Susan's Blog

Monday, February 23, 2009

Super-Californialistic Expialodocious

All week I’ve come up with great blog post titles, but nothing to go with them. I’ve been on a vacation by myself; I’m in California visiting my parents. Nothing momentous has occurred, mentally; I’ve been relaxing and just be-ing.

I like it out here in Santa Barbara. Everyone seems so happy. I went to a Farmer’s Market the other day and it was like a big festival. There were musicians everywhere, lots of color and interesting characters; lots of gorgeous healthy long-haired men; food to sample, beautiful dogs. Sun and clouds and nothing to do but walk around, eat and talk.

My mom and I explored beaches bordered with flowers of every color, and strange Seuss-like plants. Spanish missions that rose out of the yellow and green landscape like something out of Hitchcock’s Vertigo. I went on a long bike ride along the ocean with my father, breathing in the familiar bleachy smell of the ocean as I pumped my way up a mesa, and looking at the moored boats’ spiky white masts and colorful hulls as we sailed back down. The harbor looked like a boy’s collection of toy boats, all so shiny and perfect.

We went to wine country today. Ate in the restaurant where they apparently filmed the movie Sideways. When the waiter came over, I asked him with a straight face if they had any wine. His eyes widened and he held up the tome-like winelist and I said, “I know, I’m just kidding.”

Did the wine-tasting thing, which I was calling “The Emperor’s New Drink.” I did buy a tiny coonskin cap for Ben (private joke). We got some beautiful pics which I will Tabblo after Ned Darling sucks the pictures out of my camera and spits them into my computer.

I’m tired. I never really adjusted to being 3 hours behind. It feels like I get much more of a day somehow. Like when it’s 9 a.m. it’s really 6 a.m., so I feel like I have this pocket of three hours to do anything with. My computer right now says 12:37 a.m. but it’s only 9:37. Yet I’m in bed. It was also the first time I ever watched the entire Oscars because they began at 5 and ended at 9.

I showed my mother the beginning of my book. She is the first to read it. She gave me some good feedback, including that it is not really about “fun” at all, but more about finding perspective and happiness in the context of autism. She was shy to critique it — in the past I have not taken criticism very well — but I really was glad to get her feedback this time. I did a lot of writing while I was here.

I go back to LA tomorrow; I spent the first day there as well, with Ned’s and my best college friend, (he had even been in our wedding party) who took me to Disney and then to some bars in West Hollywood. That day I stayed up for 28 hours. I had no idea just how lovely Disneyland is – poppies and delphiniums and cherry trees everywhere, as well as brightly painted rides and clean streets. It was a lot more authentic than Disneyworld, it seemed. Not as big and overwhelming. John and I went on 9 rides altogether: Alice in Wonderland; twice on the bee ride; the Maliboomer; the Haunted Mansion; Soarin’ Over California; Star Tours; the Matterhorn; and Pirates of the Caribbean. Also met Mary Poppins and she let me pose with her umbrella. Perfect.

What I loved best in Disney was the big theater where you just go in and sit down and watch shots from classic Disney films and hear the swelling soundtracks. There I thought alot about Nat, and how I wish he could see it. I almost cried at some points, feeling a connection to him that reaches so far back; missing him.

I also knew that Max and Ben would have absolutely loved Star Tours; Ben has never been to either Disneys, and claims he does not want to go. No one wanted to go with me on this trip, so I made it my own. Well, Nat would have wanted to go but that would have been too hard. And that makes me sad, but it’s true.

I feel like I could live here, but I always feel that way when I travel. I am also really looking forward to being home and smelling my boys’ hair.

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