Relentlessly cheerful.

Well, that was quite trip. Vince’s epic graduation adventure. We knew it was going to be a lot of moving parts and coordination, but Edda got sick and better and Jeremy got sick and better and then sick again and now that we are home, he’s in bed testing positive for flu A and bronchitis. I stayed well the entire time and my motto was – for the entire trip – to be relentlessly cheerful and upbeat and I was! I was helped by my course of steroids for my poison ivy which cleared up and made me feel literally never tired, never jetlagged. Constantly cheerful and like a little annoying ray of sunshine.

In many ways, we felt like we were “hosting” the trip. We first flew to Portland on Tuesday to hang out with my parents for a few days and to get over jet lag. This part of the trip was fine. Lots of luggage, bike, sleeping gear for Edda, etc.

My dad picked us up in his 1997 minivan with the dented back door and no air conditioning and in desperate need of a front end alignment, but we all fit into it and went to their house where my mom cooked and Jeremy immediately went into filial duties such as mounting a flat screen TV on their living room wall.

We went out one night to have an early Father’s Day celebration – Edda had a lovely mocktail.

Now, here is where the wheels start coming off. Jeremy went on an absolutely stunning bike ride on Thursday morning, and at the same time, Edda is puking her breakfast up – and then not keeping water down. Edda is not a puker. This is not something that she does. Jeremy came home and we headed out to urgent care. We got some anti-nausea meds and Edda seems on the mend by evening. She’s not in a terrible mood, but not her usual perky self.

My mother shows off her fantastic garden.

By Friday morning, Edda seems pretty much OK – though not eating very much – and the five of us board a flight to Sacramento. By this time, Jeremy’s parents have flown into Sac from the East Coast and Seth and Emy have driven down from Klamath Falls.

Soo…Friday afternoon, we had planned a get together for the ChemE department seniors and their families. It’s pretty hard to coordinate a party from the east coast on a campus that you have no access through except through a well-meaning, but busy senior who is getting through finals and has never really thrown a party for 50 grown-ups. So it took time to reserve the room through the department, figure out how to pay for it, and then we were stuck on how to get the food delivered. And then Vince mentioned that Dani’s parents loved to make finger food and that was their jam and they would cater it. So we’ve never met Dani’s parents (they were going to be from out of town too, but driving!) and didn’t have their contact info, but OMG, did they deliver! Deliciousness all around – little Asian hamburgers, ramen bar, handmade cookies, nachos. And the kids! The kids got drinks, plates, ice, decorations. It was really a lot of fun. And that’s where we met each other, at a party we both organized together for our kids without ever having spoken or texted to each other before.

Dun, dun, dun…queue the ominous music. Sat morning is graduation and at 4 am, I hear Jeremy puking it up in the hotel room. Four times. Poor guy. He’s too sick to go to graduation. I’m not the natural car driver in these situations, but I pinch hit and drive the parents all downtown to the stadium for graduation. Here is a concerning moment where we needed to find a bathroom *rightnow* for my mom. We found one! No puking! And she’s fine.

It takes us a little while to find our seats accommodating Edda, but it was fine and we seated as they were finishing up the national anthem. (I thought we’d left enough time, but no, I needed 10 more minutes). Vince traveled with Dani’s family and they got their early enough to procure a commemorative cowbell for the first few hundred entrants. Hahaha, oh well.

Commencement was lovely and enjoyable. Something about the rhythm of the name calling can be soothing. I’m so happy for all these kids and their families. UCD is 60% female and they all have long, beautiful hair and they are going to take over the world.

We split up a bit in the afternoon, to reconvene for dinner in Sacramento. Jeremy still felt terrible and we questioned if he should go at all, but he came and wore a mask and didn’t eat dinner. My cousin Cassandra who works as a surgeon for UCD came as well. This was for just our family and Dani’s family. It was at a casual Mexican restaurant. Katherine told me she was going to wear a particular dress of hers from Europe and she had bought me a dress by the same dressmaker at the same time and I brought it and we wore it together.

This is me and Dani’s mom Loanne.

The next day, Sunday – people start to disperse. My parents take and Uber to the airport. Jeremy’s parents are picked up by a local friend. Dani and their family head back home to southern California. We wait for Vince to wake up and head to our family vacation in Berkeley.

Jeremy, rallying, helps me with my holy grail mission. We locate the elusive capybara, a mysterious creature I have traveled the world to see. I’ve missed it many times, always cunning, I’ve finally outsmarted it and found it at the Sacramento zoo where the dad and son lazily entertained me and my family.

They are super cute.

Don’t let these photos fool you. It may look like we are walking around the zoo looking at animals, but really, we spent 90% of the time sitting on a shaded bench resting and playing Pokemon Go.

Vince got up and we picked him up and headed to Berkeley. Seth and Emy were also staying with a friend about a mile from where we were staying. Sunday night we settled into our AirBnB. Monday, Emy wakes up ill at her friends house (Vince was staying with them). Jeremy feels not 100%, but not terrible and we do our day. Jeremy has a meeting at Stanford from 11 to 2 pm, so Vince, Edda and I have our outing near Stanford. We go to Blue Bottle Coffee where he ordered a coffee and I ordered a green smoothie which tasted very weird and I was sure I was getting healthier just having it near me. We worked that morning, getting DMV account to get him a California driver’s license and he got approved for a student credit card. Very exiting.

Then we went to a Ramen place down the street for lunch which had just a long enough line to make it special, but not frustrating. Delicious. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen so many Asian people in one place – everyone in line was Asian – at least 30 deep.

After that, we picked up Jeremy and headed home.

The next day, Jeremy, feeling better, but not yet 100% and the rest of us headed out for a Berkeley used book walking tour. We found the new UCS west coast office (empty).

We again had coffee.

I tried on a dirndl at a used clothing shop – they had at least 100 dresses. I did not buy this one.

Then we went home. The next day, Vince headed back to Davis after an outdoor brunch with Emy. Seth is sick by now and Jeremy doesn’t feel well. We drop of Vince at the train station, he heads home and Jeremy falls face forward into another illness which turns out to be the flu. We spend the next two days quiet in our little house, hoping that Jeremy feels better. He generally does not, but rallies to make it home on the cross country flight on Friday. He wore a mask the entire time and as we are in the air, we realize that we are flying into a different airport than where our car is which we did to get a good timed direct flight, but alas, we take an Uber home and this morning, I’m up and out to National to pick up the van and Jeremy finds out at urgent care he has the flu. So in many ways, the trip was a success and in many ways, it was very trying and stressful. Mixed bag! As is life and we go on.

Besides the illnesses, the vacation was lovely – great weather, everyone behaved well and liked each other, no significant travel delays or snafus. After graduation, I know he gets his diploma, but I in my own way, he’s graduated from being my kid kid to my adult kid because I handed over his birth certificate, Social Security card and passport and said – here, this is how I tell you now you are a grown up – I don’t have any of your paperwork anymore. And Jeremy was like – hey, you don’t even let me keep track of my own passport and yes, that is a true statement.

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