Family Road Trip!  People said we were insane, but we did it….our family vacation this year was driving cross-country to Los Angeles, California.  There and back again.  Why L.A., you ask?  Well, we thought it would be a fun place that everyone would enjoy.  Both C-man and I used to live there (seperately!) so for us it was fun to see old haunts and some old friends.  For the kids, there is the beach, Hollywood itself, shopping, (okay, maybe that one’s for me…!) and of course, Disneyland.  And we did it ALL.

We found this great apartment to rent for a few days, it was right in Beechwood Canyon directly under the Hollywood sign. People would take cabs to get photos of it, and we just walked right down to the end of our little street.  Scout just had to do a karate kick with his sunglasses on, celebrity-style.  nice.

We hit the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax, Melrose Avenue for some serious shopping, Santa Monica and Venice Beach and as I mentioned before, the happiest place on earth.  That would be Disney, according to the commercials….somehow I was the only person positively giddy to be there.  The kids were sports and waited in line (s) without complaint, but I tell ya, it’s just not like it was when I was a kid.  With everything kids have today–all of the technology right at their fingertips–I can see how the quaint little special effects and moving painted dolls don’t excite them much.  Isn’t that sad?  For me it’s all about the memories, but of course they’re too young to have those memories.  How seeing those Disney things for the first time when I was young was indeed quite magical.  sigh.  I think the key for Disney, my friends, is to take your kids when they are old enough to really get something out of it, but young enough to actually believe in the magic.  I think we were past that point! (husband included!!)

From L.A. we drove to Scottsdale, AZ. to visit friends for a couple of days.  They are orthodox Jews and so we were lucky enough to spend the Shabbat with them on Friday night.  All I can say is, Wow.  Definitely one of the best meals I’ve ever had, and I just was in heaven with the beautiful ritual of it all.  I was also saying Wow at how Scout sat through the meal, through all of the prayers, and ATE EVERYTHING.  He didn’t necessarily like it all, but he tried it.  The boy was eating stuffed peppers (he won’t touch a raw pepper here at home, let alone a cooked one!) and a tuna and potato casserole complete with hard boiled egg.  I was so proud of him, it was amazing!  And all after spending hours in a swimming pool and being very tired.

In the yard of our friends’ house they had what is called a ‘Jumping Cactus’.  Reina was telling me that  the kids needed to be careful around it because if they got too close it would jump out and hurt them.  I totally thought she was teasing me, how could there be such a thing?  Well sure enough, it’s true!  I guess if you get a certain distance from it it will actually throw out a chunk of itself on you, like us being in the forest and getting burs stuck all over.  But the fact that this thing will actually jump out….eeeu!  Totally creepy, in my book.  And of course that completely fascinated Scout.  Not enough to get too close, however. 🙂

On our way back east we stopped at the Grand Canyon.  Was this the All-American vacation, or what?!  Neither C-man or I had ever seen it, and of course the kids hadn’t either.  Once again we didn’t have enough time to really get much out of it.  It would be fun to go back and hike around, really spend time seeing everything.  It was truly breathtaking.  I didn’t see that glass walk-out thing where you can basically stand right over the canyon.  Not that  you could have paid me to get on it, noooo wayyy.

Then there was nothing left of the vaca but the looooong drive home.  We had 12, 13 hour days in the car.  At some point in Denver someone who shall remain nameless missed an exit and we ended up off track somewhere in Kansas, which added another couple of hours to a day.  Can I just say that both of my children were the most amazing children of all time?  I figured V would be pretty good in the car–as long as she has her music and her phone for texting that girl can be happy anywhere.  But Scout complains on the 3 hour drive to Grammy’s house.  I wondered how the heck he was really going to do this.  We were armed with Dramamine, plenty of snacks, and of course their music and electronic games and darned if they weren’t completely happy.  They slept, ate, rocked out with their headphones, played Angry Birds, ate some more, farted and poked at each other…you know, what kids do in the car.  We stayed at less-than luxurious Super 8 Motels where we shared beds and a bathroom.  And not ONE COMPLAINT.  EVER.  Not one whine.  Not one, “are we there yet?”.  I’m still completely amazed and oh-so proud of those guys.  They were asking where our next road trip could be to!  Am I the luckiest and most blessed mom in the world?  I think I am.

We had a fun board in the car that had all of the state license plates on them, you could turn each over as you saw them on the road.  We got all but three….New Hampshire, West Virginia and of course Hawaii.  And I find myself still looking at license plates here at home, almost a week later.

One would have never known that we had an Aspie child with us on our trip.  I don’t think I knew either.  Except of course when he was able to tell us facts about each little site we saw along our way, which was fabulous.  Oh, and here was something else that was fabulous…at one point Scout was eating an apple.  We told him he could throw the core out of the window, since that is something an animal can eat.  Of course he delighted in tossing it right out of the car and as he did he exclaimed, ” There goes the apple core, into the bitch…”  He turned around and looked at V and his eyes got as big as saucers, his mouth dropping to the ground.  “I mean ditch, I mean ditch!”  Scout said a swear without even meaning to, and we all burst out laughing.  Only my son would then say, with all sincerity, “I am SO sorry, I am SO sorry!”    That was definitely a highlight of the trip!

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