As part of our return to California, we wanted to make a day of going to Chico with the boys and show them where we met. The last time we’d been back together was when Brendon was 8months old. At that point, our dreams of moving back to Chico were squashed by the overwhelming density that had occurred in our absence. Chico was different, as were we. That was also the year we purchased the property in Cottonwood.
Be that as it may, there have still been hints of interest in moving to Chico since we’ve been back. Tales of a possible VA job for Vance in the future have further re-kindled the thoughts of returning. So we finally made the effort, the 1.5hr trek from Redding, to spend the day in Chico as a family of four.
We kicked off our morning with a run in Bidwell Park. Vance and I have not run there together – EVER! There was a historic bike ride we went on when first dating, which I like to tease him about, since he had a terrible bike at the time. He loves that story. The experience was beyond heartwarming. 90% of the people we passed, smiled, waved, gave us shout outs for pushing our double of boys in the misty rain. So unlike Redding, where people are so introspective and guarded that we rarely get more than a glance and have to force a hello.
Not only the run, but the park. While Winter barren, there was a magical play area for the boys, Caper Acres. They, well Brendon and then after a fit of swing furry John, had a blast as the place was deserted due to the weather. So akin to our usual, pre-retirement lifestyle, all four of us were exceedingly happy.
Then, oh dear then, we headed downtown. Chico was as busy as it ever was. Add in the Christmas holiday right around the corner and Saturday Farmer’s Market. Parking was a challenge to say the least. We took our pizza loving boys to an old haunt, in a new location: Woodstock’s. As good as we remembered it in college and possibly even better after a 6+ mile run. The boys loved it (pizza, soda machine of 1000 flavors and video games – what boy could not love this?).
Visiting the campus was a perfect end to our tour of Chico for the boys. The school was already on break and only a handful of souls were lurking about. Brendon could almost grasp the concept of mom and dad being young once. Almost. The café where we had our historic blind date looked exactly the same. Ahhhh nostalgia at its finest.
We rounded out our trip with a visit to Vance’s Aunt & Uncle; longstanding residents of Chico, before heading home. The boys had a blast getting spoiled and begged us to go in the hot tub, sans suits. Next time little ones, next time…
And what trip is complete without some selfies?