The Best Things in Life

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We are in California now, on a trip we can no longer afford, but that was booked before.  And it’s my beloved cousin Brett’s wedding so we would have made the trip anyway.  

Our hotel is way cool, designed and once lived in by Julia Morgan, who also designed San Simeon.  The wedding will take place here tomorrow night and because it’s a grown-up wedding, we had to be in the same building.  My amazing in-laws came into town to help us out with evening child care, and we’ll be able to leap back to the room in a flash if the kids need us during the evening.

Swanky hotel notwithstanding, we’ve been trying to lay low on the expenses.  After Gideon woke up from his morning nap, we went to this park in search of some California redwoods, which Akiva has been wanting to see since he learned the song, “This land is your land.”  It was incredibly refreshing and centering for us all to spend time, even in this not-particularly-spectacular park of not-particularly-large redwoods.  We still got the redwood idea — even smallish redwoods are awe-inspiring.  Plus we saw some deer grazing in a clearing.  And not a dime was spent, except on the bagel sandwiches we brought as a picnic lunch.

We scheduled the trip as grown-ups, not thinking that it would conflict with the all-important children’s international festival known as Halloween.  Once the gaffe was discovered, we back-pedaled our way into what I think turns out to be a pretty cool solution.  At present, Akiva is in a homemade costume at the Habitot “Not-so-spooky-Halloween-party” with his grandparents.  He is dressed as a tiger, in his orange and red stripy pajamas, adorned with stripes from my first-ever attempt at face painting, plus some tiger ears we rigged up this morning. (He drew the ears, I cut them out and taped them to a headband.)  He looks thoroughly delicious and actually skipped down the street, growling at amused passersby.

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