Friday, May 29, 2015

In which we briefly return to California for more adventures . . .

Again, thank the good Lord for Facebook.
I barely had the mental faculties to blog, but I had JUST enough brain power to chronicle our adventures via Facebook status updates.

Chris had started training for his new position in Florida, and it turned out that his boss needed photographs of California employees for the company communication website. You see, Chris's sister was also in the training program (but for a different position) and she lived with us for a couple of weeks while she worked in the California offices. She had begun this project, but, due to scheduling, had been unable to get pictures of every single employee.  Chris would be heading back to fill in the blanks.
Later that weekend, we would also be in Jesse and Sharon's wedding (huzzah!).
And celebrate our five-year anniversary (DOUBLE HUZZAH!!!).

And so began our last gallivanting adventure (before parenthood, of course . . . )

Adventuring Day One
1. Dear First Class Fellow: whoever told you that you should wear flip flops LIIIIIIEEEED. Honey, I have seen better toenails in a werewolf transformation. How did security not confiscate those things? Weapons, I tell ya. Yick.

2. Chris made a friend on the flight to Houston, a little girl about four who LOOOOOOOOVED to chatter and was traveling with her father.
"So where are you heading?"
"Arizona! Daddy's going to see a judge!"
"Oh ....... Well ..... I've been to Arizona. We saw the Grand Canyon there."
Sweetest little pair though.

3. LAX feels like a prison. So completely and totally depressing. Dementors must inhabit that soulless, lifeless, gray concrete desolace .... For reals.

4. "And if I ever have a son, I think I'm gonna name him .......
Bill or George! Any damn thing but Sue!"
Ah, the wisdom of Johnnny Cash ....

5. In-N-Out Burger: reunited and it feels so goooooood.

6. Hotel Cable. Brooklyn Nine Nine premiere. "Every time you open your mouth, I just hear the sound when PAC-Man dies."

Adventuring Day Two
1. Sleeping in a Hotel's King Sized Bed Pros: when your leg suddenly becomes afflicted with pregnancy-induced leg cramps, you can flail about like a crazed cat in a swimming pool and never touch your partner. Seriously, he had no idea it happened.

2. Sleeping in a Hotel's King-Sized Bed Cons: once said leg cramp wears off, you must transform into the human tumbleweed and roll across a vast expanse in order to cuddle still sleeping partner.

3. Waking up thinking your nose is stuffy and discovering, nope, just another pregnancy nosebleed that won't quit. I think the more I expand the more I am slowly falling apart. All temporary and for a good cause, all temporary and for a good cause ..... even if I'm a living example of, "DO NOT HAVE SEX!!!! If you do, you will get pregnant and DIE!!!!"

4. Oh, California avocado, so moist, so fragrant, so full of fresh flavor, I have missed you, my love. SO MUCH.

5. And we are back to fish tacos from heaven.
This trip is as much about the food as the people, seriously. We have a list of FOODS WE MUST CONSUME because it's just so stinkin good, peeps. OMG.

6. For two years Chris whispered tales to me of the best club sandwich in the entire world, the most delectable collaboration of meat, cheese, and veggies squished between succulent slices of toasted sourdough. We had it for dinner. The kid wasn't joking.

7. We discovered Wildman Mick Dodge on National Geographic. We began by laughing hysterically and then were transfixed with, dare I say it, almost respect and even, gasp, envy.
If you cut out the part where he eats maggots out of a beaver carcass, the man almost doesn't seem crazy.

8. Also we are now inspired to take a rafting trip through the Washington rainforest to the Pacific Coast. How awesome would that be?????

9. Eventually, there will be more to tell than TV shows and food, but, until we are on the road again, that's all I've got, folks.
Seriously, while Chris works I'm just chilling in the hotel because I'm too exhausted and without a sense of direction to wander ........

Chris took many, many, MANY photographs of the celery fields.
The man's got a good eye.
 Adventuring Day Three in which we drive from Oxnard to Hollister 
 1. As we left the Ojai area for the vast and majestic wilderness, we decided we needed kazoos. Why? Because those mountains inspire epic renditions of the LOTR soundtrack, and what better, tiny instrument than a kazoo?

2. The awe-inspiring mountains gave way to a desolace that makes you feel like you're in the middle of a Mad Max movie. No, the moon. No, Satan's armpit. It was BAD, folks.

3. It was so bad that we passed a street literally titled, "Brown Material Road." Like someone just went, "And I have zero craps left to give. We will name this after the landscape ...... or the craps I don't have left any more. Brown Material Road. The end."
And don't ruin our fun by saying it was probably named for a factory or something. Because there was NOTHING.

4. The only way that Brown Material Road would have been better is if it had featured the little Smart Car from LA with the "OH THIT" license plate. I love that witty, little car.

5. We finally made our way back into the hills ("And there was much rejoicing! Hooraaay!") and found ..... A WILD TARANTULA CROSSING THE ROAD!!!! I had heard of the tarantula migrations here, but I had never seen one until that moment. Sure, I would have loved to see a pack of them, but just one meandering the highway like he owned it was fantastic. I even got to take pictures.
And then we saw another, but he wasn't important enough to irritate by shoving a camera in his hairy little face.

6. Proceeding down the winding, mountain road, imagine our great surprise when we rounded a corner and were suddenly met by a pack of ...... alpacas. Chris and I regarded the alpacas in shock, exclaiming, "WHAT THE CRAP?!?! ALPACAS???? ALPACAS!!!!" While the alpacas in turn regarded us with indignant surprise before slowly advancing past the car, giving us the stinkeye as they went (the nerve of some people, driving down the road).
I, of course, was still screaming, "ALPACAS!!!!! ALPACAS!!!!"

7. As twilight fell, we ventured deeper and deeper into the wilderness. Twilight is that lovely, witching hour when wildlife wanders out into the open. We saw turkeys, a massive wild boar, several deer, and--the highlight--a herd of elk. We just sat on the side of the hill and listened to them call to one another in the fading light. If orcas and ringwraiths had babies, THAT'S what an elk call sounds like. It was AWESOME.

8. Driving through the mountains at night is all fun and games until your husband not only recounts a short horror story about hunters and an invisible, man-eating beast, but then dares to mention, "You know, we haven't seen another car for hours. Worst place in the world to break down or get a flat." So you spend the entire rest of the drive going, "Oh, God, please no" every time you hit a bump.

9. You finally arrive at your hotel, settle in, turn on Cowboy Bebop for the first time in almost five years, and call it a good, good day.

Adventuring Day Four:
1. Waking up in the middle of the night to see a tall form hunched over the air conditioner, muttering bitterly and poised for battle. Instead of feeling frightened, you feel something akin to pity and fall back asleep. Chris can't get the air conditioner to stop roaring on in the middle of the night, encasing us in frost and waking us, and, my golly, HE WILL CONQUER THIS BEAST!!! Eventually ..... Maybe ..... My gosh, I hope so

2. Oh, Mission Cafe, with your crisp bacon and fluffy, delectable French toast and quaint, 1950s atmosphere, I've missed you so. And I will miss you again

3. What to do when you have a couple hours to spare before going with the hubs to work? Start working on that baby registry together! Whoot! Scan scan scan scan scan scan scan scan scan! (To the tune of "The Ants Go Marching One by One" if you must know)

4. As the hubs works, you are introduced to various former coworkers. When he tells one that we are expecting, she looks completely shocked.
"When are you due?"
"Oh my gosh! You're barely showing!"
You politely say thank you (I think that's the appropriate response) but think, "Seriously?!? I feel like a FLIPPIN WHALE right now, lady. A. WHAAAAAAAALE. Maybe it's not showing because I've just expanded all over the place simultaneously ...."
Ladies, when they said, "Black is slimming," apparently they weren't kidding. It would seem my black top concealed a six month gestation.
Or she was blind.
Or lying.
I'm not sure which option makes me feel better.

5. Lunchtime Discussions with the Boccis:
Me--"No, the way birds feed their babies is not the most disgusting. Let me tell you about the most disgusting. When baby Koalas are too old for milk but still can't quite digest eucalyptus leaves because they're so tough, they crawl down to mom's bum, and massage her anus with their noses, which causes her to release diarrhea called 'pap.' And that's what they eat."
Chris -- silence
Me-- "It gets worse. Apparently, there's a chlamydia epidemic amongst koalas, which, you know, makes things ooze and can render them sterile, but it also causes them to be incontinent, so they just pee all over themselves. And THAT is the grossest animal."
Chris-- I can't even say their name anymore. Henceforth the creature whose name began with Koa- will now be known as THE SIN."
Me -- "-Villainous Laugh--This is payback for that scary story and comments on our drive last night."
Chris -- "Payback?! Sarah, I shot you with a rubberband. You returned with nuclear weapons and said something mean about my mother. That's not payback."
And, just for the record, I would never insult my mother-in-law.

6. That moment when you're so tired, you don't join the hubs in the bookstore. Instead, you sleep soundly in the car for thirty minutes until you're almost human again.

7. Dinner with lovely friends at our favorite restaurant. Whooooot!!!!!

8. Falling asleep to a John Candy movie and feeling, "Ah, your comic genius left us too soon, good sir."

9. Despite your best efforts, the air conditioner is merciless beast, so the hubs lends you his "smart wool" socks and you spoon for sheer survival.

10. Waking up in the middle of the night again to witness his bitter battle with the beast.

Adventuring Day Five
1. You wake up to discover the shower barely dribbles. Call the front desk and discern through his polite but heavy accent that there's been a problem and all the hot water has been shut off. So you stare into the porcelain and ponder if this is one of those moments that separates the first world girls from first world women.
And then you take the fastest, coldest shower of your entire flippin life.
I have no idea if that makes me a vain girl or determined woman, but I did it.
First world problems, man.

2. While the hubs works, you help lovely people prep for a lovely wedding and enjoy lovely company.
Too many lovelies? No.

3. I've decided I desperately need to learn Vietnamese so I can eavesdrop on the nail technicians.
And I'm not making an assumption about Vietnam--the delightful woman giving me a bridal party pedicure was telling me all about her birthing experiences in Vietnam.
Childbirth--bringing women together since the dawn of time

4. Finishing the girls night with Rifftrax and burgers with one of my favorites! Shella, I've missed you!

Adventuring Day Six:
Sickly. Wedding rehearsal. Still sickly.
And happy anniversary to us -.^

That weekend was an Indian Summer--it was 100 degrees Fahrenheit over the wedding weekend in OCTOBER. OMG. SO HOT. Thank the good Lord for breezes during an outdoor rehearsal, ceremony, and reception.

Adventuring Day Seven
1. Wedding hair: I have never been more closely akin to a hedgehog. There were so many pins in my head ..... but they tell me it was lovely, so that's all that matters.
Lacking eyes in the back of my head, I couldn't really tell. If I did have eyes there, however, they would have thoroughly poked and irritated and, therefore, no good at all.

2. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay wedding! Lovely lovely lovely! It was so lovely it was fabulous even in 101 degree weather. Whoooooooooooooo!!!!!

(If you'd like to see Sharon and Jesse's professional wedding photographs by their INCREDIBLE photographer, you can check them out HERE and their feature on Wedding Chicks HERE)

When it comes to weddings, I've always been laid back. From a young age, I realized they were ridiculously expensive, and I favored keeping cash in my pocket. I was the bride that would have driven planners crazy because conversations would have gone like this:
"So what's your vision?"
"Oh, I dunno . . . fun, really. And I'd love for there to be blue. But, mainly, just fun, casual. And affordable. You know, whatever, it's all good."
That's about as specific as I got, folks.
Sharon . . . Sweet Sharon was an ENTIRELY different bride.
She had pretty much been planning her big day from the time she was five.
And she had a very detailed, SPECIFIC vision, including a fairy-princess blush-colored dress (which she found at David's Bridal--don't diss it before you try it, folks).  The good thing about those kinds of days is that the bride isn't indecisive--she knows what she wants and goes for it, and the end result is GORGEOUS (really, her wedding was so absolutely beautiful).
But it can be a weeee bit stressful for the wedding party and bride (probably more for her than the rest of us).

And yet the day was fun, exciting, and really quite wonderful. I loved being a part of it and enjoyed so much celebrating the love and commitment between Jesse and Sharon :]

Sharon chose/designed each of her bridesmaids' hairstyles--even helped direct the stylists as they worked to make sure we were as beautiful as she envisioned.

Their Final Fantasy VII wedding cake


Adventuring Day Eight:
One last jaunt through the Aquarium because it's our favorite, one last plate of the best calamari ever, and one last look out at Lovers Point at sunset.
Adventuring Day Nine:
And then airports.
Why oh why oh why are airports such soulless places??? They should be so happy!!! YAY WE ARE ALL ADVENTURING!!!! But instead all motivation to live is sucked from you as you wade through grumpy crowds and lousy food. But it's over! It's done! We are home!
The puppy is absolutely thrilled.
The cats, fish, and lizard are completely indifferent.
Go figure.

It's hard to tell, but that's a mama otter and her baby!!!

The LAST picture of me pregnant at 26 weeks.
That entire week in California, everyone said I didn't look pregnant.
I felt like a WHALE.
Now, I'm wishing I had taken more pictures because, as it turned out, we never did get to schedule a maternity session and I had been too sick to take weekly or even monthly bump photos.

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