Every year Steve's family has a gathering known as Westyfest. Usually its at Auntie Alex's house here, near Seattle. This year, we travelled all the way to Camarillo, California to include Steve's cousins, his cousins' kids, and his Aunt and Uncle in the fun. It turns out that fun runs in their blood, and their spouses' blood. Steve isn't the only one who married a super fun, witty, hospitable, and all around great individual.
So, to So Cal we flew. We spent two sun(screen) filled days with The Westovers and The Rosemeyers bouncing in blowup structures, swimming in pools, playing minute-to-win-it type games, eating, drinking, dehydrating, and seeking shade and airconditioning.
Cousin Cooper celebrated his Sweet 16 while we were there. I'm sure he couldn't think of a better way to spend such a special birthday. Surrounded by your Dorky Uncles, away from your best friends, being serenaded at Red Robin, blowing out the candles on a cake that has your 2 year old photo on it is way better than any of those silly bashes they show on MTV.
That's 90 degrees in the shade.
Cousin Stacey weighs in at about 97lbs and she beat the pants off of Grandma and Auntie Michelle in the Airplane Bottle Of Booze Chug. Her time was under 2 seconds. She has 3 kids. I'm pretty sure they have something to do with her winning time.
After our 2 days of WestyRosemeyerFest 2012, we took a day to tour the sights we used to frequent when we lived in LA. Due to my fear of heat, there weren't many sights to see. I pretty much stayed inside with the A/C blasting at my armpits for the 4 years we lived in LA.
Niamh claimed everything felt familiar to her, even places we never went when we lived there. She was 2 years old when we moved but according to Niamh it all felt like home.
This was our first home. It was good to see it. I'm glad we don't live in it anymore.
This is where Steve and I loved to eat. It used to be Sushi Kokyo but Boss, the sushi chef, took the kitchen crew and opened his own sushi joint. There is drama everywhere in LA, it can't be avoided, not even at a strip mall sushi joint.
Next, I dropped Steve and the kids at Venice Beach. While they gawked at all the old wrinkly men who hang out there on their roller blades, I rocked down to Electric Avenue. Rather, I passed Electric Avenue en route to my shopping destination on Abbot Kinney, but I couldn't stop singing Eddy Grant's song.
Finally, we drove out of LA, past countless outlet malls, and arrived at Disneyland. I hoped to fall ill with some form of gastroenteritis that might justify my desire to remain outside the Disney gates, inside a cool hotel room, alone, away from crowds of sticky strangers. Unfortunately, my GI system never does what I want it to do.
I joined Steve and the kids, along with Uncle Mike and Cousin Emily, for a morning at the park. I lasted 6 hours until the clouds cleared, the sun started to blaze and burn, and the crowds grew. Once all that happened, I ditched Steve, Mike and the kids, I jumped in the motel pool, and I got an Ice Blended from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The rest of them stayed in the park another 7 hours. I never would have made it.
By all reports, the kids had a blast. I fear I may have to go again some day. And, to be honest, it wasn't as bad as I was expecting. I might return some October when most of the world's young people are in school and the temp is cooler. That way, we could enjoy the rides without all the sticky sunscreen and it would be just us with all the weird adults that go to Disneyland without kids. I can't wait.