Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day Four: Homeland

David has informed me there isn't a single photo for this day. But the blog must go on.

Sunday did not begin auspiciously. Jarrah was cranky and looked like she had the measles from all her bites. I felt terrible and put her in a warm bath as soon as I could persuade her to leave the bed, which took a while. David went to the store for supplies. On his way out, he said "Anything else you need?" and I said something vague and snappish while thinking "Yeah. How about breakfast in bed, a homemade card and some diamonds?" Instead, I was passive-aggressive about not feeling special on Mother's Day, and I wept a bit over Facebook after he left, listening to Jarrah splashing listlessly around the corner.

He did return with a white rose for me, and a can of General Foods International Coffee. Those of you who know me well, know that this was a loving gesture at least. And then we went down to the lobby for Mother's Day Brunch, though the Mother's Day part was just a coincidence--it was more like "Day After" brunch. (Day after the wedding, that is.)

There were indeed a lot of mothers there, and we all wished each other a good day while piling our plates with made-to-order omelettes, pie (inexplicably, the only carb available--no toast, bagels, muffins or savory breads) and I grabbed a mimosa (or two) for good measure. It was fun gossiping about the previous night's festivities, and Jarrah was immensely cheered by seeing her cousins--both new and old.

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye, and everyone started trickling away. For a long time, we couldn't find Jarrah at all, and panicked a bit, but then it turned out she was in Kay and Matt's room, hanging with their kids. That's how casual we'd all become after two days.

I was sort of dreading the drive in our tired and bedraggled state, but it really was just fine. Of course, we'd gone only a few exits before Jarrah started in with "Is this San Diego yet?" but she never got ornery about it. Well, there was one full-blown, crazy-head tantrum at our first fuel stop in Buellton, when I took her to the McDonalds bathroom while David got the "petrol," as he calls it. I asked her to "try" in the bathroom, and for some reason this was a button-pusher and resulted in her screaming and flailing and flinging water from her sink onto the lady at the next one. David--as it happened--was standing outside the girls room, stricken by all the caterwauling, not sure what to do. In retrospect, it's sort of funny that we went in all nonchalant and by the time he showed up, it was like bunnies were being killed in there. And who knows why? (I know those of you with children under five are nodding.) Within a few minutes, her first McD's fries made it all better.

We (well, I, actually) drove straight through to Ventura, and then exited at what I thought was the Harbor, so we could ride the carousel I'd read about and get some lunch. We did find the water, but no carousel (turned out it was the wrong exit) but no matter--it was also suddenly a frozen tundra down there, wind whipping through our brains, and Jarrah wanted nothing more than to get back in the car. We did get some burgers at a place called "The Habit," which looked scary but was scary delicious instead. That perked everyone up (well, David and I, anyway--Jarrah was on a hunger strike for the rest of the day.)

Back on the road, a bunch of traffic in LA, accompanied by my copious weeping as we listened to the podcast of a recent "This American Life," with a heart-wrenching account from a man losing his mother to cancer. I was definitely in a crying mood, so it felt good to indulge.

At this point, we realized we were making awesome time, so I suggested we stop to stretch our legs at the Irvine Spectrum in south Orange County, and Jarrah was convinced when she saw the giant Ferris wheel from the road. Though a mall, the Spectrum also has a carousel and a choo-choo, and Jarrah was not pleased that we told her "one only." I usually love Ferris wheels, but this one was glacially slow, and I ended up wishing I'd brought a book.

After, we got some fro-yo in the courtyard, and Jarrah cried because we'd gotten her cake batter with gummy bears when she actually wanted my plain vanilla cone (guess what happened then?) The sun was going down and the day was very pretty, and we were glad we wouldn't be getting home too late. Jarrah fell asleep on that last leg, and David did, too. I drove along in the dark, listening to music, feeling peaceful, but also wondering how the weekend had gone so fast, and plotting for our next vacation.


Amanda said...

Wow that is one great sounding adventure home, except for the McD's bathroom part. =)

Lots of little stops along the way, perfect.

Aunt LoLo said...

Hahaha...I must say, as I sit here alternately reading your blog post and looking at the hotels Lo Gung has booked for our upcoming road trip...I'm terrified. ;-)

Glad you had such a great time!

Blend said...

Nice post, enjoyed reading........

Marlene said...

Just wanted to say congratulations to you too--for the wedding, for the trip, for all you do. You, my dear friend, have a beautiful life ... not in spite of the caterwauling in the McDonald's bathroom--that sort of thing is inevitable, after all, but because you always find your way to the lovely place after.

Martha said...

I SAW that story on This American Life, when the broadcast was beamed live to select theaters across the country last month. To see him tell the story, to me, made it more real, more emotional. I too wept a little.

Happy belated mother's day, friend.