Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving, LA style

Thanks to Uncle Al and Aunt JoAnn for the wonderful Thanksgiving! We had a great time reconnecting with our "California family" who we are finally close enough to visit. The beginning seemed a little sketchy...the 8 hr trip in our small, (getting smaller each hour) Ford Focus driving down the 5 on the busiest travel day of the year. However, the children came through in fine style and the gracious hospitality that awaited us made it all worth it. :) The accomodations were lovely, the company fantastic, the turkey delicious, the cranberries delectable, the rutabega divine. Another big thanks goes out to Jon's cousin, Jen, and her family for extending bedtime for your kiddos several nights so we could hang out together just a little longer. We were thrilled to see you all again!

Here's Aunt JoAnn and a smiley Ellie. Unfortunately, she was the only Luminati child (under the age of 3) to smile for the camera. Thus, most pictures are of her.

Uncle Al and Ellie (case in point!)

Daddy and an almost smiley Kate. She did a great job warming up to all the new hubub in a new house.

We drove down to Huntington Beach to walk on the pier and eat at a tasty restaurant. Here's Jon and Jen (the original Jon and Jen). Cousin Jen, that is. Kate's expression is a classic from the weekend.

And Jen's husband, Gabe, along with their oldest, Joey.

Joey challenged Uncle Jon to a game of chess. It was rather tense for a while, but Jon managed to pull out a victory. Nice try, Joe! You should have challenged your Aunt Jen...you'd have won for sure.

The last night we were there, Jen's youngest, Luke, brought over a Lego set for Uncle Jon to help him build. They did a great job working together. Luke worked hard and was so proud of his accomplishment! Look at those smiles.

And yes, I was there too!

I couldn't resist putting in a picture of "the Jens." It certainly caused quite a few laughs trying to get the attention of the Jen who was being called. Fun times!

Our drive back took just as long as the drive down, but the scenery was beautiful. Well, the scenery in this part of the drive was beautiful. Jen called to warn us there had been snow in the higher elevations and she was right! Thankfully, it wasn't that close to the road. We were happy to see it because in all honesty, that may be the only snow we see this winter.

Thanks again to our CA family for the great weekend. We loved seeing you all and can't wait to see you again soon. Uncle Al, can you engineer a shortcut from Monterey to LA? Thanks!


Shari Baker said...

What a nice Thanksgiving, spending time with your extended family that you haven't seen in a while!

Betsy said...

How absolutely wonderful to see all these great family photos!! We sure would hve loved being there. So delighted you all got to spend such a great time together at last. That is indeed some drive, but, it's California! Thank you so much for sharing. Love Ellie's smiles and Kate snuggling w/ Dad and Mom. So great to see JoAnn + Al hold our babies! Love, Gram and Pops

b.niel said...

thanks for posting! Looks like a great time. great pictures.

Bob Luminati said...

Sounds like a wonderful Thanksgiving. It's great to see pictures of my "lost" family. From the only "East Coast" member. Remember if you visit us in Florida (Feb to June only) we are only 3 hrs from Disney, 1 1/2 from Daytona and 6 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful Thanksgiving it was!! So thankful you were able to come for this great visit. The only word to describe your two girls beside a blessing is the word "Joy"!! We enjoyed them soo much! You are two awesome parents!
We love you all very much.
Al and JoAnn
P.S. Kate, I just found the two puzzle pieces! They are on the way.