Christmas 2019 Trip Day 7: RAIN, Leaving Yuma, Visiting Grandpa Hite, RAIN, Johnny’s, RAIN,Salvation Mountain, Mission Beach, Seeing Maryn

Bright and Early on the Boxing Day. We were packed and ready to make the trek to California for the rest of our trip. One last goodbye to Grandmas and Grandpa, and a passive aggressive request to clean the back yard now, later and we were off.

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This time, I was determined to do a little nostalgic look back at my hometown. I had been talking in therapy a lot about the impact of my parents leaving my hometown forever. I had been upset about the loss, and wanted to reground myself. It was still there, different as it may be.

We drove past the old Shop, Pipkin Truckings home for many years.

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B&P Bulk bins still out there.

We passed Bucklin park, the only real park in the whole town, and host to many childhood exploits.

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We stopped by the Hull’s house. This one was important. Ron Hull died last week. For context, Ron was the father of my childhood best friend Bryanne. This was my second home. This was were I stayed up until midnight for the first time. This is the place where I had my 5th birthday party. In this pool I had my near drowning incident. I have almost as many memories of my childhood here, as I do at my own home at 2310 Lenry. This was an important place for me. Ron was my second father. Closer to me than any of my uncles. He showed me another way to be a father. Not necessarily better, but different.¬† He was emotionally available to his children. He laughed and played with them openly. I remember Bryanne calling him “Hot Dog” and being horrified about what would come next, she would be in HUGE trouble! But Ron only laughed, grabbed her and tickled her. It’s been hard to remember all of these things, but good to make sense of my feelings.

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We drove past “the wall” of Del Taco, where all the cool kids met on weekends to get up to, whatever dumb teens do.

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Then we drove down 23rd street.

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Then here to 2310. recently purchased by a young couple. They had cut down all the trees. The beautiful Indian Laurels were gone. The grass dead. The home of my childhood, belongs to someone else. It was too much.

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Then on to the Sumataeas house.

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Then a MUCH needed stop at the Donut Palace.

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Churrios fingers.

It was funny to see us all here for a minute.

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We all drove to say goodbye to Jim at work. On the way passing another important home, Aunt Kathy’s house. Still looking fabulous.

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Grandpa’s work is in a converted house at the end of Poplar. It is set to be demolished and made into a parking lot in 6 weeks. So it was good we got to see it.

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The kids were going nuts in there, so several brief farwells later and we were off towards Brawley.

Passed Holly Sugar, now Spreckels I guess…

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Onto the reason for the trip here…Johnny’s Burritos.

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We went in and ordered whatever we wanted. Avocardo cheese fries, a pizza pocket, rolled tacos, a carne asada taco, a burrito…you know the works.

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The group was happy, and weirdly quiet.

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On our way out of town, we stopped by the Birch house. The place where the Hites had lived maybe the longest in one stint. This is where the “where’s my tacos” and the “jones rules baseball” happened. This is the house with the painted cement floors. This is the house where Craig died. This was where Karl left when he went to college and his mission.

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The weather was a problem. It had been  raining all day. We had planne don going to Salvation mountain for the morning.

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The problem was that there was a river…. Betsy took one look at the scene and said, PEACE. We wanted to try and make it. We had come all this way. So a nice man who had gotten his truck stuck, let us use it to cross the water. Karl and the kids got over fine…

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But when I tried, I silpped of the top of the cab, fell into a greasy tool filled pick up bed, and said, “Nah, I’m good.”

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Karl and a few of the kids made it.

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Lucas fell into the river… so the experience was over.

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One last look, and a farewell to Malia later, and we were off towards San Diego.

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The mountain passes had been closed earlier that day. But the snow really wasn’t bad.

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WE didn’t mind, we knew the beach would be waiting for us on the other end!

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Karl, Zach, and I flew kites. While the kids got wet and cold and had to go back to the car to warm up.

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The Mississippi Hites had gotten Donuts in Brawley and were kind enough to share.

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We separted for a minute the Hites headed up towards our hotel in Carlsbad, while we met up with Maryn, who was busy at work.

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She only had a few minutes, so we sat in the car and chatted. The kids were so happy to see her.

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Maryn had just gotten a promotion as the office Manager.

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We sadly said goodbye, and headed up to Carlsbad, and dinner at Chic Fillet with the cousins.

We got a Marco Polo from Malia…she was still in Yuma, and the Grandparents were falling apart.

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Glad we made it out.

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