Our California Adventure

My daughters and I just got back from an incredible week in California. We flew out there for seven days with my friend Claire, her husband Dave, and their daughter, Rebekah. Claire and I were great friends, other than one small technicality... we'd never actually met.

Claire and I met online on an e-mail list for mothers of babies born in May. My daughter Victoria was born in May of 1998 and Claire joined a year later when her daughter Bekah was born in 1999. It is a very active list and all of us became quite close. I've actually made three trips now to meet mothers from the list, and my wonderful friend Trevi flew and stayed with us for nearly a month with her daughter all the way from South Africa.

I planned to stay in a motel, but Claire generously offered Bekah's room to us and we gratefully accepted. I was a little nervous, afraid my girls would keep the house awake or that it might feel uncomfortable, but they have a cozy, comfortable house that was so fun and welcoming.

Victoria and Friend
And what a house it was! Claire raises over 100 sheep on their ranch in the Sierra Nevada mountains. The view was spectacular, the life was soul-filling, and it left me without words. Claire is also a gourmet cook, a fascinating woman, and such a loving mom it was a joy to watch her with her daughter. I can't believe our luck in being able to spend a week in her home and company.

We had a fabulous time together. Victoria instantly loved Claire and darling Bekah, which is not to say they didn't have their moments. The girls became friends in that maddening way toddlers do, that "She's touching me! Mine! No!" sort of bonding, and Annalee's ears hurt during trips up the mountain home for the first couple of days so she howled as if someone were chomping off her toes. There were plenty of times Claire and I would shout something encouraging and laugh over the roar of the kids before diving back into saving our children from each other. Nonetheless, it was such a magical time.

We hit parks, thrift shops and tourist spots, plus a sweet place called Fairy Tale Land for the little ones. We had picnics and rolled in the grass with the girls and talked for hours. I gained ten pounds and brought home rocks and gnarled mansanita tree branches (okay, I have no idea how it's spelled, but it's neat looking stuff).

After the flight home we spent a couple of days at my in-law's place so the girls could see their grandparents and visiting cousins. We're finally home now, exhausted but carrying such wonderful memories.

Tonight in the bath, I told Victoria it was Wednesday and she looked up at me and asked "Where do we live on Wednesday?". I guess we'd better stay close to home for at least a little while. But there's this fabulous mom I know in Denmark......

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All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
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