What a trip! Managed to get home to San Luis Obispo for Christmas, but it was close to not being able to happen, and I almost didn’t get back to Trinidad…

Firstly, I had to not only change my oil (which I could NOT get the oil filter off), but I had to change the battery (easy) and the alternator (not easy). Took me two days to get the alternator changed, it was super difficult to install the new one, to get it lined up just right. It was heavy and awkward and not much room to work. Finally managed to finish that around 2 pm on December 21, and started heading south to Mountain View to my sister’s house by 9 pm.

The next morning, my nephew, who I hadn’t seen in 20 months, since he was just one year old, looked at me and in all the excitement of a two-year-old at 6 am, he said, “Uncle Dan, I have two hands.” It was one of the cutest things ever! lol! And as my sister and her husband went off to work, I began my journey the rest of the way to SLO. But of course, I forgot gas and ended up having to backtrack the 15 miles back to my sister’s neighbourhood to get gas for less than $3.60!

It was a fun time with my parents, and my sister and her family joined us Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Morning (they stayed at her husband’s parent’s house). We took Kiernan (my nephew) to see Santa, but he was more interested in the candy cane decorations than Santa himself. Eventually, he warmed up, and I got some good photos and video.

I stayed a while with my parents, until the 29th, when we finished my oil change, and I began my journey back north. I couldn’t stay with my sister that night because they were out of town, so I tried to make it all the way in one day… But as I got down onto the city streets in San Francisco, there was something spraying out from under my hood…. I blew my upper radiator hose!

Managed to get towed and found a place that was still open at 4 pm that could do the work on short notice and quickly. Went to the Chevron on South Van Nuys Ave, and I will NEVER go back. Not only were they smoking around the shop, and the stink was filling the waiting room, but it turns out one of their guys STOLE my Kindle!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My library was stolen out of my car. At least it was just my Kindle, and not the laptop or camera, but those would have been much more difficult to steal. I checked to make sure the important things hadn’t been, but I didn’t even think to remember to look for my Kindle while I was there. Took a week to discover it was completely missing.

After the car was repaired, it was too late to try to drive the rest of the way home, and with my seizures, I don’t like driving at night, so I found a parking lot in Navato for the cold night. Next day I drove home much more cautiously. Still made it home by noon.

I have more car work that needs to be done, I might have a leaking gasket, my thermostat needs replacing, belts soon, and my transmission controller has some problems. And I really need to get my heater, and A/C, fixed! Glad to be in California rather than the Midwest or Eastern US!!

It was nice to visit SLO, and I really miss it, but when I came back into the Redwoods, I knew where home is.

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