Our August Los Angeles Trip

Just wanted to take a second to mention the wonderful trip we had in August to LA. I kept on thinking i would write a big post about it, but i will never have time, so Mom! Here are a bunch of photos!

Todd spends a lot of time in LA. At Five Star Hotels like this. Or this. Not that I’m bitter. Nope. I am so satisfied with the sweet, sweet bath products he brings home. . . Not at all addicted to Blood Orange products from Red Flower. I had never been! I thought i would hate it, but i loved it.

Anyways, his cousin got married there and so we made a family vacay out of it, rented a house with his brother and parents. It was the biggest trip we’d ever taken as a family.

 

Waiting at the ATL airport. Her first ever plane ride. See that smile on MY face? Xanax.

Waiting at the ATL airport. Her first ever plane ride. See that smile on MY face? Xanax.

The pilots were super cool to let R. sit in the cockpit. Nothing says professional pilot like a bumble bee pillow pet in the cockpit.

The pilots were super cool to let R. sit in the cockpit. Nothing says professional pilot like a bumble bee pillow pet in the cockpit.

Don't we clean up real nice.

Don’t we clean up real nice.

Rollie in dressy clothes is just so very handsome. Makes my heart miss a beat. And tiller's outfit is one of those things I can never ever throw out, even though she will out grow it. And i will wonder how she was ever so small.

Rollie in dressy clothes is just so very handsome. Makes my heart miss a beat. And tiller’s outfit is one of those things I can never ever throw out, even though she will out grow it. And i will wonder how she was ever so small.

Eric the Groom. (Todd's cousin.) Talk about handsome.

Eric the Groom. (Todd’s cousin.) Talk about handsome.

Tiller and her J. grandparents.

Tiller and her J. grandparents.

Me and my brother-in-law Wade.

Me and my brother-in-law Wade.

Me with Todd's cousin, Jennifer. I WISH i could wear that color green. Just amazing.

Me with Todd’s cousin, Jennifer. I WISH i could wear that color green. Just amazing.

Jenn trying to get R. to have his picture made. You probably wonder why so many photos of R? He actively despises having hsi photo taken.

Jenn trying to get R. to have his picture made. You probably wonder why so many photos of T? Rollie actively despises having his photo taken.

Tiller and I with the ladies of the Johnson family - l-r: Tiller, me, Jami (my SIL), cousin Jenn (a Shah, not a Johnson), my MIL.

Tiller and I with the ladies of the Johnson family – l-r: Tiller, me, Jami (my SIL), cousin Jenn (a Shah, not a Johnson), my MIL, and Aunt Sherry. Sherry honored us by asking us to give family gifts to the bride. Basically, we take these gifts (food, jewelry, textiles) and we carry the in the Baraat (Groom’s family procession to the wedding) and then we present them. Tiller’s was heavy and it was about a million degrees and i ended up carrying them both, and it was really a cool experience.

Me and Todd's Aunt Sherry. I love her.

Me and Todd’s Aunt Sherry. I love her.

The Groom's procession, which is called a Baraat.

The Groom’s procession, which is called a Baraat. The family and friends of the groom process to the wedding. Here, we were on the campus, and there was music and an Indian DJ and i don’t really know how to describe it except that it felt like being in a movie. It was really beautiful and festive and fun, and the best part was that complete strangers stopped to watch, and some danced, and they clapped, and they took video. I wish that one of us had taken video, but i was carrying a basket full of saris and a bunch of candy and nuts, and trying not to rip the hell out of my sari, or worse, just have it fall off me right there in the street. (Fat chance. So many safety pins!)

I wish i had gotten a better photo of this. After the procession, there was some standing on a box, i think? Or a footstool? It was beautiful.

I wish i had gotten a better photo of this. After the procession, there was some standing on a box, i think? Or a footstool? It was beautiful. She’s Vrinda. She and my father-in-law decided that her Alabama name is Vrinda Lou. That just cracks me up. She is beautiful.

Bride and groom. And so colorful.

Bride and groom. Everything so colorful. So, the morning the wedding, Aunt Sherry says that she’d like me to be one of the young married girls (ha!) who give a prayer/blessing/word of advice to the bride. So, i am already feeling crazy in this sari, and then i have to take off my shoes, and go up on the dais and walk up to the bride and whisper something to her. It was very special and what a wonderful tradition.

So, i didn't realize while sitting during the ceremony, but todd pointed out to me after, from the steps of the Natural History museum, that the rose garden the ceremony was in is "The Jeffersonian" from Bones.

So, i didn’t realize while sitting during the ceremony, but todd pointed out to me after, from the steps of the Natural History museum, that the rose garden the ceremony was in is “The Jeffersonian” from Bones. Unfortunately, there was no Booth there. (Angel!)

I just loved this photo. Beautiful women walking in a group amidst dinosaurs.

I just loved this photo. Beautiful women walking in a group amidst dinosaurs.

Coolest reception venue ever.

Coolest reception venue ever.

Loved the contrast of people sitting around eating amazing Indian food while the dioramas of wild animals were all around. Photos didn't do it justice.

Loved the contrast of people sitting around eating amazing Indian food while the dioramas of wild animals were all around. Photos didn’t do it justice.

Not pictured: My children falling asleep at the table before dinner was served because their little bodies were on East Coast time. It was like 1 am their time!

Not pictured: My children falling asleep at the table before dinner was served because their little bodies were on East Coast time. It was like 1 am their time!

My mother-in-law, pensive at a hotel window while they wedding party dresses.

My mother-in-law, pensive at a hotel window while the wedding party dresses.

Me and the badills! Look out, a dinosaur!

Me and the badills! Look out, a dinosaur!

Tiller took this one. Pretty good.

Tiller took this one. Pretty good.

Everyone loved the farmer's market.

The next day, we got up and went to the Farmer’s Market. Everyone loved the farmer’s market.

Okay, not everyone. Some of us are starting to act like sullen teens, or as lucy's mama calls it, "tenagers."

Okay, not everyone. Some of us are starting to act like sullen teens, or as lucy’s mama calls it, “tenagers.”

Caught reading at the American Girl store.

Caught reading at the American Girl store.

Tiller was determined to see the Hollywood sign. Everything she knew about LA before we got there she learned from American Idol and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Tiller was determined to see the Hollywood sign. Everything she knew about LA before we got there she learned from American Idol and Beverly Hills Chihuahua.

Hollywood, Dog.

Hollywood, Dog.

Hence the sign. Yes, we did one of those movie star home tours, and I won't lie. I liked it. Ice Cube's house, yo!

Hence the sign. Yes, we did one of those movie star homes, and I won’t lie. I liked it. Ice Cube’s house, yo!

Then we stopped at this random fair. We love random fairs. One of the rides was The Sizzler. Todd and I said a lot of "Jenny SIZZLER!"

Then we stopped at this random fair. We love random fairs. One of the rides was The Sizzler. Todd and I said a lot of “Jenny SIZZLER!”

Jenny Sizzler!

Jenny Sizzler!

This was the coffee shop near the house we rented. It was one of those coffee shops that felt like a home coffee shop. One that you visit regularly.

This was the coffee shop near the house we rented. It was one of those coffee shops that felt like a home coffee shop. One that you visit regularly.

This was the liquor store by our house. Who doesn't like clowns pedaling liquor while playing a drum?

This was the liquor store by our house. Who doesn’t like clowns pedaling liquor while playing a drum?

The house was okay. The backyard and indoor/outdoor seamlessness was right up my alley.

The house was okay. The backyard and indoor/outdoor seamlessness was right up my alley.

So, kids on Venice Beach? So fun. My kids have a high threshold for weird and different, but they were pretty awed by this place.

So, kids on Venice Beach? So fun. My kids have a high threshold for weird and different, but they were pretty awed by this place.

We could have stood and watched the skaters all day. Proud of Tills for asking where the girls were. . .

We could have stood and watched the skaters all day. Proud of Tills for asking where the girls were. . .

And then the pier that afternoon. See how it is sunny and short sleeves?

And then the pier that afternoon. See how it is sunny and short sleeves?

She makes me catch my breath.

She makes me catch my breath.

And this was not two hours later. Windy, foggy, chilly.

And this was not two hours later. Windy, foggy, chilly.

We rode the West Coaster about. . . 20 times in a row?

We rode the West Coaster about. . . 20 times in a row?

Next day? Universal. Yes, i was tired by this time. This is the Bates Motel. Guess who tried to stab me on the tour? Norman! Best part of the day.

Next day? Universal. Yes, i was tired by this time. This is the Bates Motel. Guess who tried to stab me on the tour? Norman! Best part of the day.

And then there was a trip up to Lee Carillo state park. Beautiful, relaxing, felt like a movie. Probably because OMG Grease was filmed there.

And then there was a trip up to Lee Carillo state park. Beautiful, relaxing, felt like a movie. Probably because OMG Grease was filmed there.

I was freezing. Kids didn't seem to mind.

I was freezing. Kids didn’t seem to mind.

Awesomeness: They had never held a starfish before.

Awesomeness: They had never held a starfish before.

 

She fit right in with the sand and the sky and the water. My Cali girl.

She fit right in with the sand and the sky and the water. My Cali girl.

And, you know how, in the movies, people’s lives flash before their eyes when they’re about to die, or when they thing they’re gonna die? And they see all sorts of random things, but they are shiny and happy and sunny? I think one of my flashes will be sitting at a picnic table in the late afternoon at a seafood place on the california coast, the wind blowing, the sun shining, with the three tired, slightly sun-kissed people i love most in the world.

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