Thursday, June 07, 2007

What A Trip, Man...

Caveat: Some May Find This Post Objectionable.
This post contains a lot of pictures of a baby and is very long.
A week ago today I surprised the Nerf with a surprise visit to California. It was pretty much awesome since Lindsay and I conspired to keep it under wraps. We surprised him at work; he opened the back door of the car to see Beckett and found his big brother sitting there. It was like a MasterCard commercial:

"Round-trip ticket: $260. Hotdog: $14. Nathan’s expression: Priceless."

It was a great time in Beverly Hills/LA/West Hollywood/All-The-Other-Cities-That-Run-Together. It was the first personal time I’d taken in 2007 and served up the remedy I needed to the doldrums of everyday life. SoCal was great, primarily because of the incredible weather we enjoyed. The locals call it ‘June Gloom’ because it is grey and hazing until around 12-1pm; but then it just opens up to a beautiful mid-high 70’s with a wonderful ocean breeze. Basically, the weather rocks. I loved it. Someone offer me a job. As opposed to my lovely Atlanta residence where it’s mid 90’s with humidity and a breeze that feels awkwardly like an over-aggressive hand-dryer in the men’s room at the Citgo where people deal drugs and there are more adult magazines than alcohol-free beverages. But you’re out of gas and even though it’s a dollar more a gallon, you gotta put $5 in or you aren’t making it home…
I digress.
One of the highlights for me (and one of the main reasons I made the trek) was chillin’ with Beckett, the first of Roberts: The Next Generation. He took to me instantly and we had a great time, as evidenced by this video on their blog; it was awesome to see my brother – the one I fought with, played football and basketball with, roomed with and have competed with since I lost my exclusive rights on all attention at 16 months – interact as a father. Additionally, having been there within hours of the time Nathan and Lindsay met five years ago to now, it was fun to see them as parents. They do good work.
Anyway, I got there Thursday afternoon it wasn’t long until Nathan, Michael and I were playing Halo (I don’t care if you’re suddenly a parent or not – some things never change). Friday Lindsay, Beckett and I went to the mall, cruised around Beverly Hills and took in the sights. I’m not exactly sure if I was in Silicon Valley, but I was definitely in Silicone Valley. The 6 Millon Dollar Man had more human left in him than some of the women I saw.
Friday night we went over to dinner at Dan and Paula’s. This isn’t some fancy restaurant (though the filet mignon, baked potatoes, ice cream and endless flow of IBC root beer certainly would make you think so); rather, it’s Lindz’s uncle and aunt. They are awesome and we had some good times with them, their daughters Sam and Jules, and some friends Michelle and Peter. The have a beautiful home in the area fairly close to the ocean and I they were awesome hosts. Good times.
Once we got home, we played Halo till 1:30 in the AM. It never gets old.
Saturday we got a slow start due to the intense gaming session. Once everyone was up, we went down to Venice Beach to take in the crazies…oh, the ocean too…and all they have to offer. It was like Chinatown in NYC, except the peddlers were Hispanic and illegal instead of Chinese, the food was pizza and hotdogs instead of duck and egg rolls and the air smelled like the ocean instead of sewage and death. And I saw this guy strutting around in a man-thong. Big-G, little-Nasty - GNASTY (the G is silent).
Later that day Nerf and Linds went to the LA Temple for a session in the upper room in commemoration of the temple’s 50th anniversary and I watched Beckett. I fed him ice cream and soda and Swedish Fish and…oh, I forgot that’s all frowned upon for a 4 month old. Oh well, all’s well that end’s well.

Saturday night us grown-ups went to The Magic Castle. TMC is an exclusive club – I refer to it as the Augusta National of Magicians –you have to belong to or be invited to in order to gain entrance. Tie and jacket for the fellas, dress or suit for the ladies, was just up the road for Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and is indeed a castle. We made an appearance because Nathan’s company was having a shindig and it was awesome. There was some great food and amazing feats of magic. Seriously. It was incredible. As Nathan aptly pointed out, it would have been more comforting to think magic actually was happening as opposed to the fact these magicians were so quick with their slight of hand.
Also, I met a kid Nathan works with who can solve a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds. Tyson Mao was on the TV show “Beauty and the Geek” and is a celebrity of sorts. Tyson is a developer and writes the programming EWT uses for their trading; in fact, that’s how he can do the cube so fast: he created an algorithm by assigning numbers to colors on the cube. Crazy.

Sunday was church. It was cool because there was a kid there I went to college with. Wes and I lived in the same apartment complex for 3 years and were in the same ward for most of my post-mission collegiate experience. He’s married with a little one year old girl name Halle. So that was fun.
After church, we went to a park with the Eav family and us guys did a little lawn bowling. The parks there are awesome. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Suffice it to say as the rookie of the group, I didn’t grab any victories. I’m not bitter…stupid Bocce Ball!!!!!
Monday was my last day and Nathan worked a half day. I went on a walk with Linds and Beckett, Ashley and Arleigh, and Angie and Charles to the Post Office. It was a little weird as I was the only man with three women and three children in strollers, but when in Rome…
We grabbed a bite at Jack Sprat’s in memoriam of Rach and her days in LA. I had a delicious Mediterranean Quesadilla. Then we stopped by the mall to try to find me a shirt as all mine had spit-up all over them, courtesy of my awesome little nephew. But I didn’t find anything, so I just wore Nathan’s shirt home. It’s nice. I think I’ll keep it.
Anyway, that’s about it. We cruised down to the OC and I caught my flight at 8pm, arriving back in Hotlanta at 5am Tuesday morning. Good times. I sure miss the little guy (his parents too, but mostly the little guy…and working Nathan at Halo) and the weather, but such is life. I’m already excited to go back. In the words of Phantom Planet:

Pedal to the floor
Thinkin' of the roar
Gotta get us to the shore
California here we come

(I didn’t buy a $14 hotdog.)


Lindsay said...

I loved it. It was even better the second time (your trip that is). Reading through your post made me miss you, and made me so happy that we actually did some stuff while you were here...when you left I wondered if we had bored you. But looking back I realize that we accomplished some stuff. good times. Anyway-great post about it.
ps-if you get lonely before Paula gets back you can always call us. We're not doing too much. ever.

Cardinals Fan in Utah said...

Finally, another Logan Roberts masterpiece. I have been in dire need of starting off my morning right and thank goodness, now my weekend can be complete. SoCal is a great place, except for when your Mom gets stuck in traffic and you lose your seats to the long awaited visit to "The Price is Right". I believe Happy Gilmore said it best, "The Price is Wrong #$%&!"

It appears you have the knack for the kids, plus your stroller days are just getting stared. I recommend one with cup holders as we have, so that you can enjoy a nice cold beverage as you try and wheel that contraption through the aisles of Target trying to find your wife.

You'll be a great dad, I'm certain.

Ms. Roberts said...

Good thing Linds wasn't there when you fed Beckett...I tried that, but at about two weeks or so. Not a good idea, but obviously the kid has turned out great...

Mama Miriam said...

Awesome post. So glad you had a great visit. (The video of you and Beckett is priceless.)