Postcards from LA

I’ve been MIA from this blog for a week. And of course, I abandon ship with a dead rodent on the opening screen. Classy.

My silence is due to a quick jaunt to visit family near LA (California, not Louisiana). And believe it or not, on the outskirts of that city — over the mountains and along the coast — are pockets of civilization without cell and internet service. Hence the blog’s dormancy.

Brynn and Hadley tagged along on this trip and both girls proved top-flight travelers. In exchange for their compliance in transit — both in air and while shackled to car seats along ribbons of freeway — we logged plenty of time on playgrounds.

And if you’re forced into slave labor, pushing a kid on a swing, or if you have to witness a 22-month-old tumble head-first off a rope ladder (fortunately, she slowed her fall by hooking a foot in descent…) there are worse places to be than Malibu.

Imagine a playground sandwiched between a cheerfully painted community center and an immaculate ball field…impossibly green.

Left field stretches to the ocean; right field is bordered by rangy parkland.

It’s hard to lodge too many complaints.

In the late afternoon we’d walk along the beach to the tidal pools, where we’d collect shells and toe the sea anemones.

We spied a few starfish as well…

Last night we flew back on the red-eye — which always seems like a good idea when booked, but is a lousy idea in practice. Today I feel hungover minus the booze.

And that’s my excuse for this pointless post today. My jet-lagged, sleep-deprived fogginess.

The kids, on the other hand, shrugged off the red-eye in style. They each crammed in a solid four-hour nap. (Easy for them…they fold like pocketknives in the seats.) When we landed at 5 am, Hadley rubbed her truly red eyes and announced that she was going to school. And she did.

Brynn also rousted herself from the plane and sprinted through the airport terminal. At baggage claim at Dulles, she hugged this huge wall advertisement for Saudi Airlines like a long-lost friend. I guess that four days without the horses will do that to a kid.

In addition to the photo, I liked the slogan on this ad. Especially with the kid beside it. I was utterly sapped of energy after the flight, down to fumes. But Brynn was wide-eyed, practically defiant of her edited sleep cycle. Pajama- and sneaker-clad, she barreled up and down the wide airport hall… looking like one of “a new era.”