A mom kind of Purple Heart

Viv is back in school now after an action packed spring break.  We started off going to Palm Springs where Mark was cooking in the Palm Desert Food festival.  The kids liked the water slide at the hotel, and my friend Trish came out to be my food festival wing man.  I don’t like to drink alone.
Some hang time at home and then the kids and I went with Vivien’s best friend and her mom ( my friend) Renee on a tour de force of San Diego.  This video encapsulates that parental dilemma: I want you to have a great time, I’m knocking myself out and spending lots of money, but do you kids care?  THey liked hiding in a planter in Sea World more than seeing Dolphins.  We left home, why?
The first night in the hotel Rex, sans nap for the day, threw a big old tantrum.  I had to hoist him out of the car, through the lobby into the elevator.  Renee watched the girls while I wrestled him down the hallway.  Then she magically appeared as I herded him into my room promising him M and M’s to quiet the best.  She had a big glass of Chardonnay in her hand.  My kind of traveling companion!

A Little Jaunt to San Diego

Action-packed weekend. 1) I worked for Fox.com at Comic-Con (freaks), shooting 24 Inside (and no, even though we taped Kiefer Sutherland talking on a panel, I still didn’t get to interview him and tell him I had a vaguely erotic dream about him). Fox kindly footed the bill for the hotel all weekend so 2) I had our babysitter, Dolly, take the train down with Vivien Friday afternoon so we could have a fun weekend. (No dad; he was working.)

Vivien on the train to San Diego

After making it clear to the concierge that I was a food snob, she set us up at dinner at Laurel. Pretty good, a little too fusion for me, but fresh ingredients.

Then the San Diego Zoo Saturday morning. It’s vast but nice, and we took the sky tram and saw the pandas. Check, please. Put Dolly back on the train to LA, and then Vivien and were in need of a nap meltdown. After a mediocre club at the Sheraton (the Marriott’s was much better), we napped hard.

Vivien in a butterfly

We also went to Balboa Park, which rocks!! It’s like Golden Gate Park, but not freezing. We went on the big carousel and the kiddie one and the train ride. Who knew SD was so fun? I didn’t, and I used to visit relatives there, but they were in Chula Vista, which is not an entertainment hot-spot (I remember something about a double murder there).

We had dinner in La Jolla with my cousin Margo and her husband John, at George’s. Great view of the water and Vivien was sweet and spent half the dinner under the table, so it was a breeze.

Sunday we hit Legoland. It’s kind of spendy. Take the kids before they are 3 and they can get in free; after that, it’s 50 bucks! Sixty for adults! (Bring the AAA card for a $10 discount.) At first, I was overwhelmed and thought, “Why am I doing this on my own?” But if I wait for for Mark’s schedule to clear up in order to do things, I would complete my shut-in status.

Vivien at Legoland

Legoland is great. Not too crowded, and unlike Disneyland – and far worse, Knott’s (gross) – they have decent food. Espresso, and fruit and yogurt parfaits. I think ’cause it’s owned by Swedes. I naively thought we would spend 2 hours there. Ha ha. Vivien and I said “one more ride” five times before I got her out, way past nap time for both of us. And only because we started to find rides that she was too short to ride. I am not an amusement park fan, as I get tired, but this place I can do. Well, the cool breeze and double espresso helped.

On the way home, I called Mark and asked if he could please figure out dinner, since Vivien and I were not our most pleasant selves in the car.  And he did, happy ending!

My Boogie Weekend

So, I am gearing up to leave early this morning for my weekend away with my husband. I should be psyched, but I’m not. I always feel anxious when I leave Vivien.

Buffett's Cafe
Creative Commons License photo credit: ViNull

I know she will have a great time. My sister Cecily and niece Lily, whom she adores, will move in our house and take care of her for the two days I am gone. I have left detailed notes including what channels she can watch (no Disney), the nearest emergency room, and plenty of chicken tenders. I need to snap out of it.

Nearly 3 days (I took a red eye, so it wasn’t a full 72 hours) is the longest I have ever been away from her. I hear of mothers/parents leaving their kids for a week. I would find that very difficult. I met a woman on a plane once, nice woman, no horns on her head, mother of three, who said when her first baby was a newborn, she left him for six weeks while she and her husband went to Europe. Her parents took care of the kid while she pumped all over Italy and France. I am still struck dumb by that.

I have a one-day gig in San Diego next week for Fox and I’m already trying to figure out how I can take Vivien with me and go to the Zoo or Legoland and or something very Southern California.

When I have spent a few days away, usually in San Francisco or NYC, truth be told, I have a good time. Relaxing, having meals where I don’t have to give someone some crayons or stickers so I can eat. But leaving is so hard. And, let’s face it, post 9/11-travel ain’t what it used to be.

Oh, and you’ll love this classic male/female difference. My husband is already in New Orleans for work (he is attending Tales of the Cocktail – yes, a convention) and I asked, “How’s the hotel room?”

Mark: “It’s got clean sheets and a TV.”

Me: “Are you kidding?”

Mark: “No.”

Me: “So I am going to fly 4 hours, leave my child for 2 days, and I assume you want to have sex at some point – in a room that you describe as ‘clean sheets and a TV’?”

Mark: “Do you want me to move rooms?”

Me: “I think you will be happier if you do.”

Did he just meet me?

I have to put on some Zydeco and get in the mood.