I had a kick-ass weekend!! Though I was draggin' my cans Thursday morning having only three hours sleep the night before, it was worth it to have dinner and cocktails with Hot Toddy and Thor before Auburn Aries and I left town. Of course, the cocktails didn't help expedite the packing process.
Even though Auburn Aries was tired, she seemed to have found her second wind once we checked into the hotel which was two blocks from Disneyland. All I wanted was a nap but it just wasn't in the cards. This weekend was about her and nothing else.
Tired, run down and listless (and no, I do NOT poop out at parties), I threw on sunscreen and shorts and off we went. Fairy Godmother was a blessing. I had back surgery a year ago and can't ride roller coasters.
We made an afternoon of it. Aries' little face spoke a thousand excited words every time I looked at her. She said she thought Disneyland was going to be more about Disney stuff - movies and things you look at. She didn't realize it was all about cutting loose on rides and spending wads of her mother's cash.
She had a blast.
In the afternoon, Fairy Godmother was going to ride the Matterhorn. Auburn Aries piped up and said she wanted to ride too. I took her by the shoulders and turned her toward the mountain. I pointed out the speed at which the bobsled moved and she didn't back down. I thought, go ahead, get on it... I'll be here to pick up the pieces when you get back.
I took pics of her getting into the bobsled. I could hear her screaming inside the mountain. There is no mistaking that shrill scream of terror that emitted from my child. I stood holding my breath as the sled descended to its original spot.
There she was, eyes as big as silver dollars, yelling (through absolute excitement) "THAT WAS THE FUNNEST RIDE EVER!!!!!!"
My eyes swelled with tears. I took every picture of her excitement that I could, though no picture will ever capture a moment that real.
She saw me, stepped out of the bobsled, threw both fists into the air above her, her head looking toward the blue sky and screamed, "I LOVED IT! IT WAS THE BEST RIDE EVER. MOM, DID YOU SEE ME, I RODE THE MATTERHORN!"
She approached me with a new found confidence. This, my little girl who was scared to get into the pool for swim lessons just did the ballsiest thing of her lifetime.
"OH, I WAS SCARED, DON'T THINK FOR A MINUTE I WASN'T SCARED. AND ONCE IT STARTED, I THOUGHT, WELL, I'M ON IT NOW, THERE'S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. IT WHIPPED ME AROUND AND WAS GOING SO FAST, BUT I DID IT.. IT WAS TOTALLY WICKED!!!"
Everyone around her just watched and laughed. I walked and cried hiding the tears behind my Oakleys. I kept pumping her for information so she'd keep talking. I didn't want that moment to end.
She and Fairy Godmother spent the rest of that afternoon getting back in line for the Matterhorn.
The next morning, she and FG headed off as soon as the park opened (I joined them around noon) and they rode the Matterhorn, Thunder Mountain and Indiana Jones Adventure thingy pretty much all day long.
In addition to Auburn Aries making me cry proud tears, I was blessed to have met my sister by another mother, Pua, her husband Charlie, and their kids.
Pua is truly an Earth Mother. She is the most grounded person I've ever met. She was waiting for me outside her home as I pulled up and from the moment we embraced it was as though I had known her a lifetime.
Pua is beautiful in every sense of the word. Her spirit embraces you, her soul is open and loving and she is a happy and content Polynesian beauty. She's taller than I originally thought she'd be based on her own description. She has long hair and an olive complexion that people are willing to pay a fortune to get.
Her house is immaculate and as warm and loving as she is. The front yard on which she and Charlie labored, is spectacular. She has a neighbor that has a yard that looks like it was landscaped by Dr. Seuss. Not that that has anything to do with this story.
Charlie is the equivalent of Pua except with different body parts. His spirit is kind, he's funny and the best damn Host on the planet. It’s no wonder their marriage is as strong as it is and has lasted this long. They are truly made for each other.
The OC Vortex was amazing. Its is every bit as welcoming as HTTO’s Vortex. Once I stepped into it, I didn’t want to leave. Lucky for me I didn’t have to. There was a bounty of food, the best guacamole I think I’ve ever had, Patron Margaritas – I didn’t know they sold bottomless Margarita glasses in OC - and I don't know that I've ever finished a bottle of Patron in one sitting. Now I can say I have and with two of the best people in the world.
Charlie grilled chicken that had been marinating in Pua’s secret teriyaki marinade. It was the best.
We laughed and talked and shared for hours.
I had the privilege of meeting Caris, Averie and Bryson. They are all talented, loving people each with the same embracing spirit as Pua and Charlie. I felt like their Aunt – the kind of Aunt they could call if they ever needed anything at all.
I watched as Caris prepared for her prom. What a beautiful young lady she is. I asked her prom date what hotel they’d be staying at to try and trick him. He promptly replied they weren’t going to a hotel. “Good answer,” I exclaimed. I’d have hated to have had to kick his ass before his prom.
I attended Averie’s play. Averie is every bit as beautiful as Caris and vice versa. It was a series of small plays, some of which she was in and others she directed. I don’t know when I’ve laughed that hard (except for your plays, of course, Hot Toddy).
I have to admit though, I have never snickered as hard as I did when we returned back to Pua’s following the play. Bryson was convinced someone had been in the house as the front door was unlocked when he got home (he had to have forgotten to lock it when he left), and there was a candle lit on the mantle.
With all the conviction in his heart, he believed someone broke in and lit that candle. Man, I’m hoping those evil candle-lighting house-breaker-inners don’t ever come to Portland. There are 17 candles on my mantle.
Overall, it was a Memorial weekend I will never forget. There have been only a number of people in my lifetime to whom I feel completely connected and Pua is one of them.
My life is blessed and when it comes to the love of good friends, I’m the luckiest person alive.