After spending over a year away, we have now been to visit the great state of California twice in two months. I don’t know why that’s significant, but it is. This last time was for my aunt Lynette’s surprise birthday party extravaganza. Get this–and husbands, take notes (wives too, I guess. I don’t want to be sexist about it)–Aunt Lynette’s husband brought in her whole family from all over the country, and even the foreign nation that is Canada, to surprise his wife on her birthday. But that’s not all. The next day he engineered an Amazing Race-type competition where the family was split into two teams, piled into limos and driven all over Santa Barbara and Ventura. Our team visited missions, ate tongue tacos (they’re tastier than you’d expect), and took pictures with fruit. Oh, and we won. Not officially, maybe, but in every way that counts, we won.
Juliet’s first zip-line experience. A bunch of other mothers there were all like, “Oh NOOOOEEES!”, but the riders are only like 2 feet off the ground. I figured B could handle it.
Poo free parks? Snort. Not if Juliet has anything to say about it.
Also her first limo ride, lucky little stinker.
And that’s not even the end of it. After the race concluded (and my team won) we headed back to the house, which had been transformed into an 80’s time capsule. We all got dressed in amazing 80’s fashions and surprised Aunt Lynette yet again with our sartorial splendor. And Uncle Jeff still wasn’t done. He and a culinary genius co-worker of his cooked a nine course meal for all the guests of some of the best food I have ever had in my entire life. It was ridiculous. And amazing. Just ridiculously amazing. It was a fantastic experience all around. Ballads should be written about it. The gauntlet has been thrown down, husbands (and wives) and party planners everywhere. Good luck.
You can’t see it, but B was wearing a rad He-Man shirt I got for him. I watched a lot of He-Man in the 80’s, but B was not such a fan. When it came time to pack for our trip, he was all, “Jess, where’s my shirt with the strong man on it?” By the power of Grayskull! His ignorance of pop culture phenomena is so adorable.
Fun fact: When we got back to our hotel that night, Mom was certain that the people in the lobby were staring because they thought I was a hooker. These are the kinds of stories I look forward to sharing with Juju someday.
Poor Juju was relegated to eating baby mush. This put her out of sorts.
I might have comforted her, but I grabbed my camera instead. I’m a good mom.
100 layer lasagna. I could cry.
After the party we extended our stay by a few days to visit B’s parental units.
Grandma and her oh-so-asian great grandbaby
She loved the balloon.
She stands like a pro now.