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July 6, 2003
a year ago
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Ken and Gab's

Jet was up early with John. They checked out the free Continental breakfast and found nothing that Jet really wanted to eat. John did have a Danish and some coffee, and when they came back, Jet wanted to nurse. So he got to nurse while John napped some more on the other bed. That was a good way to rest up a bit more before heading on the road.

Jet napped as we drove. He had had a good morning, plenty of milk from nursing, and was content to just sleep while we drove. A good habit, I think. He'll probably nap again, later, after playing, so we'll have more driving time. A useful thing with a toddler in the car.

With more population came much more traffic and John did quite well with it all as we headed west on our last leg of the journey in that direction. Things will be going north and probably east after this. We stopped a bit west of Sacramento for a Play Area at a Happy Donald's. We didn't even bother buying anything this time, and Jet took his two trucks into the outdoor play space quite cheerfully. There was water collected at the bottoms of the two towers and between his usual playing and dropping a truck or two into the puddles, Jet got pretty wet all over.

He also got poopy somewhere in there, but he was having enough fun that we decided not to change him, yet. He could have dry everything when he finished, so it seemed silly to interrupt him in the midst of it just to do something that would need doing again before we left.

Three girls arrived, and one of them accidentally touched Jet and immediately pulled back and yelled, "Yuck!!" Poor Jet. He didn't actually mind all that much, as he's used to playing by himself, but he likes playing with other kids and he looked a little forlorn as all three girls avoided him.

Then the girls were called in to eat, but one girl came back out. She seemed to be playing in the base of one of the towers. And I didn't pay much attention until Jet came over to me and tugged on my hand. "Help. Crying." he said. So I went over with him and the girl was half covered in the water from the bottom of the tower, and she was sobbing pretty hard. Her shoe had gone through a hole in the play block and was back in the padlocked concrete area behind the play thing. She'd lost her shoe back there and couldn't reach it. John tried and said his hand was too big. So I tried and couldn't quite reach far enough, so I took off my Birkie to try with that.

Her dad came out, and when she told him about the shoe, he said to just forget about it and come in. Not to be upset. She was pretty clearly upset... ah well. So I used my Birkie and managed to catch the edge of the shoe with the rubber sole, and pulled it enough towards me that I could pull it out.

I handed Jet the shoe. It reminded me, a little, of Daigoro in Lone Wolf and Cub when Ogami asks if Diagoro really wants to finish what he started when he wanted to save the little girl. Jet just nodded when I handed him the shoe, and trooped inside, obviously looking all around for the little girl. When he found her he handed the shoe over to her, and when she said thank you, he actually said, "You're welcome." And he smiled when he came back to me.

I hugged him, thoroughly when we were back outside, and then John and I changed him into a clean diaper and I got him into dry clothing when John went inside to wash his hands and dispose of the dispensables. When John came out it was with two soft serve ice cream cones. Yay! Jet gently sucked on one, until it started melting enough to drip. Then we'd swap cones, and the person whose cone it was would clean off all the drips and then we'd swap again.

So Jet happily ate most of a cone, and when we got to the crunchy parts, he munched away happily at it and was perfectly clean. Yay!

From there we drove to Watsonville and then to Ken and Gab's. They were there when we got there. We'd called before stopping and they'd been an hour out by jet, and had come in and called us while we were eating our ice cream, so we were all coordinated to meet when we finally did get there.

We got a tour of the house, the many cats, the Solar System (the 30k-watt array), and their electric cars. Jet loved the cats. He would chase them, pet them, try to catch their tails, and they were all amazingly tolerant of him. That was very cool.

Jet walked the way to the Solar System. Though a lot of it was downhill and he still doesn't quite know how to regulate his speed on a steep downhill. There were times when John had to cut him off, or he'd fall and slide a bit to stop. But we got him there safely and without touching any poison oak. Whew.

The Array, in person, is very impressive. Huge. Quiet, and the hum of electricity from the inverters is very cool to hear and experience. There was a small pile of wood by the control shack, and Jet manfully picked up a piece of wood and carried it most of the way up the hill. He wouldn't let anyone leave it on the hill, even when he didn't really want to carry it more, so he ended up carrying it most of the way up and putting it by the fireplace in the house.

We went out for dinner to Monterey, eating at Phil's Fish Market and Eatery. It turned out to be the random fish place we'd found when wandering from Santa Cruz while there for Gretchen's wedding! Except this time it was completely crowded. Jet and John wandered about while Gab found a table and Ken and I ordered. The food was just as good as the last time, and this time I could do justice to a full slab of wild salmon. Yum.

Afterwards, the ocean was right there, so we had to complete our journey by visiting the water. There was a stiff wind, though, so it was cold out there, but the sun was setting, and there was sand and a boardwalk that made it a bit easier to walk for a bit. Jet cheerfully ran along the boardwalk, exploring a bit with John while Ken and i got digital pictures of each other. It was cold enough that Ken and Gab went back inside as we chased Jet down and got him to go inside, too.

They let us drive their electric RAV 4. It was really fun to do, as it's a bit fiddly, but utterly silent, and I've always had this love affair with super efficient cars. Up to now it's been with gas efficient cars, but after actually experiencing the electric car, I'll have to look for one. There's something very fascinating about the completely silent engine, about getting energy back when breaking or slowing on a slope. Long, long ago, I read a racing book called the Camellia about an electric race car that won a race that no one thought it could, what with the fueling 'problems' of an electric car. And ever since then I've been interested in the beasts.

Still, they're still expensive and rare. But it should be interesting to see what I can find in a little while.

We got back, no problem, and Jet was awake for that whole trip. He drank his warm milk, played a little and was ready for bed by 11. So it's time to sleep for Jet and for us as well. It's been a good, full, day, and we've made it to the West, all the way to the wet end of the West. Hoorah!

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