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January 28, 2008

I went all the way to Florida to hug my family and apparently spread capitalism

So last week as soon as I got the all-clear "You are no longer Typhoid Mary of Contagion" from my doctor, I went back to work... for a day. Then I got on a plane on Friday to fly to Florida to see my family and win all their quarters playing cards. (On their last visit to California, they taught me to play a card game called Thirty-One, and a gambling addiction was born.) (Thanks, parents!)

Last Tuesday as I was leaving the doctor's office, I called my folks to give them the heads up in case they wanted me to reschedule.

"The doctor says I'll be un-contagious by the time I get on the plane," I said, "but to be on the safe side I can always re-schedule my flight..."

"No, no way," said my mom. "Besides, I hear people with bronchial issues are really bad at cards."

"Hey!! Don't I get a HANDICAP or something?"

"No way Jose!" and so the trip was on, and I was prepared with my bag of quarters, appropriately labeled:


This was the first time I have lost every hand of Thirty-One the whole night, I blame it entirely on cough syrup. This was also the first time I have ever gone anywhere with just a carry-on bag and no checked luggage. Yes, that's right. I decided I was traveling LIGHT! Of course, I was only going to Florida for two days but anyway, traveling LIGHT! Me! Exciting! For my two-day trip to Houston I packed a giant suitcase and a full-size carry on bag plus my giant handbag so this was a unique and exhilarating experience for me. I am just saying is all.

Anyway, all was well as soon as I arrived and saw the fam and hugged and we spent a great weekend hanging out, playing cards, eating amazing food and wishing Happy Birthday to my brother, who will always be older than I am:

Love you, Guy! Happy Birthday!

On Saturday morning we woke up early and drove to Daytona Beach to see my nephew Andrew race his car in the Cub Scouts' Pinewood Derby. I took video with my new camera, but since it's a fancy more-megapixel camera, it appears to be too large for youtube which is sad because I am sure my race footage would have proved ONCE AND FOR ALL that Andrew was robbed of the first-place trophy, but apparently this is supposed to be for "fun" and I was not allowed to demand a recount or beat up the Cub Scout Dad in charge. Whatevs.

Here is cutie Andrew with his car and participant trophy:


The cars at the derby were awesome:


The pencil car was my favorite. Now that is some crafty car making. I would so drive a pencil car. I am just saying is all....

My other nephew, the also cute but way taller Brett was there as well, looking good and I was so happy to see him:


And my favorite little brother Eric was there, too, with his girlfriend Rebecca and I am certain they win the prize for World's Most Adorable Couple or something....

Brangelina, you better watch out. The hotter couple Erbecca is here.

Since the Big Time RV was parked in Orlando and we drove up to Daytona in a regular vehicle without beds and marble floors (ahem), my brother Guy and sister-in-law Kelli found us this hotel on the beach for the night and there is nothing finer in the whole world than a beach-balcony view:


My mom on her balcony enjoying the view while some of us still haven't learned about the miracle known as "flash" on the camera:


Florida has some of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen. I love the wintertime especially, something about the deserted beach reminds me of one of my favorite movies, "Ruby In Paradise." And there's nothing like the sound of the waves coming in all night, it's nature's perfect sleep machine.

The trip was so much fun, but some of it was torture for poor Andrew who was being cajoled every minute of every day to let Grandpa pull his loose front tooth. Now I do not have kids and I am sort of thinking this was a good move on my part because I am very squeamish, and also I sort of thought that teeth fell out on their own or whatever, but in general have actually never thought about such things. Things which are apparently really important when you are six years old.

So Andrew was not loving all the peer pressure to get his tooth pulled. There was cajoling and subtle hints of "I'll watch you skate outside/bring you a treat/etc. if you let Grandpa pull your tooth..." and Andrew was having none of it. Now Andrew is a smart kid, he's a combination of logical and emotional that makes sense to me, Crazy Aunt Laurie From California Who Tells Six Year Olds Vaguely Off-Color Jokes.

So on our last day everyone (except me) was telling him he had to get his tooth out or else it was a trip to the dentist on Monday (by the way, I am sure there was a reason for all this but when body parts get mentioned in such a manner I usually stick my fingers in my ears and go "la la la" until it's over...) and Andrew was not budging on the issue. I was secretly happy for him that he was holding out for a better deal.

Andrew, with his lone loose front tooth:


And here is a picture of Andrew after Crazy Aunt Laurie From California Who Has No Moral Scruples helped the issue along a bit:


Cute AND smart AND rich. A winning combination!

Posted by laurie at January 28, 2008 8:06 AM