Monday, June 30, 2008

San Clemente Vacation, PART THREE

[read parts one and two below first :) ]


We spend the morning lounging around the condo. We read books and socialize while the Squeak takes his nap. In the evening, Pipsqueak and I join Atina and Uncy on a visit to Laguna Beach. We visit a natural/organic goods store and then pick up a few things at the Whole Foods. We then walk down to the beach and stroll on the boardwalk, just taking in the sights. We are jealous that the beach is so sandy; San Clemente is unusually rocky this week. It is beautiful and warm and sunny and full of life and activity. We walk to the tide pools and see some crabs and anemones, then walk up the hill through a small garden park. From the top of the hill we can see two dolphins playing in the surf not far from the shore. We walk up and down the streets. Laguna Beach is a cute little town with a fun downtown center, perfect for walking. We go home and eat some dinner and then go to bed.

Our last full day of vacation :( Grammy leaves to return home in the morning. An old friend and roommate of my sisters is coming to visit from LA today, so we have planned a chill day of visiting and lounging on the beach. We head down to the beach. I go swimming and boogie-boarding with Jules and T while Atina and Uncy watch Pipsqueak. While I am swimming, Atina successfully gets Pip to sleep and lays him on the towel under the shade umbrella. I hadn’t planned to swim, because I thought I would just be watching and playing with Pip, then taking him up to nap, so I didn’t think to apply sunscreen…huge, huge mistake! I get so SO burned while in the water, but don’t realize it until later that evening. When friends arrive from LA, we come in from swimming and visit in the shade. Pipsqueak wakes and we eat some lunch. We try to go back in the water, but by now the tide is too crazy. Uncy, Atina, and I attempt some swimming but are tossed about by the waves and exhaust pretty quickly. We go back up to the condo, change into dry clothes, and head back down to walk on the beach, down the pier, and then up Del Mar (“downtown”) to find a restaurant to have dinner. By now the sunburn on my back is really starting to ache, especially as I carry Pipsqueak in the Mei Tai on my back. We end up at the popular little Mexican restaurant and have to wait over 30 minutes for a table. We are finally seated and after another long wait we get our food, which is mediocre at best, definitely a disappointment for such a hyped-up restaurant. But our bellies are filled, and the company is good, so there’s not too much to complain about. We walk back to the condo, where I put Pip to bed and we just sit and visit until our friends leave and we go to bed.

We awake at 5 a.m. to get all our packing, cleaning, and laundry done. We do get it all done and are out the door and on the 5 (freeway) by 7:30. We fill up the tank on the rental car and arrive at the Long Beach Airport at about 8:30. The Long Beach Airport is like nothing I’ve ever seen. It is seriously second-rate! It is basically 3 portable buildings and nothing more. The Delta employee at the counter is too lazy to do anything so even though we are 2 hours early for our flight, she won’t change my seat assignment so I can sit near Jules and T. Well the travel experience just keeps getting better! When we board, I am in an aisle seat in row 7, and Jules and T have the back row in the plane (about row 13). We are told the flight will be totally full so I am prepared to have to hold Pip on my lap for the duration of the flight, but I hope to trade someone seats so I can sit near Jules and T to have a little help handling him. An older couple boards the plane after me, and the wife will be sitting in the window seat next to me while her husband sits in the window seat 2 rows up. I offer to trade him seats so they can sit together, thinking I might earn some good karma that will come in handy later when I ask someone else to trade me seats so I can sit nearer to Jules and T. Well, the plane gets fuller and fuller, and one of the last people on the flight is a rather large man, weighing around 400 pounds I would guess. I am thinking there is no way I will end up next to this man; things like this only happen in Seinfeld. Well of course he takes his seat next to me and Pipsqueak. As he lifts the armrest between us to sit, I think to myself that there is no way anyone will trade me seats now. I am not trying to be rude but seriously, no one wants to be completely cramped for an entire flight, and anyone sitting next to such a large person will inevitably be incredibly cramped. I just have to laugh to myself at how absurd it is. I trade someone seats to be nice and hoping to have the favor returned to me, and I end up instead holding my toddler on my lap in a seat not even big enough for my toddler to sit without me! The entire flight is pretty miserable. While the man is nice enough and makes pleasant small talk with me, I just can’t be comfortable, and Pipsqueak is a bit hard to handle. There isn’t enough room for me to reach down to get my bag, so we don’t have any toys or books or snacks or anything. There isn’t room for me to put my tray down, so when the flight attendant brings drinks/snacks, I am holding Pipsqueak on my lap and also trying to juggle his drink, my drink, his snack, my snack, and my magazine... Then suddenly I feel a wet warmth spread across my lap. Pipsqueak has peed straight through his diaper and now he is soaked and I am soaked. Stupid disposable diapers...! So I have to dig blindly into my bag to get a diaper, wipes, and extra clothes for him (unfortunately, I packed extra everything EXCEPT pants for me... I will continue the flight looking like I was the one who peed myself...), then squeeze past my seat-mate to go change Pip in the teensy plane bathroom. Could this flight possibly get any worse? I hang out in the back of the plane with Jules and T, standing in the aisle, until the ride starts to get a little bumpy and the captain turns on the “fasten seatbelts” light. We head back to our seat and I do my best to contain and entertain Pipsqueak as we descend into Salt Lake. I can’t get off the plane quick enough! We claim our baggage, meet up with my mom, and go to Jules’ house, where I wait for Tiago to come get me after he is done teaching his Sunday School lesson. We drive home in the horrible dry Utah heat. I am tired, hot, and miserably sunburned.

I miss California.


-A said...

I've never had any desire to live in California before now. The Sea World excursion made me wish terribly that I could take my own boys tomorrow. Perhaps if gas prices weren't so outrageous.

Mickelle said...

ha, this same thing (peeing baby and looking a bit embarrassing) totally happened to my mom when I was about Pip's age. I peed on her and she was stuck at the airport waiting for her layover... AND they lost her luggage. No joke, unfortunately.

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