Ed and I just got back from spending 10 days in California. The weather was beautiful, sunny and just comfortably warm enough to lounge around in a bathing suit. Oh, the lounging that was done. And, despite all the lounging, despite an uncharacteristic lack of concern for the cancer I was soaking up, I have not tan. Not a slight tan, or a disappointing one; zero tan. I am tanless. I am the colour of a grub, or one of those cave fish who live without sunlight for so long that their eyes disappear.
Despite the melatonin shortage, we had a wonderful time. We stayed with my aunt and uncle (who I only got to see briefly before they left on a cruise) in their beautiful home in West Hills. I didn't get to see my family at Christmas, so this was the first time I got to visit with my parents in a full six months. It was great to see them again. We arrived in time for my mom's birthday on the 30th, the first birthday I'd been able to be there for her in too long. She and I got to cook together (I love being her sous chef) which was wonderful despite the Williams Sonoma pumpkin pie mix being underwhelming. We ate too much and napped every day. It was Perfect.
- the Back Yard. Does your back yard have a tennis court or a wood-burning pizza oven? Mine doesn't.
- getting to hand-feed live crickets to my cousin's bearded dragon, Spiky Bob.
- checking out some very cool early Americana photographs and the collection of illuminated manuscripts at the Getty
- playing with Whiskey, they Very Big Dog who is Much Stronger than Me. Taking him for a run-walk, watching his tongue flapping in the wind, was great. Also, being bodily pulled across the floor playing tug-of-war was pretty hilarious too.
- Getting to see the L. Ron Hubbard Institute of Dianetics on our way through Beverly Hills. You can feel the crazy emanating from the building. It really should have a laser light show.
- Revisiting Hidden Treasures and Cafe Mimosa on our way through Topanga Canyon, where I wanted to live when I was a teenager.
- Watching Ed wander around Venice Beach for the first time.
- The Fontina, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and basil stuffed ravioli with alfredo sauce at Maggiano's.
- the creme-brulee at Maggiano's. Just a hint of citrus zest. I need a blowtorch.
- Getting up every morning while it was still cool, walking through neighbourhoods full of palm trees, and then sitting to watch all the sweat-pat-clad super-rich get their starbucks.
- The pet store in Santa Monica with HAIRLESS teacup chihuahuas, the most useless creature ever selectively bred.
- the hot chocolate from Godiva. I needed a minute by myself.
- Playing drunken Trivial Pursuit with my cousin Carly and her friend Sophie with a very trendy party going on around us.
- you can buy wine for $1.99. That is not a typo. It's $23 a case. You can buy decent wine for about $5. Not good wine, decent wine, but still.
- The flock or parrots that lived in a tree in my uncle's yard. They are so beautiful and noisy.
- Watching my mom, dad, aunt, and uncle play Wii bowling. They loved it. Also, watching my mom and dad play Wii boxing made my giggle until I had to sit down.
- Taking my youngest cousin, Christian, to the IHOP for dinner. Oh, the pancakes we had.
- Staying up late with Ed to watch Invader Zim (oh my juicy meat bodies of baloney meat!).
- smelling the ocean again.