk, and we soon popped out at the Gift Shop. I couldn’t resist buying souvenir socks, water bottles, sour worms, and super fruit beans for the girls. Of course, I grabbed a bag of chocolate malt balls for myself. I love chocolate!
 
Still full from lunch and jelly bean snacks, we walked to a local pond, admiring the ducks & geese, and tossing them bread.
 
Returning to my brother’s, the kids entertained themselves with Wii until Uncle Jim performed an impromptu magic act. Tom got in at the end, and it was dueling card tricks to the astonishment of us all. Note to self: Learn a card trick!
 
We called it an early night because the next day we were heading to Six Flags.
 
To be continued.
 
β€’ When was your last family reunion?
β€’ Have you been embarrassed in a restaurant on your birthday?
β€’ Know any card tricks?

Jean photo B16123E10292F5D0137E3C112C0110E4_zpsa65858d2.png

46 Responses to "California Vacation ~ Part 1"

  1. Nice…looks like everyone is having a great time! I enjoy reading and seeing your pics. Stay safe and have fun at Six Flags!!

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    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Carla! All is well. Thanks for swinging by.

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  2. SO cool! We went to The Texas Roadhouse for my hubby’s birthday a few years ago. He asked (Pleaded! Begged!) that we not mention to the server that it was his b-day, and though I was so tempted, I didn’t say a word. He hates that stuff. Me? I LOVE it!

    No card tricks for me, but I can shuffle like a champ. :O)

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    Jean Reply:

    Well here’s a YEE HAW for your hubby, Beth! I would have turned 12 shades of red straddling that saddle. LOL!

    You shuffle, I’ll cut. πŸ™‚

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  3. Sounds like you had a great time! I would LOVE to visit the Jelly Belly factory. YUM!!! πŸ™‚

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    Jean Reply:

    Hi Deanna! You’d love the Jelly Belly factory. It could have been a magical, Willy Wonka-ish experience had they let us onto the production floor.
    Jean recently posted..California Vacation Part 1

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  4. We both wrote blogs about visiting home today and posted right around the same time…dodododo dodododo!

    I actually checked here this morning for a new blog. Thought I was missing some.

    I’ve been embarrassed plenty of times at a restaurant on my birthday. I’m a little rusty on the card tricks. Also, just bought some of those Jelly Belly jellybeans yesterday while shopping at TJ Maxx.
    Sherri recently posted..Anonymous

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    Jean Reply:

    We are so in cinq, Sherri! Twilight music is right!

    Oh, I had to order some buttered popcorn flavored jelly bellies. Tried one in our sample packet, and was HOOKED!

    Be right over.
    Jean recently posted..California Vacation Part 1

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  5. I love the Texas Roadhouse video. I love their food and it looks like the family had a great time. I’m looking forward to part 2!
    Chaplain Donna recently posted..Life is Best When it is Bittersweet Book Review

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    Jean Reply:

    Thanks, Chaplain Donna! The food was delicious. I had the pulled-pork sandwich and a loaded potato. Mmmmm!
    We had so much fun. Our last reunion with my parents, brother, sister and families all present was ten years ago. Too long!

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    Chaplain Donna Reply:

    That is a long time. I’m glad you had a chance to reconnect with your loved ones. Family is very important!

    I want a loaded baked potato now πŸ™‚
    Chaplain Donna recently posted..Life is Best When it is Bittersweet Book Review

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    Jean Reply:

    You’re right. Usually one of us “kids” cannot make it when the other two can. This time it worked out perfectly.

    I want a loaded potato now too! πŸ™‚

  6. So glad you’re having a great time with your family. Yummy, pulled pork and a loaded potato…now I’m hungry! Love the video (HILarious!) and the frig art. Who’s 3 foot tall dog is that? πŸ˜‰

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    Jean Reply:

    Thank you, Heather! Mmmm… the food was delectable!
    I’m glad it was my sister on that saddle and not me!
    Oh, my youngest daughter made that unnaturally tall dog. LOL!

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  7. Yee-Haw!!! LOL! You made miss you all over again! Love your blogs. They always make me laugh πŸ™‚ Love you!

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    Jean Reply:

    I miss you too! That visit was too short.
    Thanks for being such a good sport, birthday girl. Love you!
    And thank you for all the compliments. You’re the best.

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  8. Wow, your holiday looks great fun!

    I really fancy a trip to the Texas Roadhouse, I’d better wait until my birthday in March though!

    Completely understand the pillow problems, my student accommodation has terrible beds. Hope you enjoy returning home to your own bed!

    What more can I say…Jelly Beans!

    (oh, finally have added one recipe to the student recipe section! Thanks for dropping by :D)

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    Jean Reply:

    Thanks, Jason! You’d have a blast at Texas Roadhouse. I can just picture you straddling that saddle. LOL!

    My bed is SO MUCH better than that hotels. Glad to be home, in that regard.

    MMmmm… these jelly beans are incredible! So much flavor packed into each morsel.

    I’m on my way to check out your recipe!

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  9. wii are family! HAHAHAHA!
    love it.

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    Jean Reply:

    Thanks, MommaKiss! I couldn’t resist! πŸ™‚ Have a great week.

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  10. What an awesome trip!
    The part about the pillow spoke to me. I hate it when my pillow is overstuffed.
    Helena recently posted..The Pirates side of the story

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    Jean Reply:

    In hindsight, I should have brought our pillows and nixed the parkas. What was I thinking?
    Thanks, Helena!

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  11. Love Texas Road House! I will NEVER tell them it’s my birthday, though…We have one close & used to go more often. I love their buns & cinnamon butter:)
    Glad you had fun!

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    Jean Reply:

    Lisa, the Roadhouse looks like one of the most embarrassing birthday celebrations ever! LOL!
    Mmmm… buttery buns. Yes, please!

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  12. You had me at the Texas Roadhouse video!

    Glad you had fun. I went on a mini vcation last week w/just my hubby and it went by too quickly. Don’t you hate when that happens?

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    Jean Reply:

    Hi, Girl From The Ghetto!
    I DO hate it when vacations go by too quickly. I hope you & your hubby had a fantastic time.
    Jean recently posted..California Vacation Part 1

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  13. It looks like everyone had fun. What nice memories for the kids.
    Alexandra recently posted..Life Without Pink

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    Jean Reply:

    Thanks, Alexandra. I’ve got to put together a scrapbook so the kids will REALLY remember. πŸ™‚

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  14. jelly beans sound good, although i always overate and endedup feeling sick, can’t beat the Wii for family entertainment!
    all the best Gareth
    gareth recently posted..Alter Bridge – ABiii

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    Jean Reply:

    Gareth, I’ll try to limit my intake, but a tub of buttered popcorn flavored beans are in route!

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  15. Sounds like a great trip!
    I LOVE Texas Roadhouse! (excect for the screaming “Yahoos”. It hurts my ears)It’s my fav steak place.

    We just got back from Utah. It was awesome. Haven’t had time to blog about it yet.

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    Jean Reply:

    Utah? How lovely, Lee!
    If you blog it, I will come.
    Errr… I mean… I will visit. Post a link @ FB please!

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  16. Our last family reunion was this July when we had family photos taken for my folks’ 45th wedding anniversary.

    People who know me know better than to allow or encourage birthday antics in restaurants. I will cut you if you do & restaurants have sharp knives handy.

    I know no magic tricks
    stacey@Havoc&Mayhem recently posted..randomness

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    Jean Reply:

    45 years! That is awesome, Stacey! Congratulations to your parents.

    Ruh roh, I will be sure not to mention it’s your birthday if/when we are ever dining together.

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  17. Looks like a really fun trip. Look forward to seeing part two. I’m not sure about the riding the saddle thing seems a little embarassing but I guess once your on it YeeHa! Are you getting hits on your ads,just wondering how it’s working out.

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    Jean Reply:

    Hi Starla! Good morning!
    Ya, I’d be hesitant to climb on that saddle too. My sister has nerves of steel.
    Thanks for asking about the ads. Honestly… no, I’ve made no commission on them.
    Jean recently posted..California Vacation Part 1

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    starla Reply:

    Good Morning Jean, Thanks for answering the question about the ads. Ive thought about putting ads on I have a .com in waiting I just havn’t switched over yet. Dragging my feet a little bit. I’ve also been working on a local business Blog to promote small businesses in the area. sigh working out the bugs on the idea. That sounds funny my ideas have bugs.

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    Jean Reply:

    You’re welcome, Starla. It is unnerving to switch to self-hosting. I should have posted a blog about it while it was still fresh in my head.
    Post the link to your local Biz. blog. I’d love to drop by.
    I’ve been having trouble connecting with WP blogs lately, but hope to be able to visit your site(s) soon.

    starla Reply:

    Will do Jean, I’m still working on photos and articles when I’ve got the website up and rolling I’ll send a link. Seems like WordPress has had a few problems lately I hope they work them out.

    Sedate Me Reply:

    Jean, self hosting? Shit, I did that a long time ago and having absolutely no clue what I was doing didn’t stop or intimidate me. (OK I had some help.) I don’t know why you’re worried about it. It’s clear you know at least 300 times what I do on the technology front.

    I’m actually now considering doing the opposite, trading in the decomposing rubble of my own website for a WordPress (etc) account, assuming a couple of things, one of which the site being ad free.

    As for ads, I have no idea what you’re talking about as I use Adblock Plus and haven’t seen one in 2 years. Don’t ask me what I think about ads, as I am likely to give you my honest opinion.

  18. Now, I’m wondering if we have Texas Roadhouses in Texas? Aren’t all restaurants like that? Lol.

    What fun! Love the pic of the wii kids. πŸ™‚
    Angelia Sims Hardy recently posted..Ten Days After 10-10-10

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    Jean Reply:

    I visited their website, http://www.texasroadhouse.com/store-sites/ and there were a TON in TX! Let me know if you visit one, Angelia. Bring your appetite!

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  19. Love the Wii are family! And I need to find a Texas Roadhouse near me! πŸ˜›
    Pop recently posted..Lies- ALL LIES! Well- mostly

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    Jean Reply:

    I need to find one near me too, Pop! LOL!
    Thanks for the compliments.
    When are you coming clean about your lies?

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    Jean Reply:

    Disregard, Pop. Your update was waiting in my in-box. Now if only WP would cooperate!

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  20. I think I got diabetes just from reading this article!

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