I had a little break in schedule this past week, as I came down with a mother of a head cold (sort of still have it...) and I also opted to take a long weekend and jet up to Tulsa to visit some family. With TL still back in NY tending to Tony and Doris, it was getting to be a bit lonely around here and as much as I love having a clean house and the remote all to myself, I am missing his company more than I thought I was going to. No one makes me laugh like he does and the silence was getting to me just a bit, so off I went.
I had a great visit with my Aunt Debbie and my Aunt Vickie. They are both my mother's sisters, one older and one younger. I've always been pretty close to both of them, so it was a nice visit and we laughed a lot. I found it very interesting that I seemed to fit right into my mother's role as the middle sister; the one who has perfectly timed humor, the creative one and the one who just completes the trio. The older sister Debbie, is the intellectual one, the one who seems to have all the wisdom and maturity. While the younger one Vickie, well she is the quiet one, the shy one, the one who sits back and lets others shine. Then there was my mother Pat, she was always the life of the party, always making everyone laugh, loving all the attention and whose idea it was to have the party in the first place. That is so me. Or at least it was this past weekend. Oh, and in spite of my Aunt Debbie falling down a step while we were looking at Million Dollar Open Houses on Sunday, breaking her ankle, spraining the other and us all spending 6 hours in the ER, we really did have a great time reminiscing and hanging out.
I still have a few stories saved up from our trip to Cali for Christmas... Here are a few photo's from our day out at the Temecula Valley Wineries. We had a limo for the day and good thing too, because even though there were 12 of us, I can tell you that after tasting wine for 5 hours there wasn't one of us who could drive home. It was a blast! My favorite find of the day was at the Wilson Creek Winery...Almond Champagne. Yum and Yum. Mix that with a little Chocolate Port and you got yer'self a genuine Almond Joy. Sounds too sweet I know, but it was heaven in a glass...
This is the crew... Dignity still in tact...!
The beautiful views of the Temecula Valley... My hysterical drunk (older) brother... And a vacationing couple trying to figure out a way to move back to California...
Drunks piled in the limo... This is Scott doing his impression of Joaquin Phoenix doing his impression of Johnny Cash... "Hello, My name is Johnny Cash." And the last photo of the night, "Happy New Year's Eve-Eve..."
Remember when I was so spaced out the weeks before Christmas and I kept mentioning how I was sewing up a storm, and how lucky my little niece was going to be when she opened up her present?
Well here is what I was working so hard on those last few nights, staying up till 1am each night to finish in time... (along with my Christmas Cards, Silk Gift Bags, and even a homemade Spider Man Cape for my nephew...)
Little Pink Pants, a Fur Vest with matching Fur Hat... (can you say CUTE?)
Well, I wish I could show you the wonderful reaction my niece had when she opened up her Gift Tube with these cute clothes wrapped inside. But I can't. She never got them. I thought I was sooo clever wrapping the outfits individually in tissue paper and then placing them in one of those Wine Gift Tubes and carrying that gift tube ON the airplane with me, since it didn't fit in any of our suitcases. I thought no big deal, I'll just carry the tube on the plane with me, that way it won't get lost. WRONG... Don't you know that I left that tube on our first mode of transportation. That tube never even made it to the Security Check Point. I left it on the Shuttle Bus, the one that took us from the Remote Parking Lot to the Airport. But of course I didn't even realize I didn't have it until we landed in Long Beach; 1200 miles and 6 hours later.
I was just so exhausted, out of it, a goner by the day we left, that I didn't even notice that I didn't have it with me. The irony of course, is that I was all of those things; tired, out of it, etc., because I had stayed up so late each night sewing the damn things. Well, I hope the shuttle driver's grandaughter enjoyed them at least.
I could be seen later that night, Christmas Eve of all nights, scrambling at the Temecula Targe't buying a Store Bought gift. (shudder...) Ugh! At least she did get the Sleeping Bag I made... (but of course didn't get a picture of) and this...
A mini version of my Holiday Apron, that we each wore Christmas morning to make the breakfast. FUN!
We left on Christmas Eve early that morning with much excitement to get to California. The flight seemed long, and then got even longer. 30 minutes from our anticipated landing time, the pilot came on the loud speaker and said that there was too much Fog in Long Beach for us to land and that we would have to divert to LAX. Ugh. We were so close... It was more the "not knowing" what was going to happen that bugged me.
When I purchased the tickets, Long Beach was the only place we could fly into without having to pay a fortune, and since we knew our way through Orange County, it didn't seem that big of a deal at the time to fly in there. We were already planning on renting a car for the week, so driving down to Temecula where my brother lives didn't seem like it would be too big of a trip. But now we were stuck in LA with a Joke Wielding Pilot who insisted on keeping us in the dark about if they were going to wait it out and still try to fly into Long Beach or let us off of the plane to fend for ourselves. The jokes just kept coming... "The bad news is, we still don't have any information for you, but the good news is I just saved a ton of money on my car insurance with Geico." Spare me please. Anyway, 45 minutes later of just sitting on the tarmac, waiting, wondering and taking pictures with my new camera phone to amuse myself... Anything to try and ignore that f'n pilot!
"I hate Fog..."
We finally took off, flew out over the pacific and landed in Long Beach exactly 15 minutes later. This was our first encounter with California-ness. Nice huh?
Man, it's the 7th of January already? This year is just flying by... So many things to tell you. It seems a little overwhelming to me to recap the last 2 weeks as so much has happened, so I will do my best to give you the rundown and then update daily with little stories of the good times we had.
Flight to California... "The longest ever!" Once we got to California... "GREAT!" Seeing family... "Wonderful!" Christmas..."Fulfilling!" Niece and Nephews..."The best!" My Big Brother..."Hilarious!" Football on TV... "How many freak'n games are there?" The OC..."You can't go back." My mom's old house... "GONE!" (long story will share later) Temecula Valley Wine Country..."Beautiful and give me some more of that Almond Champagne!" Laguna Beach..."Rainy, and even though I love the show, the kids in real life are WAY annoying." New Years Eve..."Fun, but we were in bed by 10:30pm." Trip home..."Early, but smooth."
That is the quick version... More details to come with pictures too!
Please keep Tony and Doris (My parent in laws) in your prayers... TL had to go out and spend some time with them in NY. His mom is back in the nursing home recouping from a broken hip, and his dad was diagnosed with an Aneurysm in his stomach. It's just all bad, not good. My heart breaks for my husband and what he is going to be faced with these next few years.