California Dreaming…..

Whoa!  Has it really been that long since my last post?

After Reno, I got to spend a few days at the Disney Shrine, also known as the R&S Ranch in northern California:

Disney Shrine Disney Shrine

It was great to see Sue, Ron, Crystal and Ryan.  Of course, nothing is ever boring at the Ranch.  I did get a chance to see a film in the Ranch Movie Theater — Ron has put in an amazing home cinema in its own shed in their back yard.  Reclining seats, projection TV, surround sound (the seats are even wired to vibrate with low, rumbling noises) and tons of movie memorabilia.  It’s like going to Gold Class.  While I was there we went to Ron’s birthday party one night, complete with Halloween candy and temporary tatoos.

The plan was to drive down to Anaheim on Wednesday afternoon after a (hopefully slow) day at the clinic.  We would have breakfast with my parents at Goofy’s Kitchen (at the Disneyland hotel), then they’d drive ne down to Escondido while Sue, Ron, and Ryan went to Disneyland for Ron’s birthday.  Well, there’s never a slow day at the clinic.  For those of you who don’t know my sister Sue, she’s a veterinarian with her own clinic in Empire California.  Her husband, Ron, is the business manager for the clinic.  Wednesday morning as we were packing up the truck, they decided that their dog Bond should be taken to the clinic to see why he wasn’t eating.  After checking him over, they found a mass in Bond’s spleen which needed immediate removal.  So, rather than having a slow day at the clinic, Sue had to operate on her dog and have the spleen biopsied. Sue asked if I wanted to observe the surgery, but I declined.  When Ryan got out of school, he asked for a snack and I offered to take a cake that had been sitting in reception back to the staff kitchen to cut him a piece.  Of course, you have to go through the procedures room to get to the kitchen.  So, there I was, carrying a lovely iced carrot cake back to the kitchen right past the HUGE dog spleen sitting out on the operating table.  (Not appetizing)  Ryan, of course, had hundreds of questions (what’s that? did that come out of Bond? can Bond live without a spleen? what does a spleen do?…..)  Now, there’s a reason I chose to work with numbers rather than blood and guts; so I couldn’t answer any of his questions.

Clearly, Bond couldn’t stay at the Ranch, so Sue decided to bring him along.  Ron had to rearrange everything in the truck to make room for Bond, and Sue arranged to drop him at an emergency vet clinic in Anaheim.  So,  rather than heading off early, we didn’t leave the clinic until well after 5pm, and Ron drove us down to Anaheim.  We got to the emergency vet clinic around 1am and to our hotel around 2am (just a bit later than planned).

Everyone converged on Escondido over the next few days for my Dad’s 80th birthday party on Halloween.  Sue brought down a ton of Halloween decorations;  Anne & Mike (& Emi) came down from Seattle;  my uncle Bob (Dad’s brother) came out from Tennessee; my cousin Craig flew out from New Jersey (hadn’t seen him in 40 years); Bob’s kids Nela (Seattle) and Willie (Southern California) were there; and, of course, my mother’s two siblings and 7 of Frances’ 8 children (David even flew out from Tennessee, as it was his 50th this year).  All up about 80 people showed up for the party.

Birthday Boy Bo Peep and Sheep Halloween Party
Party Party Dad's 80th Birthday Party

We were in California until Friday 6 November, when we flew to Maui…. but more about that in the next post.
Kaanapali Beach