Last week we went on a secret vacation to California. I didn’t say anything before we left because I didn’t want to advertise that our house was empty because isn’t that one of the things you’re not supposed to do on the internet? Tell all the crazy people that your house will be empty for a week? So I didn’t tell you. But now we’re back, and I can tell you ALLLL about it, which will actually just me putting a bunch of pictures up here. Modern day vacation slides.
Hey, did I ever tell you about a history teacher I had in high school who literally showed us vacation slides? He and his friend “Mel” traveled around… Europe? I think? And took a bunch of pictures of each other crouched in front of large landmarks that honestly would not have been blocked at all if they had just stood up like normal people. That guy was weird. He also got the Mexican and Spanish-American Wars mixed up when he taught them to us. Or rather, when he taught one of them to us but added details from the other one. Remember the Maine! And Tyler too! Or something!
Right. California. So last December, my college friend Dr. Lapp (not her real name) who married an adorable Argentinian named Pato but whom Nora calls “Pasta,” came home to spend Christmas with the Lapp Family. (I mention that he is Argentinian only so I can tell you that we went to their wedding in Buenos Aires, and if you ever get invited to a wedding in Buenos Aires you should go. Those people know how to throw a party. Food! Entertainment! Dancing! More food! More dancing! More food! Hey, look at that, it’s 5am!) We managed to get together for lunch during which Dr. Lapp and Pasta let slip that they recently bought a gigantic house with fifteen to twenty extra bedrooms and that we should come visit. “Really?” we said, “Because we will.” So we did.
First of all, I may have taken some creative license there, because Dr. Lapp’s and Pasta’s house is really only FIVE bedrooms. But it is gorgeous. And so well-decorated. It’s like grown-ups live there. I honestly do not understand how people know what furniture and artwork to buy so that it all GOES together like that. And they’re not really done, as they still have to furnish several of the bedrooms. I have to say, if I had several bedrooms to furnish from scratch, I think the pressure would kill me. It’s helpful to have a slew of hand-me-down stuff to start with if you are decorationally-challenged, as I am.
Since Dr. Lapp and Pasta’s 23-bedroom house is a convenient half hour away from Disneyland, we bought a three-day park hopper pass and spent Monday, Wednesday, and Friday there. I have passed the point in life where Disneyland is where I’d spend my vacation, given a choice of anywhere, but that’s if it were just me. Taking little kids to Disneyland is something else entirely, and lordy, it was fun.
I had been worried that there wouldn’t be anything for Nora to do, but she could do almost everything! Her favorite thing was the Dumbo ride (“I rode effants!”) and her only complaint was that it was way too short, a message she conveyed by screaming and yelling when it was time to get off. Jack’s favorite thing was Splash Mountain, because I seem to have become the mother of someone old enough and tall enough to ride actual roller coasters. Please explain how that happened. Here’s what Nora did while Jack and Andrew rode Splash Mountain:
That’s Baby Minnie Mouse, who is Nora’s new favorite character, and whom she calls “Money.” Also, Minnie came with a sort of Velcro swaddling blanket that kept falling off, and Nora would say “I need help!” and then, “She’s very very very very very cold,” as we reswaddled her.
Speaking of Minnie, Nora was typical about meeting the characters. From far away, she was all about giving them hugs, but as soon as we got close she would cry. So we waited for a minute at Mickey’s house but when she lost interest, we left. She insisted upon waiting to meet Minnie, however, so I forced her to go through with the photo.
She looks thrilled, yes?
There were, all things considered, minimal tantrums or meltdowns at Disneyland, if you don’t count mine. But I was sick, so it totally doesn’t count. ANYONE would have been grumpy, trust me on this.
The days we weren’t at Disneyland we went to a local science museum, the beach, and a tiny nearby airport to eat lunch and watch the planes take off. Then we went swimming in the backyard pool of my friends’ 35-bedroom home. All told, it was a really fun, fabulous trip. And may I take this opportunity to say that we receive multiple compliments on our well-behaved children on each of the four different flights we took, so we win. (Seriously, the plane rides were easy! EASY! I don’ t know how we got so lucky.)