Well, Robb is on his way back to Florida, having left at 7:00 this morning. We had a great time while he was here, but the week has really highlighted the fact that he's all grown up. It was definitely an eventful week- we were going the whole time & got to do lots of fun stuff.
- Thursday: Our adventures started today. Jessica came into town for a friend's birthday & brought lots of laundry (she had asked if it was okay before she came- she didn't get paid until Friday & needed clean stuff) Thru the course of the evening of washing, drying & folding laundry, Jessica said something about needing to go to DMV in the next couple of weeks- seems that she hadn't registered the new car yet & the tags expired in July; plus, when she lost her phone 3 weeks ago, she had her driver's license tucked inside the phone case (she is one of those rare females that doesn't carry a purse)- when the phone was returned, the id was missing. Picture me having a attack of apoplexy- "Do you mean to tell me you've been driving an unregistered car with no driver's license? Are you out of your mind! Why don't you just turn yourself in at the police station now & save us all the tension of waiting for the hammer to drop!" I insisted that she spend the night- Chris was going to be off Friday & could drive her over to DMV in the morning, pay her fees, then she could pay us back in a couple of weeks. There was a lot of grumbling (from both of them- they bring out the worst in each other) but when Her Majesty (me) degrees, the subjects obey (or else!)
- Friday: Sam & I head off for our weekly date at Jamba Juice at 7:15, before I drop him off at school & head to work. Chris & Jessica went to DMV at 9:00, but showed up at my work at 9:30 because neither of them thought to bring a checkbook or cash- evidently, DMV doesn't accept ATM or credit cards, which they didn't find out about until they were at the window! They finally get done at 10:30- Jessica heads back to San Jose to pick up Robb at the airport & Chris heads over to Pleasanton Fair Grounds to help set up the stages at the Celtic Heritage venue, where we will be dancing over the weekend (he scored a vendor parking pass for the weekend- Kaching- $16 saved !) After I finish work at about 5:30, Sam & I head to the fairgrounds for a final rehearsal on the completed stages. We finished up about 8:30; Chris headed home to shower & vegetate a little on his day off, & we drive down to get Robb. Jessica & Robb had been visiting her friends, work, school, had taken a bike ride & were just hanging out at her apartment (which was a mess again- grrr!) He looks good- though a little scruffy- & the lip ring isn't too distracting. We got back to our house about 11:00 & headed to bed after getting Robb settled.
- Saturday: Today is our wedding anniversary- but no rest for the weary! I woke up around 7:00, did my usual Saturday morning routines, then started waking everyone else. We headed out to the Games after breakfast & spent the whole day. The weather was outstanding for Labor Day weekend- we normally see 95 to 105 degrees this time of year, but we never broke 90 all weekend & had a lovely breeze going through. The Scottish Highland Gathering & Games are the largest in the world & host the world championships for heavy games, pipe bands, drum majors & Highland dancing. There are 4 stages playing music, both traditional &amp;amp; modern; the clan tents; sheepherding trials; soccer & shinty; living history & children's glens; animals like highland cows, Clydesdales, birds of prey; & lots of food & shopping. We pretty much scattered at the gate- the boys headed off to the athletics & weapons, Chris to the clan tents to find our friends & hit the pubs, & I went to listen to music (my favorites are the Browne Sisters & Molly's Revenge) & stroll thru the vendor areas. We met up for lunch by the music, & Chris arranged with the Browne Sisters to announce our anniversary & dedicate a song to us, which made me cry. We then went over to the Grandstand to watch the Parade of Clans, followed by the Caber Toss & Stones for Height contests. After the closing, we headed over to the camping area for an informal ceilidh with the MacLachlan & Boyd clans. They were having a communal dinner, with loads of food &amp;amp; drink, & we were toasted by everyone with homemade mead, a wine made from honey. The camping area was awash with the sound of impromptu concerts of pipes, fiddles, flutes, guitars & singers. We reluctantly headed home at 10:30, since we had to be back at 9:00 am.
- Sunday: Back to the Games for a day of performing & visiting. Our club was well represented this year; we had four different groups doing adjudication- 2 traditional sets & 2 all-lady sets- plus a Family class demo in the afternoon. Country dancing is a social form of Scottish dancing, so there are no competitions. But groups can voluntarily submit 3 dances for judging by officers & instructors of the RSCDS. The groups are graded on dance interpretation, music selection, technique & working together as a group- there are no awards or rankings, just acknowledgment for your skill & your teacher's ability. All of our groups did well, but our traditional set of teens did such an outstanding job, they were invited to perform in the closing ceremonies of the Games. This is a great honor- only the best are invited- & it is the second year in a row our kids were singled out. They perform on the Main Stage, with the top Highland dancers, to the music of the Massed Pipe Bands- over 800 pipers & drums. The Marine Corp Band did an incredible show beforehand, honoring everyone who has served in the military & then we had an informal fly-over by a flock of maybe 100 geese. I lucked out & scored a box seat, right in front of the Grandstand, so I was able to get some great pics of almost everything. After the close, we went back to the dance venue & clan tents to help with break down, then we headed home to have ice cream & watch a movie.
- Monday: We finally were able to sleep in- I think I actually stayed in bed until 8:00! After having some breakfast & doing a little laundry, we drove into Berkeley to have lunch with my mom & step-dad. My two younger brothers, David & Ben, & their girlfriends, Wendi & Angie, came also, so we had a nice family get together. It was a lovely day, cool & sunny, & we all stayed in the garden. Mother was in good form- calm & focused- & Michael was friendly & relaxed, grilling hotdogs for everyone. The boys all talked about surfing & music, the girls watched & asked a lot of questions about my knitting, & Mother took pictures of everyone with food in their mouths & paid Sam to gather up apples the squirrels keep pulling off the trees- they take one bite, then throw it down- which drives Mother to distraction. We exchanged produce- I brought over tomatos, cucumbers & beans for everyone, & we took home some apples & pears. We headed back home around 4:30, stopping off to take a look at the SF skyline as the fog rolled in, & then went to Target for school clothes & munchies.
- Tuesday: It was back to work & school for all of us but Robb. He drove me to work & took the car so he could do some exploring- he hasn't been here in over 2 years, so things have changed a bit. I kept my nose to the grindstone, getting as much out of the way as possible & filling my supervisor in on what needed to be done over the next couple of days. Robb picked me up at 5:30 & then the family went out for dinner at a Thai restaurant. Robb & I stayed up, chatting, eating ice cream, & watching Jaws, and at 11:12 PM, I was able to wish him Happy Birth-Moment!
- Wednesday: Today is Robb's 23rd birthday & we spent to whole day together. It was a slow starting morning- we slept in a bit, showered, read the newspaper, then went into the Bay Area in tour Filoli House & Gardens. This is one of my new favorite places; the house is nice & interesting, but the gardens & grounds are almost beyond description. The weather was perfect- clear, sunny & comfortable- & we spent probably 3 hours wandering around taking pics. We left Filoli & drove over to the coast to have a picnic. The fog rolled in, so we put on jackets & drove down to explored Pigeon Point Lighthouse; further along, we came to Big Basin Redwoods State Beach, where there maybe 25 kite-surfers were putting on a great show- I had never seen this before, other than on TV. We drove down thru Santa Cruz, wandering around downtown for a while, then headed inland to San Jose for dinner. We ate at Sonoma Chicken Coop, a funky place in historic Campbell, & had a great meal; I was able to finally buy my son a drink, because I only saw him once after he turned 21. We shared some chocolate fondue in lieu of birthday cake, then poked around Barnes & Noble until Jessica got home from school. We met her back at her apartment; Robb fixed her brake lights (just needed a fuse) & then we said our goodbyes- he stayed the night with Jessica, since she lives 3 miles from the airport.
So, that was our event full week- new stuff, old friends & a great time had by all. I took today as a vacation day, not knowing for sure whether Jess could take Robb to the airport, so I've had the day to myself. I finished the clogs on Tuesday & felted them this morning (I'll post pics once they're dried), then headed to Costco for supplies, Target to exchange some jeans for Sam (boy, has he grown this summer!) & over to the post office to mail off packages to Yuki & Jessica (she lost her ATM card *sigh*, so I mailed her a gas card, a pair of pants she left here last week, & a stethoscope Michael forwarded on to her for her EMT training) Tomorrow, its back to the grind- I'm certain not much was done on my desk the past couple of days, so I'm planning on a late day & going in for a couple of hour Saturday morning to get caught up & reduce my stress level!