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This was an odd sort of trip where we drove a lot and talked a lot and seemingly did a lot even though it felt like we weren’t too busy. We drove out to visit my grandmother in California. She has terminal cancer. My kids didn’t know why we were really going. They thought it was one of Daddy’s wacky vacations where he just drives forever. They were right about it for the most part. We did drive a lot.

Visiting my grandmother was a little stressful, but we went down to one of the beaches in Ventura that I had gone to as a little boy with my family including her and watched my little boys flop about in the waves as we talked. She had always been a big part of my life. She was a big part of my eldest son’s life as well. When we were in college she drove 50 miles to watch Edmond one or two days a week.

I don’t think I’ll be able to get to Ventura to see her ever again so this was my goodbye. I don’t like this goodbye.

They have Rebel gas stations in Las Vegas.

Corbin at Dodger stadium. I hadn’t been there in 29 years. Still was awful.

Always pay attention to the details of what’s on the side of the trash cans at the Ventura park. This says that these 55 gallon drums were filled with apple juice concentrate from China for Tropicana. How fresh does your apple juice seem now?

Barbaba Ann Jensen. My last living grandmother. We called her Gram. The name eventually evolved into Grambo, a rough, tough fighting machine groomed specifically for destroying bad guys and making casseroles. She always tried to trick us kids into eating food that had ingredients in it that she claimed weren’t in it. I know a freaking onion when I feel it crunching in my mouth. She was in a good deal of pain and had a hard time leaving her apartment, but did venture to the beach and took us out to Andria’s Seafood, a local place that my family has gone to for years in Ventura.

Edmond, Christina and Corbin at a Ventura beach

Edmond at a Ventura beach.

I needed a few pictures of Vegas for a crazy project I’m working on so I surprised everyone in the car and drove there without anyone noticing until we got to the Nevada border. I suppose it was a good test to see if I could surprise my wife.

Most every Fry’s has a motif. Except perhaps the one in Plano. But I suppose that fits the personality of the city from what I’ve seen. I’ve been to a few. Burbank had a alien flying saucer sticking out of the front of it and had a 50s style alien invasion going on. Manhattan Beach had one that was a jungle and completely overgrown with bushes and trees. So I suppose it was fitting that Vegas had this. It was closed when we came by at 9:30 p.m. What the heck? I thought Vegas never slept.

We walked around Vegas for 4 hours with the kids to see the sights and shoot a couple of shots. I think it wiped them out. They never sleep.



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