Monday, July 10, 2006

Finally, details and pics!

Good grief, I've been working on this damn post all freakin' week! I'm sure you're thinking c'mon already, we want details!! Okay, okay, here goes... ;D

Disneyland and California Adventure Park were awesome! Here's a pic of the view from our hotel room which overlooked California Adventure park (the two parks are right next to each other). Can't beat that for a view, huh? It was amazing and seeing it again only reminds me of my immense gratitude for being afforded this incredible opportunity. Em is now, officially, the roller coaster queen! Which is incredible all on it's own knowing her intense fear of heights and of the unknown. But she was a real trooper, trying things I never thought she would, and being so darn brave! Can ya tell I was proud?! We also went on our very first upsidedown roller coaster too. Yes, we, meaning I've never been on one that goes upsidedown either, and for good reason I might add! The thought scars the shit outta me! But since she was being so brave I figured I could do it too. WTF was I thinking?! But I couldn't get showed up by an 8 year old, now could I? Seriously though, it wasn't that bad. In fact, the upsidedown part wasn't nearly as unbearable as I'd envisioned it to be. Quite smooth actually, and really no big deal. What really got me were the ups and downs and intense drops, but hey, at least I tried it, and now I know what to expect so I can quit being such a freakin' fraidy cat all the time! Jilly, Sandi, I'm sure you recall my reaction to the idea of riding those stupid swings at Navy Pier. But I did it, white knuckles and all. And now this, yup, I'd say that's progress! Anyway, here's a few more pics, just cause.

That giraffe is made of freakin' Legos if you can believe it! Simply amazing!

And the one with Goofy is from the hotel lobby. These others are from the hotel as well, they had characters at breakfast each morning. I didn't really think to take any pics from inside the parks, as we were so darn busy and it just never occurred to me.

Just a side note here; Em almost immediately latched on to my stepdad- Grandpa Mark. She was verrrrry taken with him. Wanting only to hold his hand or sit by him where ever we went. Which seemed to suit him just fine! I certainly couldn't blame her though, I mean wow, a father figure who doesn't yell, get impatient, or make her feel incomplete or never quite good enough. One who pays real attention to her and makes her feel special because she is, not because he has own agenda. Gee, isn't that every little girl's dream? In fact, at one point, she pulled me aside to say that whe wants Grandpa Mark to be her daddy, and that I should marry him. Oy vey! It took some convincing before she finally accepted that her genius master plan was simply not an option.

Anyway, after a few exhausting days of riding rides and not seeing near all that the magical kingdom has to offer (is that even possible?) we flew back home to the Bay Area. But not before sharing a wonderful meal with my cousin and her SO, who just so happen to live in the area. We went to a fantastic BBQ place where Em ordered ribs and ended up looking like this:

Saturday was spent recuperating from all the excitement and visiting with family. We hooked up with my lovely Aunt Sandy and my youngest cousin for a lunch date with my grandma (the dirty jokester). It was a very nice time except for my grandma's yappy little dog who scared the crap outta Em. Sunday was a fabulous day spent out on the bay in Grandpa Mark's boat, where Em discovered her need for speed as he allowed her to motor in the clear, open waters. (pics, hopefully, soon to come!) Yowsa, what are the teen years gonna be like when she discovers driving?! Let's not go there, shall we? Monday was yet another action packed day spent at the cool, foggy beach in Half Moon Bay with just Em and I and Grandma Jan, (my mom) as Grandpa Mark's vacation time was spent and needed to get back to work. Now, just so you know, these are chilly beaches, not for sun worshipers, so I assumed that Em would merely wet her feet in the too cold for swimming waters, thus only thinking to throw a pair of sweats into our bag for her as an afterthought. So what do I get for ass-u-me-ing you ask? A soaked through, wet sand covered, cold little girl without a sufficient change of clothes, that's what! Luckily, there just happened to be an extra pair of her panties in the bag, so she was able to change into those and the sweats, and just had to wear her light jacket over a bear chest on the way back. Oy vey! BTW, she's not freaking out in the pic, she's just pretending the waves are chasing her and trying to swallow her whole. And the hooded lady there with her is the one and only, Grandma Jan.

Tuesday was an incredible tour of PIXAR with Grandpa Mark, and Grandma Jan too, of course. I have to say, I expected this place to be amazing, but quite honestly, it blew me away! The creative geniuses who work there, and their imaginative sense of fun and style, (most evidently seen through the decoration of their whimsical offices) was unlike anything I've ever encountered. Unfortunately, Em developed some tummy problems, so we cut the tour a bit short and headed back home for a little R&R. Wednesday was going to be spent in San Francisco and Pier 39, but we decided to reschedule due to Em's still uneasy tummy. So Wednesday and Thursday were more quietly spent hanging about the house. So I took the opportunity to enjoy a little nostalgia by walking over to my old elementary school where we played on the playground and soaked up yet more of the beautiful weather. And we also went to see Cars one evening, which the previous day's PIXAR tour only made that much better. Seriously, this place is amazing! I'd love to tell you more, but then I'd have to kill ya- verrrrry top secret! Shhhhhhh! ;D The above pic is from the lobby, and the only one I was technically "allowed" to take as stated by various signs posted throughout the facility.

Anyway, Friday ended up being the San Fran day with Grandma Jan, Aunt Sandy and two of my cousins. Grandpa Mark met up with us at Pier 39 later in the day after knocking off early. It was a gorgeous day and we were generously treated to some actual sunshine, which is quite a rarity out on the pier. Just get a load of the bright blue sky, WOW! (BTW, that's me there with Em, for those who've not yet actually seen me. Still not too big on having my picture taken, and tend to avoid it at all costs, but here ya go.) We did a lot of walking and shopping and managed to catch the act of a street performer doing his juggling thang. We also made sure to stop in at one of my favorite childhood fat girl stores; Chocolate Heaven (need I elaborate? The name says it all). And I even found an insanely cheap souvenir shop up on the second level, where Em and I loaded up on a whole lotta useless touristy crap. Later that night, it being my uncle's actual birthday, although a planned celebration wasn't scheduled until the following day, we all went out for the most fru fru dining experience I've ever encountered. You know the type, where each dish looks more like a piece of art rather than the delicious meal that it just so happens to be. I have to say, it was kinda cool. Not my typical fare, of course, but an awesome experience just the same.

Saturday, we went to a local farmer's market to gather fixin's for the salad we intended to bring to my uncle's big 60th. b-day party. Then we checked out some new, local model homes. You know, where they decorate to the nines and open them up to the public for viewing in the hopes of selling. No reason for looking, we've just always liked doing it. And lemme tell ya, these things were ridiculous; well over a million dollars, dinky bedrooms with tiny closets and almost no backyards to speak of, aaaaaaand within spittin' distance of the train tracks to boot! I mean c'mon people, a million freakin' bucks?! You've got to be kidding me! After that, we picked up a few more things from the grocery store, including a lottery ticket and a few scratch offs. Awwww, you know I couldn't resist! No luck, of course, but I just had to try! Then we headed over to my Aunt and Uncle's house for the big party. My Grandma made lasagna; best damn lasagna I've ever tasted too, and no secret why my uncle requested it! And Em made it her mission to be the life of the party, which is just the way she likes it; all eyes on her (as long as she's comfortable with the company that is). Those pics hopefully soon to come as well. Anyway, we stayed too late, but it was loads of fun. It was so nice to have the chance to enjoy the type of close knit family gatherings that were the norm of my childhood there in CA. The ones that I'm now realizing I've so desperately missed. And Sunday was pretty much spent flying back home. The goodbyes were unexpectedly hard, especially for Em, and we both were left feeling that it was over way too soon.

There was so much more of course, but I can't possibly write it all down, in this one post. Like how Em was made famous on her first ever flight on JetBlue (let's just say, it's good to have connections!), or what it was like seeing my, now fully grown and simply gorgeous stepsisters and cousins (good lord, where has the time gone?) And of course, my beloved Aunt Sandy who's become such an integral part of my online life here in recent months. But I'm sure more will come (along with more pics as well) as I fondly recall one of the very best, and most desperately needed and appreciated experiences I've had in such a very long time. It's weird to be back, but we're settling in, and enduring the godforsaken heat- ug! Now, I just hope to get back to more regular posting, as I have sooooo much other juicy stuff to talk about! But for now, all that'll have to wait, or I just may never get this damn thing finished!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sure sounds like you and Em had a wonderful trip. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could all "live" on "vacation".


10:51 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Sandy said...

I am so glad you and Em had a good time. We loved seeing you and the invitation is always open. Come often come back soon. We miss you already.
Hugs and more hugs

12:26 PM  
Blogger Luflic said...

Great to hear! Glad you are back.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

You can tell you had a good time. Glad to hear it was refreshing. I see that Em did hug the characters. ;)

9:37 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Well it's about time,lady! I've been checking your site every day!!!

Looks like you had a GRAND time! And now I finally know what you look like! What a beautiful woman, inside and out.

3:33 PM  

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