Sunday, July 26, 2009

Catch a wave and I’m sitting on top of the world ♬

I am back from 10 days in Manhattan Beach, CA, vacation with my family. We stayed in my Manhattan Beach son’s girlfriend, Amber’s apartment, rooming with Dozer (Satan cat) and Camo (lovey cat) within a few steps, although very steep steps, from the sand. My Denver son, Kenny and Amber (so gracious of her!) joined the frat brothers (my beach son Walker, Matty & Alex) and Smokey (my grand-dog) at their Manhattan Beach Blvd home. Getting to the ocean, at least once per year, is a required prescription for me to be fully healthy. My happy place.

I went with a list of things I had not yet done in LA and wanted to do. I approached the beginning of the vacation eager to tackle my list in traditional Team Shiflet style, trying to take in as much as possible, as quickly as possible. Team Shiflet mode
came to a screeching halt, the second (early) evening sitting by the surf, when the five us were reminded of how beautiful life is! The waves rushed the shore spraying gentle drops on our skin, the soft breezes calmed our souls, and I think that each of us realized at that time, down time with the family is truly a precious gift.

Kenny, Bob and I did get to the LA Farmer’s Market, although on a day that hit 101 degrees inland. A divine lunch at a fabulous Greek restaurant, al fresco, was the highlight (try Ulysses Greek Voyage if you ever make it to downtown LA). We struck up a delightful conversation with the owner, Peter. He is soon going to Philadelphia to start another restaurant. Peter treated us to the freshest and best baklava at the end of our meal. The heated stroll through the market was tolerable as much of it is covered, and we each topped off the experience with a bottle of icey cold Orangina. Do we have that here? It is my new favorite soft drink.

Another warm day we spent at Redondo Beach at the pier and boardwalk. I had my hot dog on a stick and a fresh churro. I even indulged in a cold Fat Tire draft at Naja’s, where they boast over 80 beers on draft. I know, Fat Tire...the boys got more exciting drafts (I am not a big beer drinker). Probably the highlight of this adventure was talking with the three LA Breakers, 3rd Gen, as they set up for their performance.

These young men were very nice and phenomenally, athletically talented young men (not gang bangers as they humorously reminded the crowd).

We savoured lots of great food: Peruvian, Cuban, fresh King crab legs and shrimp, Father’s Office hamburgers (the best by far in the nation), awesome grilled marinated chicken, lamb kabobs and corn on the cob (thanks to Grillmaster Alex). I taught Amber how to make Sangria....she caught on quickly and has learned to make it stretch (and increase its “potentcy”).

There is a saying that “you are only as happy as your saddest child”. Both of my sons are happy right now. I am so very very happy. We were able to celebrate Kenny and Walker’s 27th birthday together at Father’s Office with some of their best friends. My boys have good friends, these friends will be friends for life. Life is so good when your children are loved and happy.

I caught my wave on vacation and I am still sitting on top of the world!
PS: By the way, Dozer is not really Satan..he is just moody...he talks (purrs) to you and wants you to love him, when you pet him you have to listen carefully....his mood can change in a split second (listen to the kitty!) and he becomes NASTY! He is still adorable, and slept by my feet. Camo is very affectionate, she is the momma cat, what else would one expect?


Mr. R. said...

Entertaining post, as usual! Keep 'em coming!

I'll post one too here in a few minutes...

ellen said...

You are amazing. If I were to score your voice and word choice I would give you 4s! How fun to hear about your trip. Thanks for sharing. Sorry you missed walking on Wednesday for your class-I'll be in Wichita this coming Wednesday so I'll miss the Lair of the Bear walk. We'll catch up another time.
Love, Ellen

Deb said...

Thank you both...I have been trying to step out of my box this summer w/writing and actually sharing I prepare to teach, I need to write to teach writing...I have gained a wealth of information and ideas from being a part of PLC with you! So thank you for helping me.