We've been on vacation with the kids for nine days now. We flew out of Baltimore to Seattle for a two-graduation family celebration at my sister's house. It was the first time ALL of my brothers and sisters have been together since 1986. There was only one nephew missing out of everyone. It was a phenomenal weekend. We drove over the mountains so I could show my kids the small town that I grew up in. We went up to the lake I used to hang out at during my childhood summers. It was really a great time. Photos galore--which I'll post tomorrow when we get back home.
We spent a day on my brother's ranch riding horses, swimming and just hanging out. He's in his late 50's and reunited three years ago with his high school sweetheart. What a great time we had with them. From there, we took off for the drive to California, stopping at several places in Oregon for photo ops and a lot of sightseeing. I felt when we left that because of the age of Jim, this would really be his last vacation with us to see family so I wanted to make the most of it. Of course, he's all about going to Cozumel with us next year.
We arrived at the in-laws in the HOT AS HELL Central Valley. When we hit Shasta, it was 107 at 7 p.m. !! Whew! We woke up the next morning and took the kids up the hills to California Caverns and Angels Camp. Little did we know that because of the drop in tourism, Angels Camp is pretty much closed during the week! Had a blast at the cavern though. Then my "folks" came down from Lake Tahoe to spend a couple of days with us. This a couple that I lived with 20+ years ago overseas and have been like parents to me since. We spent yesterday hanging out with them at their hotel and little man was in the pool for five straight hours. He's REALLY brown now!
Which leads me to today. Today is a bittersweet. Not only is it the end of our vacation and back to reality tomorrow, I have to leave Jim and David behind in California to spend the summer with their dad. We split up eight years ago after more than 15 years together. It was hard on all of us but we have an extremely amicable divorce. I just hate being without my older sons. It feels like a part of me is ripped away whenever they leave. I know, I know--he's their father and they have to spend time with him. I get that. I do. But I HATE not having them around. It tears my heart out. I call them every single day they're gone. Plus Little Man goes crazy without them. He misses them so much! It's going to be a long seven weeks without them.
So today we're going to go to a waterpark with the boys and their cousins then tomorrow morning I wake my boys up at 0400 to say good-bye and drive over the Altamont to the airport. I love the vacation and I love my sons more than life itself---but I'm hating today.