Sunday, July 29, 2018

Summer 2018 - Week 8 (Day 8 & 9)

July 29

Today, we were planning on driving home, but we made last minute plans the night before to stay in Vegas one more day to have fun with Heidi and playing in the pool.

Around lunchtime, we all drove over to Subway to have lunch, then checked out a Japanese store next door.

Came back, played with the doggies and kept cool while Chloe made cookies.

Later, with it getting hotter, we finally went over and started swimming in the neighbors pool. I started, then I heard that the adults in the neighbors house were playing a math game... challenge accepted. So I went in and started playing that with them. After we grew tired of that game, we brought out Cards Against Humanity. Don’t worry, the kids were still outside having a blast in the pool, and we would constantly check on them.

We continued playing Cards Against Humanity until it was dinner time, then came back to finish the game until someone won. With it now dark, I told the girls that it was time to call it a day, and to get to bed since we would be driving all day tomorrow.

July 30
Since it’s a short story, I’ll add it here. Basically, we packed up our luggage, the dog, and said goodbye to Heidi and her dogs. We headed on the road, made it to the girls house, and said goodbye to them.

We continued on the road and made it home shortly before sunset.

This is just some of the photos. Click below to

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Summer 2018 - Week 8 (Day 7)

July 28

Today was the last day we were going to be in California. We got ready, packed up, checked the room one more time, then headed out to the van to head out. Before we were to arrive to the airport, we had planned to visit a couple well known places in California that I suggested. The first one I discovered the night before while looking at Google Maps while driving back to the hotel. I discovered that the house that was used for the exterior shot of The Brady Bunch house that was shown in the beginning or between scenes of each episode, was nearby. With TJ driving, I had him drive past it. Only us four adults recognized it, because the girls had not even seen the show yet. (I finally showed them months after a quick look at the second episode.)
The house back in the '60s (picture source, NPR)

It's had a brick wall built in front of it since the show... and other yard changes.

After quickly driving by the house, we headed west on the 101, then south down Laurel Canyon, then west over to Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park. If you are asking yourself, “Why...?”, this is where Marilyn Monroe and many other well known celebrities are laid to rest. We walked around looking for any famous names we know, and we found quite a few besides Marilyn and Hef.


I think TJ was a little worried that we would be late on getting to the airport, so we headed to Long Beach Airport. TJ and my moms flight was before ours, so we dropped them off and the four of us headed over to get lunch at Wendy’s. After eating, we filled up to top off the van with gas, then drove it over to the car rental car drop off. We grabbed our luggage and walked into and through security. Once through, we actually found the other two sitting in the chairs eating lunch from the airport. That means, they could have come with and joined us for lunch. Long Beach Airport is not as chaotic LAX, just a heads up for those traveling.

We waited and did whatever we wanted to entertain ourselves while waiting for our flights in the airport. Like I said, TJ and my mom’s flight was scheduled before ours. Well, the airplane that was to come from San Francisco into Long Beach to take them home, was delayed in San Francisco... this now meant the four of us would be boarding first and headed out first now.

We waited in line, walked out onto the tarmac, then up the ramp into the plane to find our seats. Took off and flew into Las Vegas.

Heidi met us there to pick us up as my car was still at her house.

We drove over to meet her boyfriend at the ramen noodle place we ate at a few days prior. This was a surprise to the girls because we told them that we were going to eat at the sub shop next to the ramen restaurant.

Chloe took the dare from Aunt Heidi to eat wasabi. She made $7 bucks from it, lol.

After eating, we headed back to her place to have fun in the neighbors pool.

The girls spent a majority of the night swimming with the neighbor kids, while we relaxed. Before going they went to bed, I realized I didn’t want to go home the next day, neither did anyone else. So I wrote the girls mom to ask if we could bring them home the day after. She said yes and we enjoyed one more night at Heidi’s.

After the girls went to bed, Amanda and I went to go play at the near by casino. I drank until buzzed, and then got hungry. So we walked to the 7-11 across the freeway overpass to get food. The graveyard cashier rocked, he gave us the hot dogs for free since he was going to throw them out. Shibby!

This is just some of the photos. Click below to

Friday, July 27, 2018

Summer 2018 - Week 8 (Day 6)

July 27

Today was to be simple, by going to the beach. Well, I made the mistake of thinking noon would have been the perfect time to let everyone rest up and then meet up with JoAnna at the beach. Only problem with that is that Hayley ended up taking a nap before JoAnna left, so she had to wait to leave once she woke up. Now I know to leave or meet up earlier. 

So we left our hotel and headed to Santa Monica Beach.

 They were filming something right near our hotel.

Found a parking spot and walked out to a place to play in the water.

I was waiting for JoAnna to text/call to see where we were at, so I didn't go into the ocean just yet, and just took pictures for the time being. 

Second mistake that made it rough on JoAnna was that I told her to meet up at Santa Monica Pier, not the location south of the pier where we ended up (sorry JoAnna). So I had to give directions over the phone for how to get her to us.

TJ creating art in/with the sand.

JoAnna let Hayley wear her Sublime "40oz to Freedom" sun shirt we gave her. 

Hayley's first time to the beach and into the ocean. 

We played for a little while before everyone was getting hungry, and so we put our clothes over our bathing suits, and walked to the pier to eat.

After eating on the pier, a few of the group rode the roller coaster. Then we walked down to the end of the pier and back to look around at all the many sites and attractions.

JoAnna took my phone and took this picture,
and had us look do into the barrel to look down at the waves below.

My mom and TJ went on the roller coaster first, then the next round Amanda and Chloe went. I didn't want to pay for the photo since you could barely see them (front row), so I took a quick snap. Shh!

The girls had their name written in Japanese.

DOGGYYYY!!!!!! Hayley absolutley loves dogs,
she just HAD to pet this Husky someone brought out to the pier.

Once we were done on the pier, we headed back to the same location on the beach we were at before to continue playing.

I finally decided to go play in the water after taking many photographs, and while trying to go under, one of the waves took my one and only pair of glasses. Crap!!! I knew I should have taken them off and/or brought a backup pair of glasses on the trip... but didn’t.

Beach bugs or Isopods that bury themselves in the sand.

Before the water took my glasses.

When we decided to call it a day when the sun had set and fog was rolling back in, we packed up our stuff and headed to the shower area. Cleaned up, then walked to our cars.

We said our goodbyes to JoAnna and Hayley, then started to load up in our van. Without my glasses, anything past 2 feet starts to get blurry, so I had to ask TJ to drive back to the hotel since it was getting dark. While I was getting my stuff in the back of the rental van, a car drove by me and blared its horn. Already in a bad mood at myself for losing my glasses and not being able to drive and see, I thought to myself (instead of screaming it aloud), “What the **** is your problem lady...?!?!?!” — Then it hit me immediately, gray car that a woman was driving... that was JoAnna. “G** d*****, JoAnna!”. I had to laugh.

We drove from Santa Monica through Beverly Hills, up and over to our hotel. Everyone cleaned up in the room shower to get the sand off of us.

After cleaning off, I had a heck of a day... Amanda and I needed a drink from the bar downstairs next to the lobby. I invited the other 2 adults since the girls were asleep, but only Amanda joined me. Even if they didn’t want to have a drink, the company would have been nice— maybe next time, I thought.

We were only able to get one drink each before the bartender told us she was closing up the bar for the night. Paid our tab and headed back up to the room to go to bed.

This is just some of the photos. Click below to