St. Petersburg Garden

St. Petersburg Garden

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Fun Begins

It was time to kick off the summer festivities and what better way to do that then with a wedding. Isn't that how we all start the summer? No? Maybe it's just something our family does. Or maybe it just seems that way. Or maybe it's because, oh who cares it's just another excuse to celebrate and party. That pretty much works for us. Ever since we got our save the date card we've been looking forward to June 2011. It was another chance to head on over to the East Coast.

Virginia Beach was the destination this time. It was all we could talk about for months. What to wear, what to do, what to see, did I mention what to wear? Ironically, Mike had his wardrobe choice all set months before I did. What's up with that? Finally the trip arrived and we were off. We flew Southwest. Not exactly my favorite way to go. I'm a Jetblue girl myself. I'm all about individual T.V. screens. And snacks. Remind me to stay true to the blue. I should get loyalty points in the future. But more on this later. Don't worry, I'll get back to this....

I was actually pretty excited to be welcomed to warmth. I know, strange concept. I have to fly from California in June to get some heat. What's up with that? True story. We landed and I took my jacket off. Aaahh. Wait. Did I actually welcome the humidity? Who am I? What did I do with the old me? We got ready for the rehearsal dinner at Waterman's and look at that - nighttime and I didn't need my sweater. Ah, this was nice. What a concept. To wear your dress and have it be seen instead of having to cover up. We basked in the warmth all night and it just kept on coming.

We woke up the next morning and opened the door. Woosh. Yup, it's hot. Yup, it's humid. But ironically we were enjoying it. Sure, we might not enjoy it forever but at that moment we were loving it. Mike and I sat on the porch and soaked it in. We arrived at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens for the Wedding Ceremony. We noticed how everything around us was just so green. We had forgotten just how green everything on the East Coast is. It was beautiful to be sitting there in the gardens -yes I will admit it was hot - and just see how alive everything was. In comparison, San Diego is kind of brown. We are in a desert after all. Sometimes you never really stop to think about it until you are sitting there in the garden surrounded by all of those trees.

But in the end, hot is hot. West Coast, East Coast, in the end really it's all the same. Hey, I'm still not a fan of sitting in the sun all day unless there's a big pool next to me and I have the option of jumping into it. Needless to say, I was relieved when it was time for my next wardrobe change and the party was about to begin. Don't get me wrong, I love weddings. The flowers, the dresses, the fashions, the party. What's not to love? Everyone knows it's all about the party. It was a great night.

Sadly we had to say good-bye to Virginia Beach. We had just enough time to run down to the boardwalk and burn our feet on the sand. Yes, you read correctly. I don't think I've ever run to the water so fast in my life. One minute we were strolling along the boardwalk enjoying a hot beach and loving life. The next it was run for the water, run for the water. Literally. But I wouldn't have changed it because it gave our family watching on the beach some good entertainment value and we all know I am here to amuse. I was glad to be of service that morning on the sand.

One of the best parts of the trip was running into the storm of lightning bugs. That's right my friends lighting bugs or as some people like to call them - fireflies. Potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto, blah, blah, blah. It's a lightning bug. We were en route to my Uncle's house in Maryland and these little gems were everywhere. We love lightning bugs. Used to catch them all the time when we were little. Ok and maybe when we were teenagers too. Unfortunately there are no lightning bugs on the west coast.

These are the coolest bugs. It's a part of summer - when the sun goes down and you see mini lanterns glowing all over your yard it makes you feel like a kid again. I thought about bringing some home but I didn't think the people at the airport would be too happy about that. Bummer. It was time to head back to the airport. I promised to get back to this story didn't I? We flew Southwest. First come first serve my a**. Unless you're flying solo, this is not the way to go. No one likes to give their seat up. Even if it's not an assigned seat. No one likes to let people travelling together sit together. True story. People won't make eye contact with you. They will avoid you at all costs. The price of our Southwest flight was not that much cheaper than any other airline. Sure, they give you a little "stand up" comedy. A bag of peanuts, a bag of pretzels. Two checked bags for free. I think I'll take my chances on the Blue.

For an alternate ending and for different pictures, go to my other blog at

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh The Places You Go

For years I have been wanting to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. Notice how I've never mentioned getting there. Like many of the places I've been talking about going to, it's also been one of the many places on my "to do" list. It's not like it's so far away that it's an impossible destination. I'm just a slacker. Every month, I get the email alert telling me that it's that time again and every month I say, oh, maybe next month. Sure, that's it. Next month I'll go. I've been playing this game for the past three years. I was tired of my own game and decided it had to end. This was the time. I was going to go.

Well, ok, it's not like I really decided on my own to put an end to my procrastinating. I did have a little help. I'll call her the Flea Market Bandit. The Flea Market Bandit kicked into gear a few months ago. It started small. Just a little Irvine Flea Market. She asked me to go with her and hey, I'm all for shopping. I think she was preparing me for the big leagues. At the time we just didn't know how big league we were getting into. We decided a few weeks ago that this weekend we'd hit the big time. The second Sunday of every month the Rose Bowl Flea Market is in full force. We were all set.

Of course we couldn't just go up for one day. Where's the fun in that? The adventure? We needed more. We needed entertainment. We needed it for free. Ah, Venice Beach. Our game plan was to walk. Just walk. But once we got there we didn't know what to do first. Should we get our medical marijuana license on the left or the right? On the first block or the second? Don't worry. If you wait too long you have the next block and the next and the next to catch up on that missed opportunity.

Whew, good thing. I thought I missed my chance. Things sure have changed since the last time I was here. I thought I'd just be able to get my tattoo and piercings and call it a day but I sure was wrong. Who knew I'd have an opportunity like this? I know, you're all probably wondering which Doctor I went with right? Crazy I am not. I passed on the fine choices made available to me. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I'm opposed to a license if that's your thing. But hey, would you buy a Rolex from a NYC subway vendor? I think not. I passed on the fine choices made available to me. Location is key. Enough said. Nothing says quality wares like selling goods next to the man walking on glass.

However, it was a great day. I love seeing things "live" that you've seen on TV so many times. Muscle Beach will always fascinate me. Seriously. I wouldn't want people watching me in the gym so why would I work out on a boardwalk? It was a good day. We walked for hours. Even little Charlie was exhausted. I don't think we would have walked as much as we did if we knew what we were in store for tomorrow.....

We knew we were going to be in for a long day. Over 2500 vendors sell at this bad boy. We wanted to see them all. ALL [Insert evil laughter here]. When we got there we didn't know where to begin, especially since we were overwhelmed right at the beginning. Gifts! There were even gifts being handed out. What the hell! I mean, who knew what they were but did it matter? The important thing here was that we were being given a free gift just for coming.

Oh my God. Not only do we get a free gift but we get a free bag too. This place was amazing. A free bag to hold all of the things that we were going to buy. The excitement was starting to build up. I didn't know where to begin, where to go, left, right, straight. So much to see, so much to do, I had to get in and go. We actually got a late start. 10am. I know, scary thought. This didn't discourage us though. We were ready to go and we set off.

We were a determined bunch. We didn't want anything to get in our way. Food? Water? Were those really necessary at this point? Instead of rash buys we marked where our favorite places were and made a point to return and we kept on walking. And walking. And walking. We walked for hours. We had to see it all. Or go down trying. We realized that it was time for a refuel. If we wanted to keep our pace up we would need food. If only for a moment.

We didn't have too long to spare. After our recharge we jumped back into the arena. Our goals had been met early on. Hat for me, headphones and phone case for Mike. We were now just on a pleasure cruise. When I see what they offer at this market I'm amazed. The furniture is fabulous. If I could go back and do it again I would outfit my house solely from the Rose Bowl flea market. I wonder if Mike would notice if I started selling our furniture one piece at a time to make room for new ones.

We decided to leave at closing time. We didn't have to, they stay open way beyond that but after walking for five straight hours we just couldn't do it anymore. Yes, you read correctly. Five straight hours. We were exhausted. Our Flea Market Bandit stayed. She meant business. Maybe next time. Yes, there will be a next time. We will conquer all. Training begins shortly.

For an alternate ending and for different pictures, go to my other blog at

Saturday, June 4, 2011

We Survived the Zombie Rapture

A few weeks ago I happened to be in NYC when I realized that the world would be ending in a few days. Crap. I didn't plan my trip this way and now this meant when we were under zombie attack, Mike and Charlie would be on their own. I didn't know what to do. My boys were on their own. I made sure to give them specific instructions on how to handle themselves if they should wake up and see the undead walking around. After all, I was the one with the game plan. I had the zombie attack all mapped out. Mike knew he was all set to go if it went down. He didn't count on anyone taking away his ace in the hole.

Regardless of how it all went down I knew I'd have to get back to San Diego in the long run. I'd have to fight my way back and fight to the death I would. But in the meantime, since the world was supposed to end and all, why not go out and have some fun. Hey, might as well enjoy what was left of it, right?

We decided we would just go local. You know, just in case. Makes it easier to fight off anything you should encounter on the way home. We got the crew and headed out for the night. It was a scary night. We had to be careful. I honestly didn't buy into this whole end-of-the-world-rapture thing but damn, there were so many creatures and zombie-like beings at the bar that we didn't know what to do. Could it possibly be true? Was this really the end? Was this the night? Nope. Not so much.

Relief flooded over me. For more than one reason. Yes, insert sigh of relief here. I had a lot to be thankful for. Not just because of the great company I was in. That was a given. But knowing that I wasn't out looking. Ah. I must say it's good to be married. Overall it was a great night. Sure, there were some interesting characters. Hey, I didn't hide out in the bathroom for 10 minutes for nothing. Thankfully we met some great people and we were able to end the night with fun memories.

Since we had all survived this close dance with death I knew it was time to celebrate life even more. Unfortunately since I had gotten to NYC the rains had decided to visit with me. Seriously? It seems like every time I visit, rain decides to come with me. I was itching to leave the confines of my cell, er, I mean my house and we finally got the chance. We needed to buy time before our lunch reservations at our favorite restaurant, Les Sans Culotte. It was either drive around, sit in the car or....hhhmm. Central Park. I figured the kids needed some air.

We drove around and as luck would have it found a rare, coveted spot right outside the park. It was perfect. Go figure. Just a few days earlier we were all going to die and now it's a perfect New York City day. Blue skies, sunny, warm, birds chirping away. We parked ourselves on a bench and enjoyed the scenery. I couldn't have the kids come here and not pose for a few photos either.

Bob on a lamp post here, Mags on a lamp post there. Perfect. I look around and see all of the things that we can and will be doing. Eventually. Once I'm back in town, the activities will be in full swing. Until the next rapture of course. Didn't you hear? October. Yes, we'll be under a full zombie attack this fall.

So live it up, do everything that you've been saying you should have done because you never know what may happen. If not this year, there's always next year. 2012, that's right. It's supposed to happen next year. But that doesn't work for me either. I have plans. Big plans. I don't like anyone to interfere with my plans and that includes zombies. Even if they are in Paris.