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Monday, November 28, 2011

Home From California

Mike & I just returned from our annual Thanksgiving trip to California and what a great time we had. First we went north to the bay area to visit Niece Marcy, Dryden and their precious son, Alastair.

Good parenting makes itself known, and it’s obvious in Alastair. He’s loving, personable, unafraid, funny and has an impressive vocabulary for a two-year-old. He also follows the family bent for music, occasionally halting whatever he was doing, calling out “dance!” and running into the living room griming broadly at a favorite song on the radio to perform an Alastair version of dancing. And all of this in his second week of pneumonia. All of the adults agreed that if we were as sick as he was, we’d be curled in a fetal position in bed. Ahh, to have a toddler’s energy and love of life.

The photos following those are of the next stop on our trip – LA County and time with my son, Alex. We did lots of fun things, explored a new mall, saw a movie, then were joined by Cousin Bill for our Thanksgiving dinner. On Friday we went to Venice Beach which, if you’re a Californian, says it all.

For the non-Californians, the simplest way to say it is that it’s an amazing place to people-watch. The first sign that we’d arrived was a not-so-young woman in a skimpy bikini covered with many tattoos, head shaved except for a top-knot, feet clad in combat boots, riding a skateboard that was being pulled by a large dog. Yep, that’s Venice Beach.

Then there was Botox by the Beach, an Oxygen Bar (to alleviate hangover, jet lag and other maladies), and many medical marijuana shops. The outdoor advertising at the marijuana stalls touted benefits for everything from cancer, depression and menstrual cramps. Forty dollars was the general fee which earned you an “evaluation.” If it was determined that your condition qualified you for the “medical” treatment, you’d be given a voucher that you would take to their dispensary a couple of blocks away. There you could buy whatever you needed and – oh, yeah – you’d receive two, free joints. So, basically, you’re paying $20 per joint. What a hoot. And from the aroma as we walked about, a lot of people were taking their medicine.

I also had Zoltar tell my fortune and we all had a great lunch. Alex’s big ah-hah moment of the trip was that there are foods other than burgers that are delicious and worth eating.

Next trip – after tax season is over.

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