We had a lovely vacation, despite the long drive (and it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd feared). It's always lovely to go up north, see the family, see the green. I imagine it's no greener there than when I was growing up, but I've gotten so used to bare dirt yards that all the shrubbery in northern California just blows me away.
We stayed at my sister's friend's apartment-attached-to-her-house, which is a paradise, complete with toys for the kids, and shelves of books I've been meaning to read, and great art on the walls, and a snazzy new kitchen, and a swimming pool. It is the nicest place you could ever stay, much nicer than any hotel could ever be.
The park has a great little train, which we rode, and lots of "produce" themed rides, such as this mushroom swing (too scary for little boos, but they enjoyed looking at it):
I'll write another post in a day or two about our trip to the beach, because that was special to me.
It's a bummer being back in Ridgecrest, but I don't feel depressed. The vacation definitely gave me a lift. Nice memories.