Friday, September 14, 2012

L.A. Story (hold the L.A., easy on the story).

Sometimes I come up with a title for a post long before I actually sit down to write it. Or, in this case, before I even experience it.

While I was packing and preparing for our family's trip to the golden coast last week, my mind was dutifully making sure I didn't neglect my blog:

"I'll have to post something before we leave, otherwise it will be way too long between posts. Hmmm, maybe something about the trip or the family reunion? No, I can do all that in one post when I get back. I'll call it L.A. story! Perfect. I guess I could write about the Rosetta Stone thing really quick. Although, is that too many Liam posts back-to-back? Too much about homeschooling? Hmm, what else could I write about? Oh, forget it. If I don't just do it right now, I'll run out of time. Something is better than nothing..."

Insane, right?

Anyway, I'm glad I wrote the Rosetta Stone piece because that's what my editor chose for this week's column in The Tennessean. Perfecto!

As for my L.A. story, there were several times on our trip that I realized that title would really not work at all. For one, we never spent any time in L.A. at all. We didn't even fly in there! Much to our surprise, we flew in and out of Orange County. (Don't judge, but much like I pulled the trigger on purchasing Rosetta Stone after a pool party, we booked our flights to California after date night. When we hopped on the computer to check in, we were like, 'Why Orange County? A layover in Las Vegas? Seriously!? But why? There are so many direct flights! Who's in charge here...?' But when you have to cough up money for FOUR plane tickets across the country, a few glasses of wine really does make the transaction a whole lot less painful...)

We stayed in Manhattan Beach with my most favorite cousin Kelly in her adorably perfect beach house. Liam and Finn fell hard for her and Liam spent the second half of the flight home last night crying about how much he missed her. In all fairness, she is pretty spectacular. I probably would have cried too if I wasn't so consumed with the loud, wriggly toddler in the seat next to me (and by me I mean Bill because it was his turn to sit next to the boys on the long leg home...).























We drove to Orange County a few times to see my parents and aunts and uncles (and a few dozen "cousins" I'd never met before) for our family reunion (hold the "re"). I loved swimming with my boys in my aunt and uncle's pool and watching them run around the same backyard my sister and I ran around as kids. It was great to see family and I was glad we could represent our little branch of the family tree.







We spent one very full day at Disneyland, which, if you read my post about Disney World, is probably making you scratch your head and say, "Wow, she really is insane..." But it was completely different, I swear. Bill had a meeting on the property (how cool is it that people actually work there?) and his client generously comped us tickets. How could we possibly say no! The weather was beautiful, it wasn't very crowded, and since we had just been there, there was no pressure to knock it out of the park. I feel like it healed me (kinda like how my 2nd birth helped me get over my first...) and I will now stop trash talking the Disney experience (although if you can get free tickets in California, that really is the way to go...).












What started out as an obligatory trip to see family (or an "oblication" as my clever neighbor once called it), turned out to be an honest to goodness vacation. We walked to the beach every day, took turns sleeping in, ate out at restaurants (some with kids' menus and balloon artists, some blissfully without), spent time with friends, rode beach cruisers (from Manhattan Beach where we were staying to Redondo Beach for a date!), swam, read, talked, laughed...there may not have been much of a story in it, but it was as good a vacation as I can remember.

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