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Friday, August 10, 2012

Back from Vacation.

I feel like my writing mojo is completely gone. I have started, and deleted, a start to this twice. This is my third attempt and I'm hoping brutal honesty in regards to my shortcomings today will spark a little creativity, a little pizzazz, a little oomph.

I guess if I'm talking about food and making sexual euphemisms, I'm a goddamn genius. If I'm trying to write about a family vacation, I'm a moron.

Last Thursday we left for a week long vacation, visiting Todd's uncle Steve and his fabulous wife, Chris. Their house is gorgeous, in Point Loma on the tippy-top of a hill, with a big flat back yard and a great ocean view of downtown San Diego. The first two days I struggled enormously with jealousy over the weather and beautiful environment. Point Loma is extremely charming, with steep hills, cute store fronts and an amazing diversity in architectures. I love that about the area. Usually in neighborhoods you see a theme in housing structures. Usually the same architect will have designed several of the houses, but not in PL. Every house stands out, and every house is charming. The landscaping is gorgeous. The breezes are actually cool, even in August. Birds chirp. Roses bloom and their fragrance wafts to and fro, hitting you 10 feet away from the actual flower. It's intoxicating, the beauty.

Then you get on the freeway and the rose's perfume, once heady, dissolves into a palpable fury as a sign informs you that it will take, on average, 60 minutes to drive the last 30 miles of your trip. Traffic comes to a complete standstill. It's only 10:30am on a Tuesday. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE. WHAT DID I DO TO ANGER GOD SO HORRIBLY


1. Alexandra knows about planes but on this trip she learned about helicopters too. I take that back. She's known about them but has never really shown an interest in them. But since the poor little thing was stuck in a car for a large part of the trip (oh Long Beach, you were so ugly, and the drive took 4.5 hours of my life), looking out the window was a major source of entertainment, and for some reason there are a crap load of helicopters in southern California.

Alex calls them "colla-hoppers" which is SO ADORABLE I could punch myself, happily, in the face, all day long. COLLA HOPPER DADA! COLLA HOPPER, MAMA! COLLA HOPPER!!


2. Patton. Oh, Patton. Did I mention we took him with us? Steve and Chris were so sweet to let us bring him, except that Todd forgot to notify them that we were bringing him since a year ago they told us next time we visit, we should bring Patton since he and Ivan (their labrador) get along like a house on fire. So of course we get there and Chris is like "Oh, you brought Patton? We didn't... we didn't know.. We're dog sitting right now." Yay! We're stupid assholes! Of course, they were extremely gracious and accepting and so from Thursday to Saturday night, there were three big idiot dogs gamboling about and drooling on each other and fighting for control of Who Gets To Boss The Door which, of course, went to 100lb Patton.

ANYWAYS. The thing that stands out most about Mr P-Man is his dedication and loyalty, that out-shone the brightest star ever when we went to the dog beach on Coronado Island which is not an island at all but should be considering how fucking expensive it is to live there. "We can't help it, we're an island! It's all about imports here! That will be $11 for your latte!" (I don't actually drink lattes and never had that conversation but I KNOW IT EXISTS).

Goddammit, I can't stay on track, and I'm not even drunk. OKAY so Patton! We went to the dog beach and Patton, having never been to the ocean before, expertly concealed the fact that his mind was utterly blown (it had to have been right?), by instantly leaping into the water to try and steal everyone else's tennis ball. He then proceeded to steal, and promptly deflate, a little blow up ball that a TODDLER was playing with.

Thanks, asshole! The boy's dad was super sweet and hey, we're at a dog beach. Balls are an endagered species here. But then, Patton does it again, this time stealing a volleyball from a pack of adults who were juuuuust about to play soccer with it or something. The look on the woman's face as Patton snaps his huge fuckface jaws on her ball, the pop sound of the ball deflating, very audible over the roaring ocean, was so humiliating, and I just... Ugh. They were really kind about it, letting me know it was only a $2.50 ball from Albertson's, that it was no big deal, and if I wanted I could keep the dead ball. Which Patton did, actually, for the remainder of the day.

Apparently it quenched his thirst for ball carnage, and we got down to some epic fetching. That dog, who had never before seen the ocean, took off headlong into waves and oncoming surf to get that damn deflated ball (which we named Wilson, naturally). Another German shepherd was there, apparently to demonstrate to Patton how annoying German shepherds are when they want to herd someone, but Patton was unfazed by him. Darting in and out of crowds, around that stupid dog, into the ocean he went, over and over and over again.

I know he was exhausted when Todd and I decided to go swim, but here is the whole point of me bringing up Patton (except all the complaining I just did): he didn't leave us. Ever. The surf came in, the water deepened, bringing him up off his feet, but still he stayed by our sides, determined to bring us to shore safely, utterly convinced we were all going to die a watery, salty death. Todd went out farther and it was all I could do to keep that dog from following. "Noooo dad, nooo! Come baaack!" All with Wilson firmly clamped in his jaws.

I love that dog. I wanted to beat the shit out of him last night when he was barking furiously at a neighbor he both knows and utterly adores, but I just kept the image of a soaked Patton, dog paddling furiously, ears down from either the wet or the injustice of it all, deflated volleyball in his jaws, and a look of determination and absolutel adoration in his sweet puppy eyes.

3. Sea World has turkey legs now! They were delicious! And there is this game there? Where you like, do skee ball sort of, to make your little Shamu race to the finish line? And when I was 12, visiting there with my dad, I won the game like 10 times and won 10 little shamus? YEAH. I STILL OWN THAT FUCKING GAME. Alex has a big old Shamu now.

Todd also kicked some major ass at the frog game, where you hit the mallet and send the frog flying into a lily pad. Alex now has two froggies.

I don't know what else to say about Sea World except two year olds on no naps and slathered in sunblock really couldn't give two shits about Elmo's Bay of Play. The Cirque de la Mer is a clusterfuck to her. The Arctic Circle and Penguins were rad, and it was nice to pick up a starfish, but that's not worth over $100 for tickets (we even got $40 off with a coupon). So I don't know. I'm not taking her back until she's at least six or has a part time job to help cover expenses. Our lunch, of two turkey legs, two ears of corn and two Buds was fifty fucking dollars. Thank God I started hooking on the side, right!

4. Alexandra loved the beach. We got her all jazzed up, before we left home, while packing. She started putting Ha Ha and Elmo into purses and bags and would say "Get ready. Go to the BEACH" which was adorable. But then when we got there she was all hell NO I do not like sand in my gladiator sandals SO PICK ME UP despite the cooler, purse, bag of towels and chairs we were carrying. But then, Todd got her interested in burying her feet in the sand and then popping them up. Then we got her super into getting her legs and torso dunked into the surf after a wave came rolling in, and then, miracle of MIRACLES, Todd got her all into running along the shoreline which, you guys? In a cute little swimsuit and her hair in a high ponytail? I was done, it was so cute. Just done.

The day we spent, the three of us, at the beach in Del Mar was idyllic. The sun was out and the weather was super warm, the water wasn't too cold, I conquered my fear of waves (just don't ask, ok) and enjoyed myself even though later Todd told me he saw a sand shark, Alex had fun, we had fun, it was just fun. Fun fun fun. No pictures though! Hey moron!

God this post is so long. I'm pretty tan now! I ate a lot of delicious sea food and had one hell of a martini at The Brigantine. I bought over $100 in books at Bookstar. Ummm. That's it.

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