Before he left, we took a hike in the foothills behind my parents home. I really like this picture of Audrey all by herself on the trail.
One of the reasons why I came with the kids instead of just staying home with them is that my youngest sister, Julie, graduated from high school while we were down (no photos of that for some strange reason.) On the day before her graduation, we had a Sister Spa Day and went to lunch, had our nails done and had some amazing desserts at an Armenian bakery. No camera-no pictures.
While I was being a high maintenance woman, Matt had the camera and the 4 kids and took them to the LA Museum of Natural History. Noah was disappointed to find no dinosaur bones at La Brea Tar Pits on our last trip to CA so this was Matt's attempt to redeem himself and it worked-plenty of dinosaur bones to be found at this place.
Taylor hopes to earn his Eagle Scout by this time next year and is eagerly working on merit badges. While in CA, Papa Jim Jim helped him earn the Space Exploration merit badge along with his Uncle Jared and Cousin Sean.
I love this picture.
I learned that there was a Terra Cotta Warrior exhibit at an art museum in Santa Ana while I was down so I suckered my brother, Jeff, into going with me. The exhibit was fascinating but no pics were allowed. If you can ignore the fact that it looks like he is 'copping a feel,' check out this guy dressed as a Terra Cotta Warrior! It was unreal. On the way out, we saw him standing on a platform 'like a statue' then freaking out groups of school children that were coming in the door. I hope to be able to see the real deal in Xi'an one day. It is not a likely stop on our adoption trip but I'm sure we'll make it there on a return trip.
My mom took the kids and I to Travel Town in Griffith Park. There are a ton of out of commission trains there that the kids can climb into and a little train to ride around the grounds.
Matt's sister and I got together with our kids (7 in all) on several days to swim and enjoy one another's company. We went to a park one day and then roamed up and down Glendora Avenue promising the kids a trip to the old fashioned candy store if they behaved. They behaved very well only to find that the candy store was closed.
It was a hot day so the ice cream cones that they got instead were appreciated....
After a week as a single mother of 4 and by the time Matt was back in town, I was in serious need of a date. Matt took me to a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live and we saw Jewel perform. We were seated on the center aisle of the front row-best seats I'd ever had in my long career as a tv show taping attendee-my right ear was 3 inches from Jimmy's right hip as he delivered the monologue! After the taping we walked around a bit and then stopped at my brother, Jason's, in West Hollywood for tour of his new apartment.
Some things will never change. ;o)
We saved the trip to the beach for last so Matt would be able to join us. We had a great time until the fog rolled in and we couldn't see our hands in front of our faces anymore so we packed up and headed to Rubi's for a burrito. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful trip...