Last week Tommy and I had the pleasure of spending a long weekend with some of my mommy friends and kids. I “met” these women in an online forum when all of us were planning our weddings in 2007 and 2008. We remained online friends after our weddings and grew even closer when we started having babies. Sometime last year the idea of a get-together was brought up and suddenly plans were being made and vacation time was being requested. Those of us who could get the time off and save enough pennies made our way to Manhattan Beach, CA for a long weekend.
We found that renting a house together was much cheaper and easier on everyone than getting individual hotel rooms, so a giant house was found from vrbo.com, and we filled it with six adults and five babies ranging in age from Tommy at nearly three to Rory and J at about 14 months old.
April and Eric flew in from New Hampshire, Jaimie and Rory drove in from Arizona. Danica and J drove from way up in northern British Columbia down to Edmonton, Alberta and joined up with Sarah, Gia, and Sarah’s mom, Carol. Then they all flew down to LA together. Then Tommy and I flew in from Salt Lake City. A handful of moms who live in different parts of southern California joined us on different days when they could. Some driving from as far as San Juan Capistrano, Corona, Northridge and Val Verde.
Tommy and I arrived on Wednesday afternoon and headed to the car rental place near LAX. Moments later I was told that I couldn’t rent a minivan with an expired driver’s license. Funny how the TSA at SLC didn’t notice that my license had expired the previous week. I totally forgot about my license since I had renewed it online well over a month prior. Since I am still using my California license, the new one was obviously sent to our house in Lakewood… and not forwarded to Utah. I had a few moments of panic when Jackie arrived with the car seat we keep at her place (I hate flying with a car seat). So she drove us to the Inglewood DMV so I could get the paper copy of my license and then head back to the rental agency to get our minivan. Crisis averted!
Jackie headed to work and Tommy and I drove out toward Jackie’s apartment and spent the night there playing with her roommate Latiffe and their dog TJ.
Long side porch with a swing that many of the kiddies liked. French doors open up into two of the downstairs bedrooms.
Massive open kitchen and family room.
Backyard swimming pool. Too bad we could never figure out how to get the jacuzzi water to warm up.
Thursday morning Tommy and I had a nice pancake breakfast at Jackie’s apartment. Then we drove west toward Manhattan Beach. The house we rented was really nice. It was about a 5 minute drive to the Manhattan Beach Pier with five bedrooms, a swimming pool and a view of the ocean from the second-floor kitchen and living room. Each mom and baby had their own bedroom with only one pair having to share a bathroom. Moms local to southern California let us borrow a baby gate, a high chair, a couple of portable cribs, a few strollers and car seats so those mamas flying in didn’t have to lug a lot of baby gear with them. The generosity of these mamas really made the whole trip easier on those of us who flew in.
Around lunchtime Tommy and I headed to LAX to pick up the mommies arriving from Canada. We managed to squeeze all seven of us into the minivan. When we got to the house, a few other mamas were there to play. It was chaotic and fun letting all of the kids run around and play. A few local mommies brought over some fixins for carne asada tacos including some pico de gallo, salsa, avocado and rice. We lit up the grill in the backyard and had a nice afternoon.
I’m not even going to bother trying to identify everyone. The mommies in the photo all know who everyone is and that’s enough for me. It’ll be to difficult for someone who wasn’t there to keep track of who’s who.
I really enjoyed watching all of the kids interact so well, especially since most had never met before.
Lucas, Sophie and Eric rocking out on the piano. It was a popular toy for all of the kids.
aaaaand the glass was removed from the coffee table a moment later…
Mmmmm, milk time!
Watching the sunset… I think.
All day Tommy was begging me to let him go swimming in the backyard pool. So we changed into swimsuits and took a dip in some chilly water. After swimming around for a while, it felt alright. Tommy just seemed to get colder and colder but was having a blast. When his teeth wouldn’t stop chattering, I called it quits for him. He wasn’t happy about it, but when I wrapped him in a warm towel, he seemed to feel better. Unfortunately, no one was taking photos anymore!
Next up, Disneyland!