We stayed at my aunt Julie (my mom's sister) and uncle Pete's home in Temecula. Their backyard feels a little like a resort with a pool, spa, and lots of palm trees. We had so much fun playing in the water, sitting in the sun, and relaxing. Pete and Julie are TONS of fun--and the kids love them! Julie (huge Johnny Depp fan) gave Anna a Jack Sparrow tattoo on her hand (which made Anna's day), Yosef got to water the plants with Pete, Kaitlyn got to take a nap while Pete held her, and Pete gave the kids a tour of his red Corvette (okay Kevin got one too). Late Saturday afternoon we all headed over to my grandparents' house for the party.
Grandma Fely (above, standing in the middle) is from the Philippines, and the catered party was all Filipino food-YUM!!!! She had several family members there and they're so sweet and welcoming. (Her neice is on her left and was actually Miss Philippines one year.) There were of course tons of family members there on my Grandpa Richard's side (below)--it's funny meeting so many random people I'm related to.
We hadn't arrived in Temecula until about 12:30 a.m. Friday night, and when we got there my uncle Craig and Suzie (his girlfriend) were there hanging out--and none of us went to bed until about 2:30 am. The next night after we left my grandparents', Craig and Suzie came back over and we all hung out until about 12:30 am--it was just one big party! So fun!
Sunday we packed up and drove to San Bernardino to visit Grandma Helen (my mom's mom), who lives at an assisted living facility. Good to see her and the kids had a ball talking to assorted elderly people, who LOVED seeing them. One old woman just lighted up when she saw that we had twin boys and told us all about how some relative of hers has twins, etc.
Then we began the journey home. We stopped at Chili's for lunch in Glendora, and in Santa Barbara for gas. When we were at the gas station I caught a glimpse of a man and woman (probably around my age) and I told my mom, "I'm pretty sure they're Ethiopian!" As I sat debating whether to go say hi I happened to see the man had on a Haile Selassie tshirt and I thought, that's it, I'm going to be bold. "Excuse me," I said, "are you from Ethiopia?" Well of course they were, and I explained we have twin sons from there, and he was all excited, introduced me to his girlfriend, and asked if they could see the boys. Of course they could and we had a fun time visiting with them. Turns out they were part of the green card program back in the mid-90's. They thanked us profusely for adopting the boys (which is always extremely humbling and we are always so quick to say we loved Ethiopia and it's us who are the blessed ones to have them as sons.)
Got home around 8:30 last night, what a weekend! Super busy but super fun. Had a ball carpooling with my parents and the kids will be completely bored on carrides now, not having Grandma and Grandpa around to entertain them.
I was reflecting that our family and extended family on my mom's side is delightfully diverse and like a mini-United Nations--Uncle Pete is from Denmark, Grandma Fely from the Philippines, our sons from Ethiopia, and Suzie is Japanese (from Hawaii)! Pretty awesome!