Our family has successfully traveled the length and width of the state, nearly, to celebrate Christmas with every family member on the left Coast.
We journeyed to Southern California...a harrowing 10 hour tour complete with rain, a sixth-month old who is teething and wanted to be nursed every twenty minutes for the first 250 miles of the trip, a very patient, and surprisingly flexible autistic big brother who tried throwing toys VERY far out the door of the car at each stop (as if we were going to let him get out and run to fetch them)...and fog on the Grapevine that slowed traffic to about 10 miles an hour between spurts of 70 miles per hour. Very scary that part.
We arrived at The Balboa Bay Club at 5:36. We had dinner reservations in the nice "coat and tie" part of the club at six. Somehow we managed to get Jake an ironed outfit, the Mom into a holiday dress, the dad into a coat and a tie AND pants that fit comfortably, babyLucy nursed and dressed in her Christmas dress...and make it into the restaurant by 6:15. Not bad. I think. We were able to see my neighbors from childhood, even Julie who was making a Left Coast appearance.
Jake didn't make it all the way through dinner. It was a lot of stimulation for those of us without "special needs". He was a trooper though. He finished his dinner, but before even our appetizers could arrive he really needed to go to bed. Descartes graciously said he would retire with Jake (I'm sure the lure of removing his tie helped him make the decision). We sent Descartes' food "to go" to the room. Descartes noted later that Oysters Rockefeller is not a good item to go.