It had been a good 5 years since I had seen my best friend from high school, Roman, and his growing family. I had decided enough was enough and booked time off from work to take a road trip out to visit them and get a tour of the place I grew up to see how much it had changed.
I planned it around the time Caiden was out of school. Unfortunately Alene and Bailey could not join us because Bailey is very difficult on long car rides.
The drive there wasn't as bad as I last remembered it, but back then I didn't have an ipod, or a DVD player for your car (don't worry, I was only listening to the movies), so that explains a lot. If I would have driven straight there I could have made it in about 10.5 hours, but since Roman wasn't going to be off work until later that evening, I decided to take a scenic route on highway 49 from Auburn down to my old hometown of Placerville. I showed Caiden the American River, Coloma (where the gold rush started), and the old town of Placerville.
(Most of these pictures were taken with my iphone since my regular camera decided to quit after 4 pictures)
South Fork of the American River
Lotus bridge - I remember my brother in-law troy and his buddy jumping off this bridge when I was younger. I used to think he was such a stud for doing it (and still do).
Fire station in Placerville - I got my first ticket, about 10 days after getting my license, by doing a U-turn in the driveway.
Placerville Soda Works - I remember touring this place in elementary school and they had this cave that went way back into the mountain that stayed cool year-round and it was used as a fridge. I believe this place now has concerts from local bands.
This used to be the Empire Theater and it used to have wicked double-feature movies back in the day. I remember seeing "Hot to Trott" and "Beatlejuice" over and over and only paying like $2.
My dad and I landscaped this corner hillside planter. I remember it was such a pain in the rear to mow as well, but over 15 years later it's still doing well.
Caiden and I arrived at Roman and Betsy's house around 6pm that evening. A funny little side note is that I had Roman's old address, which was only a couple of miles from their current address. I showed up at his old house and rang the doorbell several times. I called Roman and he said Betsy was out running errands, but they left the back door open so I could go in. I opted to go for a little bike ride with Caiden since we had been driving so long. As we were riding Roman texted me asking where I was. I said I was almost at their house. When I got there, I started knocking on the door again, still no answer. I texted Roman and asked where Betsy was and he said she was home. As you can guess, I was at the old address. Caiden and I tossed our bikes back on the car and quickly got out of there.
I met up with Betsy and their kids Jalen (9), Baron (5), and Brooklyn (1). The last time we had seen Jalen, he was about 4 years old and Baron was just a little baby. We all got along quickly and went out to play catch with the football. Roman showed up a bit later and Baron had the great idea for Roman and I to play against them in a game of football. Roman and I quickly schooled them, then went inside the house because it was getting late :-).
The next day we got up and went golfing (as planned). It was very windy, but we weren't going to let that stop us. I had the best score, but I cheated like mad (I should have had the worst score).
Caiden and Jalen driving the golf cart
Me and the boys
Roman's tee off
My tee off over some water
Jalen's tee off over the same water
After golfing, we went to the Squeeze Inn Burger and had one of the best/worst burgers ever. These things were the best because they tasted so good; they were the worst because I'm sure they were an easy 1000 calories and 100 grams of fat. No regrets.
After that we went to this AWESOME placed called Sky High Sports and I LOVED it. It's like a giant trampoline center. The place is loaded with trampolines that extend all around the building. It's also broken up into sections for dodgeball, general jumping, little kids only, private parties, and a large foam pit (which was my favorite).
Roman's first flip
My first flip
Jalen's little jump off the side trampoline
Attempting to do a back flip off the side trampoline
Caiden almost hitting his head
Me and Baron
Me and Caiden
This kid was "coaching us" through doing a flip. He was really good.
Later that night Roman and I went out on a man date to see downtown Sacramento. I was shocked at how "metro" it had become. It was like a non-stop party everywhere you went. We decided to stop in and see if our old friend Brian was working at a restaurant and sure enough he was. It was awesome to see him and kind of odd at the same time. We were all REALLY close in high school, but kind of grew apart after that. Roman and I moved from the area 2 years after graduating and we had not seen Brian since. It really felt good to see him though and give him a good man hug and let him know we still love him.