On our final day in Cali (*sob*) we woke up in beautiful Los Angeles in our hotel room after a rough night of sleep. The kids felt fabulous, but it wasn't such a great start to our sleep deprived drive home. We packed up quickly after getting dressed for church, because it was going to be a 2 hour drive to make it to The Ranch Church in Los Olivios on time. After finding out that we didn't get a complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we took one last potty break in the lobby and buckled up before swinging through the McDonald's drive through for some coffee and breakfast. Unfortunately, Hollywood wasn't all that interested in fast food (per the usual) so he downed his milk and sat hungry. (Stubborn as can be, that little one.) Cocoa loved the smoothie (and yes, even mama's coffee) and pretty much anything else we could stuff into that little mouth.
We hit traffic as expected, but that wasn't what caused our tardiness. It was a wrong turn to blame for that. I'm really bad at following directions....but my husband should know better than to take my word for it too (see how I escaped the blame on that one?!?). We pulled into the church parking lot at about 5 after (really that's better than we can do at our own church which is an entire 8 minute drive from our house) with Brittany and Selah on the sidewalk showing us where to go. We stepped out into a sweltering 97 degree weather (a huge contrast from the breeze we felt early morning in LA) and were instantly sweating. Hollywood wanted no part in the boys' classroom so we just took him into service with us. The kids did great during worship, but once the sermon started they were DONE. Too much sitting already that morning, I suppose. Brittany escorted us to a grassy area where the kids could play, and found some bananas for my hungry little boy. Ignore the grumpy face from the little mister because he really was quite happy....he just wanted to go to Clay and Parker's house to PLAY! =)
After service we were introduced to some more of Ian and Brittany's friends and were blown away by their friendliness and support to these two. What a great community!
Before heading back to the Bentley house, we followed our friends to Saarloos and Sons where we had planned to do a little wine and cupcake tasting (how Californian is that?) but between the overwhelming temperatures and limited shade for my pasty boy and myself, we decided to just purchase some tastings to take home instead. Brittany chose a great variety of mini cupcakes to share with the fam. Much to our excitement, on our drive home we witnessed a huge police helicopter in a field....they must have been doing some training or something....Hollywood was over the MOON excited! There was a sign that said we could go and watch, but there was just no shade out there and we were already feeling faint from dehydration so we voted to skip it (even though that would have been mister's highlight of the trip, I'm sure of it....IF we could keep him from fainting, lol).
At the house, Brittany set up the little pup tent with a blow up pool inside of it. The kiddos stripped into their undies (and diapers) and set up camp inside with a snack of frozen pineapple. While the parents enjoyed their wine and cupcakes, the children rotated between the driveway pool party, and the bed for some cartoons. (Most adorable thing ever). And let's just add that I forgot how quickly alcohol affects you when it's that hot outside! LOL! The temperature kept climbing into the 100's and with 9 people in one small home, there was little escaping it.
We helped with a little more packing, but spent most of the afternoon just relaxing and enjoying company. At one point Brittany and I did catch Jill and Emmarie (the other little lady from our Ethiopia travel group...wouldn't have been complete without seeing ALL THREE of those little ladies) on Skype! Still blows my mind how much these girls have grown!!!
Hubs and I decided to start our trek back home around dinner time, so the kiddos could enjoy some cartoons and wind-down time before falling asleep. The AC in the car was a welcome refuge from the heat, but there were a lot of tears as we said our goodbyes...knowing that it could very easily be years before we saw the Bentley's again. Before jumping on the highway, we stopped by an awesome little taco joint Ian introduced us to (and I quickly became obsessed with....those were some tradish tacos y'all!!!) and devoured them on the road.
The drive was long and boring, and in all honesty most of the details are escaping me at the moment. Our sleep deprivation caught up with us FAST as we were trying to drive through the night. On the trip there we could rotate drivers every 5 or so hours, but we were switching every hour or two on the way back in the wee hours of the night. It was completely miserable and we were really feeling sorry for ourselves...but we only had ourselves to blame too! There was thankfully a lot less vomit on the trip back...it was almost completely eliminated from turning Cocoa's car seat around. Our only incident was somewhere in south Oregon early in the morning. We were literally pulling off of the freeway after we spotted a sign for Subway (hello yummy breakfast) when we heard that awful and all too familiar noise. Apparently in our sleep deprived state we didn't notice how fast our ice was melting in our cooler (thanks to the 100 degree weather the day before, I'm sure) and our milk had gone bad. Poor babe =( Thankfully Subway was also next to a Safeway where we picked up another pack of baby wipes (yes, we had gone through a Cosco-sized pack already) and some fresh milk.
By lunch time we had made it to Portland. Although we had hoped to stop and have lunch with some friends, the timing didn't work out...not to mention we were so exhausted and ready to be home that we ended up swinging into fast food once again. We DID however stop at All God's Children to see our caseworker Kiersten!!! We hadn't seen her since we started our dossier back in 2010 and she had yet to meet Cocoa! If I wasn't so tired, I might have remembered to take some photos....but oh well. We had a great visit and the staff at AGCI got some toddler entertainment before we headed back on the road.
Although it was already raining in Portland, it only got worse as we rolled into Seattle and hit a dead stop in traffic. Although I mourned the loss of sunny California, I was never so happy to get out of my car! It was all we could do to unbuckle the kids and plop on the couch for cartoons (yes, after they just spent HOURS watching cartoons in the car....t-i-r-e-d). I think we even picked up pho for dinner.
It took some time to catch up on laundry and readjust to Seattle life, as expected. But we had SO much fun in California, and we are SO glad that we took the opportunity to go see our friends. Thank you Cat, Susan, and the Bentley's for hosting us and thank you Skidmore's for making the drive to hang out with us!!!! We love you all and look forward to next time!!! =)