March 24, 2023

I’m already fretting about my week coming to a close and somehow not finding, yet again, enough down time at the beach. I need weeks, not days, to stare at the horizon, and walk along the Esplanade, and while away hours drinking coffee and reading in local cafes. Weeks!

So.. today’s my last day in the southland. I haven’t yet paid homage to the old homestead, and I haven’t spent any time with the kiddos, so decided both of those needed to happen.

Betsy came out (again! what a trooper!) to join me for breakfast at a new place (new to me) on PCH called Sweet Wheat. It had an impressive array of french-like things.. croissants, cheese and charcuterie boards, quiches, european-style sandwiches on crusty french bread, coffees, and so much more. I’ll probably go back on a future trip.

We followed breakfast with some shopping around in the Village. After she took off, I headed up to PV to check out the house. They look to be replacing the driveway, but I didn’t see much else happening in front.

Then I went around to the back alley…

… to see what I could see in the back.

Ever since they built a tall fence along the back boundary line, it’s impossible to see the backyard… unless you climb said fence to get a view…

…. which is NOT easy. But I can hoist myself up, provided I can get my left foot up on that railing. Even then, it’s hard to get a good picture b/c I have to maneuver my phone with one hand while I hang on with the other. Here’s the best photo I could get and you can’t see much. They’ve blended the back-forty with the backyard-proper by creating this long slope of lawn. They’ve built this huge pool on the upper portion (previously the back-forty). This time, I noticed some lawn furniture’s been added. Sweet to me: my bedroom window is very visible and looks just the same. Nothing’s been done yet to the house.. at least not the footprint of it.

One of these days, someone’s going to call the cops on me!

After this adventure, I headed over to Chris’s.. stopping to snap a few pics on the cliff above Bluff Cove. It was an extremely windy and clear day. Even with just my iPhone I could get some shots of downtown LA and the snow capped mountains. Note three shots of the same house with red roof.

After getting Chris, we went to get the kids at Alexis’s. The plan was to then take them down to John’s new place in Long Beach for their weekend with him. Everyone’s still adjusting to new routines. It was nice to be able to say hello to Alexis; sorry it was such a short visit. This must not be easy for her.

She agreed to model mom’s glasses. She’d always loved mom’s crazy glasses, so after mom died, Alexis got this pair and put her own Rx in them. Only Alexis could carry these off. (Mom wore them well, too.)

After a rough and tumble drive down the 405 during rush hour on a Friday with three kids in the backseat expressing a full range of moods, we made it to John’s and spent the next four hours in a flurry of activities — games, art, music, dinner, mess-making, clean-up. Alternated between chill and frenetic, but overall it was impressive. The kids seem to be rolling with it, John’s created a warm and well-equipped, fully-featured, thoughtful second home for his kids and I’m certain they are feeling the love. On both ends.

Some pics from the evening:

John, Magnolia, River and I played Chinese Checkers…

Chris and Juniper…

The kids are very into drawing and have a Youtube channel that guides them through sketches. River and Magnolia…

It’s worth noting that as we pulled up to John’s place, he was just returning from two days in Arizona (attending Spring training). Fresh off a six hour drive (also through LA rush hour traffic), he was cool, calm and loving. He spent time with each kid, relaxed through a few activities, then while Chris and I occupied the kids, John made a great dinner of chicken, roasted broccolini and mushrooms, and quinoa. Popsicles for dessert. All six of us sat at a well-set table and talked about our days.

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