What a day! El picked me up at 11:15 and we drove to Mike's motel. He and the girls were ready--almost--and we all piled in his rented RV and drove to Santa Barbara. We went to a beach in Goleta, the neighboring town, and strolled around a bit, on and off the concrete "walk." Mike had made reservations at a beachside restaurant called, coincidentally, "Beachside," and we went to lunch there.
Boy, was it nice. We sat on the outside deck along with lots of others enjoying the sun and I had mai-mai, plus a twenty-ounce beer. Very yummy. We were there more than an hour, then went down to the beach. Mike and the girls had worn their suits, but El and I not, so we got our feet wet. We were to met niece Carolyn and her Finn and Claire at the Hendry Beach a few miles away, so we went there after. We knew the kids were in camp until 4:30, so they wouldn't be there until later, but that was okay.
Mike, Vivian, and Violet expended an enormous amount of energy in swimming, taking waves in, walking the beach, running around, and generally shedding calories a a dog sheds fleas. El assisted, but lucky Mimi had her chair and mostly enjoyed placidly watching the fun. Speaking of dogs, half of this beach was "on leash," the other half "off leash." No need to explain, I guess, except to say there were loose dogs galore on the latter--ugh!
Carolyn and the kids got there, but it was after 5:00 and had started to get a bit chilly, so we all left shortly thereafter. Went to Carolyn's and I gave Betty some flowers I had bought, to congratulate her on her successful (and no problems found) colonoscopy that day. She and I chatted for a bit, Dana came in from work, and we five adults enjoyed catching up with each other. (The girls had disappeared into Claire's room, all three deliriously happy to see their second cousins again.)
We ordered Mexican food and sat out in the patio to enjoy it. Calvin, the Dutch shepherd (similar to a German one, but I think, more attractive, if you like dogs, which I don't) joined in throughout our visit, playing ball with Ellen, then tearing to shreds a stuffed dog, which was rather horrifying, but added to the hilarity.
After dinner, Carolyn and Ellen took the kiddies to a playground to work off more of their incredible energy, then to feed carrots to some neighboring horses, while Mike, Betty, and I chatted. They didn't get back until late, then all three little girls clamored to sleep over and long-suffering Carolyn agreed. Since Claire leaves for camp at 9:00, Mike will pick up V. and V., then come back here. I'm not sure what we'll do, but possibly go to the pool at my place, then maybe sleep over here. I didn't get home until almost 11:00, unbelievably, but it was such a fun day, I didn't care. On Saturday, my dear boy and his darling girls leave for L.A. to start the long trip home to Singapore--sob!