Is it July Already?

For those in the know, I’ve already alerted Zoe to the fact that a backwards peace sign (palm facing in) is an offensive gesture in at least 5 countries. That said, she’s a kid and had no idea, and I wanted to share that “Sugar Daddies” sign. Forgive us both. Let’s talk about July. Yes, I know it’s September, though, are people still using calendars these days? Inquiring minds want to know.

In early July, we discovered a potential fall-back career for Bart: hair stylist. Zoe was dying to color her hair, and not with the Overtone temporary tint, but with a REAL permanent color. I was concerned. In contrast, Bart went online and learned all about hair color. Turns out there are levels (types? something?) of hair color that are more and less “permanent”. He took Zoe to a beauty supply store, asked a few questions, and came home with everything needed to D.I.Y., which he D.I.D. He even learned to separate the sections of hair for an even look, and OMG. It worked.

What a dad, right? In mid-July, we housesat for friends in Long Beach who have a lovely home and a pool, which turned out to be a fabulous stay-vay-cation (which is it?). Bart’s sister’s family came to visit while we were there, and though I had to work (oh, darn it), they took the girls to Disneyland. As you’ll see, they hated it.

Or not. I did go to the Aquarium of the Pacific, more my speed than crowds at Disneyland during a pandemic, and since we were going to be down in Long Beach all week AND our friends volunteer there, we became members! The girls all had fun looking at the seals, penguins and jellyfish, oh my! They even TOUCHED jellyfish (no thanks) and other small slimy creatures in some designated touch pools.


After the cousins left, we had more fun in the LB, including checking out Shoreline Village, a cool touristy area with restaurants and shops near a marina. We had lunch at a pub with an outdoor patio overlooking the water and got to see some live music, which I sorely miss. At the end of the row of stores was a shop called Sugar Daddies (photo above) with overpriced old school candy, which, other than the open-air arcade, the girls would likely say was their favorite part. Oh, sugar.

Later that month, with my hip surgery looming, we headed to GA to see family, on planes. Our Southwest airplane had 3-3 seating per row; there are 4 of us; and we had a short stop in Vegas, making it a challenge to be sure we could all sit together on every flight. In all cases, we chose one set of three seats and the adjacent aisle. Guess where I sat? While sitting with two girls on a flight is high maintenance, it was the only way to be sure that a) any snacks or drinks they had would be FAST, limiting maskless moments and b) I could be sure their hands were regularly sanitized. Yes, I know they’re trained, but in my opinion, one of the worst places to “oops” your good habits is on a plane–especially on Southwest Airlines, which prides itself on a fast turn at the gate (read: less time to CLEAN a plane). I brought plenty of wipes, and honestly, the girls did great.

We had an action-packed time in Georgia where we spent lots of time with family, got some work done from a local WeWork, and went on adventures. Zoe and Ella also got to meet their awesome virtual piano teacher (Miss Beth) and her cute dog, JJ; she had a magical room filled with costumes and props, and the girls had a blast. As everyone should do on a trip to GA, Bart took the girls to the Waffle House.

Unlike their own home, where we have a gazillion Legos that they HAD TO HAVE but never play with, when my sister pulled out a bin of Legos, the girls couldn’t stop building for the rest of the trip and insisted on taking the Lego minifigures wherever we went. I guess there’s something about someone else’s toys… As an added bonus, we got to be there just as my niece was heading off to college at UT Austin (Hook ’em Horns!) to pursue a degree in music and my nephew started high school. We even got to see one of his marching band practices in person. They are BOTH brilliant, and highly talented musicians to boot. Such a proud auntie!

And on the way home, Ella learned how to write like a Disney Princess (who knew that was a thing?), thanks to a cute activity book from my mom. We had an uneventful flight back (yay!), and the whole family took COVID tests twice that week, just in case, and got the “all clear”.

So we clearly had a magical July, filled with adventures and surrounded by people we love. To be honest, as you likely read in my Hip Adventure posts (pre- and post-surgery), August has been a blur. I’ll work on one more post to get us up-to-date, and hopefully I can do a better job through the end of this year at posting on a regular basis, but who knows. We shall see. Hope your summer was equally safe and exciting!

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