Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vacation part III: Pool time, Horst family & Mrs Knott's chicken dinner

It was technically our third day of our vacation (if you count the first day of driving)  and we still hadn't gone swimming. We knew Maisie would be so happy floating around, so we suited up and made our way down to the 89 degree outdoor pool on the third story floor. It was super windy so as long as you were submerged it was fine, but if the air hit your wet skin... burr. We all ended up in the hot tub about 20 minutes in because it had a step Maisie could hang out on that shielded her from the wind so she could stay plenty warm with just her legs submerged.

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Austin was throwing me Maisie's plug while I took this picture, so that's why he looks so serious.
 But look at Maisie she looks so ethereal.

Our dear friends the Horsts were our neighbors we ment in our first apartment in Hillsboro. We were acquaintances during my pregnancy, but it wasn't until after Maisie was born (like a week after) that we all became super close. We always bragged about how we had the best neighbors in the world. I mean who has living room picnics with their neighbors? Well, we did and often too. Who goes to their neighbors to borrow something and then ends up staying for 4 hours just chatting up a storm. That's right we did. I remember when it would be nap time and both Maisie and Livvie would be sleeping so Meg and I would just talk on the phone for hours even though we were only a flight of stairs away. We knew we had a good thing going and it was heartbreaking when we moved away from them. I look back and remember those times and it's so warm and cozy. Not only just because we had a small little baby, but we were never lonely. We had people that could completely relate to us and if we ever needed anything, we knew who to turn to. Shoot, Meg is the one who taught me the best swaddle tricks ever. But the best part of our friendship was that we could completely be ourselves. We would have super serious talks late at night, make fun of each other, have full conversations in fake German accents, contemplate life together and talk about how much Lord of the Rings changed our life. 

Anyway, long story short, they moved into the heart of Portland when we moved into our house in Beaverton and then we moved to California 7 months later and a few months after us they moved to California as well, but down south. I can't tell you how happy I am to have them a mere 5 hours away opposed to 12. We always talk about how we are destined to be neighbors again, just because they set the bar high. I hate referring to them as neighbors though because the truth is they are so much more than that. They are life long friends. When we have exciting news Meg is one of the first people I call and Derek for Austin. We have even been talking to each other over the phone while our husbands are talking to each other on their phones in another room. When Meg or I need to vent about stay at home mommy troubles, you best believe we have each others back. We miss them so much and that's why when we decided to head down we made a big point to see them. I could have lived without Disneyland, but not getting my Horst fix? No way.

So they made their way down to Newport while we freshened up after the pool and while Maisie took a cat nap. Then we met them outside our hotel and made plans to follow them to the beach. Like I mentioned before it was super windy, so we stood on Newport's cliff and yelled into the wind, probably looking like freaks (maybe not freaks, but definitely not upper class Newport folk). 

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We ended up in Fashion Island allowing the girls to play outside but be sheltered from the gusto wind. So we found a great patch of grass outside the Bloomingdales and Neiman Marcus and let our girls go crazy. Yes, thats how we roll, playing infront of fancy department stores. It was so much fun. There was even a 16 month old boy named Luca out there, sporting a leather jacket and boy, was he a chick magnet. I think Maisie was in love, but maybe with his toys and not so much him. Either way, it was good to see all of them play. Ella in my mind will always be 6 months old, so seeing her running around and with a mouth full of teeth, is just crazy. And Livvie? She is like a real person now. Not just a little girl, but a full on person. When I was crossing the street she yelled from the other side "Come on Sammie! You can do it!" haha! It was so good to see them. We laughed a lot and we kept saying how good it was to be together again. And it was so good.

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After our rendezvous with the Horst family we made our way to dinner where I have eaten so many times when I was little. We used to wait in long lines just to get a table and let me tell you it's so worth it. Outside Knott's Berry Farm there's a restaurant that serves the best fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy ever. And their creamy chicken noodle soup? The best. Their boysenberry ice cream and pie? Amazing. I knew Austin had to go, so I made a big deal about going to dinner there. Austin was not disappointed and Maisie had two full bowls full of the soup, so I am pretty sure she liked it too.

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Clever name huh? No false advertisements here.
You can see the roller coaster in the background. 

Maisie loves Snoopy and all of the old Charlie Brown movies. It all started around Halloween when we started watching "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" and then we added the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and summer camp movies to our collection as well and she loves them all.  Some mornings she will ask "Snoopy?" and I have to tell you it doesn't bother me one bit that we watch holiday movies no where near holiday time. I think the pumpkin one is her favorite. Snoopy imagining he's hunting down the Red Baron? It's just great. Anyway, Knott's berry farm's mascot just happens to be Snoopy so across from the restaurant they had a whole store full of Charlie Brown and Snoopy memorabilia. We of course had to go in because Maisie had spotted it on our way into the restaurant. And of course we ended up getting Maisie a Snoopy stuffed animal (you should have seen how happy Maisie was in that store. It was like Maisie crack. She was going crazy kissing all of the different snoopy stuffed animals)  because we are suckers. We also purchased the whole Holiday collection on Blu-ray because Austin is a DVD snob. I will admit it looks and sounds so much better, but I won't turn down a DVD just because the quality isn't the best there is. That's another issue though.

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After the Snoopy store we stood in the parking lot where the famous wooden roller coaster "Ghost rider" goes through. Maisie would yell for more after it roared passed and when we asked her if she wanted to ride go on it she would excitedly yell "yeah yeah!!" I think we have a little thrill seeker on our hands and I like that about her. She's brave and I think when she's a bit taller we are going to have a blast taking her on her first thrill rides.

We made our way back to the hotel where we all passed out before 11 o'clock and we had a long day of driving ahead of us so getting some sleep was a good idea. But there was one more thing we had to do before we could leave. Something Austin had been waiting to do since we were dating, but I will do a separate post about that because this post is already the length of a novel.

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