Let me tell you a little something about my dad's side of the family. They are fun. If there is a wedding and one of our own is tying the knot, there will be drinking and dancing, sometimes at the same time. And we do not even care if we do the White Person Dance. We just do our thing.
This is all to say that my Aunt Kristi and Uncle Darren are not about to do the White Person Dance. Because they can dance For Real. They are also world travelers who are always conjuring up their next adventure. I want them to put me in their suitcase.
A few weeks ago they hopped in their convertible and did a California coast vacay. No biggie.
I don't want to embarrass them or anything, but seriously, are they not a gorgeous couple? They had the most fantastic wedding, a gorgeous fairytale affair outside. It was about a bajillion degrees and my preteen self was uncomfortable wearing "dress-up" clothes, but it didn't matter. I was enthralled.
There was dancing that night; oh boy was there dancing. I doubt my Dad even remembers how many times he twirled me around on the dance floor. I will never forget the sight of my skirt as it whipped around me in circles that warm evening, the breeze from the motion helping fan my sweaty face.
Fast forward to now: It's been a hot summer by SoCal standards. As I'm typing this it is nearly 11 p.m. and I fear the climb upstairs to sleep in my stiflingly hot, un-air-conditioned bedroom. So when Darren and Kristi came to town, I thought of meeting them for lunch somewhere along the much-cooler waterfront. A Mexican restaurant. Still muy caliente, naturally (but with a squeeze of ocean breeze).
Requests for an umbrella to shield the sun, por favor. Empty glasses all around. Lots of laughs. A few hours later, and we stretch our legs.
And even though Darren and Kristi aren't familiar with our neck of the woods, they managed to show us the sights. World travelers, those two.
"We saw this on our walk to the restaurant," they said nonchalantly, leading the way into a bustling Miniature Mexico that was hidden by an unassuming facade of vanilla-colored exterior buildings.
It is full of tourists and locals lingering and eating, watching and laughing, listening to mariachi music and drinking beer, picking out fresh seafood and watching it cook in front of their eyes.
All this, in our own backyard! Where have we been?! It's like living here and never going to Pink's or Disneyland.
Oops. Can't say we've done those things, either.
Seriously, guys, next trip, pack an extra suitcase. I'll learn to be a contortionist. And don't worry about the ventilation. I'm starting to get used to the heat.
*Wipes sweat off brow.*