Travel Journal 2016 Week 26: Florida to Washington

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June 27, 2016: The Heat of California

(Miami, FL ✈️ Houston, TX ✈️ Los Angeles, CA ? Bakersfield, CA)

A story one of my Antarctica friends told me this weekend has stuck with me. On a rough flight into Ft Lauderdale he thought “Oh no I’m gonna die in Ft Lauderdale, it isn’t even somewhere exotic.” I just love this idea, the commitment and the instant thought that we want our end to be like our lives, anything but normal.
As a travel day on the way back home I thought a lot about my life and what the heck I am doing with it! I arrived in LA and found my Advantage rental car to be awful, like their customer service. It helped remind me I still need to work on letting things go. My next struggle to overcome will be to learn how to stop complaining!

June 28, 2016: Hot Lotion

(Bakersfield, CA)
One thing Bakersfield exudes is family. Not just because mine live here but because it is just that type of a community, a place to raise a family. I love staying here with my bestie and her three kids. Unfortunately their Air Con went out the day I arrived. As such we all lounged in the house thinking of places we could go that would be nice and cool. I finally went and had a pedicure before going to those routine errands like the dentist. It wasn’t as relaxing as I hoped as they sprayed my foot with hot lotion causing me to jump up and almost fall out of the chair. 
Adjusting to the dry heat of Bakersfield is always an experience, remembering always to never leave anything in the car!

June 29, 2016: Doctors and Wheelchairs

(Bakersfield, CA)
While in town I get the chance to see many a doctor office. Today I got my mom off to the cardiologist. We had a brief bit of stress when the address was different than I thought. Frantically I called around and tried to get the correct address, finally someone was able to provide it to me. It so happened, we were right across the street from it. Another reminder to myself that remaining calm and level headed would have garnished better results than the minor breakdown. The doctor was fantastic and later we stopped at the wheelchair store to browse the layaway models. We got a nice tune up for mom’s chair before heading back to her place.
In the evening I tried a local Koren Restaurant, Tofu House, in hopes of getting a hot stone bowl. Lucky for me they had it on the menu. None have been as good as Vietnam, but this one was quite good. We followed it with a great dessert of mochi ice cream pieces. 

June 30, 2016: Waiting and Pie

(Bakersfield, CA)
Nothing defines my Bakersfield experience so much as crying at a doctor’s office. This time the doctor had told my mother and I for the second time we didn’t need an appointment, again I told him this is what his office asked us to do and he reiterated how it was our fault for not knowing what we needed. I found suddenly I was overcome with frustration and unexpectedly overwhelmed. I broke down and began to cry. On the plus side he was quite nice after the years started. I’m so happy I’ve chosen to live my dreams, but I still have a lot of things at home I wish I could be more involved in.
Dinner gave me a chance to talk about my little episode at the eye doctor and catch up with my family. We met at Frugattis and both sat at separate tables for half an hour before realizing we were all there. We also discovered my stepmom had been texting me on a number I didn’t use. Oops! We ended the night with dessert and everyone sang a riveting version of Happy Birthday!

July 1, 2016: A Baby Praying Mantis is a Blessing

(Bakersfield, CA)
Had a bit of an early morning and relished at the idea of the air conditioning being fixed today. I took mom to an ultrasound (echocardiogram) of her heart. It was an amazing thing to see. On the screen you see her entire heart while sound poured from the machine. Humbling and graphic it was a unique experience. I raced from there to an appointment before lunch with my sisters.
Both ladies I consider my sisters fascinate me in different ways. All three of us hold different values and have gone in different directions in our lives. Though different we were all able to catch up and trade scandalous stories. My story about running off with someone if Vietnam left them looking at me with their mouths open. One sister and I went to the cemetery afterwards to visit our relatives who didn’t have a chance to see this day. Where before we left a baby praying mantis popped it’s head up from a small wooden cross.

July 2, 2016: Loving Alaska Airlines

(Bakersfield, CA ? Los Angeles, CA ✈️ Seattle, WA ? Mount Vernon, WA)
My short trip to Bakersfield ended today. I left with a stop through Chick-fil-a and headed south. As always I hit a bit of traffic through LA but I still ended up super early at the airport. This is one of the few times I’ve taken Alaska Air. I was surprised to find out for $25 they allow you to take an earlier flight. I jumped at the chance and landed in Seattle at the same time I originally was supposed to leave LA. 
In Seattle my brother and his wife came down to pick me up and drive me to my dad’s house. On the way we stopped at the Olive Garden at Quilceda. The parking lot was blocked since a Diana Ross concert was going on. In the background fireworks boomed from Boomtown, the area’s biggest seller of fireworks.

Happy 4th of July! Always a great show on the 3rd at Big Lake!

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July 3, 2016: Fireworks and Family

(Mount Vernon, WA)
Every year I do all I can to get up to my Dad’s House for the Big Lake Fire Department’s annual fireworks show. This year I got here the night before. It was great to be back at his house where I have a closet. I woke up to so many choices in clothes I was overwhelmed!
Family stayed over and we spent the day snacking and preparing for all the others who were coming. In the evening a slew of people showed up. Dad made hamburgers and hot dogs while my aunt had some fantastic strawberries she had prepared. This year we also gave funnel cakes a go. They didn’t quite turn out but we had fun trying. The end of the night, as always, ended with the spectacular fireworks show.