Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Donna's 70th Birthday

Eric & Family

Evan & Deidre
Sean & Family
The whole group
In order of age, Sean on the left is the youngest -
Ouch! see who the oldest is!
In September I traveled to California for my birth mother, Donna's 70th birthday party.
My birthday is Sept 5 and her's is Sept 7 so we both get to celebrate. I flew into San Jose on Thursday and went straight to Donna's where she cooked me an amazing birthday dinner.
Wonderful trout almondine, yummy vegetables and salad and topped off with a dark chocolate,
raspberry mousse cake - divine! I missed Chris on the trip with me as he had to work and
wasn't able to go at the last minute. So I rented a car and thanks to the new "Tom-tom" navagational device he gave me for my birthday, I found my way around Northern California.
On Friday I drove to Elk Grove where the oldest brother Neil and the youngest brother Sean both live. I was able to visit Maria and the kids at their home and then out to dinner with Neil, Tricia, Alana, Britney and Natalia. We went to a yummy Italian type place where I got to have
pasta (one of my favorites). I spent the night at Neil's house that night and made friends with
Peyton (the dog!). The next day we all had lunch together including Tricia's sister and neice. I got the "grand tour" of Elk Grove before leaving. From there, Sean and I traveled together in separate cars to the campus of the University of California at Berkeley where he attended college. I had 5 year old Natalia as a traveling companion and she kept me entertained with stories and songs. When I asked her if she knew "Old MacDonald" she told me that it was for babies! She also informed me that since she is 5 years old she is old enough to travel on an airplane by herself and that I could pick her up at the airport and she could come to Show Low so that she could have all of the ice cream she could eat!
We had a nice time touring the campus and a bit of the town. I saw all the famous spots of the campus that were in the news in the 60's and 70's. I was most shocked by the amount of trash on the campus grounds. It is a beautiful campus, but the trash was abundant and no one seemed to really care. I wanted to run around and pick it all up myself!
Following the tour I drove back to Santa Cruz and Sean and family went back home. The next day was Sunday and the day of the party. Tom Tom got lost trying to find my church building that morning, but we finally succeeded. Following church I drove Donna and Bernie to Pleasonton where Eric and family live and where the party was hosted. They are all amazing cooks and we had a wonderful feast. Following the pictures we headed back to Santa Cruz where I said my goodbyes. I stayed one more night at the beach house and got up the next morning and drove back to San Jose for the airplane. That night I slept in my own bed at home. Isn't that always a surreal feeling? Anyway, all in all a great trip and thanks to my new family who have been so wonderful and accepting of me.