There was almost no strangling this week as we all met together with my mom in California for some "beach therapy." What a wonderful time we had: Great people, shopping, food, and in the best location ever--Laguna Beach, CA!! We were loving every minute of it!
THE BEACH: After picking up my mom and sisters from the airport we drove along Pacific Coast Highway stopping whenever and wherever we felt like: Huntington Beach, Crystal Cove Beach, Newport Beach, until we made it to Laguna.
Our hotel room was right on the ocean. When we walked into the room we were stunned by the beautiful ocean view. We went to bed looking at it. It was the first thing we saw when we woke up. At night we opened the windows so we could hear the waves crashing all night. BEAUTIFUL!!! My mom was overjoyed. Every morning we walked along the beach. And every morning we got wet from an unsuspected wave.
In the afternoon we flew a kite, tossed a football and a frisbee. We took turns boogie boarding. "You went boogie boarding in the winter???" Brynn exclaimed when I told her on the phone that night. The water wasn't cold at all--well maybe at first but you quickly got used to it.
We explored tide pools and saw mussels, anenomes, a sea star but I was especially excited when my sister found what looked like a big football sized slug--a purple Sea Hare! That was the only tide pool animal I had learned about but not yet seen. ( They squirt out purple ink that enters the predator's system and tricks it into thinking it's already eating while the hare quickly crawls away.) Awesome! We didn't get squirted or tricked.
SHOPPING: Never have I seen so many fabulous clothes and everything on sale! It was a fashion lover's dream. Weird how we could all try on the same outfit and have it look completely different on each of us. Usually Rayanne looks good in EVERYTHING which was true this time too but we were all able to come home with our own dream outfit. My mom has a favorite store there called "Bardot," run by the most fashion-saavy French woman you've ever met. We all pitched in to buy my Mom this really great jacket which we surprised her with that evening before dinner...
FOOD: We ate out once a day and usually shared a couple of meals between us. Every restaurant we tried was SO good. Mom's patronage of the Chocolate shoppe will probably keep them in business for the rest of the season. Here we are enjoying Creme Brulee-- from a French Bakery --with a view of the beach-- in our new clothes!! Does it get much better??!
JOY! JOY! JOY! If you know my Mom then you know that this is one of her favorite phrases. We were all exclaiming it throughout the trip. Luckily, I missed my kids and husband and was ready to come home at the end of the week. We drove through L.A. traffic to get to the airport. I put in my CD mix I made just for the trip. If everyone on the road had been in OUR van they would have had a lot more freeway fun. We jammed on our air guitars to the music of Queen. We belted out our best versions of "I Need a Hero" and "Total Eclipse of the Heart." And we busted out some pretty good Michael Jackson moves while in seatbelts. After some hugs ( and no strangles) we dropped my mom and sister off at the airport then my other sister and I made the long trek back to UT.
We have a treasure trove of good memories stockpiled to last us a good while.
Thanks to the powers that be for a wonderful, safe, soul-recharging trip. And thanks to a wonderful husband for being Mr. Mom for a week--some of it while having a stomach bug.
It's good to be back home, because as Brynn later told me when I asked her how the week went, "It's harder than you think not to have a Mom."