Jiggity jog. I've been on vacation for a week. Can you guess where I went?
What? You guys have no idea? Wow, I'll just tell you then. I went to beautiful California and hung out in Orange County with my family. My mission? To find a tribal belly dance costume and to survive my goddaughter's first birthday. (Does this mean I can be a fairy godmother?) I got off the plane about 12:45, and we headed straight to Venice beach in search of the Velvet Gypsy. After walking about 10 miles, indulging in some Danny's Venice Deli (uh, the sliders are YUM.), and accidently getting high, we arrived. To find it had gone out of business. NOOOOO. So, I pouted for a moment, and bought a giant piece of material from another store. I call them hippie flags, but I don't know what they are actually called. Once I get the patcholi smell out of it, I'll take a picture. Ugh. I pouted a bit more, and then we left. In search of heaven.
And indeed I found it. A retail Penzey's Spices store. You get about 5 feet from the door and the most wonderful aroma comes wafting at you. A store full of crates of spices waits to greet you. Sample jars, magazines scattered about. I just wanted to buy one of everything (Which apparently is at least $900). Knowing that I can always mail order, and the airlines have luggage limits, I only selected a few items: the biggest jar of taco seasoning I could get, chicken taco seasoning (making something for supper tonight with it!), pizza sprinkle, ground cumin, and the Coco lover's gift set. A grand total of $45. Nicole and Aunt Judy on the other hand, together, got $90 worth of stuff. Another two converts, perhaps? We declaired we were tired and headed back to what would be my home for the next week.
The next morning, I declared I was making dinner, and so I threw the Zesty Italian Chicken in the crock pot, and Nicole, Emily, and I headed out to roll around in the early morning sun.
I'm actually a little proud of myself on that one. I find it very eye catching.
After that morning, the days start blurring into one. I know I took Nicole lunch one day. She's a math teacher at one of the schools, and I decided to stay and sit in on one of her classes. Algebra, which I caught the end of, I remembered. Mainly, because I was good with fractions. Then, in the next class, she started talking about vertexes, and my eyes glazed over.
I know Aunt Judy, Emily and I went to the Container Store (angels were singing here, too) so I could have a look-see, and then I scooted over to Old Navy where I got two pairs of jeans for $25. Deal of the century. After that, we went to go eat at a Lawery's Carvery in the South Coast Plaza while waiting for Nicole to get off work. Uh, hello mall I can't afford. My jaw was seriously dropping at every store. Jimmy Choo. Hermes. A store with no name, to which you have to ring a doorbell to enter. It was insane. I went into See's Candies for the first time, and fell in love. I am in love with Scotchmallow Bars. Why the bars instead of the regular ones? They're milk chocolate. Everything else is dark. Must. Find. More. I also went into my first Tiffany's. LOL BROKE. They had some really cute charms though. And the earring box I was looking for. But not for $275. MOVING ALONG.
On another day, we went to Long Beach (my new favorite place), and met up with my other family, Uncle Bob and Aunt Deb. We went out to eat at Open Sesame, because I'd never had Lebanese food before. It and I are not friends. So, I can now cross that off my list. Afterwards, we went to the most amazing shop ever, Merry's. The owner, Merry, and the store are equally amazing. I wish I'd thought to take pictures of it, but I didn't. It is FILLED with amazing. Apparently, a tribal belly dance troupe had been in a few days earlier and cleaned her out of stuff. BUT, she was so nice, she ordered me a couple of things I needed. And it arrived in about...oh, two days. But, from her store, I was able to pick up my 25 yard skirt (in a sky blue), harem pants (in red) that also double as MC Hammer pants, a black choli, a belt base, some earrings, and a gift for a friend. I'm kicking myself now that I didn't get any of the Indian coins that were 25¢ each. Perhaps I'll send Nicole back for some. But, Merry (and her store) were a complete delight, and I plan to visit her whenever I go back. If you're in the Long Beach area, and you belly dance, or just like awesome middle-eastern type things, you need to go. Merry doesn't disappoint. I'll have pictures of my costume later.
I also ventured over to Little India in Artesia. I wasn't really impressed. I felt uncomfortable there, as if we were intruding. I did find some bindis though. And saw some beautiful sarees. But, we hightailed it out of there.
Thursday, I had a "me" day. I am a true introvert, and I was just overwhelmed by everything, I stayed back, and chilled with the cat and dog.
Meet Simba, the world's angriest looking cat.
While looking constantly pissed off, Simba is 16 ½ years old, and has a set of lungs that could rival a stadium full of people. Ask me how I know. Despite looking angry, she is one of the sweetest kitties I've met.
And here's Dixie, the excitable.
She's looking so innocent here. But this dog wants nothing more for you to do than just pet her. PETPETPETPETPET. I'm not sure what Dixie is mixed with. Nicole told me, but I forgot. She's a medium sized dog, and just as sweet as the cat. She's also talented. She can jump over a 10ft wall in a single bound, and escape out of a kennel. Nicole must be proud.
After my much needed day of rest, it was my favorite day of all DISNEYLAAAAAAND. We weren't sure what day we could go, if we went, but it turns out that Friday was our day! We picked up Nicole's friend Selena and her son, Noah, and we were off! Like a kid on Redbull, I bounced around the park. I got my churro and rode on the tea cups. It was a good day. I love this picture of Aunt Judy. Just chilling out while spinning on a tea cup. No biggie.
After tooling around in Disneyland, we headed over to California Adventures. They're doing A LOT of renovation and adding on over there, but we were still able to ride rides. My new favorite one (that I didn't know about) is the Toy Story Mania! game. You sit in this car, and shoot the hell out of screens. In 3D, mind you. I beat Nicole and Aunt Judy. I win. Well, Selena beat me, but we weren't in competition. After spending about 6 hours there, we were beat. So we picked up some Chipotle (DELICIOUS.) and headed home.
And then it was Saturday. The day of all days. Emily's first birthday. PINK was everywhere. The theme was Princess Emily. I was not amused by all the pink. But, Nicole pulled it off well.
Here is Emily's cake. A giant pink castle, covered in fondant. Yuck. While the cake was cute itself, I hate fondant. I had to take this picture about 8 times and finally got the lighting right. It kept turning out orange. Party went well! A lot of people showed up to celebrate! I got to use the cotton candy machine, and that's all that mattered to me. I think poor Emily was overwhelmed by everything.
That picture just cracks me up, too. She REALLY didn't like that hat. Or the bib. Or all the people. Well, that's what I'm assuming. But, she made out like a bandit in presents. I still didn't finish her sampler. Perhaps by her second birthday. Minus all the pink and girly stuff. I had a great time
Sunday, was the day I went home. I tried to rob the neighbor's house across the street's garage. But they were on to me.
Though, truth be told, what the hell am I going to do with a garage full of Girl Scout cookies?
I got home at 7pm, right at the end of the 3rd quarter of the Super Bowl. My sweet and loving husband picked me up, and only complained once. Though, he cleaned out, detailed, filled up and changed the oil in my car. How sweet is that?
After all the excitement, it's good to be home. Though, I do miss the 70º+ weather.