It's around five hours from the Bay Area to the Ashland/Talent/Medford area, but since we got a late start, I called the hotel in Medford to confirm our reservation, and we went straight to the Kaminker compound. We left the car at my brother/sister-in-law's house, because my brother wanted to try and fix the car. We walked up to the little house where my nephew D, his partner R, and my great-niece S live. S was excited to show us her room, and to have us meet (from a distance in my case) her two adorable gray-striped kittens.
D grilled steak for tacos, and we sat on their patio and talked. S stayed up late to visit with us. Allan had picked up some weird little handmade finger puppets in the Mission District and we played with those. We also took turns on the trampoline with S. Thankfully the trampoline sessions were timed: parents got 5 minutes each, Allan and I had 3 minutes each. It was a long three minutes!
As it got dark, we said goodnight, and Allan went down to M&M's house to get the car. Voilà! The turns signals were working. My brother can fix anything.
Thanks to our one working phone, we found the Best Western Horizon in Medford and happily collapsed. The trip is winding down: we have one full day in the Ashland area today (we'll see my mother a few more times), then drive to Portland, two nights with one full day there, then two days to get home.
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Two notes about the dogs.
Cookie is what I call a "go-anywhere dog". She is always up for a new adventure, a tiny bit cautious in new situations, but then very quickly dives in and enjoys everything. That's typical of an alpha dog. Kai, on the other hand, is stressed by new situations, and takes longer to adjust. She's not extremely fearful and anxious -- we've seen much worse -- but she does love her routines and would just as soon not have any adventure! I think this whole trip has been stressful for her, and not always pleasant. We've seen her have some fear reactions, barking and snapping, clearly telling people to keep away. We can very quickly soothe her and she'll return to being her usual friendly self.
I love traveling with the dogs, but of course there is a downside. Surely the most annoying part of having them with us is this: on the first night of any stay, Cookie will not pee. The first time this happened, we were at the Coast Bastion in Nanaimo. Allan must have taken her out four or five times, walking around and around, returning to the room in frustration again and again, before Cookie finally graced us with her precious urine and we could go to sleep! After a few trips with them, we clearly saw the pattern. It is so annoying! Last night Allan gave up and went to sleep. A few hours later, the dogs woke us up, barking, and I prevailed on Allan to try again. Finally! This is very annoying!
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Cool tidbit that I missed in an earlier post: San Francisco's Mission Dolores was a location for the film "Vertigo" in 1958. If you know this Hitchcock classic, you will recognize the Mission's tower.