Our CA adventures took us up the CA coast to Cambria. Here is where we got down to the meat of the reason we were in CA. And what a great reason that was. The FAMILY REUNION. This is no ordinary family reunion. This is the Heller Reunion, the source of our most fond childhood memories. There are tales of mythic proportions told about these reunions. In my youth we would travel by Mini Van Caravan to get to said reunion. If you haven't traveled in a caravan with my parents, my aunt and uncle, and 6 girls - you are missing something. We are hysterical. Tales have been told that I dare not repeat here or now. Another time maybe...
This reunion was a blast. We aren't as young as we once were and most of us came in our own vehicles some of us with our own families now, but we are still as funny as ever. Brian and I so enjoyed seeing the family again - my cousin match (we each had a cousin that was very close in age) and I caught up on what seems like a year's worth of news while the husbands ventured in the dark down a very steep and long flight of outside stairs to visit Mustache Pete's (a pub) where apparently the adventure back up the stairs was far more difficult. Brian kayaked in the Pacific through the sea lions and sea otters with my cousins, parents, and aunts and uncles while I stayed with the kids on shore and entertained the first generation with the children's pure adorableness (all while guarding the picnic site for later that afternoon). While on the peir Jacob had a bathroom emergency and I let him run back ahead of me to the bathrooms (which he had already visited from a previous emergency). While making my way slowly back two nice ladies came walking up to me asking, "Are you Jacob's mom?" Oops, apparently it was a bigger emergency than I thought. And I decided Central Coast people are nicer than the average SoCal dweller.
We visited Hearst Castle, which we have decided is the next logical step in home purchases for us. I think everyone needs a several hundred acre ranch where you have your own airstrip, zoo, movie theater, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis courts, multiple guest homes, and gardens that have more blooms than I have ever seen. The story goes that if you were a guest of Mr. Hearst you would know when you had stayed over your welcome when your place at meals had been moved to the end of the table. I checked out the floors and decided I could have eaten there should I be finally kicked off the end of the table.
All in all this was a great trip. Cambria Pines Lodge had amazing accommodations and beautiful gardens. The family was so much fun. The kids especially loved meeting my younger second cousins as well as spending time with Grandma Luce (whom they have a special connection with since we lived with her when they were babies). Well, look at the pictures and see for yourself. We will go back there, for sure. We are already looking forward to the renion 2 years from now. Thank you Grandma and Mom for getting us there.