Friday, February 24, 2012

Bye Blackberry, Hello Apple

The time had finally come bid adieu to my trusty crackberry.  I was in need of a phone upgrade and had been wondering if the iPhone was right for me. I went back and forth for months before taking the plunge. It was so hard to say goodbye to something that had become second nature but I was tired of slow/sloggy/inferior browsers and slow apps. The speed of email was the only thing that kept me hanging on (that and the price!)

So Over the weekend the Man said it was time to make a change. We made 2 visits to the phone store and her liked the salesman who helped us. Thus he said it was a 'go'!  The second trip was the one during which I got the phone and switched everything over. It was an all day affair. Once done at the store there was still work to be done on the computers at home. Updating, uploading and downloading.

I have to say the transition has not been as difficult as I thought. I do miss things about my BB. I miss my red blinking notification light. I miss the seamless email and the ability to choose to delete the email on the device, server or both. I miss the icons in my texting. I miss the keypad.

HOWEVER, that is not to say that I am not thrilled with my new iPhone. The pros out weigh the cons by a mile. I love the browser. I love my selection of apps ...there's an app for matter what I need. I love that now I take one device on a run not 2 or 3. I have my music and a phone all at my fingertips. I love that it is so easy to use.

So...I am developing a taste for a different fruit and it sure is good. Not perfect but good! Peace.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Returning home was interesting. The husband and kids picked me up at the airport. School had just let out and it was the calm before the storm of homework/practices/games/dinner. We Hit the local grocery for dinner items and then headed to the house. I was glad to see nothing had changed while I was gone..things we're still a mess! The Man made dinner which was delicious. Dinner at the table with my family ..... Priceless. Peace.

Race day

 The day dawned early. My body clock never reset to California time so I was always early. L and I were up and ready ith time to spare. We headed down to the lobby and ate a little something, drinking coffee and hoping for the best. A prescheduled shuttle was to take us to the start so we boarded our bus ready for the race! The bus took us righ to the start where we found the porta johns for one last time. Soon it was time to line up for the race. L was up front as she is a speed demon. I took the middle corral and the 2 couples brought up the rear. The gun sounded and we were off. What an amazing day! Beautiful morning and perfect temps! We ran a long the beach for the first few miles then headedi inland. As we traveled uphill and through the neighborhoods. The crowds were wonderful....cheering all the runners. I passed L going back towards the ocean. We would pass each other a few more times during the course of the race and it was so good to know I was not alone out there. Heading back towards the water was pleasant and pretty. We headed south along the ocean and the view was phenomenal. Beauty in every direction. It was then I realized that it was getting warm. We rounded a turn at mile 8 and headed back towards the finish. I was getting so warm and the sun was still rising. I was taking water at every stop but it still didn't seem enough. It was at this time I realized I was having a(TMI ALERT) female issue. There was nothing I could do other than finish and take care of it then. Good thing I was wearing black shorts! I could soon see the finish line. It was beautiful! I crossed then with my head exhausted.
I didnt PR but my time was average for me...nothing to sneeze at to be sure. I found a bathroom first then the beer tent! Oh beer...she says in her best Homer Simpson voice. L was waiting for me along with another find of ours and they were a beer ahead of me! I caught up quick and soon it was time to find the others and head back to the hotel. We got back on the bus which carried these weary, smelly, salty souls back to the hotel. A shower and some flips flops were on my mind. We walked from the bus into the hotel and into the most wonderful reception ever! The hotel staff was lining the lobby applauding us and handing out more water. What a treat! I felt like royalty! Showered, clean and packed we loaded up the cars to head back to LA. A long stop at Trader Joes for treats was a nice detour. The 4 ladies prepped some snacks and the guys set up the tv on the DECK! Yes, true LA living...watching tv outside under the stars. We had a meal of heavy appetizers was perfect while watching the Super Bowl. Many glasses of wine, A visit from a Jewish grandmother, and laughing until my stomache hurt was the perfect end to the best trip of my my life. This trip was so much more than just a destination race. It proved to me that I can and. I am more than a I love tht label and I missed my Kids and husband so much but I realized so much. Most importantly I realized that I need to get away to remember who I am. I need to get away to miss my life. I need to get away to find myself.. Peace.


After a Full day of adventures, there was more to come. A quick trip back to the house, a change of clothes and it was time for more friends to arrive. A and I got back in the car and headed to the airport. L was coming from Florida. She was our first pick up. A few more trips around the airport and there was J and Mr.J from Ohio. Back to the house for a spectacular feast prepared by Mr.A with lots of wine, laughs and a feeling that I never wanted it to end. The following morning we got up and ready for a full day. We ate some breakfast and packed up for race day. The hour plus drive was caravan style down to Huntington Beach. We arrived beachfront at the expo....yes, the expo was on the beach! California living is .... Sweet! We met up with another friend and her adorable daughter. This made me miss my kids...for a minute! We walked expo purchasing things here and there just enjoying the experience. We decided to head towards the downtown pier area for lunch. Lunch was on the beach and was wonderful. Friends, food, and fabulous weather....who could ask for more? I took a few minutes just to soak in the sun and moment. A bit more shopping and lots of photos later and it was time to head to the hotel. Dinner and then bed! Tomorrow would be an early one! Peace.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Ride

The day began with errands and the most delicious salt bagel. A wonderful long drive up the coast, the ocean at our side with time to talk and take photos. Mountains to one side and ocean to the other…what could be bad?! Pepperdine University….let’s hope my kids never see this campus! They would never leave…much less go to class!

As we turn to head off the ocean and into the mountains I am struck by the smell…salty sea water and eucalyptus. Amazing. We find the Shalom Institute and our riding area easily. I had forgotten the power of a horse. Just the mere presence of the animal is enough to make me weak in the knees. As I sit in the saddle on my new friend, I feel a strange sense of peace….one that I have not felt in a long time. I realize how much I truly miss my horse, Head Honcho. The days of riding and time in the barn quickly flood my mind. Long summer days meandering through trails just the two of us….makes me feel young again.

My Trusty Steed!

We head out onto the trial and the sheer beauty of it all envelopes me. My friend A is with me and has truly no idea the enormous gift she has given me. The power of the moment and the peace of this place is so overpowering that I begin to cry. I am glad that A is behind me and can not see the tears that spill from my eyes…each filled with so many emotions.

At one point I am so lost in it all that Charlie (my horse) tries to offer me rest in a bush! No way! I quickly regain my balance and my control. He is a typical teen boy…always testing the boundaries! The ride eventually has to come to an end and we must say goodbye to our friends as they head out to pasture.

We head back towards LA and lunch! I am starving! But not before I make A stop many times to take photos. There are several times I fear we might get into a car wreck with me screaming, “Stop! Is that a Sea Lion?!?!” “Wait! I have to have a photo of that plant!” A is patient and smiles sharing in my sheer delight of the little things. I am much like the dog in the movie “UP”….with many ”Squirrel!!!” moments.

Talk about moving from one world to another….we leave the mountains and head to Beverly Hills for lunch. Swanky! Walking down Rodeo Drive I am stuck by the beauty of the shops but think how much more comfortable I was on horseback in nature. We sit down to a magnificent lunch…tuna tartar that was…well…better than ….I will leave that to the imagination! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Chris Rock passed and even waved to A! Kourtney Kardashian sat at the table next to us. Upon informing my children of this, I was scolded and hung up on for not taking a photo! I just wanted to appear as if I fit in…even if I didn’t look nor feel like I did!
Walking back to the car, I am struck again by a sense of peace. I was with my best friend and felt so lucky NOT to be a celebrity having to keep up with others. My friends and family love me for who and what I am….wrinkles, grey hair and all. Peace.


Leaving home for my trip was exciting. The kids were a bit apprehensive and so was I but we were all a bit excited for our adventures.

The flight to LA left an hour late but arrived only 15 minutes late. It was a good flight…long,  but good. I deplaned and headed to baggage. As I exited the secure area, I saw A through the glass and took off running! The first hug was long and tight. I missed her so very much. We got my luggage and headed out….let the adventure begin!

We arrived at her house and upon opening the door I am hit with the smell of the giant eucalyptus tree in her front yard. Heaven! We dropped my things off at her house and then we headed to the beach for lunch. Lunch was the best cerviche I have ever eaten overlooking the ocean. After lunch it was time to tour the area. We drove through LA, and UCLA then headed to Hollywood and into Beverly Hills.

Hollywood was an adventure. We saw the Walk of Fame and watched folks prep for a movie premiere, Journey 2. The characters on the street were interesting to say the least!

Driving into Beverly Hills was a trip. I thought I had entered an alternative universe. It was so odd to see a place I thought only existed in magazines and movies. Big homes, fancy cars, celebrities….I knew I did not belong here.

We drove to Santa Monica for another yummy meal…Mexican this time…joined by A’s husband. He is such a wonderful man. Finally it was time to head home for bed. What a perfect (and exhausting!) first day! Peace.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Speeding along

Prayers are welcome as well!
So my daughter got her driver's license this week. What a milestone not only for her,  but for mom and dad. Where did the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that I was reading the manual and installing her carseat? I drove my car to three local police stations to check to see if I had done it correctly. Now she is no longer in a car seat but  in the driver's seat.

She has waited patiently for the day and it finally came. Dad took her out of school for the morning and they went together for this momentous occasion. This was a milestone for just the two of them.  I got a text from her later in the morning that she had passed. I was so relieved...and terrified! What did this mean for her...and for me?

Her siblings were so excited for her....I think they were a bit excited for themselves as well...newfound freedom!  And that freedom was not long in coming!  After dinner that same evening, the 3 girls piled into Dad's car and off they drove on their first adventure together. Windows open (in the cold) and music blaring.... they took off like a racehorse out of the gate....never a hesitation. They were on their way to get shakes...without an adult!

The entire time they were gone my heart was in my throat. Not one of my kids was gone but three of them!  What now? The loss of control  was so frightening. I felt like I was free falling and not sure where I would land. the moment they walked in the door, my sigh of relief could be heard for miles.

My daughter has grown new wings and longs to test them at every opportunity. She years for the freedom that driving gives her and the control of her destiny at that moment. She relishes the feeling of 'grown-upness'. The privilege that she alone has above her siblings. I remember that feeling....fondly!

So I ask again, what now? things are different now. My kid is driving around behind the wheel of a large piece of machinery. She is in control...not me. I can't put her safely into her carseat, buckle the belt and see her smiling back at me in the rearview mirror. Don't get me wrong, having someone to help with driving kids to and fro will be nice but the trade off....but I worry. I know that she is a good driver. I worry about other drivers. I worry that she won't react as quickly as I would. I worry that she has her siblings and friends in the car and is responsible for their safety. I worry that she will not pay attention and miss something. I worry ....I worry....I now she drives off looking at me in the rearview mirror smiling a proud yet terrified smile. Peace.