Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Back home.

Where to begin. I kept a paper journal of the trip, the first one I have kept since Ivy was born and I was struck by the difference. With blogging you generally give an account after the event has happened, but with a paper journal you have the privilege of documenting something as it happens.

It went well. I wasn't very happy with how I looked on screen--my beloved skull dress was vetoed as it violated the No Death Symbols Policy. Seriously. I ended up wearing a tank top and cardigan with one of my new skirts, it looked okay in the mirror but when I saw some of the edits, the tank top is bunchy across my boobs. And I was going to wear my hair up, and then I thought it would be better down but it looks scraggly and just hanging, no style. But the actually taping went fine, I was comfortable and chatty and maybe even funny. Although I did have to stand on a box since I was so much shorter than the hostess.

Tuesday was my one day free, I am so glad that I thoroughly researched where I wanted to go. By 8:15 I was on the 94, headed toward Chinatown. I was a little worried I wouldn't know where to get off, but it was pretty obvious with the pagoda style buildings and banners proclaiming Chinatown. It was still pretty early, so I decided to walk to Little Tokyo. Along the way I discovered all the little shops on Olvera Street. It was touristy, but fun and reasonbly priced. Little Tokyo was a bit disappointing, as several blogs had warned me. I was hoping to find a bookstore where I could buy children's books, but I couldn't find one. So I walked back to Olvera Street and had a delicious lunch of beans, enchilada, taquitos (these were so good) and horchata. After that I headed over to Chinatown, which is dirty, lively and colorful. It's wonderful. I think dirt and dust make things more interesting. And it wasn't smelly dirt, just lived in sort of dirt. I did most of my shopping here--Chinese pants suits and shoes for the girls, t-shirts for Brian, and a stuffed Cat Bus from Totoro for Miranda. The sun was getting pretty hot by this point, I could see people walking around with umbrellas, or even just holding newspapers over their heads and I got pretty sunburned for my efforts.

I am glad I got the one day out, because I didn't get to do much else after that. I am not a good traveling companion, I get impatient and I don't compromise well. I was annoyed the following night that lollygagging and general non-committedness (is that a word?) led to a complete runaround for dinner and a rushed, mediocre meal. People really need to learn that the best course of action is to listen to me. I had suggested that Downtown Burbank might be a good idea.

I think the best thing about this trip was rediscovering my sense of adventure. Just setting off for a day to find things to do, all on my own. I haven't done that in years. I was so absolutely elated as I set off to catch the bus, no idea what the day held. I had a certain destination, but other than that, I was just going to walk around and see what I found. And the silence was great. The freedom to just think, and mull things over and contemplate and just be quiet. When I used to travel alone, I did love it, and then I would get bogged down with "oh, I need someone to share this with, I should be a couple". And then I would feel lonely and left out. But traveling by yourself is such a great thing, at least it is for me. And I had a whole day just to sort of dwell in my head and look at things and daydream and not get interuppted with Mom? Mom!

But it is good to be home. On the flight back, I was so impatient, I just wanted to get back and see everyone. When I came out of the airport, I spotted Brian and the girls right away and Ivy jumped down and yelled Mama, Oh Mama and ran across the to jump in my arms and it was just wonderful. It was good to get away, but it's good to be back.


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