Trips back to the U.S. are both exciting and nerve racking. Yet, always full of love and laughter. You are probably asking how can that be? Well, exciting because I get to see my family and friends that I have not seen in years. Nerve racking because I have loads of doctor appointments, errands, and orders to be placed and received. My first stop is California.
Hermosa Beach, California
I arrived in California on a bright and beautiful day. My dad made the long drive to visit with us and we got to spend the entire day with him despite his ailing health. He is a rock star for making the journey, but next time I will make the drive.
My sister spoiled me the next day. I had not had my hair done in almost 3 years and it was looking a little long, but ratty. Since I wear a hat all the time, the crown was my natural dark color, but from the nape of the neck down it was a sun kissed light brown to blonde. The stylist said I came in with “charcoal” hair because of my long grays.
After 7 hours in the chair, a full color and then balayage it turned out way redder and lighter than I wanted. She worked tirelessly to fix it and used toner 3 times. By the time I left I was exhausted, cold, hungry and ready to cut it all off. I decided to “sit” with it for a few days before making any rash decisions. I will say that the color was beautiful, my hair was full, shiny, and super healthy looking. It was just much lighter around my face than I anticipated. I did not take photos of the front top where it was really light as I did not like it.
Several days later I wash it for the first time. Part of me hoping the light color will wash off near my face, but knowing it won’t. I am getting used to it…
Most of my family lives in California, but they are all spread out. So, it is always fun to get together. My 2nd cousins Jean and Ken, my aunt/uncle Diana and Mark, my uncle Matthew and my sister’s family all enjoyed tasty enchiladas, salad, and desert.
Kimberly, my sister is such a goof ball – man I love the heck out of her!
My dad is battling colo-rectal cancer so my goal was to visit him as much as possible. He is a fighter and is not relinquishing to this disease. I am so proud of him and is courage!
My dad added to his family – a new malti-poo – so cute.
Squeezed some time out for my good friends.
Kathryn is one of my dearest friends and always brightens my day. She is such a bright star in my life!
Deborah took me out to an amazing dinner at Shade in Manhattan Beach and it was amaze balls. The drinks were spectacular!
Kimberly rides English style on a beautiful horse called “Spade.”
The Packing of all the “Stuff”
It is always a challenge to fit all of our goodies into our luggage. You have to ensure that each bag does not exceed 50lbs and are evenly packed. I decided to divide our loot into 3 sections. First is coming back with me (urgent items), second will come with the Konis family (planning on a visit in mid-July) and the third will come with Wayne (planning a visit in mid-August).
The four boxes (lower photo) contain water pumps and weigh 12lbs each! They have to be separated because they are so heavy.
Some of the above items can be found in Tahiti. However, they run anywhere from 3-10x as much money. For example, the SUP leashes are about $65 in Papeete, but only $18 on Amazon. Some of the above items just can’t be found in French Polynesia (fire blankets, ice cube balls, quick dry towels, waterproof backpacks) and some items are just pure luxury (GoPro, comfy flip flops).
Our Texas dad sent Matt and I some amazing goodies! He spoils us so. He sent hot sauce, julio’s seasoning and these cool thermal mugs that we so desperately needed.
This dog greets all the people who pass by on the Hermosa Beach strand.
Lots of flowers in full bloom
Abalone Cove and Reserve – Rancho Palos Verdes
Kimberly took my uncle Matthew and I to a cool place called Abalone Cove and Reserve in Rancho Palos Verdes. Had we gone during low tide we could have explored the cool tide pools. But as luck would have it, we arrived at high tide so we just enjoyed the dolphins playing the water at the beach.
My welcome home upon entry into French Polynesia.
The events of this blog took place the end of June and early July. Typically, our blogs are 6-8 weeks behind actual events.