Saturday, July 11, 2009

Living Entirely For Pleasure These Days

Just had a few days with my friend Lix (not her actual name) visiting from Basel, Switzerland. She gets really annoyed when I tell people that, because then they expect her to be Swiss, and she's not. Still, I have to say it because, how cool is it that she came to visit me from Switzerland?

Lix and I go way back to teaching Muir Writing at UCSD. We met at the orientation, and though she's quite a bit younger, she's very bossy, so we were well-matched (Love you, Lix!) She ended up going to law school and glory and fame, and I stayed behind at UCSD for far too long. But through many cities, schools, jobs and inappropriate relationships, our friendship has endured.

I picked her up at the airport Wednesday afternoon, and we were off on an adventure to Pala Resort and Casino, in...well, I don't know where it is, but it's about 45 minutes from here and there are mountains and giant boulders all around it. David generously offered (actually, I think he was coerced) to pick Jarrah up from camp, so we were like Thelma and Louise without the inconvenience of being on the lam. (She has a daughter, too, who was hanging out with her husband and in-laws.) The hotel was very grand and not too smoky, and in no time at all we were chillin' by the pool with some mai-tais, chatting up Bartender Jason from Tacoma, WA. There was hot-tubbing, and Lix said I was telling my off-color stories in a way-too-loud voice to the great interest of a gentleman pretending to be asleep, but that's no different than other days. We flirted with the idea of spa treatments (too pricey) and gambling (not feeling the siren call) and some really, really expensive steak. But we're good girls at heart, so we ended up at an Italian place (the resort has 10 restaurants!) where I was presented with a meatball on my spaghetti that you could have seen from space (seriously, I could barely LIFT the leftovers.) It was a lovely evening, capped by Movies on Demand (we know how to party) and a Kenny Rogers look-alike in the elevator who leaned into my airspace and--literally--sniffed me. (Or maybe it was the meatball?)

We slept in the next day, and breakfasted by the pool, amazed at the truly perfect weather, and then headed out for a day of shopping. Sales at Banana, lemon bars at the Nordstrom Cafe, disorientation at H&M...I haven't shopped like that in years. There was a brief respite from fabulousness when we picked up Jarrah and she had a full-blown tantrum while waiting for Lix to check into her next hotel (she claimed I sabotaged her chocolate chip cookie; I pleaded innocent) followed by a barbecue back at our place. I took a long, sweaty sunset walk while the three of them fetched frozen yogurt with 96 toppings for dessert.

The next morning, David took Jarrah to camp while Lix and I headed to Coronado for my first official summer beach day, and it was just like heaven to lie in the sand laughing hysterically, read vampire fiction to the crash of the waves, and fall asleep in a liquid sun body glove (that's me being poetic-right?) We dashed back to the mainland so that Lix could attend my Nia class (her first!) and it was so thrilling to have her there--I love teaching, but I love it ten times more when a friend is visiting. After that, we made ourselves pretty and David picked us up for dinner and the theater--do you remember how I wailed and kvetched a while back about a show I didn't get cast in? Well, I'm ready to let it go, because wow. It was amazing. Funny, sad, complicated...incredible. Oh, and if you were in it and you're reading this--you were especially good.

This morning, we went to The Mission for breakfast--giant blueberry pancakes and chicken apple sausage and--of course--a pound of bacon for Jarrah. David and I used to roll sleepily into The Mission about noon-ish in our pre-child days, so it felt pretty cool to be returning with the child, who can mostly behave herself in such situations now.

And then, alas, we had to rush to the airport, because somehow--impossibly--the visit was already over. I know I'm going to feel blue tomorrow without my friend's company--it was like a little vacation without going too far (for me, anyway.)

I did have one little surprise from David to cushion the return to quotidian life...a brand new phone that I've had my eye on, with a full QWERTY keyboard. Readers, do you know anyone who likes to write as much as I do who has NEVER texted before? I'm already feeling right at home. It's a whole new world, and I'm going to experience it one thumb at a time.


Caroline said...

I just got my first QWERTY phone, too, and just started sending texts for the first time. :)

Pala is, ironically, in Pala. ;)

I want a week like yours. It all sounded fabulous!

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

What a lovely visit! I felt like I was there and now I'm practically digesting blueberry pancakes.

Stephanie said...

What a wonderful visit! My money says that guy was smelling you and that delicious lotion you wear. What is that stuff? I long to be sniffed by strangers, so it's either that or sticking a meatball in my ear!

Myrnie said...

What fun to have company, and so much time to spend together!

DrSpouse said...

Which phone? Need to know!

Sam said...

@Doc: Here's a photo:

@Steph: Wow, I never knew that about you. :) Yes, I was wearing the lotion (note to self: get some for Steph!) so maybe that was it. After all, that mom at T-ball was sniffing me, and she doesn't even look like Kenny Rogers. ;)

Mary said...

Still have yet to try the Mission. What is wrong with me? H&M? I hear good things about it!

Joan said...

Re Texting. About time. Back here in Australia we have been using it (aka SMS) for about 10 years. Mainly because it was always much cheaper than voice calls here. Great when traveling O/S.
Send us a message.

The Wades said...

I just learned what a QWERTY phone was two weeks ago. I need to carve out a phone and go get me one. (Please tell me you read that with a drawl.)

Awesome recap of your fun. Glad you have each other. Lix would be a fun real name to have. Just throwing that out there.

Explain the Jarrah bacon thing. I've already explained I'm ignorant with Jewish customs. Educate me, my friend. I have an unusual curiosity to learn. :)

I must know about the lotion. What kind??

Sam said...

@Michelle: The bacon thing is that I want Jarrah to enjoy her bit o' the hog without me telling her not to, even though I don't. I figure she has time to make a decision about it later, if she wants to.

The lotion is Bath & Bodyworks Warm Vanilla Sugar, but you have to get the Creme or the Body Butter--the lotion is not enough. ;)

Anonymous said...

Best vacation ever! Too many highlights to mention but have to say that I have started looking for a NIA class... although can't imagine that I will find as good a teacher as you! :) Miss you! xx Lix