Sunday, May 4, 2008

Off to Neeldes

Well, not too much to post today. We took a lovely drive through the mountains - stopped in Fresno to restock at Trader Joe's (man I wish we had those in Texas!) and then on to Bakersfield. We spent the night in an orange grove - the place is full of large RV's. I always wonder about all of these people in the RV parks. Obviously - in places like Yosemite you know what they're doing there. But what about Bakersfield? You know me, I want to go talk to everybody. At Yosemite we were camped next to a giant bus. The people inside never came out! We could see them in there (nice place - entertainment center - bar etc) and they sat inside and watched Fox News 24/7. Were they scared of us?
In the non-touristy areas we are somewhat of an oddity with all of the kids. Joel went exploring last night and walked into a bingo game : ) He zips around on his skateboard receiving disapproving glances (of which he is totally unaware). All of the shower facilities have been nice, so far, at every park. So have the laundry facilities. We generally take up all the showers and washers simultaneously. There was major disappointment last night as the pool wasn't heated and it was way too cool to swim.

Ellie is no longer enjoying her nomadic life. She's ready to go home to her room and her friends. She is being a good trooper, though. She is sitting in the 2nd bench in the van, next to Jasper. This is a big job. She is constantly handing him fruit bars, water bottles, putting in movies and charging the DVD player....Camille sits behind her and she talks constantly and gets very insistent when someone doesn't answer her - so Ellie is constantly removing her MP3 ear buds to say, "Uh huh, yeah, sure, ok, uh huh, ......." Yesterday someone needed to use the bathroom about every 20 minutes - have to get those stops better synchronized.

Our van is noisy. The Joels do this thing (always have) where they make up stories to entertain each other. These aren't little "Once upon a time...." stories, either. They are really LOUD and when they get too loud we all start yelling at them and then they quiet down and build back up again. Lots of sound effects, dialog, and hysterical laughing. I mean quite hysterical. Often they are laughing so hard they cannot talk. No one else is laughing and we don't have the heart to tell them they're not funny. They did this yesterday for 6 hours non-stop. You can imagine the effect on Ellie. I often have to jump in and edit because I don't like Camille and Jasper repeating everything The Joels say (which of course, they do). They're back there screaming and I'm saying, "Don't say idiot! don't say shut up! don't say butt (that is my personal word that I hate), don't say fart (other personal word that i hate)......all of the stories involve underwear and all of the aforementioned taboo words and explosion noises. To add to the din, Jeff is a caterwauler. What do I mean by this? Well, he sings, hums, whistles, and well...caterwauls. He has all his little catchphrases and slogans and theme songs. Whenever Jasper says "I'm hungry" which is often, Jeff belts out Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf", etc. All afternoon yesterday, over the roar from the very back seat and Jasper's crying - Jeff belted out the theme song from Bonanza because he thought the scenery was right off of the Ponderosa. When he gets hoarse from all his vocal activities I read to him. We finished Deepak Chopra's "The Third Jesus" and are now reading Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth". I don't think he's listening to me but maybe our big bus is on the path to enlightenment, anyway : ) Speaking of books, Ellie finished Virginia Woolf's "The Lighthouse" and Aidan Chamber's "Dance on My Grave". She is now reading Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" (beautiful book!). I finished "The Philosopher's Apprentice" and Joel finished another Charlie Bones book and is now on an Artemis Fowl book. Jules finished a couple of Goosebumps. In the read-aloud category (it is more like scream-aloud) Joel and I finished "Men Against the Sea" after "Mutiny on the Bounty". Jules and I are almost finished with another Gregor the Overlander book. We are trying to only go about 300 miles a day on our return trip - so will be camping along the Colorado River in Needles, CA. Tomorrow we arrive at the Grand Canyon!!! Another landmark of which my camera will not sufficiently do justice.
Well, Jeff is showering and I need to get the trailer ready for hook-up. Unlike Ellie, I LOVE nomadic life. So much simpler to rule over 26 feet of trailer than 3,000 feet of house.
Thanks for comments! I guilted you into it, I know it! Hannah - Ellie was thrilled to hear from you! What about Sarah M? We haven't heard from you yet! Although Ellie took Mark and Rita to your MySpace band site and they were mesmerized by your music - you have 2 more fans to add to your humongously growing list of people who adore you : )
Oh, and Ann, did the tequila pic bring back memories? I could always whip you at quarters.
Sardine Mama


  1. Hey, it's bob.
    sorry to hear that you're not enjoying yourself (as much) Ellie.
    The assorted technical... stuff appears to be working for odyssey.
    Hope you enjoy the grand canyon (it's grand), see you next week!

  2. Carol,
    Similar feelings when I saw Yellowstone and drove through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado the first time. Come explore Colorado next time, we would love to see you!
    PS - I check on you guy's daily!! Thanks for sharing your trip.

  3. You must see the sunrise at the Grand Canyon! It is a most spiritual experience. It is Mark's power spot. He got so close to the edge that I had to hold on to his belt...he, however, was in total rapture and blissfully unaware of how close to edge he was. So if you do decide to enjoy the sunrise there, hold on to each other and make sure someone is tied to the is a powerful spot on this earth!!

  4. hello its person (that pry gives it away to Joel and Jules) have fun at he grand canyon its been a long time sense i was there but it was awesome! cant wait to see you all again its been boring without Joel and Jules