Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Family tripping

It's been quite a while since my last post, so there is a lot of catching up to do! I can't believe I haven't written anything since Marbleman's (really dry) follow-up to the vacuum. [Marble Man says it was done on request.]
Marble Man and I are here in Sunny Southern California for a mid-September family wedding. (We'll post the photos in a later entry.) Our family needs no urging to gather for a party, so the exodus from Philadelphia, Boston, and North Carolina commenced. We flew into Palm Desert. Man is it HOT! *mops her sweaty brow* My sister-in-law, Paula, and I went to a flea market to seek out her favorite bead vendor. We both made the woman's day by handing over a heavy sack of cash for some very nice shiny and sparkly things. When we get home, we'll make some gawgeous jewelry.

After the flea market, we headed to LA where the wedding would be held. On the way, we drove past what must be thousands of windmills. Seeing them all lined up, churning away, it looked very otherworldy. Two hours later we were in LA. Ahh, much cooler, but what's with all that smog? I know there are mountains on the horizon, but where? We had a lovely lunch at the LA County Museum of Art and afterwards toured the art glass exhibit there with Paula. Wow. I was so surprised at what attracted me. I thought I'd go for the delicate twiddly pieces, but no. I went straight for the BIG (I mean MASSIVE) sculptures. They really spoke to me. Now, I just need to find a nice big house to hold them all :) AND ditch Marble Man for a millionaire to buy them for me! (Just kidding, MM) [Marble Man says "get a job!"]

We drove down Wilshire Blvd to Santa Monica and saw lots of sights along the way (Rodeo Drive is pretty posh!) Wow, it's even cooler here - about 70 degrees. Now, where is that jacket? We spent two fun-filled nights in Santa Monica at a high class joint, Le Merigot, right on the ocean, 2 blocks from the pier. I have never in my life been so pampered. We had the softest sheets and duvet. Oh, I didn't want to get up! (Just five more minutes, puh-leeze? This cloud is so fluffy.) The bathroom was fit for a king and queen. Beautiful rust colored marble, a lighted magnifying make-up mirror, a little mirrored shelf next to the tub with a votive candle on it, and on the edge of the tub, on top of the bath mat: a goldfish squeaky toy for the bath!!! How much fun is that? It was exquisite. The first night, a few of us walked down to the Santa Monica Pier to people-watch and ride the ferris wheel. LOTS of fun. There is nothing like getting stopped at the top and looking down to see nothing but ocean rollers coming in. (Marble Man screams like a girl: OHMIGOD We're all going to DIE! HELP!)

The next day was sunny and beautiful, and it was time for the wedding. All decked out, (and looking quite fab, I must say), we headed up to Northridge to the wedding site. What a nice wedding! Marble Man's cousin married a very sweet, beautiful young woman with a gracious family. The ceremony was outside the clubhouse of a country club, right next to the sand trap. While the rabbi kept us all very entertained, people were zinging past in golf carts, and I was thinking, what do we all do if some guy shouts "FORE"? Do we all hit the deck and hope the ball hits the person next to you? Body armor does not go with my outfit. Luckily we didn't have to find out. (Shibori Girl & Marble Man pictured at right)

The reception was raucous and highly entertaining. We sat with the rest of MM's family AND the very same entertaining rabbi and his wife. The guy was a laugh riot. He kept us in stitches right up until the cake cutting, and then he and his wife cut out. After a luscious meal, we danced our little tuschies off and partied right up to when the DJ packed up. We left knowing that we had gained a new and loving branch of the family who made us feel welcome.

After the wedding, we drove back to Santa Monica and walked the 3rd Street Promenade, watched street jugglers and break dancers and gawked at storefronts. We had the BEST hamburgers for dinner (loaded with fresh avocado, onions, and tomatoes). I bit into mine and felt like I had just had a religious experience. My taste buds were singing.

Another blissful night in that gorgeous hotel, and it's time to pack up and head down to Laguna to visit more family. Many reminiscences later, we went to Laguna Beach and strolled the boardwalk. Marble Man's parents decided to sit there and people-watch some more while the rest of us wandered some shops. What a nice town - not many chain stores, lots of personality. We ate a delicious dinner and piled back into the car to drive back to Palm Desert for the rest of our vacation.

Today the temperature is supposed to be 108 degrees. That's just inhuman. (Don't tell me "but it's a dry heat"; hot is just plain hot!) Marble Man and Paula are out playing tennis as I write this. Better them than me. Oh, they just staggered in the door, slightly red in the face. They CLAIM it wasn't too bad, but I don't believe it... Oops, Marble Man just exploded.

The rest of this day is devoted to recovering from the pace of the trip so far *pant, pant* We spent a good part of the day at the swimming pool. Nice breeze, palm trees, mountains in the background, and lovely cool water in the pool. I took off my flip flops by my chair and duck-walked over to the side of the pool. Those paving stones around the pool were SUPER HOT!! I think I might have seared my feet to the medium-rare stage. One experience was all the learning curve I needed. After that, I wore my shoes to the side of the pool stairs and left them there for the return trip to my chair. Later in the afternoon, I felt both eyes burning ("like, they were on fire, man!") and my lids were swelling shut. Oh good, that was the look I was going for (not). Turns out I'm allergic to the sunscreen we chose. I've almost recovered now that I sat with an ice pack on my eyes for an hour. Tomorrow, I wear a BIG hat to cover up - no more sunscreen.

Wednesday evening we took a 3 hour open-air hummer tour of the outlying desert. Way cool.
We were picked up at the hotel by our tourguide "Jeff" in a bright yellow hummer that looked like it had driven over a few rocks in it's day. No doors, just an open framework with a canvas top for shade. Thank GOD for seat belts! We learned so much on this tour that it will have to be a post all on it's own. Stay tuned...

Thursday we pack up and flapped our wings back home. I love traveling, but there is nothing like sleeping in your own bed after being away, if only I would GET sleepy. How is it possible that while in California I was on EST, and once I get home, I'm suddenly on PST? It's Midnight here and my bod tells me it's only 9AM and time to go party!

All in all, I love California. Lots of different ecosystems, lots of beauty, (some not so beautiful). I have many mental images to help spur some more creativity into new work.

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