Happy Birthday x Deux

Yesterday was Abigail’s 7th birthday and Grace’s 5th birthday. These dual birthday things are getting to be quite the thing. Today we had a bunch of kids over for their party. Then tonight we had the whole family over. I was surprised how many came. Good thing not everyone was in town and could make it, as we didn’t have much more room.

Pictures, as always, are here.

The girls got all kinds of fun stuff and they certainly think they’re pretty cool after all the attention today. It’ll be back to reality starting tomorrow I guess.

We head out for Utah on Thursday of next week. Should be good. It’ll be nice to get a break from this heat. It was 113 or so today. The forecasters are saying that we’re going to start to get some storms soon — mostly dust, no doubt.

Oceanside Fun, Desert Nightmare

We spent 4 days in Oceanside, CA, here. We’ve stayed there twice now and we’d recommend it to anyone, especially those of you with families. We had a great 1 bedroom condo right on the beach. It’s called North Coast Village. Just south of Camp Pendleton, between the harbor and the pier in Oceanside. I can recommend at least one owner. They usually don’t rent nightly, but some had availability, so we were lucky I guess. The normal arrangement is weekly — Saturday to Saturday. We had to take the biscuit, and she really was pretty good. She slept a lot (as did I). We spent some time just sitting on the beach, went down to the Scripps aquarium in La Jolla, drove around Solano Beach, went to Horton Plaza, etc. It was a good time. I should have pictures up shortly. The temperature never got above 70 on the coast. It’s supposed to be 112 here tomorrow.

We always wonder why we live in this place whenever we drive back from California, especially in the summer time. You get over that divide thing just past Alpine (CA), where the elevation promptly drops to below sea level in that wonderful town, El Centro. It was about 5 miles outside of El Centro where the trip went really bad. We were cruising along when there was this poof noise that came from the engine somewhere. Julie thought that all 4 tires had exploded and was coaching me not to touch the brakes. I thought that the radiator exploded, but the temperature was fine and there was nothing coming out of the engine compartment. The bottom line was that our air conditioning had gone out.

So here we are about 5 miles past El Centro and probably about 45-50 miles to Yuma. My options were:

1. Go back to El Centro, probably get mugged, and don’t get the car fixed.

2. Go on to Yuma, probably get mugged, and don’t get the car fixed until at least Monday. Meanwhile my mom and dad were liable to kill my other 3 girls they were so graciously watching.

3. Buy a new car in the cities mentioned above, which meant that I’d probably get mugged and it wouldn’t really work out.

We (I) decided to push on to Yuma and hope that somewhere is open that can at least give me a clue about what’s going on. I figured that the compressor had blown up, but I’m pretty clueless about all that kind of stuff. We get to Yuma and jump out at the Chevron/Blimpie station and Gwenyth is purple from the heat. Not fun.

I got back in the car and went down to a Valvoline station at around 3:50 that was scheduled to close at 4. They can’t help me, but they tell me that it’s “probably” the compressor — or something related to it — and they give me the address of someone who could “maybe” help me on Monday. The guy was great, but since his response didn’t include snapping his fingers and the problem goes away, I was naturally disappointed. So we stayed long enough in Yuma to cool off somewhat, I went out and bought a spray bottle to try and keep everyone cool, and off we went.

It think it’s about 90 or so miles from Yuma to Gila Bend. And there’s literally nothing in between — except the date shake place I guess. So we tried to keep cool and calm until Gila Bend. There we spent an hour or so with the rest of the ornery, hot, tired travellers at McDonalds. At least it was cool. Eventually we made it home . . .

Hopefully the $1400 I was quoted to fix things really fixes things. And hopefully I can pay for it before the year is out . . .

We’re off for another road trip in 3 weeks. This one to Utah. Hopefully we’ll have better luck.