First things first, as they say and in this situation that means beginning at the beginning of our trip--the road part... We woke up early and got on the road at about 5 am or so. Below are some shots from our stop along the six and a half hour trip (pulling off along an off-ramp to let Elliott kindly water the weeds doesn't count). Below are some shots, courtesy of David, of the Terrible Two, the Tornadoes, the Tame-less Tikes, the Tiny Terrors, the Timid Tyrannosaurus'... (that's fun!)
We arrived in Santa Ana around 11:30 or so and went straight to Grandpa's work... Quite possibly one of the coolest places on earth, second only to Grandpa's garage where he has many a jar and cabinet full of collected items that have been gathered over the years with future grandchildren in mind. You wouldn't believe the sorts of the things that Elliott comes eagerly carrying into the house, eyes glowing and fingers itching to play with the prize he is so proudly carrying in his arms; age-old McDonalds' Happy Meal toys still in the packages they came in; Hot Wheels in every variety; jars and jars of odds and ends; dice and checkers and dominos and marbles... I'm tellin' ya. Its quite something. You'll have to ask Elliott about it someday, because I myself have not even seen the full extent of Grandpa's Mary-Poppins-like never-ending goody supply. Here are some snapshots of the Packard shop where Grandpa works.
Prejudice aside, these guys are the best in the business. Restoring and caring for Packards, they see many gems come and go through their shop. A family team. Its truly beautiful. From the back left going clockwise we have my David (or little David), cousin Toby, Uncle Sandy, Grandpa Alfred, baby Caiden, David (David the Dad or Big David), and Elliott Escalante. (Uncle Robert owns the business, but was not there for the photo, nor was Cal the one other mechanic there who is also a long time family friend)
After saying hello at the shop, we headed over to Grandpa's house and played there until Grandma arrived... Oh, what a joyous moment. Recorded in my mind are Elliott's ecstatic whoops of delight and Grandma's equally ecstatic reaction of pure joy (maybe mixed in with some tears).