Beach Mornings

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It’s been a while since the girls and I busted down to the beach for bagels and coffee on the sand on an early weekend morning. We used to do it more and it’s sad that summer is already gone and we made it down there only twice. Every year I vow to have more beach days and every year we get caught up in our regular inland lives (we only live 15 minutes from the beach!!) and forget we live right next-door to the most gorgeous natural tourist attraction that most people have to pay dearly to go see.

Funny how that is. The sun shines everywhere I guess.

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But we made it. I’ll thank the girls and my guilty conscience. I did feel terrible about not taking the dogs. But taking the dogs adds easily two extra hours, driving a different vehicle that is more work, lots of pulling and tugging and a buttload more sand everywhere. Mostly the pulling and tugging is what is hard. Have you seen my dogs at the ocean? They go bananas. I wish I could let them go free at the beach but they have a strict leash on policy.

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The girls are a million times easier than the dogs to manage. They sit and eat their breakfast and then go off and splash in the waves and I sit there watching them for as long as I can until my to-do list at home calls my name too loudly.

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Every time we say we are just going to the beach for breakfast and every time they beg to stay the whole day. More guilt. Why didn’t we plan a beach day this summer?!! We’ll have to do a fall beach day. But not this weekend because Pedram’s 80th birthday is going down and I have a million details to make sure happen. So many things!!!

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The waves were huge that day. Probably wash back from the hurricanes on the other side of the world.

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I couldn’t really get my camera to capture how gigantic they were. The mist from the pounding waves rose all the way to the parking lot.

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And then my to-do list called me and we hustled back home, sad we couldn’t stay.

Balboa Island Cheer-Ups

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This hardly ever happens but this last Saturday we had NOTHING planned. So we called a family meeting and hashed that out. Free time! Let’s use it!

The kids would have been perfectly content to sit in their rooms watching Youtube and Musically videos on their phones for hours on end but we knew we needed to get everyone together to do something a little more productive.

Me, being the super organized anal person that I am, grabbed a nearby white board and wrote down all the things we’d like to do.  I added things like “weed the atrium” and “paint the hallway.” They added things like “Soak City,” “Griffith Observatory,” “Ojai Lavendar Fields…”  This went on and on and in true bicker-sister fashion and nobody agreed on anything EXCEPT Balboa Island, probably because there was a candy store involved for the kids and a walk involved for me. (I’m the self-appointed resident health nut that annoys everyone.)

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Balboa Island for breakfast! Who knew! We have a shortage of good breakfast places in our neighborhood and the ones that are good have long lines around the building on a weekend. We didn’t know we could take a quick hop and a jump over to Balboa Island and have GREAT Mexican food at a place called Wilma’s Patio for breakfast. Hot Diggety! Bug and I were so happy. We could have Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday and never complain. The Persians in the house, not so much. Thankfully, Wilma had had other options too.  Joon had strawberry waffles and Payam had some kind of spicy Italian scramble. Everybody was happy.

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Then we did my favorite part: the walk around the island.

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I love looking at all the miniature houses and admiring the gardens.

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I didn’t mention this earlier but Joon has been navigating some difficult friendship alliances at school lately. It’s like being on a show of Survivor with people getting voted off the island sometimes.  This is totally normal for her age and Bug has had to deal with them too. But this particular friendship that’s been troubling Joon has really gotten her down.  It’s affected everything. Everyday she comes home saying she hates school and school hates her.  So even though she wanted to just sit in her room wearing her black sweatshirt with the hood pulled over her head and plugged into her headphones and ignoring everyone we really pushed her to get out and cheer up.

So when Payam suggested renting a Duffy boat and taking a little cruise around the harbor I knew it would be just the trick.

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And it was! Bug and Joon loved it! They chatted and bantered away like only sisters can. The sunny day drenched us with brightness. It was really hard not to enjoy the warm weather (that’s actually finally trying to be nice for a change instead of being all sweaty-sweaty dog’s breath), the cool breeze, the pretty water and all the boats everywhere.

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It did us all good. Joon is still struggling but we all felt connected. Sometimes I feel like she shuts us out and deals with it all in her head. She’s a tough cookie and it makes me sad that she internalizes her emotions. Growing up is so hard. I remember dealing with friendship break-ups myself and it was PAINFUL! Just because you are younger and bounce back quicker doesn’t mean it isn’t the same kind of pain we feel as adults. So we’re trying to be gentle with her.

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I think she’ll be fine. She just needs time.