Enough of my bitching and moaning about not seeing my friends –I did something about it. This last weekend, K and I hit the road for a long beach weekend with our girls. It can always be a bit awkward to travel with someone for the first time (though my Big Susan T and I cemented our friendship on a fateful ride to Richmond, VA almost 20 years ago) – so many unknowns. Sing along or not? Lots of pit stops or the ability to hold it for hours? Scream at the kids or talking quietly and positively like the parenting books recommend? No singing (uh, too busy talking), hold it and yell. Turns out, we travel well.
An early start in a car full of two 7-year olds, two moms, one dog, two giant bags of snacks, a cooler and the two screen DVD player. Six hours, Soul Surfer, Alvin and the Chipmunks (OMG….what was I thinking to bring that along????) and one pit stop later (admit it – one bathroom break is pretty damn impressive) and we were at the beach.
In the course of the weekend, we relaxed. A lot. We got weird ass sunburns because we sat our asses in chairs near the water and for the most part – did not move for close to five hours. Well, except for the brief break K took to put more money in someone else’s parking meter (because well, all black SUVs with booster seats look the same.) I did have a Tippi Hendron moment when an extra from The Birds grabbed a cheese stick right out of my hand (its claws touched my hair and I threw up in my mouth a little.) That did not deter us. A nearly perfect beach day ended at the pier where we discovered a fabulous new drink and copped a great mom buzz.
I rarely venture far from the beach when I’m in SoCal but K had never been to Beverly Hills so we loaded up and hit Rodeo Drive. Really – you haven’t lived until you watch the sales guy in Judith Leiber (the fancy schmancy purse place) show two little girls the every animal purse in the store (clearly, it was a slow day.) And, yes, we threatened them within an inch of their lives if they were less than gentle. A great day of wandering, shopping, eating and more talking.
K and I parent in similar ways and I’ve really come to believe, this makes us better friends because we’re annoyed by the same things in other people – including our children. Now, a word about our girls. They are very good friends. They are very similar and spend enough time together that they fight like sisters. They will happily wear the others underpants if they can’t find their own. They are close. There were more than a few occasions during the weekend when either K or I would sigh with “Girls, please stop…insert whatever annoys you.” Now K is from Texas. You see her and you think she’s a demure southern woman. So, after listening to the girls whine and moan about something for the bazillionith time, I was somewhat stunned to hear her say, “Well, tough titty said the kitty.” I nearly peed my pants. And no longer apologized for my potty mouth.
We both agreed it was a great weekend. We talk about doing it again – and even letting her husband come along. I don’t think Kelly and I stopped talking the entire weekend. This was probably the first time we were ever able to fully finish a conversation. What’s funnier is that I could say the same about our girls. I think they are Big Susans in the making.