Back at work after a great vacation. Had a lot of fun with MCF. We flew to LAX rented a van from Escape Campervans
. Then we headed up the coast- Malibu and Santa Barbara. Then out to Joshua Tree, and back around to Carlsbad, where my aunt lives. The whole trip was a lot of fun (other than the traffic between Santa Barbara and Joshua Tree). The camper van basically had a full size bed in it and a little kitchen- 2 burner stove, fridge that fits a case of beer, and a pump sink with 5 gallons of water. Because we had the bed in the van, we could "camp" anywhere that overnight parking was legal. So in Malibu we just parked on a residential street. And in Santa Barbara we parked by the beach. I got to swim in the ocean. And we did a lot of hiking in Joshua Tree. I've decided that Joshua Tree is about as different of a landscape as one can get from Seattle.
It was also great to see my aunt. She has Parkinsons and is fairly far along in the progression. She is still cognitively very sharp, but physically struggles. She has an AWESOME care giver who is there 3-8 hour days and 3-4 hour days a week. MCF and I took her to the Museum of the History of Music, which was a great museum and we had a lot of fun. Additionally, my cousin and her spouse live with my aunt, to help with care giving. And two of her daughters (in their 20's) have boomeranged back, so they were there. One with a boyfriend, and the other with two friends from college. Then, the night before we left, my Aunt's grandson on the other side and his wife came for a few nights. It was a lot of people, and also very lovely. Luckily, they have a HUGE house, and luckily, we had brought our own bed.
I got to swim in the ocean, hike in the desert, swim in my Aunt's pool, and have ice cream 5 times in 9 days (it is hard to keep ice cream solid in Joshua Tree, or there would have been more!). Not a bad vacation!