My brother, my dad, Thing 2 and I played poker on the last night of the annual three-generation ski trip. We didn't have poker chips up so we played with pastel colored M&Ms. It definitely changes the game when the colors don't have a set value. At one point my brother was out of greens so my father reminded us that blue and yellow make green. And then, after laughing hysterically, we continued.
It was also funny when, on the way home from Northstar, we talked about a book I've had on my Tahoe nightstand for several years. It's on the Donner Party. I started telling my brother that I've been meaning to read this book and my father said, "Oh. It's a cookbook?!" Again, hilarious. But only if you know California history.
We had three days of beautiful weather and togetherness. The snow is what you'd expect from the amount of rain we've had this year-- minimal. The best ski conditions are in the morning and you'd think that being right here on the mountain we'd be the first ones out. But no, we're a little lazy that way. Especially Thing 2. I love the way Thing 2 skis with my brother -- more aggressively and without whining. He challenges her.
My rocket scientist moment occurred when I took my boots back to Granite Chief because they'd been bothering me. The guy in the boot department managed to keep a straight face when letting me know that the likely reason they hurt was because I'd put new liners in without first removing the old ones! Lovely. Being able to laugh at yourself is a gift.
A storm was coming in as we headed back to the Bay. This weekend, as my family divides and conquers between Disneyland, a lacrosse tournament on Treasure Island and the NCL Tea, will be epic.
They're purple and grey and green with a little orange and made of cotton. And they're sewn together with lots of love and a super soft Minky backside. Then they're mailed to a city on the eastern seaboard, a city still cold and snowy and deep into winter. To someone who needs to know that her California cousins are thinking of her and wishing they were there to make her matzoh ball soup. And drive her to appointments.
Do you recognize the smiley girl on the right? Yeah, neither did I. Apparently she's an 11-year-old dance wunderkind, a role model for miniature dancers worldwide.
As it turned out, Sophia Lucia was at the same dance competition Thing 1 was over the weekend. And she was sweet enough to pop this picture with Thing 1. She was also classy enough not to audition along with the other children, leaving them with a chance to win scholarships and receive recognition, which Thing 1 did in the form of a jazz award.
This was the last dance convention of the season and I have to admit, I'm glad. From here on out it's just performances and competitions. Up next: Disneyland. Oh yeah, Dave will take her. Eldest Daughter and I will be at the annual NCL mother-daughter tea.
I'm not supposed to blog about Eldest Daughter. She tells me that it violates her privacy and makes her uncomfortable, too. However, today's milestone is too good to keep to myself.
Here's your hint. My friend Sharon posted this to my Facebook Page: Welcome to the New Driver's Parent Club. Valium is to the left. Martinis are to the right. The sound booth for screaming at insurance costs is straight ahead.
Yes, that day is here. Eldest Daughter got her driver's license. I knew she would pass on the first try, just like I knew I wouldn't. She is a good driver. (For the record, my 16th birthday was the day we moved into our Anchorage house. My father and I pulled the five-speed out of the shipping container and I took the test in that, a car I had not driven in three months, on the ice covered roads of an Anchorage winter day.)
The proud mother in me is jumping up and down in happiness for her, and for our new freedom. The scared mother in me knows what's to come: worrying about her driving in the rain, worrying about her navigating the turkeys that linger on the roadside every fall or the bikers that speed out of Diablo, through the stop sign.
Dave deserves all the credit for helping her reaching this milestone. He spent hundreds of hours with her behind the wheel of the car.
For dinner I ate Scala carpaccio with my fingers. On the steps in Union Square. In the drizzle. Alone. Red lanterns are hanging for Chinese New Year. I shot this picture of a San Francisco heart. No one would recognize me. No makeup. Mist-curled hair. Raincoat.
I window shopped on my way back to the hotel. Louis Vuitton always has beautiful, creative displays. Loro Piana, which I didn't know a thing about until we went to the outlet near Venice. Kirk Geiger shoes. Bulgari, which I have never been inside. A twenty-something wearing a backpack on her cell phone telling the person she was talking to that she was looking for Powell Street yet walking away from it.
Often I look at Eldest Daughter and am shocked at what I see. She is so
together, so ambitious and focused at this age. Add to that long brown hair,
long legs and ridiculously long eyelashes that she lengthens with
mascara. Is this child even mine?!
We experienced our first college tour together Monday at the University
of Washington. It was cold and foggy, unlike the perfect, sunny day prior when
we played tourist.
I didn’t take any college tours before I went off into the Wild, Wild (mid) West. Did they even do official
college tours back then?! I remember visiting a friend at UCLA and another at Cal. And that was it. This child will visit many schools on her journey to
Our Beyonce-look-alike tour guide could
simultaneously speak, smile with all of her face and gesticulate broadly with her hands. She was a perfect
promotional vehicle for the school – all sweetness and light. We walked through
the quad, the library, the computer science building, the union. We learned
about the 800 student run organizations (aka clubs) and that California
provides the second highest number of students to UW after the state of
Washington. We learned that the average undergrad receives their degree in 4.1
years (what does that .1 mean anyway?!) and
that 70% of freshman live on campus.
It was surprising to me how much the tour was a sales job. But then
again I had nothing to compare it with. I worked very hard to keep my mouth shut during the tour so as not to influence Eldest Daughter's observations. Eldest Daughter and I both loved how
the UW is a community within the large Seattle community. She mentioned it first. Remember, I my mouth was clamped tightly shut. The setting is
spectacular – on the lake with views of the ocean and Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Range. Although the
school is large, 28,000 undergrads, the campus is fairly compact and the
buildings were visually interesting. It’s a pretty campus. Eldest Daughter kept
commenting on that.
This makes me wonder how much the physical appearance of a school
influences its student appeal. I never gave it any thought. Madison, my UW, had a lot
of beautiful old, historic buildings. In fact, I had classes in one that was built in 1851. Bascom Hall, the building most people associate with the school, was built in 1910. I never appreciated it although I
did think the campus scenic with its location on the isthmus between Lake Mendota and