Monday, May 22, 2006
I'm finally back! It feels like I've been gone a month, rather than just 3 days. Funny how that works!
Our trip to visit Oronzo's brother (to be referred to as Christian) and his family in Orange, CA went well. We arrived in CA late Thursday night and checked into the Howard Johnson hotel/motel that Oronzo's father (to be referred to as Peyton) recommended to us. Let's just say I was shocked at his recommendation and we won't be staying there ever again. It was not the most pleasant place to stay. It was clean but stark, no "extras", and it was right off the freeway so the surroundings weren't so nice. But it was literally 2 minutes from Christian's house, so at least it was close. Thankfully, we were only there to sleep each night, then we were either out sightseeing or at Christian's house during the day.
Friday Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I drove to Newport Beach and took a ferry to Balboa Island. The ferry ride was quick but fun. On the island, we saw many gorgeous beach front properties with flowers so enormous that I couldn't believe it. Sweet Pea, roses, and Bird of Paradise grew so lush and large that it reminded me of our trip to Hawaii.
Back at Newport Beach, we took Snuggle Bug on a merry-go-round ride and then to the beach to see the ocean. Snuggle Bug was not impressed with the ocean. In fact, he was terrified of the ocean waves (as you can see in the picture above) and refused to splash in the water with us. Once we took him up on the beach, he calmed down and had a grand time playing in the sand with some small local children that were there with their pails and shovels. Snuggle Bug was invited to join the other children and he was happy as a clam shoveling sand into pails. I guess we need to get that sandbox in our yard sooner, rather than later.
Friday afternoon we went to Christian's house and hung out with Christian's wife (to be referred to as Larissa) and their 1 year old daughter (to be referred to as Rebecca). Although Snuggle Bug is 5 months older than Rebecca, they're about the same size. Rebecca is walking, but it's that unsteady drunk walk that babies have in the beginning. The kids had fun playing nicely together while we parents sat around and chatted. It's funny but Oronzo's family views Larissa as a "high maintenance" woman, probably because she was raised in CA and likes to dress nicely and never leaves the house without makeup, but I really like her. Now that we have children the same age, my SIL and I have a lot to talk about.
The four of us took the kids out for an Italian dinner and then hung out at Christian & Larissa's house a bit more before it was time for us to head back to the hotel to put Snuggle Bug down for bed.
Saturday was the day of Rebecca's 1st birthday party. The theme was "big top circus" and Larissa did a great job decorating the back yard. There was a ball pit, a playhouse (decorated with a big tent), a bean bag toss area, horseshoes, and lots of other toys and games for the kids. Lunch was a BBQ and lots of alcohol for the adults! They even rented cotton candy and snow cone machines! There were probably 50 adults and about 25 children under 3 years old. Amazingly enough, all the kids did well! There were no major fights, tantrums, or melt downs.
The party ended around 3 o'clock but we stayed and hung out longer with Oronzo's family. Despite the fact that neither had afternoon naps, Snuggle Bug and Rebecca were like Energizer bunnies and kept going and going and going. They were having so much fun playing outside together. We stayed through dinner and then finally pulled Snuggle Bug away and took him back to the hotel to go to bed. He slept like a rock the minute he was laid in his pack-n-play! He was beat.
Yesterday, we went to mass and then out for brunch with Oronzo's family. We hung out a bit at Christian & Larissa's house after that and then Oronzo, Snuggle Bug, and I left to go back home.
It's heavenly being back in our own home-sweet-home. Last night Snuggle Bug seemed quite happy to be back in his crib and this morning he played enthusiastically with his toys, acting as if they were brand new. He also had fun chasing his kitties around.
I must say, of all of Oronzo's family, I do enjoy spending time most with Christian & Larissa. They've got the same laid back attitude and parenting style that we do. Too bad they live so far away!
It's good to be back to my blog as well. I've missed it. I didn't have time to get online even once while we were in CA. Now I'm off to go catch up on some of the other blogs I like to read!