Sunday, May 8, 2011

so-cal spectacular!

4. Drive the PCH and make good on my promise to the Cali girls. - DONE! 
So, 45 years ago when I last updated this blog about our Cali trip (hardy har har...) Sadie and I had just left DisneyLAND (I keep getting reprimanded for accidentally calling it DisneyWorld...I know the difference, Melissa!!!!) and we were headed south to visit some very special friends of mine.

Jess lives in Southern California just a bit outside San Diego and she is one of the original Pumpkin Pies, meaning that I've "known" her since I was pregnant with Sadira.  I say "known" because although we have never met in person, we had shared ridiculously personal details with one another over the course of our pregnancies...(ummm, hellloo, do all of YOUR friends know about the condition of your cervix?  I think not.)  Besides having children the same age, Jess is just basically AWESOME.  Fun loving, sweet, carefree, kinda, a fantastic mom, AWESOME.

We arrived at her home after a long day at DisneyLAND and were welcomed with open arms. After some hugs and a quick bite to eat, the kids hit if off.  I love that about children.  They're so welcoming and excited when they meet new kids their age...why can't that extend into the teen years?!?!

Watching a movie:

Jumping on the air mattress:

I mean, seriously, look at this.  If this isn't love at first sight, I don't know what is!

One of my favorite moments at Jess's house was when her son Gavin, asked me how old I was.  I told him I was twenty-nine.  His response was priceless, "Oh, that means you're two years older than my mom, she's 27."  I glanced over at Jess, who was grinning like a Cheshire cat.  "Twenty-seven, huh Jess?"  I knew for a fact Jess was older than me...not by much, but knew she had already celebrated her 30th a few years before.  Jess shares a bday with my sister Neda, AND I just happen to have a freakish ability to remember birthdays.  I'm like Rainman in that respect.  Jess confessed that has convinced her eldest child that she is actually several years younger than she really is.  Brilliant, that woman, BRILLIANT, I tell you.

The next morning we were on the road, headed south to visit with my friend Steph (another from my Mommy group) and her adorable son, Evan.  Steph seriously took CARE of us.  We met at her house, ready to spend the day exploring San Diego, and she already had snack bags packed and ready for us.  Note to all, you can win my child over in seconds if you come prepared with snacks...just ask my friend Sarah.

The weather was beautiful and we stopped for some delicious burgers before driving around and exploring the greater San Diego area.  One of my favorite spots was La Jolla Cove.  I loved the seals, and the view was gorgeous.  Sadira was in a rotten mood, but again, she's three, so it's to be expected occasionally.

Me, Steph and Evan:

We had a great, relaxing day driving around seeing San Diego.  I even scouted out some sailboats and considered testing out my recently acquired sailing skills.

At one point near the end of the day, both of the kiddos had fallen asleep in the car and Steph and I were chatting nonstop.  Next thing I hear, Steph says, "and if you take this road, for about 18 miles or so, you'll end of up in Tijuana."

That's when the conversation got interesting.

Me: "Wow, that's crazy!"
Steph:  "Yeah, it's really weird at the border, because there is this outlet mall.  Not what you expect at the Mexico border."
Me: "No, not at all.  That would be fun to see."


Steph: "Ya know, if you wanted to go, I'd be game for it.."
Me: "Nah, that's silly, I don't need to see Tijuana."


Me: "But it would be interesting.."
Steph: "It would..."

More silence.

Me: "I bet it's drastically different from the Canadian border...I've been there."
Steph: "Oh yeah, it's much different."


Steph: "And the kids are still sleeping.."
Me: "Okay, let's go!"

And so we went.  Giggling the entire way, talking in hushed whispers like we were really doing something BAD.  Of course we didn't actually CROSS THE BORDER.  That would be idiotic, what with a RENTAL car, and TWO SLEEPING CHILDREN.

But we did drive right into that shopping center, pretend to climb fences (the fence around the shopping center, not THAT fence..) spied out Border Control, and overall laughed our butts off.

We tried really hard to come up with great story about how we ended up in Tijuana...but we got nothin'.  In reality we drove down to the border and sat in the outlet parking lot.  And Steph bought some discount Bath and Body Works.

When we got back to Steph's house, her awesome husband grilled us up an amazing meal.  We had some wine, talked a bit, and the kiddos had fun playing.  Their home was absolutely beautiful.  I'm sure it's kinda bittersweet for Steph to read that, because they recently re-located from California to Florida, and I know the move was hard for Steph...but at least I hope she knows that even though we were there for a short time, we have awesome memories of visiting at her home.

 That night we returned back to Jess's house, for night two at Casa McLeod.

The next morning, my sweet and talented friend Jennie picked us up bright and early for a photo shoot.  She is a busy Mama to three fabulous boys, so the fact that she could make sometime in her crazy busy weekend schedule for us was worth its weight in gold.  I have no idea how, but she managed to get some absolutely MAGICAL shots of Sadira and I that I will treasure forever.  Not to mention, Sadira gave her about 30 minutes of cooperation, before she decided she was OVER picture taking.  I'm so thrilled that we had the chance to meet, even if it was for a brief time.  THANK YOU, Jennie!

After our photo shoot we returned to Jess's just in time to pack up and begin our two day hike up the coast.  It was very hard saying goodbye and there were lots of tears. I mean honestly, look at these faces...would YOU want to leave them?!

If I had to choose one word to describe our Los Angeles adventure, it would be generosity.   If I had to choose one word to describe our San Diego adventure, it would be hospitality.  I guess southern hospitality also extends to the West Coast!!

Thank you Jess, Steph and Jennie for the awesome memories, and for opening up your homes and schedules for us.  You ladies are gems.


Lindsey said...

I laugh-snorted about "And Steph bought some discount Bath and Body Works." Haha! I'll try and help you two find some illegal fun when you come to GA in a few months!!!!

Jennie M said...

Amazing, just amazing. I only wish we both could have carved out a few extra moments...but we'll get the chance again one day. I just know it. :)

Stephanie said...

Man, it sounds even LAMER when you put it like that. IN MY DEFENSE, the body wash was 75% off, so it was basically like stealing it, right? Anyhoo, it was so much fun spending the day with you and Miss Sadie. Looking forward to more fun in the ATL. Are we still on?

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