Last week, my family flew up to Northern California for the Redwood Coast Jazz Festival. JoanMarie went to school at Humboldt State University, so whenever we go to this festival, it also turns into somewhat of a reunion.
Thankfully, halfway through packing for the trip, we remembered that children under two fly free.
Because he's a big boy now, Isaiah didn't want anyone carrying him as we moved from gate to gate during the layover. (Dude, I wish someone would've carried me!)
Something for me to keep in mind back at home, no matter where we take him, it's still the smallest things that he finds the most amusing. Things like walking through flocks of pigeons...
throwing rocks into puddles...
and pointing at seagulls.
At the main music and dance venue, we met up with our good friends Beth and Shannon. (Later, on the way to their house, we mistakenly wound up at a similar address. That homeowner was deeply suspicious of our story. After convincing him that we weren't casing the place, he refused to let us leave until he'd picked us a nice bouquet.)
Although it's hard to tell, Isaiah's actually leading here.
The last couple of nights, we stayed with the parents of our friend Juliana. They had a player piano, which Isaiah loved. And did anyone else not know that some of the paper scrolls include lyrics that roll by so you can sing along? It's the original karaoke!
As a thank you to our hosts who both read a lot, I went to a local bookstore to buy them copies of my books. They only had one copy of each in stock, so I wiped them out! Slightly embarrassed to be buying my own books, I decided to purchase them incognito. But the bookseller kept glancing between the name on my credit card and the name on the books.
"Fine! Yes, I wrote these. But they're for friends, I swear. I'm not just trying to help my sales numbers."
(Though, y'know, it doesn't hurt!)
Then we went hiking in the forest with our friends Dave and Susan. The natural beauty throughout Humboldt is one of the big reasons JoanMarie chose to go to school there.
All packed and ready to leave, we almost missed our return flight when the rental car lady called to say our flight had been cancelled and I'd better not be thinking of driving her car all the way back home. (Not only was I not planning to do that, she was wrong about the cancelled flight.)
The day after we got home, and after only two practices, JoanMarie performed her first gig with a local bluegrass band.
Meanwhile, Isaiah and I slept.