Ripon and Sacramento

Last week Matt's sweet Grandmother went home to be with the Lord.  She was 93 and lived a great life.  She was quite the woman.  She was also Matt's last living grandparent.

We packed up and headed up to Ripon for her funeral this past week.  We had a very nice trip up there.  I cannot convey just how thankful I am for our car DVD player, it was a lifesaver!
We left our house at 8:00 am and arrived in Ripon at about 3:30.  Of course neither of my children napped in the car, that's just not how they roll (especially Alayna). We rolled into town with two tired children and went straight to the funeral home for the viewing.

I stayed outside with the kids....
they were overtired and not about to be quiet,
and I have a hard time with viewings ever since my dad passed away.
Thankfully we found some shade to hang out and the kids got some of their pent out energy out from the long drive.  Ethan loves any opportunity to play with his cousins.

 Grandpa and Daddy trying to keep a tired and loopy Alayna occupied :)

We went from the funeral home over to the home where were staying for our two nights in Ripon.  Some friends of Matt's Aunt Debbie offered to host us, which was very kind of them.  They were the sweetest people and my kids thought it was great staying there.  We chatted with them for an hour then went over to one of Marlene's brother's houses.

Ripon is a little town off the 99 that is filled with Dutch people, which is why I joke that it is the motherland.  Matt's parents both grew up and met in Ripon and a lot of his mom's family still lives there. The area if full of almond orchards.  Matt's grandma had one, and two of his uncles have orchards.  So, we went over to Uncle Jim and Aunt Linda's house and orchard and they were so very kind to cook us a scrumptious tri tip dinner and let our kids run all around.  They really enjoyed getting to go on a ride all around the beautiful property in one of the golf carts.

We played a little on the rope swings...
until I got dizzy.
I can only last about 2 minutes on a swing.
I get super motion sick.
It was still fun to play for a bit :)

After this picture... I put my camera away for the rest of our time.
I just wanted to be IN the moment.

It was actually a very nice evening.  I couldn't beleive that my kids hung in until 9:00 after traveling all day and not having naps.  They got to have a "sleepover" and share a room at the house we were staying at.  This was a first for them... they have never slept in the same room. They were very wound up the first night and kept talking and carrying on.  They didn't end up falling asleep until 10:00 pm.  It was SUCh a long day for them!

The next morning we got up and headed straight to the graveside service and then the memorial for Matt's Grandma.  It was followed by a lunch at the church.  Thankfully some friends of the family provided babysitting for all of the little kiddos at the church.  My poor tired Alayna actually fell asleep in the nursery she was so beat.... that NEVER happens!

The service was so nice and really honored Grandma.  She was really an amazing woman.  She was born in a sod house as a homesteader in Colorado, buried two husbands and two sons, and still remained one of those most joyful, Godly women.  I can only aspire to live a life like that.  She really did leave a legacy. 

After the lunch we went back to the house for naps, then over to spend time with Matt's parents and siblings and kids at one of Matt's dad's cousins house (he also has an almond orchard).  Once again it was very lovely.  My kids had a blast swimming and playing with their cousins, watching the two very active tortoises run around, and play to their hearts content.  It was a nice evening.

In the morning we packed up and headed up to Sacramento to visit with Matt's sister Annette and family.  We hadn't been up there since we had kids.  Plus, I had never seen ANY part of Sacramento other than their house.  We spent the morning and early afternoon at the zoo, which my kids loved.  It was just perfect for us, we were able to see everything in about three hours.

Looking at the chimps

I took this photo on purpose so that you could see the chimp in focus,
Alayna is looking at it through the window (the blurry blob on the right).
Add caption
 Auntie Aenntte (or Auntie "Met" as Alayna calls her), showing Alayna the zebras

Ethan was tired...
and unfortuantely had a couple of meltdowns,
but overall loved the zoo.

Alayna and daddy looking at the girraffes

Alayna was so cute at the zoo.
She was enthralled with all the animals and liked to make the appropriate animal noise to accompany each animal.

 Check this out...
the tiger was sleeping right next to the window. 
Super cool.

After the zoo Alayna crashed for a total of about 20 minutes in the car.  I guess that was better than nothing!  The kids enjoyed playing with their big cousins and getting out all their cool old toys.  Annette took me to their favorite thrift store where I found a few treasures :)  Mark then took Matt and I on a nickle tour of Sacramento.  We went through downtown and I saw our state capitol for the first time ever.  We never got out of the van, but it was fun to see everything.  I was amazed by all the beautiful trees.

We went back to the house and Mark and Annette  made us some scrumptious BBQ ribs and yummy garden fresh veggies.  We put our kiddos to bed and the girls stayed home so that Mark and Annette could take us to Old Town Sac.  It was about 9:00 by the time we got there, and most things were closed, but it was still fun to walk around and see all the cool historical buildings and stuff.  If we're up there again I really want to check out some of the museums.  I just love history.

The next morning we had breakfast, packed up, and headed on home.  It felt like such a long drive.  We were an hour farther north and we didn't leave until 10:00, so we got home around 6:00 pm.  Our kids really did do well, I was just tired and honestly that drive up the 99 is about as exciting as the bottom of my shoe, lol.  No naps occurred once again, and my kids pretty much fussed unless I had the DVD player going... so.... they watched a LOT of DVDs :)  I caught up on a whole lot of blogs on my feed reader on my phone, so at least we made the best of it :)  We were very happy to be back home in our own beds last night and get a good night of sleep.

Matt took today off and we went swimming this morning.  My kids were happy to actually be able to take naps, and now we're going to grill up some steaks and garden fresh veggies, then take a walk to the park.  :)



Christy said…
Ahh, I'm glad your back friend. Also so sweet to hear the legacy his grandma left. My goal as well for sure! :)
Kelly said…
Sound like such a nice trip. :) Living on a ranch/orchard seems so ideal for kids. And yes, I completely agree about that 99 drive. How monotonous!!!
Crystal said…
Love Alayna's little face. I want fresh garden veggies! Someday I'll have my own garden! Mmmm.

I totally get motion sick. It was a bear living up on the mountain, if I wasn't in the front seat or where I could see clearly out the window I hated life.

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