Saturday, February 24, 2007

Birthday Bash at the Beach House!

Last weekend was my grandmothers 80th birthday! In celebration of that, my grandparents decided to have a big birthday bash/family reunion in Monterey, CA! Getting my wife and I there was going to be the big challenge.

After getting up at 5 AM on Friday to start a trip, I hopped on a plane at about 6 PM and flew straight from Newark to San Francisco, rented a car, and then made the drive to Monterey. Talk about a long day! By the time I flew my trip, flew all the way across the country to San Francisco, and then made the two hour drive to Monterey, I had been up for 23 hours! My wife Erin had tried to come on Friday but couldn't make it because the flights were full, the joys of flying standby. The party wasn't until Sunday at 5 PM so she decided to give it another go on Saturday and ended up making it to San Francisco (via Cleveland) around 8 PM.

I drove up to San Francisco to pick her up. Erin called me when her plane had landed. About 25 minutes later I thought to myself, "Well, she probably is getting close to getting her bags by now, so I'll head into the airport and pick her up." I circled around the airport for about 30 minutes while Erin was waiting for her bag. She finally called and said that everyone had gotten their bag and the carousel just stopped moving. I thought to myself, "They didn't loose her bag did they? She's only going to be here for one day!" As it turns out, they DID loose her bag! They gave Erin a toiletry kit and a phone number to call the next day to find out where her bag was. Needless to say, Erin was not a very happy camper at this point.

The party was the next day and it was a black tie dinner. The only problem was, Erin's "black tie" dress was in her suitcase which was probably sitting on a baggage cart somewhere. Erin talked to my mom who said if her suitcase didn't show up she'd take her shopping the next day for a new dress. I think Erin was starting to like the idea of loosing her clothes.

The next morning (with the party just a few hours away), we called the airline to try and locate the bag. They said, it's on a flight to the Monterey airport and should be there in about 40 minutes. We decided to drive out to the airport and retrieve it ourselves. After the flight arrived, Erin spent another 45 minutes waiting in the baggage claim to no avail. Her bag still wasn't here! The people at the airline said, "Well, hopefully it'll show up on the next flight which comes in at 12:30 PM, the next flight after that though isn't until 4:30 PM." By then it would be too late to make it to the party on time, hopefully it was going to show up on the next flight.

Erin and I decided to make the most of the morning and went for a hike down by the rocks and enjoyed watching the seals playing in the waves. We hiked around on some rocks and then joined my parents for lunch at Pebble Beach. During lunch, my uncle called and said that the airline had just dropped off Erin's bag at my grandparents house! What a relief!

We headed back to my grandparents house (via the famous 17 mile drive) and got ready for dinner. We met everyone at the Beach House, took some pictures, and enjoyed cocktail hour overlooking the ocean. Some of my grandparents other friends showed up and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner full of great conversation and lots of laughs with friends and family. The picture you see is one that my brother Adam took close to where we had dinner.

It was so fun to meet my grandparents friends. They all had nothing but good things to say about my grandmother and always talked about how much they treasured being one of her friends. I enjoyed sitting next to one of my grandparents friends who had flown Hellcats off of aircraft carriers in WWII, and my brother Adam (the computer genius) sat next to the inventor of the video game Tomb Raider.

The weekend was by far too short and I had to wake up early the next day to fly back to Newark. My wife just barely made it back home, again dealing with some very full flights. I felt bad for her because she was in Monterey for only about 36 hours, and half of that time she didn't even have her suitcase with her. Despite all the travel required, being able to spend time with my relatives in one of the most beautiful places in the world made it all worthwhile.

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