Monday, August 16, 2010

Redding, CA

We recently visited Redding, CA where we stayed at Ramada Limited. We were there to attend my Dad's and Bett's wedding reception while having a ton of fun crammed into a few days. This will be a little photo heavy.
entering California (one of my favorite signs)
We left really early in the morning and arrived in Redding in time to go swimming at Bett's sisters house. We had a marvelous time and I enjoyed playing in the water with the kids (rather than sitting on the sides taking photos). We spent time teaching our kids how to dive and do a proper cannonball.

On Friday, we went to Turtle Bay Museum. It was hot out already, but the kids (and adults) had a great time playing in the water features, enjoying the fast blowing air in the butterfly garden and the indoor exhibits showcasing the local landscape and history. The museum was putting on a special exhibit about old time games and the kids had a blast throwing hoops and relaxing in the air conditioned building.

Scott, Jamie, Heather, Marc, Betts, Chrissy, Dad
playing in the water - trying to stay cool
butterfly garden (Miss R tried so hard to get one to land on her)
Miss M playing a game - throwing hoops

On Saturday, we spent the day talking and playing while getting ready for the wedding reception. Of course this is the day that it decides to be 108F!! My Dad's friend hosted all of us at his house and luckily he had a pool. I believe the kids spent the entire time in the water. I also think they enjoyed it even more when the adults started throwing each other in.

It starts innocent enough. My SIL, Robin, has been bugging Marc all day. He picks her up and carries her to the pool. We yell that she has a phone in her pocket and my brother, Bryan, takes it out of her pocket and says Carry On. Marc walks to the edge of the pool with her (I know he won't throw her in. He's not that mean), but my brother, Scott, runs up behind them and pushes them both in. Now it's on. I hear the other guests say it's time to go, but I hope they enjoyed all our antics. My other SIL, Jamie goes in (let me tell you, she put up a good fight). Maria and I stick together and have found a great reason to not lose weight. The boys won't be able to pick us up. I finally relent to the pressure and let the 10 and 11 year old girls "drag" me to the pool and push me in. The it was time to crown our new step-sister into our family. Scott and I find Chrissy and proceed to recruit help to pick her up (she's tall and light) and toss her in. Clothes and all. Welcome to the family!!

Sunday is our last day of fun before we head off on our separate adventures. And we have some serious fun planned with a float trip down the Sacramento River. We reserved 4 rafts for 24 people at Redding Raft Rentals. The company gave us all our waivers to sign our lives away and an instructional of how to avoid obstacles and the bushes on the edges. We load up our rafts and paddle hard to the middle of the river.

Each raft was given a water cannon to shoot the other rafters and shoot we did. Let me tell you, that water was pure snow melt. It was so cold, but it felt so wonderful to float along and have a great time. We spent lots of time splashing and shooting and passing kids between rafts. At one point, Marc and I were the only ones left in our raft, while my brother had 8 kids. It's really hard to paddle these rafts when there are only 2 people!

the splashing starts early

Mr C and Miss M helped guide our raft down the river

my Dad getting ready to give me a cannon-full

the view as you float from Redding to Anderson

We finished our float trip much too quick and were an exhausted crew. But never too tired to swim. Once we had some lunch, we drove down to Sacramento, CA to my brother Bryan's house to visit with some friends before we embarked on the next half of our California vacation.

Miss R has proven her fearlessness by doing handstands in the lake and front flips into the pool

Mr C is working on cannonballs
 And my final photo before we leave the Redding area to drive to San Diego - a warning sign for rattlesnakes that is posted at the rest stops along I-5. My kids were nervous and excited by these. Luckily, we never saw one.

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