Thursday, August 14, 2008

How I spent my summer vacation, part 2

Continuing our jet-setting summer, the girls and I flew to Sacramento to visit Grandma, Uncle Chris, Auntie Tracy, and cousins Alex, Kyle, and Adam. We stayed for ten days, but it felt like far fewer as the cousins circled around each other in a constant tornado. I was able to do a ride-along with my brother, who is a Deputy Sheriff. Ask me about it, as some of the details are not appropriate for a friends and family blog.

Much of the time was spent making up for lost cuddle time:

When Chris and I were toddlers, our family camped with family friends in a place called Union Valley Reservoir, a lake past Placerville up highway 50. Now, almost 35 years later we took our children up to share the experience. The lake has a boulder you can swim out to and jump off. When the water was high, it was under water. When it was really low, you could walk out to it. As Chris and I got down to the beach this time, we were struck by how something that looked miles away when we were kids could actually be quite close to shore.

The girls loved their first camping trip, especially being able to get incredibly dirty. Kate was pigpen, and for some reason couldn't keep her shoes on, so her feet were caked with a layer of dirt. A few pictures:

Clara's first taste of s'more captured:

Kate didn't sleep much, so we get images like these:

After returning home, Grandma watched the girls so I could drive down to the Bay area to see Michelle's beautiful new baby in their new house. The visit was short, but even in a new house being around the Etters feels like home. Here's baby Ryan:

I drove up to the city and saw old friends from St. Ignatius, as well as John and Liz Regalia's little one Dominic:

Each time I visit San Francisco Megan fears I'll refuse to come home.


Michelle said...

She should worry.... there is great reason to stay. I just wrote a post on your visit too. Check it out:

Love you lots

Tracy Bittle said...

Funny, everytime we see you, Meg or the girls, Chris worries I will demand we move to STL. Our minds are resigned to the fact that we live in Sacramento and you live in St. Louis and that neither are likely to change. Our hearts say, move you idiots (us, not you)! Get closer to the family we love so much.

I think my friends and coworkers are very tired of hearing about your visit but it's one of the highlights of 2008 for me.

We love and miss all 4, almost 5 of you everyday!

A Buns Life said...

Seeing cousins all together is the best....for the kids and the parents! When we are all together we hardly have to do anything with our kids other than put the put them to bed....they all just play together non-stop and they all just get along perfectly. It's awesome. :)

Tracy Bittle said...

I miss my babies!

Michael Dominguez SI '01 said...

I gotta know... Is there a Bowling club running in StL? =) Hello Mr. Bittle... I don't know if you remember me or not, but it's Michael Dominguez, SI class of '01. I wish I had searched for you on google sooner. I hope everything is well. You have beautiful children. Please feel free to email me at

Bill Miles said...

Hey Mr. Bittle, I guess I can just say Joel now. Looks like we finally found you. Well you really came up because yesterday "Meh" was declared officially a word in the Collins English Dictionary and I was curious if that would get you to quit? Heh. I think it beats out "ain't". Hope all has been well.