(not the teenage kind)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Birthday E. & I.

A few days ago Grandma Diane, Jenny, and I took you to Sears to get your two-year portraits. We walked in the store and I couldn't believe how well behaved you were. You held onto our hands and looked at all the merchandise. Grandma Diane pointed out a blouse that she thought would be nice for you to buy her for her birthday. When we got to the portrait studio, you sat quietly playing with a bead game while the photographer set things up. Then it was time for the pictures.

At first the set-up looked like a bed and the two of you refused to approach for fear you'd be forced to go "la-la." But then the photographer showed you that it was really a drum and you were both all into that. Eva, you are going to be America's Next Top Model because once the camera came out, you would not stop posing. In fact, we had a hard time getting you to step down from the "drum" so your brother could have his turn alone.

Isaac, once you got comfortable you had no interest in the picture taking process and great interest in finding out what was behind every door and curtain in all of Sears. Grandma Diane spent a lot of time running after you, proving that however much money she spends on Jazzercize, it is a wise investment. At one point, you slammed your finger in a door and at another point I was trying to pick you up but you fought me so hard that you banged your head hard on the floor. Of course, the only person who could comfort you was your nanny, Jenny (who you call "Nenny" but who per Grandma Diane I am not allowed to call "Nenny" because that would be sabotaging your language development skills.)

Yesterday, both of you stopped by to visit me near your house where several of my friends and I were having lunch. The whole time you were there I kept asking you how old you were going to be tomorrow and neither of you would answer. You did, however, have a great time splashing water from a fountain all over yourselves and my friend's backyard. When you left, I walked you to the car and your mama and I strapped you into your car seats. I asked you one more time, "How old are you going to be when I next see you?" and you both simultaneously raised your little fingers and said "two."

Isaac, you have been trying very hard to communicate in what I call "secret twin language" or what could possibly be some obscure Chinese dialect. It breaks my heart a little because you speak so emphatically and there are lots of wild hand gestures involved. You must be trying to tell us something very, very important like who shot JFK or the identity of Deep Throat. Don't worry, we already know!

I have so much more to say about how good natured, affectionate and sweet you both are, how you love books and being read to which is a requirement if you want to be related to me and how, for the most part, you act properly excited whenever you see me, but your birthday party is in a few hours and I am in charge of getting the fruit so I must go. Happy birthday, E. and I., I love you!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Morocco in the Desert

While researching new places to stay on my semi-annual trip to the desert, I found a place called El Morocco Inn which had great reviews on Trip Advisor.   I sent Julie on a scouting mission and she called me as she was walking out the door and told me I needed to book a stay there right away.  So I did and a few weeks ago I went.

 I would call this my most relaxing trip to the desert yet.  The owners have gone to great lengths with the decor which Julie has documented (along with other parts of my visit) on her flickr site here.  They have a happy hour every afternoon where they serve "morocco-tinis," introduce all the guests to one another (though all the guests at the time were an elderly couple and me), and tell stories.  They have a a DVD player in every room and an extensive DVD library.  I watched two films  - "Girl Interrupted" (and, wow, you could really see why Angelina won an Oscar.  She totally eclipsed Winona who was billed as the star) and "A Few Good Men" ("I want the truth.  You can't handle the truth."  Can't believe I never saw it before.)  I had the swimming pool and the swimming pool size jacuzzi to myself.  

They were wonderful to Julie and gave her a key to the front door so she could come join me whenever.  We went to dinner one night and when we came back there was a a decanter of sherry and glasses for us waiting in the dining area.  Oh, and they have a little room with games, a fireplace, and a TV that runs a continuous loop of "Casablanca."

When I went through the purge of 2006, I had put aside several bags of vintage clothing that I knew were too good to donate to Goodwill.  I decided to bring the bags down to the desert to get Julie's advice on their dispensation.  One afternoon I had a fashion show by the pool where I pulled out the items from the bags and Julie told me what she thought each item's value and selling potential was.   At some point in the fashion show, the owner of the local newspaper came by to interview Bruce, the proprietor of El Morocco, who had just won a General Manager of the year award.  And that is how Julie and I came to be pictured in the latest issue of the Valley Breeze (click to enlarge):

(I am on the right, holding a bunch of vintage clothing in my hands. I point this out because I sent this picture to my own mother and she wrote me back saying, "I see Julie but where are you?")

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