Venice Beach

It's always funny to me how the same boiling enthusiasm we hold for the start of summer is revived weeks later. Reborn come the impending school year. To bring us back to order. Hand us back into the good grips of routine.

I know for me, come the end of July I am usually edging towards a seasonal breakdown. To the point where I half jokingly told a friend even the breath of my kids at the breakfast table was riding on my frail nerves, having been fundamentally exhausted by a jam packed summer where days roll into ragged weeks carved out in the sun. So many kids swarming my house all hours of the day, to feed, scold and check in on. The six of us constantly on the go. Scrambling to keep things in order during our brief stints at home between camp weekends, road trips and pool parties. It's all the good stuff, the kind of stuff we live for, but just like all the best things, bares an expiration. And all I know is come the start of September, I happily surrender. Which, I suppose, is the whole grand idea behind summer break.

We spent last weekend before school started in Venice Beach. On a last minute booking of a cheap motel I snagged in Hermosa Beach, simply based on it's close vicinity to the skate bowl they've been eager to visit all year long. Getting there before the crowd is the only way to let an outsider in. Before the regulars show up and claim it entirely. We made it there with a solid hour to spare. The boys finding their way around the concrete slopes of the park. Leon chasing Pokemon and Hayes, making friends with the homeless and hunting a flock of uninterested pigeons hunting bread crumbs.

On the way home, after an early lunch on the boardwalk with strange tasting garlic burgers and a Hare Krishna festival sing-a-long, we headed home. Stopping to entertain my one and only Venice Beach day wish. A drive by of Fiona Apple's corner lot bungalow where we paused just long enough to catch a glimpse of her opening the gate for a friend with an armful of flowers. The shadowy wisp of her thin outline and long hair being enough to satisfy the 17 year old fangirl in me. And remind the boys that modern Venice hero's exist outside of those gritty Dogtown documentaries. Even if none of them were quick to appreciate the revival of Shadowboxer I let play on the whole car ride home.

Either way, I'm soaking up the new long hours I have now with just one at home. Part of me misses them at certain hours on certain days, but I can say the laundry is done and a quiet house, for the most part, isn't so hard to get use to.