2654 Miles to Bellevue, WA
7:55 pm: 2654 miles today.
We spent the morning, after breakfast, at the beach. The sand was finer than at Sunset, which made it harder packing, and easier to build things. It also was very shallow and smooth, but for some pits halfway between the high tide and the low tide. We got there at low tide, again, and the pits were filled with clear seawater. I was surprised to find that there were no sand fleas or trilobites in the water, at all. The Sunset beach's grittier sand was filled with life, and every footprint that might fill with water was also filled with tiny, flitting shadows of transparent creatures. Here there was nothing, which was actually quite nice. Nothing in the sand to bite us.
Jet had a great time. We just dropped our shoes at the end of the trail onto the beach. Jet just started playing in the sand right there, and John was willing to stay with him, so I walked all the way out to the water. It was a long, long way. When I walked back, Jet suddenly took off for the water, with John following close behind.
Once out there, he found sand dollars! John told him what they were, and Jet came running all the way back with the sand dollar, to show it to me. When he'd shown it to me, he ran all the way back out to the water. Then he came back and ran through all of the pits until he'd fallen a few times and gotten wet enough that we were willing to just strip him of all his clothing and let him run and play.
He ran and played. He built more piles, let the tide take them and moved further up. He also pulled apart my piles. He ended up just running, full out, down the beach, away from us for quite some time. Eventually, he turned around, and while waving back at me, he ran back to me, full out. I would wave my arm at him, and he would wave his back and come running.
It was fun for him to run here, as there are very few spots in his world where he can just run full out without running into something, having an uneven surface, or having surface variations. This surface was perfectly smooth, perfectly hard packed in an even manner, and as wide-open as he could hope. So it was good for him to run.
He was pretty tired when we got back to the site, so he stayed in the van while we did the last picking up, cleaning up, and packing up. I got him into his seat with a cup of milk and after we'd gotten back onto the main freeway, he was asleep. We bypassed Portland, and stopped in St. Helena's when Jet woke up and wanted down.
It turned out that there was a Burgerville right next to a McDonald's. So John and I got our Tillamook cheddar burgers, real ice cream milk shakes, and giant Walla Walla onion rings at the Burgerville, snuck them into the air conditioned, enclosed play area at the Mickey D's, and bought Jet's 'lunch' there at the "Happy Donald's" while Jet ran and played. There was a birthday party going on there, so he had plenty of kids to play with. He only stopped to drink the lemonade, and never did touch the nuggets or fries.
From there it was Toy Story 2 on John's laptop to take us all the way to John's parents' house. I took the high traffic areas, lots of stop and go a bit past 5, but good carpool lanes after that. It felt very odd to be driving these crowded ways at a sedate 65 in the fast lane after the days of bombing along at 85 in Wyoming and Nevada. We're on the populated West Coast, I guess. Got us here at 6ish, time enough for John and I to shower before we had dinner.
Jet, following his pattern of the last few days, on being introduced to a new situation, new toys, and new people, didn't eat a thing. I now have faith that he'll eat tomorrow morning. He isn't starving, and there might be ice cream later.
So we're here. It's kind of odd being back here after all the other adventures of getting here. Something familiar after all the strange new things. I feel so different after so many things, to just be back is kind of interesting.
Jet loves the toys here, and has explored with energy. He's gotten into just about everything, and will probably find more. He also asked to nurse at just 8:30, so he was pretty tired. His nap only lasted an hour, and he played pretty hard all day, too, so I think he'll sleep well tonight. That's one thing about this trip, he's certain slept better with all the physical activity we've been giving him.
So we did have ice cream, later, and Jet ate his own bowlful. He even downed three or four raspberries! That surprised me immensely. But he ate them, and then started putting berries into my bowl, rather than eat them. So after the first few he just gave them back to me.
He took a little while to get to bed. But once he was in there, he seemed pretty settled. I was glad. We found a night light in our room that we moved to his, so he had plenty of light. I think he'll do okay. He's been here before