Sunday, November 15, 2009

Time Traveling: Summer Vacation Part III

Well, I haven't been doing much of note around here, so I guess I'd better go back in time and wrap up our Summer Vacation story. (Part I here. Part II here.)

Our trip continues...

After a couple nights in Long Beach with Pilar we drifted a few blocks over to our friends Dana + Nathan's place. Masters of economy of space, they live in half of a small duplex and have done a remarkable job of "fitting it all in" and still keeping plenty of peaceful, open space.

Dana has transformed their little sideyard with drought tolerant plantings that have grown, in just a few years, into a beautiful private extension of their home. Much of their living can happen outside thanks to her work.

This is a photo Jeff took last year looking from the front of their place down the sideyard. In only a few years it has grown from a dry, weed-y grass strip into this lovely refuge.

And from their oasis we traveled to the sun-baked Port of Long Beach. It's actually one of my favorite places to explore. Even though I don't feel very welcome down there, I always find eye-catching scenes of a life I hardly know.

We knew there would be a lot at the Port for Calder to enjoy. And though we couldn't get him a good view of Sea Launch from the bridges, he was happy to take in all the semi-truck traffic, port cranes, and giant ships. And when we came upon a massive construction site loaded with earth movers of all types barreling around the re-claimed landscape, well, we had to stop and take it in for a while.

We'd already eaten, but if you're ever in the vicinity of San Pedro at breakfast time I do recommend the Omelette and Waffle Shop on Gaffey. It's a diner-style place that always seems to be busy, has over 80 omelette combinations already on the menu before you even think to create your own, great waffles, friendly people, and much more.

I have no photos to document the lovely evening we shared Friday with Dana and Nathan at my college roommate Susan's parents' home in Van Nuys. Over the years I have had the great pleasure of introducing a number of people to the Silverman's Shabbat dinner. This time we were able to share it with Susan's 10 month old daughter, Georgie who I met for the first time this trip. Calder, I must add, enjoyed his first sip of manischewitz wine. So sweet! The Silverman's have one of the warmest, most inviting homes I've ever known. I always look forward to a chance to visit and catch up with Rita and Herb, and Susan too of course!

We spent the night at the Silverman's and that kept us very close to our second Valley destination - the home of Jumilla Stories, Tracy and her wonderful husband and two great girls.

A fabulous afternoon ensued with lunch, a dip in the pool, playing with all the funky toys rescued and scavenged from '70s childhoods, listening to D's band recordings interspersed with E's more tween-y(?) selections, and generally hanging out having a the best time "catching up" with new friends. It was great, and just what we needed to mellow out a whirlwind trip.

Did you tour Tracy's home the other day on cafemom? They've got some wild original wallpaper still shining bright in little corners of their home. (Though I don't recall any of it showing up on the tour.)

Our trip came to an end back in Long Beach with a gathering at Dana's parents' home for more swimming and feasting. I love being able to spend time with friends and their parents too.

This Southern California vacation was wonderful, albeit quite busy. We were able to see so many folks, eat well, play in pools and the Pacific. It was fun to introduce Calder to so many folks who've only seen photos and heard stories. I know he's at an age where he'll remember most of what we did.

Who knows when we'll find ourselves there again. I'm so glad we got to share our summer vacation with everyone - all the friends and family... and you too!

1 comment:

Tracy said...

i love it! d and i were just talking about the wallpaper today - we can't wait to take it all down - while everyone we know loves it. perhaps we need to look at it again ;) xo