June 29, 2011

California in May: part one

We flew to California twice last May, and were lucky to attend two big events--one graduation and one wedding.

Part one of our California in May was Steve's sister's graduation from Westmont College. It just so happened that our friends, Patrick and Paige, were headed to CA on the same flight. Although it was early morning when we took off, Steve decided to show off the stack of free drink tickets he's accumulated over years of flying on Southwest. The flight attendants were impressed.

We landed in Los Angeles, took a parking shuttle to the edge of the airport, and walked across the street to Steve's grandparents' house. This was definitely the first time that I've left the airport on foot. It would have been an easy walk, except for the fact that Steve had had hernia repair surgery the week before, and wasn't able to carry anything. We were probably a funny picture--a tall, healthy guy walking like an old man, and me, rolling our suitcase with two heavy computer bags slung over my shoulder.

Steve's paternal grandparents, Kiki and Pepere, have lived in their place by the airport, ever since Steve's dad was a boy. Everywhere you look, there are family photos. I enjoyed flipping through the Trudelle family history while Steve entertained us with some piano playing.

Kiki explained that she sometimes throws this at pesky crows :)

The next morning we drove to Santa Barbara for Chrissa's graduation. Chrissa is the fourth child, a kinesiology major, and an NAIA All-American runner. She is cute, quirky, patient, and kind. And we were all there to celebrate her.

We held a little reception in the student lounge in Chrissa's dorm. We ate, took photos, and listened to Steve play a few more songs on the piano (his family was surprised to learn that he has been taking lessons since Christmas!).

After the party, we headed back to LA to watch Chrissa run the 5k at the Oxy Invitational (racing after graduation seemed crazy to me, but not to Chrissa!). It was so exciting to watch her run (I wish I had taken some photos) and reach her personal record of 17:42.56. That's 5:41 per mile people!

We drove back up to Santa Barbara to spend the night, and then back to LA to fly out the next morning. It was a packed weekend (with lots of driving), but definitely worth it. Before we left, I captured this photo of Steve with his sweet grandparents. Photos like these remind me how blessed I am to be in this Trudelle family tree. :)

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