I went up to my step-sister's in Auburn to celebrate her birthday. All my step-sisters and my step-brother from that side of the family were there, as well as their natural father. It's interesting to see their father, and my father, both once married to their mother, sitting together and talking about whatever. It's a little surreal, really. Anyway, they get along ok, and the kids love them both, so it's all good.
It has been nice to get reconnected with this side of my family after a really long time of not being close. Not just my dad--it's good to connect with my step-siblings as well, especially Holly, whose house we were at. She's closer to my dad than anyone, and has worked hard to get him and me together again.
I showed them my trip pictures and my dad asked all about Heidelberg. He remembered the old bridge and the castle, and wondered if I had seen the bar he used to hang out at. I laughed and asked where it was. He offered that he was always too drunk to remember.
While they were preparing dinner, I stepped out into the back and watched the sun set. They live up on a hill with a nice view of the Sacramento Valley. It was pretty clear, in spite of the many little controlled burns happening below.
We had a delicious vegetable lasagne with garlic bread and salad for dinner. We followed that with birthday cake for Holly, and a toast to the family.