Category Archives: Travel

Tahoe Winter 2015

There have been a handful of things keeping me super busy lately. One of them is that last weekend, Drew and I took B to Tahoe for a winter extravaganza. We rented a house with the Jameses and Molly, and spent 3 nights there hanging out.

We got there first, and while we were unloading the car, an 18-year-old kid pulled up in an SUV and said, “Hey, you guys moving in?” “Yes,” we said. “Okay, good to know. I’m going to make a phone call.” Then he got back into his car, talked on the phone for a minute, and then drove away. We were a little baffled – and concerned – but before I could call the rentals manager, she pulled up behind our car. She was kind of freaking out, and said that the cleaners thought we were coming the next day so they hadn’t finished. So she ran inside and cleaned the bathroom sinks and the stovetop. So that was kind of weird.

It’s not very snowy in Tahoe right now, but we did have an ice patch of our very own in a shady spot of the yard.

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Actually, it was probably good that the roads were basically clear so the drive was quick and safe, and the boys could run around outside in every free 15 minutes to keep them from going crazy.

The first day we went into Tahoe City where there was a playground near the beach. We went to the water’s edge, where there was about 6 feet of ice, and taught the boys to throw rocks (um…not our brightest moment) to break the ice. B brought a rock home with him, which I keep forgetting about, but I’m pretty sure is still in the diaper bag.

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IMG_9040The second day, we went up to Mount Rose to find some snow – it was still pretty icy, but Drew could pull B around on the sled we brought him. We also saw one stupid teenage boy after another sled down a hill and very nearly go face-first into a tree. Literally. Also, a woman went down another hill on an inner tube, jumped a little hill, and was 2 seconds away from shooting out into the road – if her inner tube hadn’t suddenly popped. She was laughing. We were all worried that we were about to see someone – tree guys or inner tube girl – get really hurt.

Luckily no one did. And we slipped and slid around on the ice until it started to get too dark.

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On our drive back to the house, we realized that Mount Rose is in Nevada – B’s first trip out of state!

The only downside to the trip was a slight fever that the boys seemed to be passing back and forth. Neither was down for long, but we were dosing them both with Tylenol all weekend. On our third night, B was up literally every 45 minutes, actually crying. Not just whimpering. I’m pretty sure neither Drew nor I slept more than 2 hours altogether. It was one of the worst nights of my life, especially since we weren’t sure what the problem was. He wasn’t feverish all night – just upset.

Finally at 5am, after many times of being up, of shhhhing him, of asking what was wrong, Drew brought him into our bed and we both sat there going, “What’s wrong? What do you need?” He finally croaked out “Wawar!” Water?? I felt like such an idiot. Was he just dehydrated all night? Could we have solved this 8 hours ago?

I think we were all suffering from the altitude a little bit. My skin and my lips were so chapped – and I think we were all dehydrated. Luckily a couple days back at sea level and we’re all back to normal.

It was a classic case of “I had so much fun! And I’m SO GLAD to be home!”

(And fun fact: I just found out we’re getting our whole security deposit back – so that’s nice! I’m always a little nervous about that.)

 

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Filed under Awesome, Beauty, Children, Drew, Friends, Nature, Travel

The Weekend of Rachael

I have this story to tell, but I started writing it a week ago, and then I thought, “Wouldn’t this be so cool if I did it to the tune of the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air?” And then I never got around to writing it, and now it’s been a week, and I’m afraid if I don’t just tell you, it’ll be too late anyway.

So. Here’s what happened last weekend (as in 10 days ago).

No, I have to go back a little farther. I’m in this Facebook group for moms. It’s been going strong for almost 3 years, and I joined way back in April of 2012, when I went public about being pregnant with B. A coworker invited me to this group that her friend had started, which was, at the time, about 20 women around the country who were all pregnant. It was a fun group of people, and I liked it.

As fun, likable things do, it’s grown considerably. At present count, the group boasts over 100 members, and is relatively drama-free. (You might laugh, but consider what I just said: it’s over 100 women, mostly semi-hidden behind the anonymity of the internet, all engaged in parenting: the activity that turns you into a hormonal, defensive, stressed, confused, second-guesser.) But the group is supportive, it’s helpful, we send each other outgrown Halloween costumes and do Secret Santa gift exchanges and get together when it’s possible and tell each other what HFM/blocked tear ducts/normal diaper rash looks like.

One of the women from the original group (let’s call her Rachael) lived in Nebraska with her husband and her one child and her pregnant belly when I first e-met her. She was one of the women that I really took a shine to. We talked outside of the group, sent each Christmas cards, etc. This summer, she moved to Nevada with her (now three!) kids.

And last weekend, on a complete whim and a prayer, she hopped on a plane and flew to the Bay Area to meet a bunch of other moms in real life for the first time.

See, I had invited the Bay Area contingent of this group to come see the show my work is currently producing. We were going on Sunday afternoon. Jokingly, Rachael started talking about flying out to come with us. We egged her on and offered our couches, and the next thing I know, there I am at the airport picking her up.

Earlier that day, Drew had asked me if I was at all worried that she was catfishing us. I didn’t think that was likely, as it has been 2 1/2 years and that’s a very long con. But when I was waiting at the terminal, and she texted and said, “I just walked outside,” and all I could see was a tall guy standing on the curb – I did have a moment of “Uh-oh…” Luckily, then I saw Rachael a little further down and everything was fine.

It turns out she is just as lovely in person as she is online. She stayed over at my place on Friday night, then on Saturday we did brunch and hung out with some of the group in the East Bay, she stayed with another friend on Saturday night, and then a third friend on Sunday night. I hope it was as fun and casual as it all sounds – it was certainly gutsy to fly somewhere new to stay with a bunch of strangers, and I really hope that it paid off for her.

It did for us – it was awesome to get to meet a pseudo-celebrity, for one…I was a little star-struck. But for another, well, we Bay Area members have historically put a lot of planning into each meet up. Having this last-minute weekend happen where we pulled it together for multiple meals and hanging out – well, maybe it taught us to loosen up a little bit. Also, most of the hanging out didn’t involve children (ironic, since that’s what brought us all together), so maybe it also taught us that we can be friends based on our actual relationships, and not just based on the fact that we all have kids.

At any rate. It was an awesome, whirlwind, crazy weekend, and it all went by too fast. I had an amazing time. I hope we can do more stuff like that in the future. So thank you to Rachael for kicking it all off and taking a chance on us! And thanks for not being a catfisher or a murderer!

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Filed under Awesome, Being a girl, Celebrities, Friends, Nonfiction, Travel

tbt: Moving to New York (2006)

We moved from Davis to New York EIGHT YEARS AGO. It’s backwards to do the tbt post of “moving back home” before the tbt post of “moving out there,” but that’s the way it happened. (By about three weeks.)

It’s a little Dear Diary, but here’s what I posted on my LiveJournal eight years ago today.

==

We started out this morning before even false dawn.

Drew and I woke up before the alarm, but neither of us is sure from what. We made it all the way out into the car (about 4:40 am) before I realized I couldn’t find my wallet. Half an hour (and 2 frantic calls to my parents, and 2 frantic calls to Erin’s parents) later, we discovered it had somehow gotten into the bag of stuff for Erin. By 5:20 we were on our way to Oakland. The security was not bad, my carry-on was randomly searched and it was discovered (drumroll, please) that I was carrying a contraband stuffed dolphin apparently belonging to the security guard’s daughter. After asking me some rough questions (“You have my daughter’s dolphin, what are you doing with that?”), he softened up and I found out she was 3 years old and collected plush marine life.

We boarded the plane; the flight was uneventful; Bravo (in its first big act of betrayal against me) showed a marathon of people playing poker, rather than the Project Runway marathon I’d hoped for. (JetBlue gives everyone little TV screens and like 30 channels, or something. Nice, but there was really nothing on. Maybe because it was stupid o’clock in the morning.)

We landed; we got a cab; it cost us $50; we made it to our apartment. I am so not afraid of living here. Honestly, it seems like the people are faking the Jewish thing. Because EVERYONE is so stereotypically “Jewish” looking. And they speak Yiddish to each other. I love it. There’s a little market on the corner (a couple blocks down) that will probably be good for quick stuff, and we went to Target tonight to get some things we thought were missing…and it turned out everyone was just really thirsty, so we got a lot to drink.

The apartment is SMALL. I was expecting this, but not necessarily the fragrance of…we think it’s authentic Jewish cooking. Mixed with the smell of small apartment. I’ll go through room by room.

The KITCHEN is really the foyer: you enter the apartment through it. There is a fridge, a stove, a microwave, and a surprisingly deep sink. I don’t think we’ll use too many dishes, though. I think it’s gonna be paper plates and paper towels for us.

The LIVING ROOM is not bad. The couch, I feel, is comfortable (although I haven’t yet tried the pull-out bed). The overhead light is very white, not yellow, which is nice. There are 2 fairly large windows covered in horizontal blinds. There is a nearly empty shelf to put things on.

The BEDROOM is also not bad. The bed is firmer than I’m used to (and I think Drew is going to hate it). The window is covered in lacy white curtains, which seem like a recent afterthought. There is an A/C unit in the window that doesn’t seem to be cooling everything off much. There are shelves and a full-length mirror, which are both nice, and in one of the two small closets we discovered a rack of pull-out wire drawers, which will be very nice when we decide to unpack.

Let me not forget to mention, the BEDROOM has no door.

The BATHROOM is through the bedroom. It’s nice, albeit small. The floor is black and white checkered (yay!) and the shower is actually pretty nice (it has good pressure, and it gets nice and hot and nice and cold, depending on what you want). The toilet flushes like a railroad train…by which I mostly mean “loudly.” There’s a window that opens. Oh, also there’s a shaving mirror in the shower, and I was absolutely fascinated by making my hair into different shapes while it was all shampoo-y. Something I haven’t done since I was in baths.

So we brought our stuff here, and feeling slightly disheartened (mostly by the smell, I think), the 3 of us called our homes and left messages saying we were safe. Then we set off to buy Metro cards (30-days, unlimited rides, $76) and explore. By request of Joe (and because there was a sign suggesting we were close), we went to Coney Island…which I think is cool, that we went to Coney Island. We ate Nathan’s hot dogs and watched a guy shoot paint balls at a “freak,” which was less interesting and more disturbing than I was expecting it to be. Then we came home and I discovered the merits of the shower, and then we went out again, to discover Target and perhaps a BofA ATM (which we never did). We bought food and drinks at Target and then explored the subway some more.

And we came back from Target and that’s been our day, pretty much. The end.

PS. We want cable and a router so more than one of us can be on the internet at once.

==

Little did I know then, am I right? And I think this post was kind of falsely cheerful. I realized later how hard all three of us were trying, because flying in to JFK and driving to Brooklyn is not exactly the prettiest, most culture-filled and exciting part of New York City. Especially in August. I’m glad we stuck it out, moved up in Long Island, and made it our own.

I’m reliving August of 2006 on my LiveJournal now, while I whisper “Long Island” with a Long Island accent (hard G) under my breath. Miss you, New York!

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Filed under Beginnings, Dreams, Drew, Memoir, Nonfiction, Sentiment, Travel

#tbt: Moving back to California

Five years ago, Drew and I packed up most of our New York stuff, and drove back to California.

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Thank God Jared was staying in the apartment, so there was a lot of stuff we could just leave – like our bed, couches, rugs, etc.

We basically packed all night while watching Roseanne. In the morning, Joe came over to help us load up the van.

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Also thank God we casually said, “Yeah, let’s upgrade to the largest size van you have.” We needed every square inch of space.

It took us three nights to get home, driving pretty much all the time. We were also doing Atkins at the time, so we weren’t even really stopping to eat very much…I’m not sure how we passed the time. I remember at some point we started playing Lingo out loud, and for awhile we listened to Rent…

I also took a lot of pictures out the passenger side window, so there’s a lot of semi-blurry landscape with window reflections. This was pre-smartphone.

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(I’m pretty sure Drew took that picture.)

When we got to Nevada, we wanted to drive through to Reno so we could crash with Molly. But Nevada is insanely wide, and neither of us could keep our eyes open. So our final night on the road was spent in Elko, Nevada.

The next day, I drove us across the state line into California, and later Drew and I realized that whenever we’re in a car together, he may say “Do you want to drive?” to be nice, but I generally never do, and he generally always wants to. So now we don’t worry about taking turns to be nice to each other. A good lesson for our impending marriage.

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It’s been FIVE YEARS since we came back. New York is drifting further and further away from us. But it’s still an indisputable part of our lives and of our relationship. I think a reunion may be in order.

 

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Baptized B

B’s second birthday is coming up, so this baptism thing has been a long time in coming. We procrastinated for various reasons, but finally this spring we made the decision to go for it. This last weekend, my family and Drew’s family gathered at my childhood church and saved B from purgatory. (Just kidding.)

I will tell you, I had A LOT of anxiety leading up to this weekend. I worried about getting the three of us plus the godparents all the way up to Lake County in our car with all our stuff. I worried that B would freak at getting water on his head. I worried that it would be awkward. I worried that no one really wanted to be doing this. I worried that no one would have a good time.

But it turns out, everyone was into it, and we had a great time. We went up to my parents’ house on Saturday night, and Drew’s parents and my aunt and uncle (who was performing the baptism) were there already. We hung out that night, keeping B up 2 hours past his bedtime. Then everyone dispersed, and we took godparents Erin and Allen to the hotel casino where they were staying.

There, we ran into Drew’s parents, and found out that his dad had just hit it big on video keno. So that was a nice bonus.

The next morning, we picked up Erin and Allen, and headed to the church, about 20 minutes away. The service was outdoors (#summertime!) and so B spent most of the service running all around, up some stairs and around the church building, up some other stairs and around the community center, basically just going everywhere possible. But luckily we were keeping an eye on the time, so we could get him back down in the vicinity of the service by the time the baptism began.

I held him during the ceremony, and he was mostly good. He complained a little bit, but mostly drank milk and pointed at things. I remembered the Creed. He didn’t love the water on his head, but he didn’t freak out. My uncle gave him a candle (unlit), and a medallion. We recessed and sang songs. We did it!

There was cake afterwards, and Erin and I tried to wrangle all the family members into place to take pictures. We managed to take some really cute pictures, including one of my new favorite pictures:

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Charming, buddy. Charming.

After pictures, we packed everyone up and we all went to go eat. Well, most of them went to brunch – our car, followed by Drew’s family’s cars, went in the wrong direction. I just was mistaken about where I was going. Oops!

We found the correct place, and settled in for complimentary mimosas and brunch. Although they didn’t really seem able to handle our party of 15 – it took like an hour between ordering and getting our food – the food was good, the company was lovely, and B was awesome. He even ate the food we ordered him! Crazy!

By the time we were done, it was already after 1:30, so we just stopped by my parents’ house to get all our stuff, and then we headed out of Lake County. (Well, we stopped for milkshakes at Renee’s first.) We got home that night in time for dinner and bedtime, and then Drew and I basically crashed, ignoring the pile of stuff we’d brought home.

A long weekend and we’re both ever more tired, but I’m still so happy with how everything went. It honestly went better than I could have hoped, and far better than I expected. A total win. B is so lucky to have this loving family, and two brand-new godparents! (Not pictured: my bff Kirsten, who came out from Davis, and her mom – I was so honored to have them come support us!)

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Did Do: Family Lunch

B, our 20-month-old, has been getting over a little cold. Last night he was pretty unhappy, so I (sadly) called my parents to cancel a family get together we had had planned for a few weeks.

The point of this annual get together was to celebrate birthdays (mine and my grandma’s), Father’s Day (Drew and my dad), and a wedding anniversary (my aunt and uncle).

But this morning, B woke up much happier (and nonfeverish). We decided to take a leap of faith and drive up to Santa Rosa. It was mostly successful, lunch was casual and fun, and at the restaurant, B was pretty cute (and ate more than he has been eating lately). So it’s okay that on the drive back, he fell asleep for 20 minutes and then woke up really upset and cried the last 40 minutes of the drive.

We took a chance getting in the car today with a kid who’s been sick. So a big did-do. Happy weekend!

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Filed under Children, Family, Holidays, Nonfiction, Parents, Travel

Exhibiting bad manners in public

I arrived at the BART station yesterday morning and walked casually down the platform. I was just approaching one of the pre-walking marks on the ground when I noticed something strange. Looking up and down the platform, I saw single-file lines, with maybe 3 or 4 feet between each person, lined up in front of where the train doors would land. The people in these lines were reading newspapers, or looking at their phones.

Standing near the edge of the platform, I kept studying the lines. When did this happen?

I texted Drew: “Is it a bart manners thing to line up single file to wait for the train? Everyone is doing it here but I’ve never seen that before. Can I just stand near where the door will be or do I have to line up?”

He wrote back: “Yeah, it’s the opposite of the NY cluster.”

That’s what I’m used to…people pushing and shoving to get through the doors first. That’s what I’m comfortable with. Is that sick?

I said: “But…a single file line? I don’t like it. =( And now I realize I’ve been that beezy cutting lines the whole time?”

Then he called me a NY a-hole and I laughed out loud, and the train came, and while I didn’t push and shove to get on, I definitely didn’t wait for the line to go first, and then I camped out near the doors. So I’m definitely that bad-manners BART person who you glare at during your morning commute. Sorry about that! It’s been mostly inadvertent up until now.

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