Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Birthday, and other good things

Yes, we spent a week and a half in sunny Southern California, and yes, it happened to coincide with our seventh(!) anniversary and my birthday. Perfectly glorious weather, old friends who are still good friends, the beach, the Mouse. Heaven.

Oh, and murderous traffic on the 5 (and the 405 and the 110 and the 101 and the 10). We snagged a bright blue Prius from the rental agency to mitigate the gas costs, but there's no mitigating the time on the freeway with two peevish children. I remember L.A. having bad traffic. Really. I think it's just easier to handle without squirming and fussing in the back seat, especially if I can't hear the urban music mix on KCRW over the fussing. And with a sunroof. I definitely miss my sunroof.

Beth and Sarah have new buddies, thanks to my oh-so-considerate friends who have kids just their age. We got to see Allison & Chris's fabulous house (especially fabulous because Chris did all the work himself, and they lived with his parents for 18 months while he was doing it). Awfully cute to see Beth and Annelise walk to their Moonbeam class holding hands. Lisa and I took all of our kids to the beach and to Downtown Disney and they got along beautifully while the two of us talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. Beth and Benjamin really hit it off:

We spent time with some friends from ages and ages ago — dinner with Ashley up by her work in Burbank, and with her parents and sister and brother-in-law on the beach in San Diego. All of which was lovely, and easy (once we got through the traffic), and felt very familiar. Beth had no interest in the waves and was perfectly content to sit and chat with Gary and Nicole and Mike, who were just as content to sit and chat with her.

On our anniversary Lisa had planned to host a dinner party, and to that end she invited a bunch of friends from our L.A. 1st days, and at the last minute she had puking kids (not conducive to a good dining experience) and the lovely and talented Dora-chan stepped in and took over. And then she blogged about it, and I'm surprised and touched by her Xenocide reference, because it's a part of the book that really speaks to me, and something I've had in the back of my mind as I try to put together this little family of ours.

My birthday involved me packing the girls into the Prius, driving up the 5, and spending the morning in the L.A. fashion district — reminder of the times when I lived close enough to walk there (and no, it's not as bad as you think). All three of us now have Ugg knockoffs to keep our toes warm this winter, and I have a faux Coach bag, and the girls have frou-frou fancy dresses for next Easter. Beth kept asking, "Mommy, why are you talking Spanish?" and I didn't have an extremely good answer for her. (Um, it's easier?) And then I happened to meet an Orthodox Jew from Buenos Aires who was sightseeing and wanted to see the "real" L.A. Delightful man, fun chat; he wanted to see something a little more historic, so I pointed him toward Olvera Street. I hope he enjoyed his visit.

We drove west, had lunch and saw a movie (the American Girl one, which was cute) and then Beth threw up her Jamba Juice in the car on our way home. So there I was in south-central L.A. with a half-naked kid on the sidewalk and a bag of baby wipes, cleaning off the car seat, and if there's a Mom Olympics there has GOT to be a good start value for that event. I was still in a pretty good mood, though, and Beth is none the worse for wear.

If I can't live there, this is the kind of vacation I want: somewhere with palm trees and sun and old friends and interesting people and lots of kidlets running around and enjoying some good chaos.


Stacee Maree said...

it made me nervous reading that post because I can't imagine take furrlings into LA for a shopping trip, but then again I have only ever been there in a tour bus with a bunch of recently graduated seniors. so what do I know?

Ashley said...

That beach picture is adorable!