At Dan’s Place

Lat year, when I stopped at my son Dan’s place on my way down to New Zealand, his daughter, Eden was sick so I didn’t get to interact with her a lot.   This year, she was well and another year older and what a beautiful little girl she is.

My Cutie-Pie Grand Daughter, Eden

We had a lot of fun together.  I like staying at Dan and his wife, Ann’s, place.   They alway include me in on all the daily stuff they are doing and make me feel like a part of their lives even though we don’t see each but about once a year.  Cody remembered me really well from last year and called me “Grand-Pa Dennis”.   Eden, who is just learning how to talk, offered up several great renditions of her own of “Gwam-pa” with a big smile. 

On one of our errands, Dan dropped Cody off at his pre-school where he goes several days a week.

Cody goes to school

Dan’s been making his living this last year doing upscale handyman work.  He’s gotten quite expert at many facets of fine carpentry, stone work and a number of other skills.   He’s a real natural at it and does quality work and most of his jobs immediately lead to new referrals.  He’s gutted and rebuilt kitchens, redone decks, worked with motar and brick.   Here he’s putting the final paint on a custom garden gate he’s built for a client

Dan at work

During the days I was at Dan’s, we took a couple of good walks out with Cody.    Dan and Ann live in Aliso Viejo in Orange County, California.   Aliso Viejo is only about eight years old and is one of the beautiful and meticulously planned communities built by the Irvine Company.  Houses, roads and shopping centers alternate with swathes of land left in its natural state.

Dan’s neighborhood sits on a hillside above a valley and the valley below has been left as it was.   There are walking trails, small creeks, old stables and even a few caves with interesting local history.   One day, we set out to explore and find the ‘Dripping Cave’ and the ‘Robber’s Cave’.

Here, Dan, Cody and myself are off on an adventure.

On a nature walk

Cody’s busy looking for Mother nature.

Cody looks for Mother Nature

Down in the valley, an old stable used to hold stock and on the ridge above, the neighborhood where Dan lives.

The old and the new together

We saw the Dripping Cave and then headed off to the Robber’s Cave.   I decided it was to steep for me and waited for Dan and Cody to check it out.   Here, they are heading up-slope on their adventure.

Dan and Cody are off to see the Robber’s Cave

On the last day I was at Dan’s, Lare-dog came over with his beautifully restored 1951 Chevrolet Deluxe and we went riding.    But that’s another story and you can read about it here in “A ’51 Chevy and Olamendis“.

And, finally, Cody gave me a present which I carried to New Zealand and which now hangs proudly in our apartment.   Here’s a picture of your present, Cody:

Cody’s most excellent present to Grand Pa Dennis

Thanks, Dan & Ann & Cody & Eden & Lare-dog for a great visit!

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