S: California Trip May 2011
FC: California Trip May 20-22, 2011
1: To Dad: Thanks for inviting me on the California trip! It was so great to see where you grew up, hear all the fun "Dad stories", and spend time with you, Mom, and Scott. I hope this book will help you remember the wonderful time we had, along with the memories you shared with us from when you were little. Love, Erica
2: It was so much fun to see the house that Dad grew up in. My favorite part was to hear so many funny stories from his childhood: When little Ricky was about 4 years old, he went from house to house asking his neighbors for matches, "My Mommy needs matches". His Mommy did not need matches, and the neighbors knew it. When he was 5, Dad proved to be a handful. Grandma even drove him to the police station to scare him into being good.
3: When he was young, he would regularly visit with a widow who lived up the street. He would go over to talk with her in the afternoons and in exchange she would give him candy. She loved his visits. Grandma would teach primary lessons on Tuesday afternoons. She would search and search for Rick but, a lot of times, would never find him. So, she would have to leave for her lessons without knowing where he was, and then search some more when she got home. AND, my favorite story yet: When he was 3 or 4, he jumped on his tricycle and decided to go to the candy store. Did anyone go with him? No, and the candy store was not close. He rode the 1.6 miles alone (across bigger street intersections, somehow knowing the directions) to the candy store, used his nickel to buy some candy, and then rode the 1.6 miles back. Yes, we had to clock it. I am sorry to say that the candy store is now a Baskin Robins.
4: This is a view of the back of the Sonne house. Grandpa actually had the second story addition we see here built on. We also learned that, at the age of 4, Dad used to drag bricks across the backyard until he had a pile big enough to use to climb over the fence. He would walk across the street to the middle school, and play in field. He admits that he would listen to the band play and receive his first golfing lessons. The men who would practice their swings let him hit some golfballs and they even donated some to him. He did this until he was about 9 years old.
5: It was incredible how close the elementary and middle school were. The schools were right next to one another and just behind the Sonne house. Dad said that when he was young, he and his friends would play "the racing game". Every time a car would drive by they would race each other and hide next to the school in the bushes to avoid being seen by the cars. They loved to play this game.
6: When we stopped by the Palo Alto Golf Course, we saw that right across the parking lot was a small airport. Here we learned another Dad story: One time Dad was playing here when he was 14 or 15 years old. He was on the 7th hole when there was a slight interference. A plane CRASHED right next to him on the 6th hole. The airport had been testing short runway landings and take-offs. The plane had stalled as it was heading up and crashed onto the golf course. Luckily, the pilot was fine and there were no injuries. When I asked Dad if he finished his golf game, he responded, "of course".
7: Palo Alto High School, also known as "Paly High", looked to us like a big library or castle. Although we were there at night, we were able to make our way inside parts of the school. The tower shown here was actually struck by lightening in 1970. Dad wasn't too far off when it happened. He remembers how loud the thunder was and it was definitely too close for comfort. It was fun to see a flier posted on the bulletin board from the day it snowed. Dad said he never forgot that day. He also showed us the basketball court where he and his friends always played.
8: Dad's friend, Richard Harris, got the boys a tee time at the Stanford Golf Course. It was fun to be on the course where Dad used to play growing up. We left early Friday morning to make it there by 9:20am. It was a beautiful day and the golfing was great. After the 18th hole we had lunch at the club. At the ProShop Dad ran into an old teammate from his high school golf team.
11: Around 3pm, we finished eating outside of the club and enjoyed the sun. After lunch, we headed out for a drive toward the ocean and got to witness the fog "burning off" over the mountains.
12: Since we were in California, I insisted on visiting the beach. Dad warned me about the windy, cold weather that would be waiting, but appeased us anyway and drove down Hwy 1. | . . . he was right. We stopped at Moon Bay and only dared to get our feet wet. After being catered by sun on the golf course, we each required a jacket at the beach.
14: The Oakland Temple was beautiful! When Mom and Dad got married their wedding photos were ruined, so we took a few around the grounds.
16: After taking a few pictures in front of the temple, we ran up to the open balcony and watched the sunset. | When Grandpa was temple president, President Kimball asked him to plant 3 redwood trees on the temple grounds so they could be there for the second coming. Unfortunately, they were later taken out.
17: When Grandma and Grandpa were temple president and matron at the Oakland Temple, they lived at this "temporary home" during the week. They did this for 5 years. The house is right across the street from the temple.
18: We woke up at 7:30 the next day to start our journey to YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK! We headed to Wanoma to park the car and take the shuttle up to the area with the giant Sequoia Redwood Trees. The trees were huge! We took a lot of pictures and hiked into the forest. Dad told us about the time he came here and his family drove their car through the trunk of a tree. That tree has since fallen onto it's side, but we still got to see plenty of the giants.
20: After hiking through the trees, we took the shuttle back to the car and off we went to see the rest of Yosemite. It was incredible! There were waterfalls and breathtaking views everywhere.
24: Mom, Dad, and Scott took this trip as one last fun vacation before Scott would leave on his mission. I was fortunate enough to tag along for part of the time. They were able to stay in California for about a week and visit other fun areas, but these photos are from when I was there: May 20-22, 2011. Wonderful memories were shared and created, and I will never forget all that we learned about Dad and his California life.