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LOWE

Traveling with a grandchild makes the experience—I just have to say it—grand!

To ensure the trip is indeed a grand one, it’s a good idea to start that way from the very beginning. Sometimes, though, that can be a bit difficult.

Her grandmommie and I have returned from a week’s worth of days with our middle granddaughter. We took her to California.

Our scheduled flight from Nashville was to have a short stopover in Dallas, and from there we were to fly into Los Angeles. The weather was fine in Nashville and Los Angeles; however, Dallas was under stormy skies, the kinds much too serious for aircraft to encounter.

The 13-year-old granddaughter, who had never flown before, and who had never been in either Texas or California, was excited to board the plane and get the trip underway. We sat with our carry-on bags in the terminal and discussed plans we had for the trip. Those were grand plans!

The weather in Dallas didn’t invite us to come on over that day. After a series of delays during five hours of waiting, the flight was eventually cancelled.

In the first page of her travel journal, our young companion wrote: “I was super excited for the flight, but we never got to fly, which was kinda disappointing. Today we just waited and waited for something that never actually came.”

So we spent the first night of our California trip in Tennessee.

Her journal entry from the next day indicated the trip was finally getting close to becoming quite grand. “Today was the day!” she wrote. “We actually got to fly. We got up around 3 AM because our flight was leaving at 6. At first, I was a little nervous, but everything turned out great.”

She was impressed with her California hotel room, and especially the view from the large 12th floor window that featured the busy city life below and the mountains far off in the distance. “I think it’s cool to look out and see a whole different place and a whole different life. It’s just cool to sit here and relax and think. I don’t usually have enough time to do that back home, so that’s why this trip is going to be a good one.”

Originally, we may have spent hours waiting for our trip to get underway, but with an express pass, we avoided waiting in long lines for attractions at Universal Studios Hollywood. At that major working movie studio, we got a behind-the-scenes look at what we’d seen on screen. We passed by the infamous Bates Motel, had an encounter with Jaws, and were in the middle of crashes and a flash flood. It was all in grand fun.

Our granddaughter enjoyed seeing the sets from some of her favorite movies. “It was amazing to see how they changed the same set for something else,” she reported in her journal. “I really liked the studio tour. My favorite show was WaterWorld.”

We agreed. The stunts were incredible—even more exciting in person than in the movies. WaterWorld, with its pyrotechnic effects and explosive action, was a grand adventure for the teenager and for the grandparents, as well.

During another day of our California visit, we took a train to San Diego. There we had a “trolley good time” touring the town.

“I learned a lot about San Diego” she remarked about a day long trip throughout the area. We especially enjoyed stops in Old Town and Coronado.

Sea World provided another day of activities while in San Diego. “I was super excited to go to Sea World. I saw dolphins, whales, sting rays, otters, penguins, and many other sea creatures.” She was amazed by the huge size of the walruses, and she was entertained by several of the shows.

It became a grand journey the three of us enjoyed, in spite of our sluggish start.