A glimpse of Hollywood and a whole lot of other things

 photo 9ddf45f5-7d5b-474d-8eee-121ef5442a4f.jpg
Long Beach Selfie. This Seagull wouldn't stop giving me the eye for my sandwich, so I tricked it into posing for a photo by acting like I was taking a selfie.  Joke's on you, bird!

 This week, my family and I took our annual summer vacation. For the past, I don't know, six years or longer, we've always gone to Avila Beach (near Pismo), but this year, we decided to do something different, and even though it was crazy and chaotic at times (have I mentioned Lovemuffin thinks he's Speed Racer?) we packed a decent amount of stuff into just a few days and the trip really was a blessed one. But back to the decision process...

After some (very confusing) family "meetings", it was decided we'd try to go somewhere that still had a beach, but was also close to other places the girls had never been. And *that* decision lead us to... Long Beach. (Because it's near L.A., not too far from Valencia so the girls could go to Six Flags Magic Mountain, and also close to Hollywood--which of course is one of those towns you have to sightsee at least once.) Then, I went to VRBO (because this is now my favorite way to find vacation rentals) and after a bit of searching, found a nice-sized home in Long Beach. (That, my readers, is the short version of how things went, because in reality, the whole process of decisions and research and arguments--there *are* five of us, after all--took approximately a week.)

We arrived a few hours later than planned when our car decided to up and DIE days before we were set to leave. The problem was thought to be fixed, but the stupid suburban still had warning lights all over the dash the morning of our departure (I love computers, but computers and cars DO NOT MIX) so Lovemuffin wanted to get that all cleared up before we left. Note: This worked out well, actually, because I still had not been able to dog proof the fence to my liking (our Doxie is the most obnoxious dog you will ever meet, but nothing compares to how psycho the German Shorthair mix is if she's left outside when she's convinced you've made a mistake--read: In her mind, this is ALWAYS the case). 

To show you how psycho 2 of our 3 dogs are, here's a quick example. In preparation of being gone for seven days, we purchased automatic dog feeders and tried to get the doggies on a schedule. This was the biggest joke in the WORLD. 

FOOD! My dogs said. 






TURN FAT AS PIGS! (Not kidding. They looked like pot-bellied idiots and looked just as comfortable as them, too. Dogs with blobs of stomachs, tongues lolling. I guarantee they regretted their pig out status. Until the feeders were re-filled, that is.)

The very fancy, expensive, battery-operated feeders had lids that would not, no matter what you did, STAY SECURE. Definitely not made for a German Shepherd and German Shorthair mix's big paws to whack at. (They knocked them over and the lids flopped right off, spilling 3 feeders, each full of ten pounds of dog food all over the place. TWICE. Methinks this isn't the best design, automatic dog food feeder peeps. I beg of you to take note.) 

Hence my tweets last week about this issue, not to mention, my very proud subsequent Instagram photo of the dog-proofed auto feeders, shown above. (This took four of us way too many hours whilst watching--read: being distracted by--Disney's Teen Beach Movie. Not to mention, many battle scars, because chicken wire is not. Nice.) You probably can't tell, but I even drilled screws at each side of the feeder, so I could anchor them with wiring to the wood, so they couldn't be tipped over. Le sigh. 

Now on to Long Beach: I could bore you with a list of neat and unique features about the rental home, but I'll share my most favorite feature, instead: photo 5f800847-d38b-48df-9f68-dc32af358d23.jpg   An enclosed patio in the front of the house, surrounded by a beautiful, approximately 8 foot wrought iron gate and lively, overgrown plants throughout. Alas, it was the best reading and writing area EVAR. And of course, by the end of the first day's stay I was already scheming on how I could get Lovemuffin to make me one at home (*insert imagination going wild here*). Plus, unlike where we live (ahem--triple digit heat--ahem), the weather was perfect; slightly windy, but not too hot or too cold, and therefore, the perfect formula for an outdoor, shaded patio.

On to what *I* did while we were gone that technically wasn't "vacation-y": 

I read The Maze Runner (coming out in theaters 2/2014, I believe)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

and Stupid Fast.
Stupid Fast

(Pardon my random lineup here--sports pun not intended.) Stupid Fast is totally in my rein of humor, and I loved it. Love Geoff now, too. (In fact, we're going to be BFFs--watch out, Geoff!) Then I couldn't decide *what* to read after that as I have quite a few books on the iPad, so I didn't read at all. (#bookloveproblems)
 photo 48a7f560-4d15-4cb5-86a8-14ad5666f0cf.jpg
See the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame?

Anyway. Without delving into too much more info (if any of you are still reading, here's some virtual cookies and of course, coffee, for sticking with me--sadly I cannot share in the cookies with you, as I ate way too much chocolate and other strange desserts on this trip and now look like the pot-bellied dogs even though I climbed more stairs the past few days than I have since high school--more on that later), I wanted to give an idea of what this week was about so you'd know why next week's posts will be chalk-full of pictures and stories about random things such as a plane pulling an actual advertisement banner through the sky over the beach (this is a BIG deal to small towners such as myself), to amazing local Greek food, to Starbucks lines (hello, Santa Monica and Hollywood Blvd!)  and a nice tour guy talking about our "eyeballs". Oh, and did I mention we got to be ON THE SET of The Mentalist? And my oldest daughter had an actual *squee* (meaning, completely awestruck, blush-filled, there-are-no-words, fangirl moment) when someone from Pretty Little Liars cruised right by us (a mere few feet away, I am not kidding) on a golf cart while we were on the Warner Brothers tour? 

So yeah. This week was full of stuff. Some I'm happy to share on here because I know I'll forget about them, some I won't bore you with (like the car ride to Long Beach where Lovemuffin was distracted by looking around and I yelled WOULD YOU PLEASE SLOW DOWN because we were about to rear-end the car in front of us, and then we had a *lovely*, *loud* discussion regarding whether or not I should have just yelled SLOW DOWN to save time and our LIVES). Either way, however, I'm tired, full, sore, and happy to be home. The girls start school in just a few weeks and I can really say I can't believe how fast this summer has flown by. 

Next Monday I'll see ya here with a few more pictures (and way shorter post--I promise). Until then, have a blessed weekend and happy reading and writing! :D

**Reminder: You only have 5 more days to enter my #ReadingRoadTrip The Forest of Hands and Teeth giveaway (link)! 

No comments: