Monday, October 26, 2015

Scenes From a Weekend

This past weekend marks the fourth time we have camped this side of the mountain. Each trip, attached to it's own unique and defining experience.

There was the first year in which we drove up in the orange bus and lined the length of the riverbank along with friends and family who gathered to watch W & E become man and wife. Her, barefoot in a black wedding gown crossing the water to be wed in the field under thunder clouds hanging low, and light rain all around. Leon and the meat bee sting. The popsicle that calmed his cries brought by the nice lady from across the liquor store who manned the register.

Then the next year with Kate and her family where I watched in sober contempt from a muddy motorhome window pane (newly, secretly pregnant with Hayes) as she got day drunk off Tequila and fell fast asleep in a tent in the rain for the rest of that afternoon.

The following year we arrived just before Halloween, in sweet time for their annual chili cook off that gathered us around the back corner of the moose lodge - decked out in dime store ghouls - a table crammed with amped up kids for a few rounds of Bingo, in which Arlo won $20 and we all stumbled out after the late night win to find "tripod" - the local bar bear - rummaging through a trash can 15 feet in front of us. The next morning, waking to new frost on the hood of our new airstream. A baby in a knit snow hat and hot coffee to the brim of our cups. Kevin, hanging from a tree branch with an ever steady iPhone, ready to suspend the moment by one single, glorious camp side shot of us all there enjoying the hour.

This year, unfortunately, the defining event was far less romantic. Poor Leon, burned by hot oil in a pan pulled from the fire pit. A freak spill that struck him like an electric shock and sent him straight into a fit of hysteria for the remainder of our last evening hours around the fire. Where looking back I know I might never forget the peaks of frustration we hit with all six of us wedged inside that weird orange tent, sockless, and freezing, trying to sooth an inconsolable pain AND wrangle a restless baby walking deliriously around our dark tent space. Smacking me in the face for no good reason at all, refusing a pillow to lay on every time I begged him to. Downright awful. In every way, by every hour.  Yet traditionally "Unforgettable"just like all the rest.

The photos above are what I managed just before my camera went dead. Bike rides in the open field. A hammock over the river to fight over, a short hike to collect acorns for November craft wants. And the infamous mobile zipline strung from tree to tree over the water that let a few kids feel like they could fly for a good half hour before the lady from across the way came rushing over to seize the stunts. No liability insurance she told us, with a smile. The same smile that came trudging to us up the hill with the popsicle remedy three years before. Who I really could have used, sometime around 3am in the tretches of that trying night.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Long Live the Slumber Party

It's such a shame. Some of the things we tend to outgrow as grown women, right? Slumber parties being possibly the saddest of them all. (Though I would say Journal writing runs a close second. . . ) 

A couple weeks ago we decided in honor of Jess moving we would resurrect the long lost tradition and gather in my home, like old times to invade the living room with bean bags for a night filled with fancy cheese plates, Motown records, and gratefruit spritzers. We lined the floor with quilts and thrifted floral sheets, stacked pillows around the table and dragged two twin mattresses down for additional lounging. The attire consisted of satin and lace with ladies arriving in vintage night gowns & robes in place of the classic sleep over uniform that we all embraced as 12 year olds back in the 90s, clad in square flannel plaid nightgowns, and slick braided hair. 

Sure enough, it proved just as fun as it ever was. With two hilarious rounds of charades, an x rated version of "never have I ever," and even a half drunken toilet papering run shortly after I had fallen asleep and the ladies decided to go up around the corner with a case of Costco paper to target a house at random. They swear it was the best time they've all had in a good long while. Way to keep suburbia on edge, ladies. 

So keep it in mind. How much somethings never change. Like how great it still feels to wile away an entire evening playing board games, dancing in pajamas and spilling secrets with your best girlfriends by your side. It should still be a "thing" don't you think? Because why should six graders get to have all the fun?

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Around Here

Snapshots of the everyday. 

$5 Oil Painting I passed up at my favorite thrift store last week but returned to hunt down Monday. A nice pop of color in an otherwise quiet white bathroom.

Fall dresses I'm not wearing because it's still to hot to resemble anything close to Autumn.

New shoes I am wearing, with the sun dresses I keep trying to retire.

*A fourth grade apology note written to Arlo after a brief playground tiff got physical a couple weeks ago when he heard a fellow classmate call Leon a name, with instructions to "Open at home and in front of mom" and reads: "to my friend Arlo. I am sorry for what I said about your brother and mom / family. I well never ever say one mean thing about your family. It's ok to tell me "I'm not you're friend." I under stand but are we friends? Tell me whenever you want. Sincerely, Brandon. p.s. Also I feel bad for saying those things to you. I let my feelings take over me. Im sorry for everything I did. 

Above baby's bed.

Fall scents.

Yesterday's especially calm coffee hour.

Bedside goods.

Morning bath.

Thrifted basket, broken jewelry.

First bowl of Pumpkin O's. Not too bad.

My new favorite children's book. Illustrated by one of the best, Carson Ellis.

* This note makes me happy. Arlo commented about it seeming totally "mommed out." As in, very obviously drafted by his mother's command. But that's what makes it so great. An old school apology note still goes a long way. I told him I would have handled it the exact same way.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The House Guest

I had the rare luxury of lounging around in bed for the better half of a slow Saturday morning last weekend where I stumbled across a couple Ace & Jig's shorts I'd never seen before.

I think they're all refreshing new takes on advertising.

Posted below is "The House Guest" - my favorite. But you can find "Cancelled" here, and their latest, directed by the endlessly talented Gallo duo, Here.

Last of These L.A Afternoons

In wrapping up the last of our frequently visited L.A haunts tour, as my best friend prepares to up and herself across country to settle into a city with a new loft waiting her in Brooklyn early next week we made sure to stop in at an old familiar spot last Monday to have lunch before the museum, at Ledlow on Main. Formerly "Pete's." Where we spent a good part of our late twenties trying to our best to dissect the shaky state of our lives back then. When we all worked bad jobs and consumed too many plates piled high with garlic fries to make up for it. Cried about boyfriends over craft beers we couldn't afford. And then laughed about being broke, and dreamed about better days ahead.

A decade later, our last lunch with her in this city was spent beside a particularly fussy 17 month old who helped ensure we didn't get too emotional about it all. Because it's almost impossible to make much room for over cooked sentiments when your lunch date is prone to screaming at all the waiters passing by, and in constant danger of stabbing himself (or you) in the arm just before the food arrives.

So, we bid adieu. Leaving a decade of memories behind us. Just like that.

Thanks for all the good times Pete's.
Err, I mean, "Ledlow."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Holidays

This past weekend our family spent some time over at The Holidays. A new camp site nestled inside of San Clementine state camp sites I had seen and been curious about ever since stumbling upon photos floating around Instagram a few weeks back when it first opened. 

A new beachside boon made up of three reissued Shasta trailers that work to secure that old school communal camp vibe we're all so desperate to get a piece of these days. So that all parts of it aim to engage campers on site. A single fire pit is conveniently anchored in the center of the space, with seating spread around and a small game shed stocked with everything from glow sticks, to ladders, to ring toss, to hula hoops, and other goods that makes it easy to draw the kids on site to connect and play one another. Big plus for the parents who yearn for an easy hassle free weekend destination vacation where they get to kick up their feet up in the shade under the trailer awning and have a beer or read a book while the kids stay easily entertained. Which is exactly what we did a majority of our time there. Sure the beach is close by, but the camp sites themselves feel so cozy it's hard to talk yourselves into busting out. Even for some bagels. Which we in fact managed. Twice during our stay. 

The best part however is the hosts, Andy and Liz, an exceptionally friendly couple who made sure they were there on hand to welcome us late Thursday night upon arrival so they could show us all the amenities, share some of the background details that went into seeing this place into reality, and set up a bonfire with s'mores that their two young sons and our boys all enjoyed after we had managed to get fully unpacked and settled in. We talked some about their plans for the future, and where they hope they might expand on this vision both here at San Clemente as well as other parks in So Cal down the line. So all you locals might want to keep an eye out for what's in store. Seems this is just the begnining of something grand on the campground horizons. So bookmark the spot. Because from what I can tell it looks like The Holidays are here to stay. 

Weekend Footnotes:
- An Impromptu meet up Friday evening with our friends Kate and Ellen and their daughter Adelaide  turned into an overnight gig with them parked beside us in their beautifully restored airstream which they are currently living and traveling in. Friends we had actually yet to meet in person. So a bbq, good music, coolers of beer and an on site playdate with the kids proved the perfect way for a long over due real life introduction. You can read more about their story here