I am recapping the wonderful time that I had with my family here in the States this summer. See all related posts under the category: summer tales. (I’ve done these recap posts the last few times when I had my family visit, and if you want to see how fast kids grow up, check out one of the previous posts from 2015.)
Sunday (7/3) was a “down day”. We made our way back to Sacramento, stopping at the Premium Outlets in Vacaville for some shopping on the way. We were back in Sacramento around 5 pm, the kids had time to take a dip in the pool, while my sister, my mom, and I went shopping at Trader Joe’s.
We had a great dinner at Bento Box, a Sushi restaurant in Midtown. My niece had already announced that she would like to eat sushi while they’re here and I hadn’t had sushi in ages (I think the last time was for my birthday in 2020), so we all agreed it was a great decision.
Monday was July 4th – Independence Day. None of us had fond memories from their 2015 visit. We were in San Diego for the 4th of July and it was a very frustrating day. San Diego is a busy town on a regular day, but as you can imagine, it was croweded for the holiday. I should have anticipated that. We had trouble finding a place for breakfast in the morning, which was almost impossible for a party of 7 without reservations, and it ended up being a late brunch at a local Denny’s (which was decent, to its credit!). We had planned to spend the rest of the day at the beach, but again, we weren’t the only ones with this idea. We ended up driving around (and sitting in traffic) for two hours and eventually returned to the hotel and spend the afternoon at the pool. Luckily, a dinner reservations at a local Mexican restaurant saved the day, and it ended up being a perfect ending to an otherwise mostly frustrating day.
Well, long story short, we wanted to avoid crowds this time and had purposefully planned to spend the national holiday in Sacramento, so that Jon could be part of it (because remember, he didn’t travel with us) and because it gave us the chance to finally host guests in our backyard for a BBQ. It was a nice low-key day.
We had brunch in the morning (my family fits perfectly around this patio set, don’t you agree?) and then everyone went back to the hotel to relax a little by the pool while I cleaned up around the house and got things ready for our BBQ later.
It was a warm day, but luckily, our backyard faces eastward and it’s in the shade in the afternoon and evening. It was quite pleasant to sit outside. I had already set the table when my family came over in the afternoon. My mom and sister helped me to prepare the side dishes, while my brother-in-law and Jon manned the grill.
We only have a small gas grill, which is perfect for two people but rather small for a party of 8, but we somehow made it work. Maybe it would have been easier to cook burgers, but we opted for a more traditional German BBQ with pork belly, pork cutlets, sausages, and a few different side dishes (potatoes with a yogurt dip, tomato salad, coleslaw, and bread with herbed butter). It was a feast, and we also had ice cream for dessert. Live a little!
In the evening, my mom, sister, and I went on a little walk through our neighborhood. We live close to – but not in – the “Fabulous 40’s” (between 38th and 47th Streets and between J Street and Folsom Boulevard), an old, affluent neighborhood of Sacramento with large tree-lined streets, large setback lots, and multi-million dollar homes.
I have mentioned before that the area is a visitor magnet around Halloween and Christmas because of its lavish holiday decorations. So, it’s not surprising that people decorate their houses patriotically with American flags for the 4th of July. I’ve gotten used to it, but for many visitors, it still feels like something out of the movies!
We had a wonderful and relaxing day with good food, great conversations, and dare I say, the best company! I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!