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As most of you know, Caleb is in town!   Once I knew about his arrival, I was quick to call Estella – I needed to book my days with him before he became too busy with his California family and friends.  Estella was a sweetheart and I was able have him for the whole weekend – from August 4th through August 5th.  Our agenda?  Check out the pictures below to see what my weekend with Caleb involved.

Saturday – August 4th, 2012

After picking him up at his Grandparent’s house, we headed to the church to pick up a few other kids – our destination…POOL PARTY!!  I was kind of concerned about the Youth Pool Party because the day before it actually rained.  Luckily the day was BEAUTIFUL!  The sun was out and the kids had a blast splashing in the pool.

When first arriving, Caleb decided to wait until after eating lunch before jumping into the water.  Lunch (huge hot dogs and nachos) was served about 20 minutes after our arrival, so luckily he didn’t have to wait long.  Once he was fed, he enjoyed the cool water.  He spent the rest of the time in the pool.  He swan from end to end, practicing the different strokes; back stroke, forward stroke, underwater stroke…okay, I’m making the names up, but you get the idea.  Since Caleb was comfortable in the water and practicing his strokes, I wasn’t as fearful about him drowning like when Annette and Josh were in the pool.  I did watch him with my hawk eye though because I love my Caleb and wanted to make sure he stayed a-okay!

Then after the Pool Party we headed to Ventura.  First we went to Bobby’s house to see a movie, “Roger Rabbit”.  While there, we ordered pizza (Caleb’s choice for dinner) and enjoyed the fun antics of Roger Rabbit.  I could tell from the giggles that Caleb enjoyed it.  His favorite line was, “Oww!  My biscuits are burning!!” LOL

The picture above is where we headed after the movie.  Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures while at Bobby’s house.  So after watching the movie it was almost 8pm.  Since both Caleb and I had to be up early the next morning for church, I decided we should head home…but first we stopped at the Coffee Bean.  Earlier that day Caleb said he liked coffee and I promised him we’d get some.  And yes, we ordered decaf.  I had a regular mocha and Caleb ordered a dark chocolate mocha.

Once home we each took a shower to wash off the summer sweat and pool chlorine before we got into our pajamas and watched a few episodes of DuckTales, again Caleb’s choice (and a good one too)! :D

Sunday – August 5th, 2012

Sunday morning we were up at 8am.  I made some coffee and fixed Caleb some waffles.  He happily ate while watching DuckTales and while I got ready for church.  Heading out the door Caleb said, “That coffee was good!”  Oh how I love this boy!! ;)

We picked up the Fosters and then drove to Bethany Chapel in El Rio.  I walked Caleb to his Sunday School class and then I headed up to my class (I”m teaching the Youth kids while Rachel is on maternity leave).  After class, I headed back down and asked Esther, Caleb’s Sunday School teacher, if I could get a picture of Caleb with her.  She agreed and I took the above photo.  I think they both came out great!  Esther said Caleb was a good student and that he had a talent for drawing.  Caleb showed me his picture and I just had to take another photo.

For lunch we headed to Montezuma’s and again I forgot to take pictures.  I had asked Caleb if he liked Mexican food and he said, “Not really”, and I go, “Oh…”  Then he said, “but I do like quesadillas”, and I said, “okay, then we’re going to Montezuma’s for lunch!”  Caleb enjoyed his quesadilla and I enjoyed my delicious cheese enchilada and tamale. :)

After eating such a yummy meal, we were ready to head to Grandma Tanny’s house.  Grandma was excited to see Caleb and we clicked a few pictures of her with him.  Auntie Rose was there too and so we took some more pictures of Caleb with Auntie.  Then we had a grand ol’ time while Bobby took our pictures and then distorted them with an app he had on his phone.  Let’s see…he made us fat, then old, then he mixed our photos together to see how we’d look if say Caleb was mixed with Eric, or if I was mixed with Auntie, and so forth.  We all laughed as we saw the different pictures.  I might have to ask Bobby for a few copies to share with you all.

While at Grandma’s we found this on a tree.  It caused a debate as to what it was…a lemon, a grapefruit, or a hybrid of some other citrus like an orange or something.  Venessa and Bobby thought it was a grapefruit – Auntie Rose declared it was a lemon – Grandma at first thought it was a grapefruit but then when she asked which tree we plucked it from she said it was a lemon – I had no idea whatsoever because it was huge and I’ve never seen such a huge lemon.  Plus is didn’t smell like a lemon, more like an orange. So to find out for certain we cut that sucker open and discovered it was indeed a lemon!  Wow!

Grandma was gracious enough to serve us some cookies and root beer.  It was a fun time with family!

Next on our list of things to see and do was Port Hueneme.  Linda likes when I take the kids to Hueneme and share with them the areas where their mama grew up.  First we stopped at Anacappuccino – I know it wasn’t there when we were growing up but it is right next to Wendy’s and that has some significance since all us Herrera sisters worked there at one time or anther.  After ordering our drinks we walked down to Willowbrook Dr.  A picture by the good ol’ street sign.

If was fun telling Caleb about different events like when we heard the ambulance’s siren while visiting Auntie Emily, about trash diving, about the time we broke into a house next door with Dad and Mom, about the police jumping the fence and taking our fireworks, and other fun stories like that.  I had Caleb laughing at a few of our Herrera adventures!

We ended our tour of Hueneme at the beach – always a fun surprise!  Caleb had no idea (although Auntie Rose mentioned the beach during our visit…and I had to hush her) we were going to end up at the beach.  As we were crossing the street I asked him if he knew where we were going and he said no.  As we got closer I asked him again and he said, “The park?”  Then I gave him a hint and told him how Grandpa Joe use to fish off the pier…he still didn’t know.  LOL, he was clueless until the beautiful ocean was in view.  Then he became excited and said, “The beach!”

We walked the pier, played in the sand, dug for sand-crabs, and got a little wet!  Yes, truly a memory making moment.

Before giving Caleb back (LOL), Bobby and I took him to Wendy’s and we enjoyed our last meal together.  After being seated I pulled out my phone (I used my phone camera since I had forgotten my regular camera) and asked Caleb, “Let’s get a picture.  I promise, this will be the last one.  So are you tired of taking pictures?”  And Caleb’s answer?  He shyly replied, “Yes”.  I snapped a few more and then we were done for the  night.  He was such a sport!

I had a wonderful time with my nephew and I hope he enjoyed his time with his Auntie.  Hopefully the memories we created during our weekend together will stay with him (and me) for many years!

I do have a LOT more photos to share of our weekend and will eventually add them to my blog (in an album).  Then I’ll share the link here.

Before I can begin my Georgia posts, I need to write about my first work related trip.  This is important, because if I wasn’t asked to go to this rally in Kentucky then I wouldn’t have been able to visit Cynce and family.   When I heard that the rally was going to be in Louisville, I immediately pulled out my map and found Kentucky…then I located Georgia, hmmmm, not too far at all!  Perfect!  The next move was to see how far Louisville was from Hogansville, and once I discovered it was about 7-8 hours I emailed my boss, Genevieve, and asked her if it would be possible to see my sister.  She said “yes” and I began making the plans.

The rally dates were from June 19th through June 24th (Tuesday – Sunday), which was going to be a full week of work, but that didn’t matter because I had the light at the end of the tunnel…the Albright family!

Tuesday, 6/19, dawned pretty early for me.  I had booked my plane ticket for a 6:30am flight.   Why?  Because that was the time everyone else was going to be flying out and it was best if we all traveled and arrived in Kentucky together, so that meant I had to be up and ready at 3am…yes AM.  My boss, Ellen, was picking me up at 3:30am.  She wanted to make sure we had enough time to drive down, park the car, take the shuttle to the terminal, check in, and then clear security.

A little before 3:30am I received a text that she was on her way.  I gathered my things (a suitcase, a purse, and a jacket) and lugged them out the door.  Since I live in a back house, I thought it would be easier if I just waited in the driveway.  After a few minutes, I saw a car in the distance…”Yes,” I thought, “That must be her.”  But the car zoomed by, and so I waited some more.  When she arrived I found out it was her that passed, LOL.  At least she found me!

Driving to the airport was smooth, no traffic or construction to delay us from our goal.  Checking in at the car lot went fine.  Shuttle to airport, no problem – checking in, no problem – going through security, um, yeah, just a little problem.  My suitcase was considered suspicious, which meant it had to be searched.  After going through my stuff the questionable item was my shaving cream.   Yes, they confiscated it.  Kind of embarrassing, but I played it cool throughout! ;)

Our plane ride to Kentucky, including our layover, went fine.  We arrived in Kentucky at about 3:45ish.  Since we had to pick up another employee, Katelyn (who was flying in from Denver), we decided to grab a quick lunch while we waited for her 4:30pm arrival time.  Once she arrived, we headed for the hotel.

When we got there we hit a bump.  Dalin, our Online Marketing Manager, didn’t have a room reserved with the hotel for Tuesday night; his reservation was for Wednesday, and since there were tons of people coming in from all over to attend the rally, there were NO rooms available!  Oh, what to do!  Finally we decided to give Dalin my room for this one night and I would bunk with Ellen since her room had two beds.  Yes, I was kind of bummed but at least it was just for one night.

Okay, so there were two incidents that happened while bunking with my boss Ellen.  First, since I had been traveling most of the day, I wanted to take a shower.   Now, the shower head was way high on the shower wall, I mean so high that I could barely reach it.  I turned the water on, entered the shower, and began to cleanse myself when I decided to try and reach the shower head so I could change the setting.  As I did I noticed that the shower head was crooked and the water was directed at the shower curtain.  Grrr!  I looked and saw water on the bathroom floor!  Eeeks!  Oh no, this was embarrassing.  I quickly finished my shower, dried myself off, and began to work on the floor.  The water ran behind the toilet and almost to the door.  Good thing I caught it in time.

I used SO many towels trying to get it cleaned because I didn’t want Ellen to see what I did…but after I finished cleaning it up I saw my efforts of secrecy were useless – I had used way to many towels, and left only a few for Ellen’s shower.  I had to fess up!  Luckily Ellen has a sense of humor and we both laughed about it (although she also teased me about the lack of towels I left her, LOL).

Well, once Wednesday rolled around I was able to check into my own room.  We had a good laugh about that too.  You see, Dalin left what was technically my room and checked in to a new room while I took over the room he was previously in…of course he removed all the sheets, blankets, and such so that the room could be cleaned and readied for my arrival.  Well, after working a nice long day preparing for the rally (setting up the booth, unpacking the supplies, arranging the furniture/banners), we headed back to the hotel at 2:30pm for some rest and relaxation before dinner.  Dalin gave me the key and I headed to my room…only to find the maids were still cleaning it!  And hence the joke, “Geez Dalin, what kind of mess did you make that it’s taking them a whole day to clean it!?” Hahaha!  Yeah, it was fun teasing him about it.  And eventually, at about 3:10pm, I was able to officially use the room and rest.

Most nights, Tuesday through Friday, we met other Good Sam employees and had dinner with them.  That was nice because it allowed me to put faces to the many names I have seen either by email, or by correspondence.  Good Sam has offices in KY, CA, MN, and CO,  which makes it very hard to know who is where and what they do and who they are…so these dinners helped a little.   The only night I really had to myself was Saturday night, the last night in Kentucky.  I decided to forego the “night out” and rest in my room, order room service, and just chill.  It was nice.

Well, this post is getting long – I’ll end it here with a few pictures.  A second post will follow about Kentucky then I’ll start the Georgia ones.

Hi Everyone, I’m sorting through my pictures and getting ready to post some memories of my November 2011 and June 2012 Georgia visits.  Soon, I’m hoping to have them up by the end of the month.  I really want to document all the activities we shared, and I’m sure your curious about the fun adventures I had with my sister.

Here’s a sneak peek.  I love how happy we all look, :D

Linda, Cynthia, and MaryEllen…trying to strike that pose for the camera, but getting interrupted with giggles!


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