Monday, August 1, 2016

Third Time is the Charm!

We had a fun long weekend up in Northern California, cheering Uncle Jake on during his third Ironman.

Please enjoy how Ellie dresses herself for airline travel:

Both kids were great travelers, and when we got into San Jose, we went and visited their children's museum, which was a great size for our kids, and then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with our friends Bob and Nancy, and their kids, who are just a touch younger than ours. It was nice to be in their house, just relaxing for the afternoon and letting the kids play, and then we left right around bedtime and convinced the children to close their eyes for the drive up to the Russian River.

The cabin that Jake rented was very quintessential cabin. Down a one lane dirt road, lots of segments built into each other, no level floors, wonky bathrooms. It was right over the river and was built into a copse of redwood trees.

Ellie enjoyed some time in the hot tub on the deck

The master featured these sweet wagon wheel lamps, and a fireplace that made the room smell like a campfire. We had a kid on either side of the bed on one a cot - when we were getting them in bed on Thursday night, I moved the bed so that Ellie hopefully wouldn't roll off into the stone fireplace, and when I came to bed, she of course was hanging off the bed on that side. She was so tired though that picking her up and scooting her didn't register with her at all.

Friday was a lot of race prep - here is Jake working with one of his little helpers
The kids and I spent some time down in the river, and Adam loved that there were tons of butterflies and caterpillars around - he found three chrysalis on the railing of the deck (sadly, did not get to see any of our new pipevine swallowtails hatching.)

Jake also had to contend with Tim wanting to share in his video game time.

The morning of the race I did get my lazy self out of bed to tell Jake good luck... but then got back into bed and slept in until after 8, and then an additional fifteen minutes was spent snuggling in bed with a kid on each side of me. Sure beat swimming two miles!

The course ended up going around and around the local high school and a park, which was nice for us spectating because we didn't have to go all over the place. Ellie and I missed seeing Jake get off the bike because she was in the bathroom, but we did get to watch him pass us at the park a half dozen times. And in the meanwhile, Ellie did some safety exercise.

Ellie did end up wearing the bedazzled shirt she made, but Adam refused. Ellie also made Jake a sign at lunch that said "thank you for all your love." She's a sweetheart, that one. I was really impressed with how well both kids hung in for the day. I did take Adam for a brief drive and snooze, but otherwise they were out in the sun, playing around.

Oh, and Jake looked pretty good too. In fact, he absolutely smashed it. He came in 17th overall, 2nd in his age group, and crushed his previous times by coming in just under nine and a half hours. He looked good afterwards and was able to scarf some pizza, rest a little and then rally at the end of the night to go back and watch the final finishers. I hadn't done that before, and it was REALLY a fun way to end the day. I cried a little, I won't lie.

The four of us missed seeing Jake on the podium yesterday, but we got there in time to watch him turn down his Kona bid, like a total bad ass. I felt so happy for the 4th place guy, who was probably bummed about missing the cut off for the World Championships, but then got to find out he was getting a spot. And after a nice brunch with the rest of Jake's wonderful support team, we headed back to San Jose. I had hoped we could get out and take some pictures by the Golden Gate bridge, but both kids were sound asleep as we approached (and I woke up probably five minutes before we crossed over myself.) We ended up having time to kill at the airport, which was fine because it's one obnoxiously long terminal and were at the far, far, FAR end, so the kids stopped to make forts

And eat snacks.
The kids were good on the ride home - the lady in front of us said that she thought we were a nice little family. Just goes to show what she knows!

(and happy anniversary to Tim and I - that's even more miles than 140.6! I'm lucky he still puts up with me.)

I'm so glad we were able to go along and cheer on Jake, and stay with everyone. The kids loved having Mimi and Poppy to snuggle with in the morning and play with at the park, and more hands always make lighter work for a tired mommy. Jake's certainly had a challenging year, and not just because of the training for the race, and I'm thankful that he had his whole family there to encourage him and cheer like crazy. Goes to show you just can't beat those Fockers!

(and little Fockers.)

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