Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Parental Visitation

My parents came to town for a week. It's been three years since they were here last. My mom always says it's easier for me to come see them, then I counter with they're old and have nothing better to do than travel. We then sit down with a calendar and start to go over the year available.

January: I'm busy with work
February: It's gross here and it rains too much
March: We usually travel
April: Perhaps we'll travel twice this year?
May: Mother's Day and my mom's birthday
June: Too hot here for my parents
July: Too hot here for my parents
August: Too hot here for my parents
September: Too hot here for my parents
October: Work is very busy for us.
November: Thanksgiving
December: Christmas

So you see, there aren't a lot of times that work. Happily, October worked this year, and my parents took the train from Seattle to Los Angeles. a glorious, glamorous 36 hour ride on a train. I think they are crazy.

They arrived on a Tuesday night and on Wednesday we went to the Getty Center.
My dad got stuck in an artsy shot by me.

I showed them the panoramic view (that was hemmed in by fog at the outer reaches) and we did a small tour of the more modern paintings the Getty has.
Vincent van Gogh, View from the wheatfields.

After two hours, my dad said, "I'm done." That's about my endurance looking quietly at art as well. Looks like I come by that honestly. So we stopped and had a snack and some water (it's important to keep the parents fueled up).

On the tram that takes us back down to the parking area, we saw the vineyard on the hill of Bel-Air, The Moraga Vineyards.
It seems so surprising to find "farming" right there in the middle of the city, between the freeway and million dollar mansions.

When I asked my parents what they wanted "to do" while in town, they told me, "Just sit and visit. We don't have to go anywhere." Of course my response was, "No, we have to go somewhere, I can't talk to you both for 7 days with no break."

We took a driving tour out to Fillmore to buy pumpkins for Halloween. We drove out to Pasadena to see if we could see where the Station Fire had been in September (couldn't really see anything). We drove through downtown and Chinatown and around the Staples center. My parents enjoyed "tour by car" and only walked when I forced them out and into stores. We ate at Gladstone's on the beach in Malibu. We went out for dinner for our anniversary. We left them at home and went out for dinner another night for our anniversary. We ate a lot.

I watched the baseball playoffs with my dad.

Did you read that? I couldn't believe it either. But I did get smart and recorded it on Tivo so I could fast forward over all the commercials. Man, there are a LOT of commercials in baseball!

We had a Tupperware party.

My mom has been selling Tupperware longer than I have been alive. She is the Tupperware Queen. In an effort to give people a reason to come over and see/meet my parents, we had a Tupperware party.

My mom sent Tupperware down to my house in advance, and then supplemented her display from what I have in my cupboards. I have a lot. After the party, people went into my kitchen and looked in the cupboards and accused me of just putting everything away in Tupperware because my mom was here. I had to confess, no, I live like that every day.
Tupperware Prizes!

On our last day, the weather was gorgeous and I took my parents down to Venice.
That's quite a range for the outside temp, 68-84. I guess you're bound to be right at some point.

Dad was not amused that I kept shouting, "Don't jump! Don't jump!"

Baywatch Barb(ie).

We drove back through the canals of Venice. Something I had not down before. I want to go back. It was pretty.
You knew there were canals in Venice, CALIFORNIA... right?

Late last night I caught my mother doing something I NEVER thought I'd see. Seriously. As long as I've been alive. I NEVER THOUGHT I'D SEE THIS:
My mother with a Ziplock bag!

Is it weird that I'm saying I'm happy to be sad today? My parents left this morning and I wish they had stayed longer. I'm glad it wasn't the other option. My parents left this morning and I was wondering why they stayed so long.

So before you know it, I was back at the train station in downtown Los Angeles and my parents were being whisked away for another 36 hour ride home.
They never moved so fast all week!


Michael Guy said...

Sounds like a fun time was had by all. And who doesn't need more TUPPERWARE?!

Stephen said...

Did you grow up in Seattle?
My paernets are coming next weekend... I had a simiar list.

Anonymous said...

I've got to send my mom that picture of Barb with a ziplock!


Anonymous said...


This is Gary's bike partner, the one who has a gay name (as you had told Gary), Jason.

I'm sad we never got to meet at Gary's 50th birthday party, since I was out of town on vacation. Seems like I know you all too well. I mean when you've ridden with your brother for hours at a time for the past 6 years, you get to know everyone in their family. Not to mentioned I've had the honor of meeting your parents twice since staying at their house on our way up to Vancouver.

Anyway, Gary had mentioned awhile back your parents trip down to LA and said I had to read the post. He was right, funny. Especially after having met your parents. I also am forwarding your blog to a couple of friends who happen to be gay, but one of them definitely has your witty sense of humor.

All the best and hope to meet you in person one of these days.