I'm writing this while sitting in my father-in-law's leather chair, enjoying the comforts of home in northern Virginia. We left San Antonio on Saturday and have been almost too busy and happy here to miss our little home away from home by the river. Hardly seems possible that those two months of Elliott's training course are over! Now a week from today we'll be on our way back to Sicily at last; after all this waiting, the time to being "real life" will finally be here.
But I can save those thoughts for another time. I've been wanting share photos from our trip to California last weekend. Here's the first half; I'll share more tomorrow.
The story behind our visit is this: Elliott worked at this ranch in central coastal California during two summers of college and for nine months after college. The couple who owns the ranch are a bit like grandparents to him and are very dear friends. At the end of our honeymoon road trip almost two years ago, we spent several days at the ranch, and this was our first trip back since then.
We spent a lot of time by the fire, knitting and chillaxin'.
That night more relatives from down the road came over for dinner. Elliott's spent so much time with these kids over the years and they just love him!
Lena and the youngest grandchild warm up to each other by the fire:
The two youngest grandchildren were too excited that we were visiting to go home that night. They slept at their grandparents' and were up bright and early to go feed the horses with us the next morning.
Down at the horse barn, we met Nickel, one of the three barn cats...
... and Bliss, an American Curly pony. She's such a sweetheart.
In the barn while we weighed the hay...
And later Elliott did some doctoring. One of the horses had a sore on his back, so Elliott the Veterinarian examined the wound with his two faithful assistants.
The horse in this photo is Bucky, who I rode on our honeymoon. I don't think he remembered me. Sigh.
If you ever saw our honeymoon photos on Facebook, you already know I really love this dog. Lena's warming up already!
But the chickens were not her thing. [Believe it or not after this photo] Lena slowly became less alarmed by all the squawking and wing-beating and eventually did her best to grab a handful of feathers.
More tomorrow of our own little family adventures around the ranch and town!