Wow, seems like it's been a really long time since I last wrote.
This past weekend I was back in Lompoc visiting family. Saturday was my Grandparent's anniversary (on my dad's side) and also my Grandfather's birthday; he just turned 73. They threw a raging party that day. Seriously, sometimes I question the age that they really say they are; because they look and act at least 15 years younger than they really are. During that Saturday I helped my Grandpa and the kids (my cousins) make marshmellow guns in the yard. I didn't want one, so I just instructed them. We ran out of some parts for the guns, so my Grandpa, Quin, Alina and I took off to Home Depot quickly to get some more pieces. We came back and finished a few more for the kids. A little while after that, it was time to eat. After I was done eating, I went outside to the backyard where most of the adults were hanging out. I just sat on the concrete steps in the yard and listened to their chit-chats. I got up and walked around a little, and looked up at my Grandpa. He asked me if I wanted to go for a drive with him. I agreed to, though I wasn't too sure what he exactly meant (if he wanted to help me practice driving, or if he wanted to just show me around someplace). He took me to the high school parking lot, and I figured out what he was going to have me do. He's done this before with me. He's a driving instructor, so it's all good :) He had me practice making turns and all that. I always have a pretty good time practicing with Grandpa. I always learn so much from him. After a while he had me go out on the street and practice. At this point I got nervous. I never drove on a public road before. Still, he was beside me, so I knew I'd be alright. He had me drive on a few streets, then one highway, then back to his house. A little while after we came back, it was time for my grandparents to open their gifts. I video taped some of it, and most of the time it was really funny. People gathered around them and cracked a bunch of stupid jokes. It was great. After that, my uncle turned on some records, and my grandparents danced in the living room. I never really understood couples dancing, but that's probably because I have yet to experience such things. No, I have never been to a dance in my life, not even prom...so bug off. Anyways, after their dance, things started to get kind crazy among the adults. Some of it was pretty funny, that I had to get it on tape. I hung out with the adults and had conversations with them all night. My grandma was complementing me and saying that I've really matured. That was sweet of her to say :) That party just about lasted until midnight, phew! I went to bed with a tiny headache from the loud music they played. Nevertheless, it was a very good party.
The next day I did a few things. In the noon time I took Alina and Cocoa up to the Mission ruins of La Purisma (sp?). I was surprised to find out that the ruins are older than I thought. According to what I read, the mission was built in 1787, and was destroyed in 1812 by a huge earthquake. I looked behind me towards the foothills to see if there were any visual evidence. I then noticed a huge split between two hills, that formed some rigid looking landforms within the split. I was astonished. Though I've seen these ruins so many times, I always learn more whenever I go back to it. The funny thing about this area, is that it's just around the back of some houses. It's not fenced off, and you don't need to pay to see these ruins. They just kind of sit there, on an empty hill, behind some houses, next to a railroad track (which is what we followed to get to the ruins because my grandparent's house is right next to a railroad track). After our little visit at the ruins, he hopped back on the railroad track, and walked back to the house. When we got back, we got ready to go visit Ojiichan and Obaachan across town.
It was a nice little visit. I had good conversations with both of them. We didn't stay too long though. Obaachan's not as healthy as she used to be, unfortunately. Still, I'm very glad we visited.
When we came back to my father's parents house, my Grandpa taught me some more driving, by making me drive to Little Caesars to pick up some pizza. After we came back, we ate some, and went back out to practice some more. This time the twins came along. We were out for an hour and a half or so. The more I was driving, the less I felt nervous about it all. After we came back, things just settled down from there. And after a while, we all went to sleep.
The next day we were to leave Lompoc and head back home. My father wanted to take me to the DMV in town and have me test to get my permit before we leave. So that morning I took my sweet time getting ready and reviewing the driver manual. I wanted to make sure I had the majority of it down to pass the test. After a couple hours, my father and I walked to the DMV and waited in line to get things down. It took a couple hours to get everything done. Since I passed the test, it was all worth the time though :) So yeah, I have my permit now. *yay* And since I only have a month of being 17 left, I could get my license next month if I wanted to.
After we came back from the DMV, we told everyone the news, and we had a quick lunch. Everyone was relieved to hear that I passed...since it took so long :P A little while after we ate, we got packed up, and said our goodbyes to our grandparents. This was one of the nicest, and most productive visits I ever had in Lompoc. And though this trip was another last minute decision, I had no regrets making it.