Thursday, July 05, 2007

a quiet return to california

after the excitement in the desert, we arrived in culver city, home to m’s aunt r and her family. on the way in, we picked up delicious food at the locally-renowned tito’s tacos, one of our favorite take out spots. after a much-needed lunch (we tried not to stop in the mojave desert, which was under an ‘excessive heat watch’), the girls splashed around in pool with cousin t, while the adults spent some time catching up.

yesterday, we celebrated our first fourth of july in a few years. it was a low-key day, with family and lots of good food, but nothing like fireworks or the previously planned soccer game (to which we were unable to obtain tickets). combined with the realization that our schedule wouldn’t allow n to go outlet shopping today, i think that was a bit of a bummer for both girls. but it was nice to catch up with family we haven’t seen for a while, including m’s cousins k and m, her uncle m, and her grandmother (‘mumma’).

we also said goodbye to michele’s mom p, who joined us on the trip across the south, from herndon, va to culver city. as you can imagine, she's a pretty good sport to put up with all of us for over 3,000 miles in a minivan! it was a treat to have her along.

today, we got out early and had breakfast in westlake village with the s family; it was a treat to see their new home and partake of a delicious breakfast cooked up expertly by w. we were also treated to a brief piano recital (chopin!) by a. wish we’d had longer to catch up.

we took us-101 north, a drive that b described as her favorite. it’s slower, but cooler and more beautiful than the oft-traveled interstate 5. the van was rock solid, thank God. the weather in this part of the world is gorgeous, and we’ve enjoyed being surrounded by the mountains again.

as the mountains surround jerusalem
so the Lord surrounds his people…

surround us, Lord
surround us, Lord
we need to be in your presence
surround us, Lord

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