Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ramona Anniversary Weekend (23 Years)

We more than made up for the crabby "Mother's Day Meltdown of 2011" with our lovely Lover's Weekend in Ramona. (Even nicer than our anniversary LAST year!)

We knew we wanted to get away but weren't sure where. We tossed around romantic destinations like Santa Barbara, Catalina, Ojai etc., but didn't pick. Then Grammie offered to call and see if she could get anywhere with points! That was a loving and generous offer, so I said "yes, please!". She called me back and said "SURPRISE! You are going to Ramona!". Ramona was the ONLY place available, so she booked it, just in case we wanted to go there. We thought "what the heck"... we weren't married to any other idea and it was FREE (and our mantra is "FREE is our friend"!) so we were all in.

The weather turned out to be GLORIOUS Spring perfection, so it really couldn't have BEEN any prettier!

We checked into our timeshare and the place - while nice - was practically underground. It was a frist floor unit, down in at the bottom of a slope, cave-like in its darkness. We immediately called and asked for sunlight and a view. They said they had nothing available. We said that was "unacceptable" (my current favorite word, when complaining :) We said we were putting ur bags back in the car and going to lunch (we were hungry and getting crabby!)... we gave them our cell number and asked them to call us when they found a better unit. They called and offered us a 2 bedroom for $50 additional a night. We said we would TAKE that, but did not want to PAY for it. So they went back to the drawing board.
Eventually they called us while we were eating lunch at the little country club.
Their grill patio was open and we ate a yummy meal out in the "just right" sunshine-with-a-light-breeze day. While we were eating, the phone rang and it was the resort. They had a room on the upper floor with a view. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
We checked in and it was soooooooo much better! Check out the sunlight and brightness and trees all around. Just right!

The next morning, we went up to Julian and rode horses out in the Santa Ysabel Reserve. Dar had booked the 2 hour long ride which required her to trailer the horses out to the Reserve especially for the ride! Of several horseback riding places in Julian and no one responded except Meadow View Inn Riding Center which actually answered their phones! It appeared most horseback riding places had 1 hour rides. Past experience with these types of rides are that you ride slow, lifeless (but sweet) horses with lots of other people while wearing helmets.

Not so with on this day for us! No helmets- yay! These were real horses with a real personalities. Faith is the "alpha mare" of their group and she had some spunk. (Rose said she would not put a beginning rider on her, ahhhh... music to my ears!). Dar rode a big guy named Cyrus (he and Faith are "stall mates" - read: LOVERS :)

Rose guided the ride (just Rose + the 2 of us) through pastures with a herd of free-grazing cows. She warned us not to let the horses break into a trot or run or it could start a stampede which would draw the bull and he would be inclined to charge and this could get very dangerous! I was 'psyched'... this was REAL riding!!! Wahoo! (You can see the cows blocking the road below... they would not move so we had to ride around them.)

Trotting & cantering was encouraged! Faith would trot with a click of the tongue and canter with a "kiss kiss"... and Cyrus and Rose's horse would pretty much do whatever Faith did... so I was more or less in charge of the ride. Scary and exhilarating! This was a REAL horseback ride! Soooooo long since I have done that!
Dar was a good sport doing this for me for our anniversary since this was NOT his cup of tea... he did it JUST for me and I loved it!!!

LOOK at the sky and the grass.
I cannot BEGIN to convey the gloriousness of the weather that day/weekend... we couldn't have ORDERED better weather... Thanks God!

We exchanged gifts.
Again, Dar hit it out of the park.
He did "handmade" and store bought.
They BEST of both worlds!... Ahhhhhhhhhhh!
He snuck down to Grammie's and she helped him sew a cover/case for my kindle. He hand picked the fabric and sewed it. He lined it and added velcro to the flap. CAn you see that he even initialed his handiwork in the lower corner? SO AMAZING!!!

And then he brought out the little blue box and gave me the "key to his heart" necklace!
Oh... you done good, Babe!

My gift was not so inspired, but also a hit, I think.
I got him a clock radio that works with his ipod.
This was especially good timing since his clock radio just died :)

Before heading home, we went to the Wild Animal Park (now called "Safari Park"). We walked the whole thing. It is not the greatest park... but we still had a fun time together.
Then we headed home to celebrate Elle's birthday with In N Out dinner with the family. FUN end to a FABULOUS weekend!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Little Women

Deevs starred in "Little Women" at school playing "Laurie" Laurence. He is the wealthy neighbor to the poor March girls who live with their Mom only, while their Dad is off serving as a Chaplain in the Civil War. He has no parents and lives with his crochety (who later turns nice) grandfather... he LONGS to be part of a family. The March's 'adopt' him as one of their honorary siblings (see video). He falls in love with and proposes to Jo who doesn't return his love. He is heartbroken and later marries the youngest, spoiled, bratty sister Amy. As the audience, you are sad and feels like he has settled. But he is still happy to be permanently part of the March family.

He has SUCH a good time doing the play. he met a bunch of new friends. Collette was in the play too, so he enjoyed getting to spend that time with her. He loved his drama teacher. He got recognized at the Macy Awards. Overall, it was a super positive experience for him... he enjoyed it tremendously.

Mother's Day 2011

This was NOT a terrific Mother's Day for Mom (I will have to cling to the memory of LAST Mother's Day and my fabulous video - I've got to milk it as often as I can! ;)

... and since I am writing this MUCH after the fact, I can also say that (spoiler alert) we redeemed ourselves by having a WONDERFUL 23rd Anniversary weekend in Ramona!

We did not do anything for Mother's Day (altho Miss M got me some lovely flowers, Lando got me a spanish "Congratulation on Your New Baby Card" and Jade & Sar got me movie tickets and CANDY!!!).
We - mom & dad - fought all day, so it was nice to get to get out and have dinner with the BIG family at Flamingos!

Ellen's "Zombie Eyes"
Almost all of us ordered the exact same thing - haha! (2 cheese enchiladas, rice & beans)
Best Mom ever!
Lando & Grammie
Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Prom 2011

Prom 2011
Deevs & Collette
Junior Year

I know this is a LOT of photos, but it was tough to narrow it down even to THESE, because they were all SOOOOO good!
Deevs and Collette enjoy each other's company SO much and have SO much fun together - and I had borrowed Miss M's good DSLR camera - that this made the time taking photos really fun!
I WISH I had understood an appreciated it more when Jade and Lando were younger. When they said they didn't want me there or didn't give me the details, I wish I would've known that you don't listen to that... you just GO and take the photos... they will be glad later.
Live & Learn!



Revlon 5k

Shel, Suez, Andria, and I did the Revlon 5k walk up in L.A. to raise awareness and money for Women's Cancers.
It was a crazy, disorganized, chaotic hot mess of an event...
in the end,
it was still pretty amazing to see 45,000 people turn out to say they cared.
Many carried signs with photos of the women for whom they were walking or running.
Some of these women had died and some were still fighting... ALL had people who loved them and CARED about finding a CURE for cancer. To stop the scourge.
I was glad to have gone.
It was worth the drive, parking nightmare, and chaos.
Because I too care.


Bicycle Bicycle

One Sunday in May, we were trying to think of things to do and Miss M suggested renting bikes and riding up at the Newport pier. Spontaneously, we decided to do it!
We ALMOST got Jo & Lando (and even Jo's dad & friends) to come, but sadly, Lando's work schedule wouldn't allow (I am NOT in love with his weekend working, but it is the only thing that makes sense with all the music stuff percolating right now). Deevs could not make it. (I can't remember why?) We called Jade & Sar and they thought they couldn't come because of Jade's homework schedule - but they ended up changing their minds (yipee!).
We rode in the glorious, sunny, breezy Southern California beach weather for about 2 hours.

It was SOOOOOO much fun!!! (Man, did my toosh hurt afterward! :)