Sunday, October 4, 2009

Here and there and there and here

Hi. Yeah, I'm here, I'm here and I'm home and I'm wearing warm clothes and taking long naps and eating yummy food and seeing friends and family.

This is day 5 of a 15 day trip, and we are doing just swell.

Day 1 was spent protesting school closures in the morning, then packing, walking to schools to pick up the kids, catching a ride to the airport, flying to Seattle, hopping an over-crowded shuttle to the Best Western, and trying to fall asleep hungry, because everything was closed by the time we realized we had skipped dinner.

Day 2 broke with a free breakfast buffet at the motel that was seriously, like, the nicest free buffet I have ever seen. It involved waffle irons and texas toast and granola and yogurt and was just a reminder that I was in Seattle, the coolest city ever. The rest of the day was a whirlwind of traveling, from Seattle to Long Beach, from Long Beach to LA, from the hotel to my cousin's house, from my cousin's house back to the hotel.

The drive from the airport to the hotel was a white-knuckle Los Angeles freeway affair, with the children taking a vow of silence until I found the place we were staying, which had a sign that was so cool that I couldn't find it. It actually had two - one was projected in small print onto the side of the building, the other was about 100 yards from the actual building, upside down, and not really a "hotel" style sign. I just never even saw that one at all until we had already been and gone several times. After driving around in circles for 30 minutes, I finally figured it all out, pulled into the lot through the exit, and practically threw the keys at the valet.

This was a hopelessly hip downtown hotel,  with a happening bar scene and waterbed pods around the rooftop pool, and retro decor and glass showers in the middle of the guest rooms. The kids were thrilled, I was more realistic about how I was going to have to take a shower with them sitting on the bed watching me through the glass wall. But it couldn't be helped, it was going to happen eventually and I just needed to get over it. Throwing caution to the wind, we changed into our swimsuits and headed skyward to check out those pods and scare some of the beautiful people. Mission accomplished in about 3.2 seconds, which was how long it took the pool attendant to snatch up the menus and inform us that they weren't serving food anymore. My kids weren't fazed, they happily leaped about on the waterbeds, shrieking and rolling and running in circles, while I pretended that they came with someone else. As I debated ardering room service and having them deliver it to the roof, the phone rang with a better invitation and we jumped back in the elevator and headed down to the lobby. As we stood there, on the side of the very busy city street, I glanced at the kids and had a sudden, horrible revelation. We were all standing there in our bathing suits.

Max had on a pair of Converse hightops - no socks - and a wet swimsuit. Lucy had on a swimsuit, and a pair of maryjanes. I had on some ballet slippers and a completely inappropriate beach cover up. It was quite a sight. We were only out there for a minute or three - enough time to scare some metro-suxuals (not a typo) who were totally appalled by, well, our very existance. 'Cause they suck.

We were swept away to an apartment that was just the epitome of LA cool, but without the attitude of the hotel. Let me put it this way.....Johnny Depp lives in the penthouse. There is a rooftop pool (that didn't smell like wet sneakers) and this one had a bonus not found at the hotel - a jacuzzi. They have zebra rugs in the lobby, and lots of fun elevators, and underground parking - the better to evade the paparazzi which I was sure were on our tail. It was a glamorous life that was fun to visit, but at the same time reminded me that I am Just Not an LA Kind of Girl. I would stand out there, like I did in junior high, as awkward and over-eager. SO I tried to rein it in and not humiliate myself, which was a challenge. Because the way I was in junior high is pretty much the way I AM. A complete and total spazz who talks too much and tries too hard. But oh, it was lovely to pretend for a while that I could ever be that cool. We had a lovely dinner with family and then headed back to the hotel for a late night room service binge, some exhibition showering, and bed.

Day 3 was Disneyland, which was, well, Disney. There are a lot of people in this country that find Disney Quite Exciting. I am not one of them. I will try to work up some excitement about it, and then report back. So kids, put on your Mickey Mouse ears and tune in tomorrow.

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