More Tales From the Road

I haven’t mentioned it specifically, but some of the comments on previous posts have alluded to the reason for our trip back East: I had a job interview. I don’t want to share too many details, but I think that things went pretty well. One reason that Jenny and Elena joined me was so that they could look at local real estate and get an idea of where we might live if I get the job.

Because of that, Elena had to endure lots of car time, which is not her favorite activity. A few things made it bearable: Grandma Nancy brought tasty treats that she was happy to share with Elena, especially some chocolate chip bunny cracker/cookies. Also, uncle David joined them when he wasn’t working. Elena always loves having company in the back seat, and he was an especially good companion. In the end, I think that this advance scouting helped Jenny become more comfortable with the idea of relocating to a new place.

After David and Nancy left, we turned to the other side of the family for help. Jenny and I wanted to attend the temple, but we needed someone to take care of Elena. Originally we asked Gran Ann to help, but then aunt Leisa and uncle Sam joined in. They took Elena down to the National Zoo. Elena liked looking and pointing at all the animals, but her favorites were the red pandas*, which were especially active at the time they visited.

Elena got a special bonus surprise at the zoo. She has been interested in sunglasses for a while, but we haven’t given her any. At the zoo, she found a pair of child-sized Hello Kitty sunglasses on the ground. They must have been lost or abandoned by someone else, so the babysitters decided that it would be okay to let Elena keep them. She likes them so much–I hope that there’s not some other little girl out there mourning the loss too much. When we met up with them afterwards, we were joined by aunt Laura, who drove over after work with fresh cupcakes.

On Friday evening we had dinner with friends of mine that I hadn’t seen in some time. The weather was perfect, dinner was excellent, and we all had a great time. I think that it was our hosts’ first cookout of the season, which was very gracious of them. I made the mistake of letting Elena climb up and down the staircase up their wooden deck too much. Even though Jenny warned me, I thought Elena was having a good time. She was, but her legs were pretty scratched up by the next day.

After helping to put in the garden at my parents’ house, I coordinated one more project that afternoon. My mom said that all for Mother’s day and her birthday (which are very close together), she wanted someone to put together the porch swing she had recently purchased. I recruited my sisters and we took care of it. Elena had a good time sitting in the swing, so Gran insisted that we have to come back often.

*To me they look more like raccoons than pandas.

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