Sunday, January 22, 2017

California Dreamin'

It probably mostly started as a joke when my sister and I once conspired to run away to California together. By ourselves. Without kids. Or husbands.

The dream evolved to include a quiet evening on the beach watching the waves crash as the sun set while eating chocolate covered strawberries with books cradled in our laps. Because eating chocolate covered strawberries on the beach with a book is a realistic dream without kids or husbands around.

And once that vision was in our heads, there was no stopping us. We bought our tickets. We boarded a plane. We escaped the snowiest January in Utah's history (don't fact check me on that) for the warm beaches of California.

But first we cleaned our houses for our dear husbands who had each agreed to spend their vacation days giving us a vacation by staying home with our darlings while we were gone. In the hours before my departure, I scrubbed the house partly due to nervous/excited energy and partly as my attempt to leave Jeff with a clean slate to start his week of being Mr. Mom.

The funniest thing about living in a bigger house is it's made it all the more clear to me that my kids insist on being in close proximity to me at all times. All the boys were happily playing downstairs, so I snuck upstairs to tackle some toilets. Within 5 minutes, all 3 boys were there. Little shadows. Following me around. Playing on the bathroom floor beside me while I scrubbed. Just to be near me? I don't get my appeal.

Eli is my personality clone and I've found we have the same love languages. I encouraged the boys to write letters to my parents for me to deliver for them, but Eli instead chose to show his love by cleaning the house for Grandma. He helped me with all my last minute chores and wanted to gift Grandma the reassurance that we were taking good care of her house.

I bid my family farewell. I hopped on a plane (after very gracefully navigating through security while trying to look like an experienced aircraft traveler). I resisted every urge to take a selfie on said aircraft once boarded in an effort not to blow my cover that I only travel by air once every 15-ish years. Played it real cool. I watched the hours tick right on past my bedtime. And then I realized I HAVE NO BEDTIME BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE TO WAKE UP FOR OR TO ANYTHING THE NEXT MORNING. So I stayed up until 3:00 AM like any motherhood escapee would do.

Becky and I fantasized about sleeping in until 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, noon! We giggled ourselves to sleep at the thought of waking up on our own terms for once!


I peeked an eye open to figure out what the heck was making all the ruckus. I assessed my tiredness while attempting to decipher the noise. I coooould go back to sleep. But I feel pretty good. In fact, I feel rather energized! I think I got a great night's sleep! It must be at least 10:00. I listen closer to the noise. A lawn mower? A lawn mower!

This was great news! We had expected it to rain the whole first day we were there, but a lawn mower had to have meant clear skies and sunshine! I popped out of bed, saw the clock read 7:30 and the skies were dark and gloomy. Boo!

Still feeling surprisingly well-rested after getting less than half of my self-recommended 10 hours of pregnancy rest, Ben, Haley, Becky and I hit the town with as much speed and coverage as the rain that was pouring down.

Now it should be noted we didn't actually need speed or coverage to properly achieve our day's desired activities, though the speed came as we ran through the rain and the coverage came as we ran unnecessarily in circles trying to get from place to place only to realize we had just run full circle to end up in the exact same place and we were all just really bad at directions and at staying dry.

We started at the movies. In a recliner. Which helped soften the blow of the outrageously overpriced ticket. Movie: Passengers. Tear jerker? Debatably. Did I cry 5 separate times? Maybe. Do I need to remind you I'm pregnant? I CAN CRY IF I WANT TO!

Movie followed by Pizza. Pizza is where Becky and I said, "Wow! We're adults. We can eat at a restaurant and not spill food everywhere or deal with various members of our party screaming at random strangers periodically throughout our meal!"

The part about members of our party not screaming once during our dining experience WAS blissful. But the part where both Becky and I, within seconds of each other, spit and/or spilled an entire cup of water without any kids to blame it on was slightly pathetic. We have forgotten how to properly adult.

Another lap around the parking lot eventually led us across the street to a laser tag facility? "Facility" is a bit generous for what this place was offering, but once you're 2 minutes into a laser tag game, you forget the entire roof is leaking and the bathrooms may or may not work.

Surprise, surprise. The pregnant lady who had the misfortune of wearing white to a blacklit laser tag game lost by a long shot, or quite a few long shots actually. Unless we're keeping score by awarding points to the person who reacted most realistically upon being shot. Becuase I screamed every time. (But I wasn't the only one, am I right, Ben?)

Because we had grown so fond of leaky roofs after our time at the laser tag "facility," we decided to have dinner outside that night. Heated covered backyard patio sounded too dreamy to pass up until we discovered once again that Californians are the worst at making roofs that serve any defense against inclement weather. My dinner was definitely served with a splash of rain water, but the ambiance was worth the contamination.

We went to bed again much past my bedtime but woke up without the help of any lawn equipment. Realizing we had a couple hours of free time without anything planned, and those blue skies we had been hoping for finally upon us, I got an irrepressible urge to hike the volcano by my parents' house again.
Due to the recent rain, the once sandy hike was the closest thing to quicksand I have ever experienced, but we made it to the top nonetheless. 

Then it was back to the house to await Jacob and Abe's arrival. Stay tuned. 


Rebecca said...

Ooh! A multi-parter. I wasn't expecting that. I'm loving reliving our trip through your and Mom's blog posts (and my own half-finished one).

Kim said...

Love your little shadows. So adorable. Eli is the best helper! Your dad and I were just re-remembering his attentiveness in helping out with my wheelchair at the zoo.

I laughed so much at your description of feeling so free while being childless and husbandless and then you girls just don't know how to act adult. So funny.

Bring on the next installment! You are telling a great story.