Easily Amused

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oh Those Wacky Californians

I seem too be spending way too much time on the Planet Also Known As California, or as we call it in Human Resources, The Republic of California.

Some of you know that me and my better, smaller, cuter version took a little trip back East to spend some time soaking up that Vermont sun. You know, the one that raises the temperature up to the sweltering 80-degree mark? When it's not hiding in the nimbostratus, playing hide-and-seek with the cumulonimbus in the area? Dang, good thing I packed a sweater and socks. I'm just saying. Purpose of said trip: yes, graduation season continues. This time, it's hats off to beloved niece and favorite cousin of my dear Rutland-based sister (she's sister #3, in case you're still trying to keep track. But she also gets props as sister #1 for being the one-and-only true-blood one I have, really.)

Let's just take a moment to ponder the town known as Rutland. Who named that town and what where they thinking? "Look, there's a ugly gully running along the land." "No, it's really more of a ditch!" "Nah, it's not really deep enough to qualify as a gully or a ditch. It's more of a rut." "Or a land full of ruts. It's really rutland. Let's live here forever and call ourselves Rutland!" I mean, you've got Burlington, and Montpelier, and Woodstock is right up the way. Those were founded with some relatively decent names. Oh, well, I guess I don't want to know who named Killington (and why) either. Move along.

We have ourselves a lovely time in Vermont, seeing all the folks, visiting local scrapbook stores in Rutland and over towards the border near Quechee, and just kicking back. Graduation season finally ends and we head back West (this was supposed to be about California, right?) stopping just long enough in Phoenix for America West/USAIRways to lose just the one piece of luggage that had everything for the SoCal visit.

So we arrive at LAX, me and the groovy chica, it's later than late, and we fill out all the right forms for our lost piece of luggage. We head to the streets to get on our shuttle to the car rental counter, and we wait, wait, wait until finally our van comes and ... drives away again. Never saw us. (C'mon, I know there is enough of me to be a pretty good visual cue.) It's eleventeen hundred o'clock when we finally settle down in the hotel room and catch a few zzzz's. Of course, I'm supposed to be working the next day but my clothes for work are still making their way towards their final destination. So, I go casual and get my work done from the luxurious accommodations of our room.

When our suitcase continues to not arrive, I know I need to get something to wear for the next day's work-related presentation, so me and my pal go to Beverly Hills. Although we do drive past Rodeo Drove, we decide that perhaps I can find something appropriate and more likely affordable at the Beverly Center. Thank you, Nordstroms. After that detail is addressed (so tomorrow I can get dressed), my companion gets a stop in at the brand-spanking new American Girl Store in LA. Ah, her personal shopping nirvana. She carries her Nellie with her, gets her Nellie's hair styled at the doll salon, chooses a little thank-you gift for her fellow American Girl admirer and dog-taker-carer-of, and plops into a comfy chair to read. That's my girl.

No call yet about suitcase akimbo alogo. So onto our next destination, which we decide is a closer look at that big sign that starts with an H and ends with a WOOD. We wind up and around all the 'spensive Hollywood Hills homes, trying get a closer gander at those big white letters. It's so much less impressive when you are close. Special effects at work, I suppose. Hee. We find a few different places for shots, including the totally best one right next to the dog park. Awesome.

Time to eat. Shall we go to the tourist mecca of Hard Rock, as is our sadly overdone habit from coast-to-coast when the two of us travel? We briefly stop in, use the facilities, and check out the School of Rock fundraiser happening. Kids performing for Radio Disney, money going to music in schools, it all rocks for us. It's too loud for the tween (can you believe that one?) so we turn the corner for a salad bar. Her choice, believe me. It's the sister restaurant to her most favorite place to eat, so she is just giddy. I am just starving, so feed me already. Eat, leave, back for sleep. Suitcase? Um, yeah, it's finally here. We hold hands and sing Kumbaya in thanks. Kidding. We watch the late news and see a quick remote from the Hard Rock where said fundraiser took place earlier that same evening. Ooooh, deja vu. There's that singing kid in the hat, and there is the reporter. It's so LA. Please let me sleep now.

I finish work and finally we are onto our real destination for this trip: The Big D! Just a quick day with the Mouse and stuff, before we head back to the oven. I only lose her once (just once, really) and freaked out a little (a lot) when I realized she had the backpack with 1)the money 2) my ID 3) my cell phone 4) her cell phone 5) the car keys. Oops. After a lot of not-help from one park employee and much help from another, we are reunited. We kill the next day, opening the park for early admission and shutting it down after midnight. Lunch with princesses, major line avoidance thanks to some insider help and direction, and photo ops galore. The Park rocks my little world, especially when my favorite Teen Titan rides along. She made me go on rides (but I'm scared!!) and I made her go on rides (I won't like that!) No bias here, but she is the best kid ever. Trust me.

We are finally home. Laundry, unpacking, uploading. No more travel for a bit. Back at work, I start feeling more caught up.

Good thing. Off to Spokane for a day or two. Tween is already away at camp, so I'll be back before she returns. Hey, Spokane! Doesn't Stacey Julian live in this part of town? This town is cool in more ways that you know.

But now I'm really, truly, back. So on with product updates.

Mom and Me NYOBC
Not Your Ordinary Book Club

Join us Saturday July 8th in the afternoon for the launch of our Mom and Me Book Club. For $35, you and your better self will receive one book and two project kits for a cool and fun summertime craft. We will spend the afternoon creating some kind of wonderful, and you will keep the book, packed with tons of ideas for your next project. What a great way to get out of the heat and spend some quality time with your favorite child. (We know you have one.) Seats are very limited for this event, so please sign up early. Minimum age 8 based on project complexity.


  • At 3:32 PM , Blogger cyndi said...

    Hey dude, Do NOT razz the Rut! I know it's no sunny PHX, but at least you can go OUTSIDE (when it's not raining, hailing, snowing, or blowing!) hmmm, maybe you were right. Anyway, beloved niece and I thank you for the plug, we love you too! I'll have a way to keep track of you and mini-me's exploits now.

  • At 3:37 PM , Blogger Suzy said...

    Hey, can't wait to see the pics of the new room too! Bring an extra suitcase-you'll need it for all the supplies coming home with you. :)


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