We had a blast in Santa Barbara. Had great connections with some old friends, accidentally ran into a really old friend who was running n the beach, saw an old friend we hadn't planned on seeing, and enjoyed spending time with an adopted Grandma for my kiddos.
We parked at my college friend's mom's house in Montecito. Michele's mom is Grandma age, but doesn't have grand kids yet (she obviously wants to though...and she's really good at being a Grandma!). My kids often chose hanging out with her in her house over being with mom or dad. Maybe it was the little hide-and-hunt games she played with them, or all the fun toys she was giving them, or the yummy food that she'd feed them. I'm sure it was a combination of all of it. Let's just say, I didn't mind taking a break from holding the baby, or having a peaceful moment while The Princess and Little Brother played in her house. Oh, and she also did all our laundry one day, and even folded it while we were out playing at the zoo. Charlotte, if you're reading this, you're totally adopted!
One fun thing that happened was when I saw my friend Jamie, who lives in LA, running with her husband on the beach. The Hot Contractor had gone into the little beach restaurant to ask for some veggie oil, while I stayed in the truck with the kids. Here comes Jamie and John running through the parking lot! We ended up talking about how we're embarking on a cross-country adventure, and running on veggie oil. Then Jamie says, "You know Dan runs his car on veggie oil? You should talk to him about it!" (Dan is a mutual friend of ours whom I've known since 1995). I happened to still have Dan's cell phone number in my phone, and gave him a call. Turns out his shop was about five minutes away from where we were, and he invited us over. While we were there, we told him about our leaking truck (The Hot Contractor had welded something before we left, but missed one tiny spot, and oil was dripping the whole way). So Dan welded it for us. Thanks, Dan!
While we were talking to Dan, he told us that he used to get his WVO (waste vegetable oil) at Westmont College (my Alma Matter). A couple days later, as we were having a horribly difficult time finding fuel for our truck, the thought crossed my mind to see if I could get some from Westmont. So, we drove up there, and visited the dining commons (DC). I think the lady working there was skeptical of me, and she told me to go to the administration building to ask for permission. (I couldn't figure out why I'd have to ask them, other than she maybe wanted them to verify that I actually was an alum?). So, I went straight to the Alumni Office, and told them my story. They were all OVER helping out an alum! Woo-hoo! They made phone calls for like ten minutes, trying to reach someone to tell them to give me as much oil as possible. Ha! We went back to the DC and filled up our tank with somewhere between 80 and 90 gallons. And that lady who told me to go to the alumi office? She was so sweet, she gave us all free lunch in the DC. I felt like a college student again. Except that I had three kids and a husband.
We're still running on that oil. What a LOOT! Thank you Westmont Sodexo, and thank you, Dan, for the idea!