We made it.
We woke up early, had breakfast, and then out to Hamilton City to see John's new business: He has rehabbed an old warehouse and turned it into an auto repair shop (he specializes in electrical systems)... but he's not operating out of it yet - he's still running his shop out of the farm, because the city is not moving on a requirement that John pay for $40k in new sidewalks and curbs around the business, despite the fact there are no sidewalks for several blocks in any direction around the space. Ah, bureaucracy.
But as we walked through the space, he was showing me what he had done to the 70-80 year old warehouse space... "we dug out 4 feet of ground here, and leveled out this whole lot (then points to a mountain over there - "that's where we dumped the dirt!")" "we built this fence all the way around the space, from scrounged piping!" "I blew through the wall here, but then had to put in reinforced pillars...." My mind was just boggled - this guy runs a full time business AND a farm, and "found time" to build up a huge space too. It made me feel a bit like a slacker... ;->
Then it was back to Sac Intl Airport: Yep we used a full tank of gas on the trip (15 miles to and from the farm every day a few times... Plus Chico is 90 miles from Sac-to). The kids caught a short nap on the drive down, and then it was time for the flight....
Isaac was actually pretty well behaved on the plane - for a 3.5 hour flight, he was reasonably patient. We had no aisle promenades, and the laptop battery held out for shows for most of the flight... the only hitch was that after the "turn it all off" and before we landed, there was an extra 15 minutes of circling, so we had to sing some songs.
No, the casualty of the flight home was Pamela, who got good and airsick, and brought that woogieness home, and passed out on the couch while the kids were exploring what Santa had dropped off for them! And Santa brought Bella her Ukelele, which she played non-stop. Santa also brought them flashlights, so the house looked like an X-Files episode for a while with all of the lights-off investigations going on. Of course Isaac got some cars, Bella got more specimens...
I got the kids down to bed (close to their "real bedtime" as opposed to their "Pacific Time Zone bedtime"), then puttered around, enjoying a little taste of Laphroaig 15 to remind myself what home tastes like. Then I woke up Pamela to bring her upstairs. Our little Queen size bed felt positively lilliputian.
Everyone slept well and late - we all got up around 8 (which is near miraculous) and had a great lazy morning. Now Jenny is here showing off her new Nintendo DS, and bella has been making up songs with her Uke all morning too. She put on her eyeball hat and was singing "I got my eyes on you!!!" And daddo is working on keeping the Uke in tune so that his ears don't start to bleed.
It's great to be home.