Once when I was about 11, we went on one of our family day trips, only this time we had the paternal grandparents, Mimi and Chas, along for the ride. We went up to Yosemite that day, I think. I remember that Mimi did not like sitting on the side of the car near the drop off. She was a little woman who was old for about 30 years in the way women were in those days, and she needed help getting into the station wagon. My Dad hoisted her up and her legs came into view as her skirt hiked up. I remember thinking how young her legs looked compared to the rest of her. On the way home, my grandparents decided to treat us to a dinner out, which for us was very rare, in fact I can remember no other time. We were still up in the mountains somewhere and stopped at a Chinese restaurant. It was very interesting to me, considering that I was always hungry, that so much food came on so many platters. It was my first experience of Chinese food, a love affair that has continued to this day. I remember that the little girl of the restaurant family was sitting in the corner at a table, and that she was watching us in an interested manner, and I was interested in her, wondering what life would be like if your parents ran a restaurant.
Another time that we went to Yosemite, we stopped on the way out to look at the river. In those days, not so many people went to Yosemite, and it was not the big crowded tourist place it is today. None of us had brought a bathing suit, but it is a truth of family life that an outing is not considered great fun unless you can get wet. It was springtime, and the water was icy cold, as the snow was melting and beginning its long journey to the coast. My mom let us roll up our pant legs and plunge into the shallow but swiftly moving stream. It was crystal clear and you could see the pebbles on the bottom and the little fish swimming around. Down a little way was a group of large rocks, big enough to climb up on and sit in the sun. We waded out there and sat on the rocks with our faces pointed upstream toward the rush of water, and our legs dangling into the "rapids". The force of the water was so strong that it was nearly impossible to move your legs against the force of the river. We got icy and wet through, and it was a good good day.
My enjoyment of these day trips was lessened because I was a victim of motion sickness. Long days of driving with at least 8 people in the car, feeling queasy. My mom once had my dad stop somewhere to get me a little 7-Up, which was supposed to settle your stomach, and then I got to sit up front next to her, and she put her arm around me. Another time, my Dad stopped the car near a stream, and we found some berry bushes and picked and ate a few berries. A little later I felt queasy and my brothers started to tease me. "Stick you head out the window!" my brother urged. Throwing up out the window in a moving car is not a pretty sight, and the parental units had to stop and wash down the windows on that side of the car. My brothers continued the teasing: "Hey, I saw the berry she ate go flying by! Piddoing! Piddoing!" my brother said over and over all the rest of the day, trying to produce the sound of a berry bouncing off the side of the car windows as the air rushed by. Nothing makes you humble like three brothers.