Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Summer Vacay - Stop 2 - Part 1, Central Coast (friends edition)

Our plan was to leave San Diego by no later than 10:00 AM on Tuesday.  Our reality was pulling out of town at almost 2:00 PM, which put us in Los Angeles at exactly 5:00 PM.  What with rush-hour, this was not exactly awesome timing, although it was fun for a while we tried to figure out if there were any celebrities stuck next to us in gridlock on the 101.  Before we were able to really see his profile, we thought for a while that this was Richard Simmons in the bright blue corvette.


(It wasn't.)

My one regret on this entire trip is that we didn't arrive in Santa Barbara a little earlier so we could have showed the children the house where Charlie grew up... and visited the beautiful cemetery where Charlie's mom is laid to rest.  Due to our extraordinarily late departure from San Diego, by the time we arrived in SB, the sun was setting and we had a very important dinner date with our beautiful niece, Angela.


Angela is Charlie brother's, Steve, and his wife, Kathy's - daughter and she is smart and beautiful and kind, and a true connoisseur of beer.  We had dinner at a brewery and it was great fun - particularly for Charlie and Angela who got to enjoy a pint. Or two.  I, however, was the designated driver since we were slated to be in Morro Bay that evening to visit my soul sister, Vivian, and her family.

We pulled out of Santa Barbara at around 9:00 PM and the kids were asleep by 9:01.  To ward off the grogginess,  Charlie took on the role of DJ and for the next 2.5 hours blasted me with "NAME THAT TUNE" from Pandora's Easy Listening station.

It shocked me how well I did.  Usually by the first few notes, I'd nail the song - and the artist - and then start belting out the words to entire verses I didn't even knew that I knew.
I long to see the sunlight in your hair, and tell you time and time again - how much I care. Sometimes I feel my heart will overflow! Hello! I've just GOT to let you know!
Lionel Richie who I haven't heard in what, 30 years?

How and why those lyrics are in the recesses of my brain I'll never know but I certainly appreciated that spectacular drive with my husband / co-pilot / DJ.   Forever seared in to my memory will be Charlie's smiling face in the darkness, lit up by his phone saying, "Oh, here's a good one ... you'll never get this."  And I'd immediately pelt out, "BARBRA STREISAND AND NEIL DIAMOND!  YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS ... ANYMORE!"

So Much Fun!

Our visit to Morro Bay was specifically so we could see our dear friends from Virginia.  We have known Zach and Vivian since their daughter was in our children's Kindergarten class, and Daisy Troop.  In this picture, I'm the one that is wearing five layers of clothes while my children are in bathings suits.  Don't let them fool you ... it gets very chilly on the central coast. Particularly if you're over the age of 12.


During our time in Virginia, Vivian and I became very close friends; just as our daughters did and it was such an amazing gift to see them this summer.


While spending two nights with our friends, we were able to catch up on all of the Virginia happenings over the past year.  We also caught up on our laundry.


And Bingo.


We visited Morro Rock to watch the otters play in the kelp, and our children go swimming in the frigid waters while we stayed on land with teeth chattering, trying to ward off the crazy squirrels.


Mostly, we just connected over cups of hot tea.


One of the things that I really appreciate about Vivian is that she is a PhD Psychologist who has had her own practice for years, and after many a talk when I'd confess the latest life saga and express my concern that I had some undiagnosed psychosis, she'd confidently reassure me and say, "Trust me, I'm a professional and I can tell you that you are delightfully and perfectly NORMAL."  Apparently ... a LOT of people who are also perfectly normal, want to sell off everything they own and buy an apple orchard. Or sheep farm. Or sailboat and cruise around the world, home ... er, boat schooling their children.   (I'd like to know how many actually do it??)


Anyway ... since Henry and their youngest daughter are informally betrothed, we're hopeful that an arranged marriage between our children will help keep our families close .