Saturday, December 8, 2012

Best Friend

You know that feeling you get when you can be with someone and just let your hair down? You already know how they'll respond to your jokes and your stories so you don't have to impress them anymore and you just tell it like it is? When you feel so free to be YOU and not politically correct you or polite-but-distant you, but YOU to your bones?

This last week felt like that.

We decorated, we cooked, we played at Disneyland, we talked and chatted and gossiped for a full week. And it was awesome.

My best friend moved to the east coast almost exactly one year ago, and while I would like to visit, it just hasn't been in the budget. So when she offered to come out for a full week I had no qualms asking for a couple days off (for family reasons).

I had been sitting on my hands the week after Thanksgiving, itching to put up Christmas decorations. But I told myself it would be more fun to do with my best friend, so I waited. Impatiently. And allowed myself to at least take down my fall decorations. 

She came in on Friday night, and we immediately whisked her off to In n Out like a true Californian. Saturday Dan was on set all day (thankfully with reasonable hours) and Genna and I brought out all six boxes of Christmas decorations (packrat, much?), blasted Christmas carols and sipped apple cider. 

Because that's not enough of a project, I was also slated to cook food for Mr. E's 30 person set. Let's be clear: I cook and bake and I love it. Dinners, desserts, meals; I love feeding people. I don't think I'd make a career out of it, but there's something wholesome and right about serving home-cooked meals. 

However, cooking for 30 people and transporting said food? With a puppy in the car? Not as fun. Stressful, even.

I thought that I would take the easy way out and cook breakfast for dinner: pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs...we made a mess out of the kitchen. However, because I wanted everything to be hot (looking back, I would rather everything had been COOKED then reheated as opposed to hot) I waited until the last minute to cook everything...which resulted in mostly pancakes (easy) and half the bacon and sausage. 

They had barely gotten through half of the line (talent first) when the meat disappeared. Of course, with mostly guys I should have known bacon was a MUST. Thankfully, Mr. E's producer came to the rescue with a few pizzas...lesson learned. 

Sunday we drove to my parents house in Ramona: mountains, horses, more Christmas decorations. I was so happy to be able to decorate with my parents and my siblings (even sans hubby)- it's one of my favorite memories of each year to put the tree together, remembering each ornament and story.

We loaded the car again on Monday and day-tripped around San Diego, hitting Balboa Park and Oldtown. Poor Ripley was awful on her leash all day- too long in the car, then too many new things outside to sniff and tug and see. Genna and I took it in stride, though, take pictures, admiring the Christmas decorations and generally enjoying each others' company.
Riplicus Maximus at her finest.

This puppy has the worst case of camera-shy-ness.

Tuesday, of course, was a time-honored classic. We live only 4 miles away, and Genna said the past year had been the longest time she's ever been away from Disneyland. Poor thing. So we partied it up- Disneyland proper and California Adventure: rides, shows, churros (it was too cold for Dole whip). Fairly sure this was my first time actually riding the Haunted Mansion when it's decorated for the holidays...(blasphemy). 

Eventually I did have to go back to work, but after such a long "vacation" it was nice to be productive again. I was able to wrap presents AND get Genna addicted to Once Upon a Time . Vacation well-spent. We exchanged gifts the night before she left (at 6:30 in the morning: boo LA traffic) and we received this beautiful handmade tree skirt (by her mother, as Genna is not quite that crafty).

Freakin. I love the holidays.

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Mrs. E