Where Am I?

OK, so I deserted this blog awhile back to post on my family blogs instead. My family, the Placas' have one, as well as my husband's family, the Nee's. Maybe one day I will start using this one as well, but not right now.

Our first hot day in LA...

... and I should be outside, but I’ve been shut in, behind the computer and in front of the stove. So far I have: watched Milo & Otis, my first Netflix download for the kids (they think we’re watching a movie together, while I actually get work done on the adjacent computer!), built a castle with Asher out of cardboard boxes, worked on graphics for “I Drink Because I Care”, wells in Liberia Campaign, listened to a Documentary on Ralph Nadar (my second Netflix download), invented some sort of crazy bean soup. Tomorrow will be spent enjoying the outside. Maybe we’ll go to Santa Monica and play on the beach. I am hoping for another beautiful hot LA day. I'll be posting more soon about the "I Drink Because I Care campaign, which is also apart of the I'm Thirsty Too campaign. Check back to find out more.

One cold day at the beach...

...we froze our buns off with the Nee's at New Smyrna. Amy Nee was visiting from Kentucky for Easter and longed for a day at the beach, so we loaded up the Buick and van and headed for the coast. It was extremely windy, and only Sam, Asher, and Amy actually made it into the water. With egg salad sandwiches, Sam's cool, but not fully functional, dragon kite, and a big blanket to hide under, we all enjoyed ourselves. I miss my Nee siblings, and wish we had more time together! We are off in two days for California. I don't know when we will return again.

Easter with my parents!

We flew into Florida to shoot footage for a documentary project following ex-convicts and their mentors. The one week trip snowballed into five, which was fine for us and our families and friends who I'm certain were glad to have us back!
We were up and down between Aaron's family in the middle of the state and mine in Boca. I was glad to spend Easter with my parents and hide Easter baskets for the first time for the kids. You can see, Clover is very amused in this picture with her little chicks that walk and poop out gum. What fun! I will write more about our time in Florida soon and the project we are working on, and he impact it had on me. but for now, bed!

The Kids Move In

Our 12 hour day of traveling across the country, just me and the kids, actually went quite well. I saw a few celebs on the plane out to LA. It was packed with people who did not appear pleased with the sight of little ones on board their 6 1/2 hour evening flight. Clover sang happily and loudly for the first 20 minutes straight. It was adorable, but I worked feverishly to get her to be quiet.

They were so excited in their new home. Aaron rigged a rope on the porch for Asher to swing from. The mail carrier protests when she sees him on it. Clover and Asher often rush out to greet her, although she never seems all that happy to see them. The other day, Asher went to the door to say hello. When she quickly retreated he called out to her, "You don't have to leave so fast!". He is eager to meet new neighbors, and Clover is also excited whenever she sees anyone walk by. Adam's friends are over often to play with the kids, and Asher and Clover visit Adam a few times each day.

Our New Home

We're on the left. Adam's on the right. Very cute. Great porch, driveway, and backyard. Yes, it is very small, but I actually like the size more than our last home. I had to let our cute antique twins go to make room for more practical bunkbeds for the kids. We still have so much more to get rid of to fit in here nicely.
I can run to the amazing nearby Elysian Park with its beautiful views of the city and take the kids to what appear to be endless amounts of hiking trails and playgrounds. I am pleased to say that contrary to popular east coast belief, Los Angeles seems to be an ideal place to raise a family!

Snow falls at high altitudes

Wearing borrowed boots, I cautiously braved the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, past the official trail and onto a few frightening ledges. I asked Aaron not to follow, as he himself had no boots to keep him from slipping to a glorious and fatal demise. (What visitor hasn't pondered an amazing death from the heights to the depths of it's peaks and crevices?) It wasn't enough to see the views. I wanted to fly around each corner and down into every crack. It begs one to ask, what is better, seeing it in person from one solitary space or watching the Imax movie and flying through the entire Canyon?
It was cold and windy, and we left in a hurry, trying to make it to the Hoover Dam before the sun fell too low and hid our view. Aaron says he drove over the Dam once before, but it was night time and he didn't even realize where he was until his car crossed over. Closing in and losing light quickly, I passed a sign that stated trucks and trailers could not drive over the Dam and would have to take a detour. After talking it over with a gas station security guard, we decided the long detour wasn't worth it, and our trip to Vegas would have to wait. The money saved could go towards a day trip with the kids up to the mountains to see snow. We drove on and were it our new home around midnight. With no electricity, we took Adam up on his offer to crash in his bed, enjoying our first night in Los Angeles, as well as our first morning void of the usual small child alarm clock, stroking my face asking, "Mommy, is it time to wake up?".

From El Paso, onto Truth & Consequences, NM

We managed to stop in El Paso to spend some time boot shopping. Aaron needed replacements for his beat up pair purchased when we were first married. After nearly an hour with nothing to show for his searching, I started looking myself and found a vintage pair that I decided would be worth the money if I could manage to wear them everyday. I didn't think I needed new boots, but they have, indeed, been on my feet nearly everyday since we left Texas, where we took a gamble on leaving I-10 to shoot up North towards Albuquerque, New Mexico.
A few small desert town stops slowed us down a bit, but the sites where well worth the precious daylight hours we had. We drove on through to Arizona and hit snow before crashing for the night. The Grand Canyon awaited us in the early morn.

Spending time in San Antonio

Halfway across the country, we made our first destination and pulled up to Michele and Jorge's giant home. They showed us a great time, packing in a full day, and I wish we could have stayed longer than our day and a half. We made the most of it and promised to come back in the summer to swim in the inviting waters we sat above while dining outside the old Mill restaurant in Gruene, Texas.

Talking till the early morning on our last night, we were in no hurry to leave the next day. It was hard to say goodbye, but we left knowing that we'd be seeing each other again soon.

6 Years Later, Finally Heading out West

Leaving great friends and our amazing family in Florida, we are off for our new home in California. We've wanted to go on a road trip together since before we were married. Now that we finally are on the road, I hope we can go every year. I could do without the endless bridges of Louisianna, but other than that, there is so much to see and feel out on the road. The kids are staying behind, and I'll be flying back for them once we unpack. It's just Aaron and myself in the giant cab of a U-Haul, trucking across the country with all of our belongings, including good music, podcasts, and camera.