August 2019 – Dean and family visit at Craig’s in Stockton
Day 1, Friday, August 2, we gather at Craig’s in Stockton
It had been a long while since we saw our son, Dean, and his family – it was at our (my twin sis, Gale and I) 75th birthday bash in Gridley back in December that we last saw them. And now they were returning to visit at Craig’s Castle (Craig’s two story home on the shore of the California Delta) in Stockton. My dear Lavonne and I would park the coach in Craig’s driveway for the duration and be a small part of the wild weekend, but we would avoid the “wild”.
We loaded the coach and headed for Craig’s Castle a bit after noon for the 20-some mile drive to Stockton. It was already a typical Friday in the Stockton area, busy with too many people and too much traffic.
The heavy Friday afternoon Stockton traffic as we poked along toward Craig’s Castle on the delta.
We arrived at Craig’s safe and sound. He guided me as I backed into the somewhat tight parking area on his large driveway. I set the coach up and we were plugged into the grid, the jacks were dropped, and the room slides were powered out. We were ready for the weekend.
Big Blue set up for the weekend at Craig’s Castle. She would be our home during the big weekend when the family gathered together once again.
As we old folks rested aboard the coach, Craig busied himself shopping, then launched the boat and motored it over to the boat lift at his dock behind the castle. And he was ready for the weekend, too!
Dean and his tribe arrived a few minutes after 1600 hours. It was good to see them all, and first thing, we all got together in the coach for a visit.
We gathered together in the coach when Dean and family arrived. That’s (L-R) Aidan, Kendall (Conner’s girlfriend), Connor, the famous Tom Selleck look-alike, Dean, Craig, Melissa, and Lavonne. What a handsome family!
After our time visiting in the coach, the gang had to start getting ready for their afternoon and sunset cruise on the 1000 mile California Delta. The old folks chose to stay in the coach as they took off on their adventure, but we did get a fair photo of them leaving the dock aboard Craig’s “go-fast” boat.
As the party moved onto the delta and Craig’s beautiful boat, they waved farewell to the Old Folks who chose to stay put. They would make a night of it at the local Garlic Brothers restaurant on the water for dinner. Gramps and Grandma would eat the usual fare aboard the coach, but only because we chose to.
I spent many a day and night on the California Delta aboard my too many boats during my fishing days which came to an end five years ago. It just got to be too much work for an old man. Most of my adventures are recorded right here on this website. But I have no desire to be on the delta again, especially on a weekend night with all the nuts running loose out there.
Lavonne and I spent the evening in the coach while the kids were dining out. But when their party at Garlic Brothers was over, they dropped in one or three at a time as they arrived back home to visit us in the coach. I wish I’d have shot a photo or two at the time, but I didn’t. After the visitors left, Lavonne began her nightly routine to get ready for bed, then called it a day.
During the evening I watched a new-to-me documentary on Hitler and WWII, one of my favorite subjects. I watched it ’til nearly 2300, then I also called it a day and headed to bed. It had been a long day and I slept very well.
Day 2, Saturday, at rest in the coach at Craig’s Castle
I was up and around at 0630 hours, and opened up the coach to the cool morning air. Having ran the air conditioners most of the evening and even for a while after going to bed, the coolness was most welcome. But it wouldn’t last for long; the day was predicted to reach 98°. Ugh.
We began our day as usual, at the computers. We would wait ’til we heard from the kids before we headed to the house for breakfast. The the call came sooner than expected as Dean stopped by for a few minutes as he was heading to town and the nearest Starbucks. They must have the addiction bad!
Eventually we headed into the house and joined the breakfast party. Craig was mixing the batter for his famous, buttery waffles. Lavonne, Melissa and Breanne pitched in to help whip up the meal.
Click to enlarge and read the captions. (On each individual photo you may scroll down to click on the “View full size” icon for even bigger photos. Click again for a huge photo):
As Craig began pouring batter into the fancy Belgian waffle makers, I fried a few eggs for Connor and me. Dean fried bacon out on the balcony overlooking the delta to go along with Craig’s sausage. As usual, I grabbed the first waffle plus one for Connor and we settled at the table outside on the balcony and began eating – I wanted my waffle hot while most folks seemed to dawdle around and wind up with cooler ones.
We enjoyed another of Craig’s wonderful breakfasts. As we ate and visited, everyone was looking forward to the delta waters once again. This day Craig would launch his ski boat, and all those who wanted to would get to ski and/or wake board. They would also have the jet ski along for even more water fun.
Click for delta fun!
Photo Credit: Melissa
While they were out on the water, Lavonne and I chose to stay at home in the coach. It would be a hot day all over the Central Valley and we’d be comfy in Big Blue with both air conditioners running all day long!
And so it was. We hibernated in the coach much of the day ’til they returned home from the delta around 1600. And then thoughts turned to dinner which would be a barbecue and more.
The beautiful view from the balcony of Craig’s Castle which sits just behind the levee. This photo might explain why Stockton’s founder once considered naming the town Tuleburg.
The family hung around the kitchen area as dinner preparation got underway. The barbecue was warming up and soon Craig and Dean were cooking up a batch of steaks and chicken. When dinner was served there was also a delicious blend of veggies, garlic french bread, twice baked potatoes and salad. Soon we were all enjoying the grand dinner. For dessert there was chocolate pie and strawberry shortcake.
Click for larger photos and captions: