Impromptu Catalina Weekend

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Payam surprised me with a quick trip to Catalina this last weekend. Yes, he’s that kind of guy. You can see why I’m so crazy about him. A weekend in Catalina for no reason at all!

My travel agent friend hooked us up with a sweet hotel. It was up a bit out of town and tucked away in a canyon. Very private and quiet.  Of course we hoofed it up the half mile up the hill to get there, sweating all the way before we figured out they offered a free shuttle from downtown. But that was good (for me) because I have stopped going to yoga and I need all the exercise I can get.

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I loved our little hilltop hotel. There was a dirt path up to a lookout point and the next morning I got up really early and sat in a chair and watched the sun rise. It was magical. The fact that there was hotel chair just sitting on the top of a dusty hill all by itself was magical all on it’s own. I wonder who carted it up there.

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Catalina can sometimes be a bit boring if you don’t like to sit around and drink. It only takes a few hours to completely explore the entire town and just a few hours more to explore the hills surrounding the town. So if you have more than a day you can sometimes find yourself sitting on the beach wondering what else to do. Not a bad thing of course but if you’re looking for high adventure let me recommend ziplining!

I was so scared when I first got to the Eco-tour Zipline location. I have a pretty healthy fear of heights and the thought of stepping off a platform into mid air scared the crap out of me! Eventually, I convinced myself that it was just like buckling yourself into a rollercoaster. You just have to trust the many belts and buckles holding you in and enjoy the thrill. And after that first zip boy did I enjoy the thrill! It totally made my trip! It was amazing to fly through the trees and down the canyon, taking in the amazing views as you zipped. catalina-weekend-4

Of course the drinks on the beach didn’t hinder either. Catalina is magical. There is an eddy that keeps all the marine layer (and cold/foggy weather) away from the town of Avalon so they have beautiful weather all year around. Even more beautiful than the rest of Southern California, which is saying a lot because we have pretty perfect weather most of the year! Unfortunately that also keeps rain and moisture away from them too so they are suffering the drought even worse than we are.

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We toured around town in a trusty little rent-by-the-hour golf cart and saw the sites.

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It was beautiful. We can’t wait to go back and take the kids too!

Random Blogables

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I am in a war with my daughter over reading a book. All I ask is: if she wants to play Minecraft all day or watch Stampy Cat youtube videos that she spend one (only ONE!) hour reading a book. She refuses. Books are so boooooooring.

Unfortunately, the only books we have available, because of my over-zealous packing, are The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King, Island of the Blue Dolphins, the Kon Marie decluttering book and the latest Lisa See book that I’m reading. I vote for the Stephen King Dragon book because I remember LOVING it as a kid. But maybe I was fourteen and not nine and maybe it’s slightly inappropriate for her age. (The first chapter does talk about how the prince was conceived…) I also want her to read the Island of the Blue Dolphin’s book but I’ve tried to read it to her chapter by chapter at night and we haven’t gotten further than chapter two so maybe it’s a little boring for her generation. I’ll give her that. So I’m forcing her to sit for an hour and stare at the books. Sooner or later she’ll get into one of them. Maybe she’s just not bored enough yet. It is a battle of wills.

And this is Summer vacation.

Packing and working and fighting with my kid.

What else is new you ask? Well, moving is super exciting. My house is full of boxes, stacked strategically so I can still take photos for my alphamom crafts and various other projects.

We’re planning and plotting Bug’s new room design. I can’t take over Payam’s already-decorated house (that would be rude) but I can help Bug design her own room because it’s mostly a blank slate. So far she’s picked mint green paint. It’s been a painful compromise.  She wanted black and green stripes with neon peace signs and floral graffiti. I wanted peaceful ocean tones with a giant mettaprints mural of the beach, some coachella macrame dreamcatchers in soft white ropey yarn… so we’re meeting in the middle over a zebra print pillow she found at Target that was mint green and gray. Isn’t it funny how much we don’t like each other’s taste? It’s a generational thing. I always hated my mother’s choices and Bug hates mine. Payback’s a bitch I guess.

randombloggables-2Lest you think Bug has turned into a trouble child let me exhibit her wonderfulness. She’s actually not very bad at all and gives me no trouble. That is the trouble! Her bad habits can be 100% attributed to my lack of parenting. It’s so much easier to get things done when the house is quiet and since she’s naturally an introvert like her dad it’s super easy for me to let her drift into quiet peacefulness, plugged into her laptop hour after hour.

When we both unplug and escape to our favorite haunts, we always have a lovely time.

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These pictures have nothing to do with anything other than the fact that the colors sort of match. It’s randomness. Instagrammed photos that are all blog posts in themselves but I have no time to write. The top picture is of some pretty pitchers that I’ve had to make hard decisions about. I can’t keep all my things because Payam has a house full of things and they just won’t fit. And so I whittle my collections down to the favorite of the favorites. It’s not easy but it’s not really a bad problem to have either.

The top right are some new shoes that are adorable and perfect except that they are just slightly too tight on the top of my foot (high arch) and so I’m afraid to wear them on days when I might have long adventures that cause blisters. This is a big drag because I might have adventure everyday! You just never know!  One perk of working in an office with no adventure in sight: you can wear uncomfortable pretty shoes.

The jeans on the lower left are Bug’s favorite, favorite, favorite butterfly-butt jean shorts. She’s worn them to death. They are size five and she is nine. You get the picture. So I convinced her to let me make them into a pillow. She thought that was a great idea but then after I finished lining them (so there would be pretty lace hanging out the bottom and the holes wouldn’t let stuffing out) she decided she wanted to wear the half lined pillow as a skirt. We’ll see how long that lasts. (See exhibit right hand picture: long legs for days.)

On/off buttons. Hmmm… I instagrammed that. Just more mood struggles that I think are more chemical/hormonal than situational because right now my life pretty much is awesome.

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And speaking of AWESOME, I booked a trip to Japan! In October. Yay!  I have a new travel agent friend who hooked me up. She seriously hooked me up, like under a thousand dollars hooked me up. (Please email me if you need her contact info.) If I had known that traveling the world could be so affordable I would have traveled a long time ago! So I’m super excited about that and I’m sure I will blog the entire thing.

Also, who is awesome? My boyfriend. I won’t go on and on because I know it will bore you all to tears and you’d rather read juicy stories about my dysfunctional relationships but he really IS great. Who else would wear a rapunzel wig and still look hot? Maybe it’s just me. This coming weekend he’s taking me to see Rent for my birthday. Awesome squared.

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Colorful awesomeness! I’ve been taking lots of pictures of my turquoise wall because I know I’m going to be leaving it soon. And no, I’m not painting one at Payam’s house because his house has very high ceilings and it would be a pain in the butt and also his house looks pretty great as it is. Don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll photograph the hell out of it once I move there and you will see for yourselves. And also I’m sure I will sneak in bits of my personality here and there. I just can’t go paint a whole wall.

So Rapunzel was in town with her purple hair and that was fun. She’s never one to be boring with her hair.

Did you know I have an entire small-size Home Depot box of lunch box crap? A whole box. You know, bento box things, small containers, that metal Minion lunch box that Bug refuses to use but I refuse to get rid of because it’s so cute? These are the things that are going to be super challenging when we move into Payam’s house. For such a big house, he has a pretty small kitchen with next to no storage space. So I’m going to be inventing interesting solutions for my stuff. Colorful plastic egg-mold hanging-mobile anyone?

randombloggables-6Lastly, some muted furry cat photos with a side of peach pie that actually turned out to be peach soup because I forgot to put the quarter cup of flour into the filling that the recipe called for. Plus, the peaches from my parents’ garden were sooper duper juicy. The store-bought pie crust was no match for their water content. But hey, peach soup is great for breakfast, right?