Category Archives: Travelogue

A Weekend of Wow aka Not So Brief

Let me make this easy for you. TLDR, right here at the top. This one, I’m writing for me. Feel free to read or not read as you see fit, but you have been warned.

My office of 25 has a lot of July babies. The other week, in fact, there were three of us. The guy on Thursday let us know in advance that he was taking off. The guy on Wednesday didn’t let us know in advance and took off anyway. And my birthday was on the weekend, which I suppose meant everyone was off? Dammit, I wanted to have an extra day off too! So I checked in with my boss, made the necessary arrangements, and Honey and I both took Friday off for appropriate celebrations.

Since we had the time and no plans for what to do with it, Honey asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, and with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I said I wanted to go to Disneyland. Without batting an eyelash, he said, “Okay,” and all of a sudden, I found myself planning a trip to the Mouse House. Now, if you have an annual pass, you can just pop over for a few hours, hang out, go on that one ride you love, and call it a day, but if you don’t have a pass (or know someone who is happy to sign you in), you need to Plan Your Day to get maximum effect, because otherwise you get overwhelmed. Continue reading A Weekend of Wow aka Not So Brief

A Visit with the Wolf Pack, Guys, Dolls, and the Go-Gos

Honey and I just got back from a visit with his parents, Wolf and Five up in Oregon. Ironically, just as Los Angeles started to cool off from our yucky heat wave, we headed up to a part of OR that was even hotter than LA had been, but at least it was also humid, so you know, there’s that. But! We got to witness some really dramatic displays of nature, including a thunderstorm that had both bolts and sheet lightning. It was spectacular!

Our first day there was the fourth of July, but Honey and I were so exhausted– we really needed a vacation!– that we didn’t do a whole lot. As I recall, we didn’t even have the energy to go see the fireworks. It sounds dull now, but after the last six months, this was probably the best way we could have spent the day. Honey and I were both excited at the idea of having absolutely nothing to do. We did, however, have a festive barbecue, complete with a visit from Honey’s grandma, Pancakes. It’s funny: every time I see Pancakes, she reminds me so much of my own grandpa– she has the same accent he did. Makes me miss West Virginia a little bit every time.

The next morning, Honey and I woke up early to find a note from Five saying that he had taken Wolf to the hospital in the middle of the night, that he was home now, and to wake him when we woke up. It turns out there had been a bunch of little things that all interacted together to make her pretty sick, but the hospital did a fantastic job of poking, prodding, sticking, and fixing until she was better. And it only took them two nights-ish and a day. Of course we went to visit her, and spent the rest of the day in a dazed mix of concern and exhaustion. But by the next day, Wolf was able to come home, looking and sounding So Much Better, for which we are all very grateful. (And still a little concerned and exhausted.) Continue reading A Visit with the Wolf Pack, Guys, Dolls, and the Go-Gos

The Week of Hosting: The Plan Was to Have Pie

Honey has a friend/former-co-worker– let’s call her Belle– who just got a job at a new company. Also a promotion. Also, she is now directly on her desired career path. This is a fantastic news! The unfortunate part is that she moved to Los Angeles less than a year ago, and all of her family is out of state. Anyone who has ever moved to LA knows just exactly how much of a bitch it is to make friends out here. The place is so spread out. There’s so much to do. And everyone already HAS friends. Angeleno-transplants know this pain. While I know Belle has a couple of friends through work, I wasn’t sure if she had any on the outside yet– you know, someone local to help her raise a glass in celebration of her successes.

So we decided that she needed a proper celebration. But due to timing restrictions on both her part and ours, we realized that it would be easiest for everyone involved for us to get together in the middle of the week, rather than on a weekend. Which meant Planning. Continue reading The Week of Hosting: The Plan Was to Have Pie

The Week of Hosting: The Plan Was To Work on Friday

The wolves-in-law have come and gone.  We are lucky that they live on the same coast as us. (My dad and Darling live in Florida, so it’s much more challenging, both financially and logistically, to get out there to see them.) Even though this visit was short, it was a lot of fun!

Wolf-Mama and Five drove down the coast over the week before, taking care of business as needed, and visiting with friends and loved ones. The plan was that they’d hit LA on Friday, and go visit one of Wolf’s former students, while Honey and I recuperated from a long week at work. Then we’d hang out all day Saturday and Easter Sunday, which also happened to be Wolf’s birthday, and then Monday morning Honey and I would head back to work, and the Wolf Pack would head back up the coast to their home.

Usually, I’m pretty on top of my calendar. By January 1st, I’ve already marked off all of the work holidays for the year. This year has been different, for some reason. I’m just not… motivated, I guess.

So it came as a complete and utter shock to me that I had Good Friday off. (Really? Of all the random holidays… Really? I mean, um, thank you!) Good Friday, it turns out, is the Friday before Easter, and as we’ve discussed, Easter happened to fall on Wolf’s birthday this year. By the time we had figured out that our day off was a day they’d be here, Wolf had already made plans with her student. Which meant that Honey and I actually had an extra day to clean the house rest up from a long-ish week’s work.

That was the plan.

Continue reading The Week of Hosting: The Plan Was To Work on Friday

Awww! Mushy mushy!

Tradition says that if it rains on your wedding day, it’s good luck. I’m not sure if that’s true, or if it’s something comforting to say to a tearful bride as a year’s worth of planning (give or take) literally washes down the drain– unless she was smart enough to plan an indoor wedding, but honestly, who does that in Los Angeles? You know, I mean aside from the weirdos who think it might rain (so unlikely!) on their wedding day. Hush! Don’t look at me in that tone of voice. We’re in a drought! It doesn’t rain here anymore. I’m sure that sounds heavenly to all the folks on the other side of the country, what with all the Weather y’all have been having this winter, but I promise you: water rationing is NOT fun, especially when it affects the food supply for you and half the country.

But back to weddings. One year ago, California was facing a terrible drought. I mean, we still are, but last year was nasty. Seriously, we generally have two seasons: Rain and Summer– and Rain only lasts for a month or two. Well, last year all of the rain for the entire season came down on one day: our wedding day. The waves were huge, the streets were flooded, the children were scared– and Honey and I were saying I do. Continue reading Awww! Mushy mushy!

The Hand I Was Dealt

I generally don’t do holiday cards; I find them tedious, unless I can somehow specialize each card, but those take time I usually don’t have; Decembers are really busy! Rather, I take this time to think of my loved ones, hold them in the highest, most beautiful light I can imagine, and send them waves of love. So, if you’re sitting there at some point, minding your own business, and a wave of love hits you out of the blue, it was me, sending you an ether-card.

But the draw-back to not doing cards is that I don’t usually send out a year in review thing. I don’t generally write mine up, but I do two a year: one in July and one in December. Back at my birthday, I was riding pretty high. I had figured out my last personal year (birthday to birthday): the end of 2013 had laid out quite a few personal challenges for me all at once, and the beginning of 2014 laid out the solutions for pretty much all of them. It was really rough going, but I survived. I feel like that was the year of Jumping The Hurdles. So now I’m trying to see where the arbitrary time-span of 2014 has taken me; what is the name of 2014? Continue reading The Hand I Was Dealt

Impressions of a trip to New York: A Flashmob Wedding

The wedding festivities started a day early for us. We had been invited to a henna and games party the day before; it was an opportunity for families to mingle, for out of town guests to meet each other and/or give warm hugs to old friends. And play games. 🙂

Honey and I got settled in, playing many of the games that were available. We made some lovely new friends, too, as we told short stories during Dixit, traded oil for rice in Pit, and decided whether garbage bags were invented before or after the photocopier in Timeline. (After. Who knew?) Sadly, we couldn’t bring Honey’s game that’s about to be published, but that’s because Honey left his last copy with the publisher on the day he signed. Oh, well. Continue reading Impressions of a trip to New York: A Flashmob Wedding

Impressions of a trip to New York: Preproduction

Travel Preproduction, Part I: Procrastination Phase
Begins one week before travel

I need to pack. I need to clean the kitchen. Do laundry. Pack the dogs’ belongings. Stop the mail. Argue with UPS over their fee for holding packages. Make a list of what to bring and what to pack–Lists are good.

  • Make a list of what to pack
  • Run to store to buy wedding gift. Don’t find anything I like. Maybe because it’s less than a week before the wedding??? Screw it; they get a check.
  • Add wedding gift check to packing list
  • Return to store to buy wedding card, selection of which by now only has two that aren’t religious, and one that isn’t saccharine and might have once said “happy birthday” before someone scratched that part out. Apparently there are a lot of December weddings. Who knew?
  • Add “Birthday Wedding card” to packing list
  • Make sure airline tickets are in order
  • Make sure hotel reservation is in order
  • Confirm drop-off/closing times with puppy sitter
  • Visit favorite pub for one last visit, because I might miss them when we’re gone. Also: nachos.
  • Make reservations with shuttle to get to the airport
  • Run to the store (AGAIN) to get timers so that robbers won’t know we’re not in the house.
  • Run to another store to buy enough food so that we can eat the night before we fly out, but not have tons of leftovers in the fridge while we’re gone, because that would be gross.
  • Eyeball kitchen again with a mental note that I REALLY need to clean it. Tomorrow.
  • Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Total time spent in Phase I: Meh, about a week.

Continue reading Impressions of a trip to New York: Preproduction