Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Early Christmas in La-La-Land

We hadn't planned on going back to LA for Christmas this year, but a work trip got me a free ticket and my mom offered to pay for Andy to come (it'd only be for a short weekend), so we jumped at the opportunity and here we are in sunny southern California!
We came one day after it had just rained - always my favorite, no LA smog and just clear blue skies and soft rays of light sunshine.  It was absolutely beautiful.  Unfortunately, our luggage never arrived after we checked in late (forgot about all those Gonzaga students leaving added to the normal pick-up during the holidays) and since we had both decided to board the plane comfortably and pack only one pair of shoes, we both looked quite silly - Andy in sweats and Cole Haan dress shoes, me in baggy work out pants and my Sperry Topsiders.  Oops.  Jordan was the only decent one among us.

We immediately went to get our rental car and some In-N-Out, but my dad accidentally ate my cheeseburger and somehow, I managed to eat an entire double-double animal style and fries, and didn't feel the aftermath of a bad decision until a few hours later.  It was glorious nevertheless.  We then took some Benjamins my mom had given us for Jordan's Christmas gifts, made our way to Toys'R'Us, and proceeded to spend it on Jordan.  We also went to Target, a store we don't frequent often in Washington since the closest one is more than 30 minutes away!  We got Jordan his first ever air mattress bed and some wrapping paper and made our way back to my parent's house to wrap all the gifts we had just bought.
And then, we turned right back around, and headed to the local mall to go on the carousel and check out the new and huge Forever 21!  Woah!!!  It's come quite far from the days of us venturing off to West Covina in the 90's for a piece of it...
For dinner that night, my mom got Ding Tai Fong take-out, partly because she was mortified at the risk of us running into anyone we knew in our ghetto airport gear (okay maybe superficially that was my reason) and partly because eating at home is so much more comfortable and less work for everyone.  The added bonus is no tip and boy did we enjoy ourselves.  

Following dinner, we watched Jordan open part of all his gifts (there really were so many that we had to split it up over the two days). Since Christmas isn't really a big deal in my family since I've been in college, the whole gift giving and Christmas tree tradition sort of disappeared back in 2000.  It's kind of sad, but I think we'll bring it back slowly.  We got carefully thought out gifts for my mom, dad, and brother, and it was really fun to see that we had succeeded in getting them perfect gifts, but we probably should have waited and had Jordan watch others open some gifts too.  Oh well, there's always next year.  My mom did ask how she was going to afford that many gifts times however many kids we plan to have, but I reassured her she would take her current spending habits and just divide them by 4 or 5 or 6 or 17, however many we have.  My dad seemed to like that idea but I don't think my mom heard and is still oblivious to the simple solution offered.
His favorite gift was his balance bike, which he has been riding around every single moment alive.  He fell a few times in the beginning, but has since then gotten the hang of it and doesn't seem to be scared by the times he does fall.  He really does get right back on, no hesitation or fear noted at all!

That night, we left Jordan with the grandparents and headed off for our luggage (if you late check in, they will NOT deliver it to you, you have to pick it up when it arrives... incentive for being on time EVERYTIME for the future!) and to spend some quality time with good friends from South Pasadena, the Oldroyds and the Mizukawas, and though I had to work a little to get some e-mails off, it was so much fun to enjoy the company of good friends that we have missed dearly!  We stayed up way past our bedtime but knowing wai-puo would be there to entertain Jordan in the morning, we did it anyway and didn't get home until sometime after midnight.  The conversation and company (and homemade waffle cones and ice cream) were really that good.  We also spent a good amount of time watching the Colbert Report - man, is that guy funny.

We did a lot our first day, but that was our plan - and I'm glad we stuck to it.  With such a short trip, we had to pack it all in!

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