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    From Tombstone to the Grave Stone (Outings with Pops!)

    I couldn’t remember the last time I spent any time alone with just my father. Since becoming a parent, the only time we get is with the kids, which is awesome. I used to be my father’s shadow as a kid. I was the only one of his children to want* to accompany him to weekly Bible studies, step in to boring antique stores with him (which I now kind of secretly love), and he’s still the person I call for any kind of advice.

    I can remember those Bible studies when we were new to America. There would be school the next day and my father would have to speak at homes that were over an hour away some times, for no pay, just because he loved it. My mom would stay home with my brother and sister, and I was always attending. My dad is the guy who wants to stop at every historical landmark on a drive, even if it’s a detour and inconvenient for everyone else. It was like, “too bad guys! This is history! We’re going!” There were many eye rolls as children, but I’m pretty sure we all look back at those memories and chuckle to ourselves saying, “wow, glad Pops took us there.” If anything, I wish we were more appreciate, but don’t we all?

    Today was very spontaneous. We had a sitter who loves my children and wanted to be with them for the day.. so I was “stuck” with Dad. We had no plan but we had 5-6 hours to kill. Which brings me to my next point. I started the car after we dropped off the kiddos and said, “So Dad, where do you wanna go?” We pulled over after a mile because we didn’t want to just “drive anywhere”. He says, “You know, I think Wyatt Earp is buried somewhere close to here.”

    Growing up in our household meant that we were watching documentaries and Dateline and old westerns and classic movies from the 50’s – 80’s. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen Goodfellas or The Godfather series, but I can* tell you I watched them at the tender age of six. See, it’s not like nowadays when EVERYTHING revolves around the kids in the room and their sensitivities and their needs. No way. If the scene was graphic, there was no such thing as “Honey, change the channel!” Instead, it was, “Kids, close your eyes!” Yes, indeed I am from that generation that is dying off where the father runs the household. I look at life these days and I see how there is just no way that a father could sit and watch Game of Thrones with children around.. unless you visit my Dad’s place… then it’s ADULTS first. You know, a lot can argue with this type of method, but heck, I wanna say I turned out pretty “normal”…? 😉

    One of my father’s favorite genres of movies was old westerns. If a John Wayne film was on, we were watching it. We know that one of his FAVORITES was Tombstone and Wyatt Earp (both about Wyatt Earp) – Tombstone starred Kurt Russel (Wyatt Earp) and Val Kilmer (Doc Holiday), while Wyatt Earp starred Kevin Costner and Dennis Quaid. My dad would always say he preferred the cast in Tombstone… every single time. But it didn’t matter – we watched both.

    In 2002, when I was getting my permit for driving, my father, sister and I took a road trip to Arizona and New Mexico, then back through the Grand Canyon and then San Diego. We were supposed to just go to New Mexico to meet with family, but my dad DETOURED us to Arizona to stay at Tombstone for a few days. I don’t think Becca and I will ever forget this. At the time the trip was a dud with some parts – because well, two teenage girls at the O.K. Corral .. it just wasn’t our thing, but Dad planned the trip and we were there for the ride. I am so grateful now for these stops that my dad made growing up. Stopping to take in history is never a bad idea folks, just to make that clear.

    From Tombstone to the grave, we finally saw the resting place of one of his favorite historical figures/legends. I’ll admit, with as many times as I’ve seen the movies, I kinda wanna see them again. I know with Dad it’s not just an adventure, it’s a lesson. I hope to spend many more days like this. Some times we forget how short life really is. My last trip and time with my father was over 14 years ago and it seems like yesterday? Folks.. let’s go back to what’s important in life. FAMILY. TIME with family. Even if it includes detours. 😉

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    ^That face you give your Dad when he makes you smile by a gravestone of someone you’ve never met.

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    ^We then set off to the city to enjoy our favorite Chinese restaurant and the famous dried chicken wings… SAN TUNGS. (On Irving Street)

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    ^I will never stop raving about these chicken wings.

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    ^One of Dad’s favorite shops is Polo. The one on Fillmore street is one of his favorites because of the layout and options. Of course I am used to waiting on him for over an hour decide on whether or not he wants a pair of boots.

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    ^Ahhh.. the search for Kimonos and rummaging through Japanese shops on Irving. In the shot below my father told me to look over so he can capture how thrilled I was to watch him shop. 😀

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    ^Fun fact: my father took more than half the images on this post. He’s my mentor, after all!

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    ^This is the look I give when you only have 0.3 seconds to get the photo right because I there are people passing by and my anxiety just went up.

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    ^walked off the chicken wings and took in some glorious views. Something about light rain on days like this, colors seem to just scream out at you and you cannot help but notice.

    All content and images copyright TheSisterFiles©2016 and cannot be used without expressed permission.

    Photography by: Ricardo Soriano and Talia Cruz

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