Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Everyone, let's play a game. Let's pretend we're not actually approaching the month of June. Let's pretend that we haven't seen any Spring tulips blooming and that we haven't yet left cookies and a carrot out for Santa and Rudolph. Let's pretend instead that we're approaching the month of December and that I just got back from celebrating Thanksgiving with my family. Everyone with me? Tremendous!

For the first time in nearly two decades, my family was all together for Thanksgiving this, er, last year. We decided to do something out of the ordinary and head west to Los Angeles instead of east to Georgia. Now that Asher is a busy little lady, Michael and Wynn didn't want to be those parents on a plane that you want to smack while their kid runs freely up and down the aisle. Personally, I'd rather watch that beauty run freely around the backyard anyway.

My family is awesome. It's taken years of healing hurts and moving past old wounds to get to a place where I can say that but I look at us all now and I'm proud. Asher being born (and now sweet Georgia whom we won't discuss yet because that will confuse you with my attempted time travel post here) has brought a depth to this fleeting life that has made us all appreciate one another just a little bit more. That's the good stuff, you know? That outlines the value of our time together over Thanksgiving.

Michael and Wynn live on a beautiful street lined with lemon and palm trees. It's as quintessentially LA as you can get but with an authenticity not often found in that city. They have a small garden in their backyard with herbs and flowers and a persimmon tree sits outside their kitchen. I'm a fan of their cozy, sweet home. My favorite time together is in the morning, mainly because Michael does his routine with Asher of "opening the house". They open all the blinds and say hello to the trees and birds and lemons… It's darling. Know what else is darling? Footie pajamas:
It's just not acceptable for a grown woman to be jealous of those. I could never look that cute.

Quick side note. My brother is the most incredible father I've ever seen. He personifies patience, unconditional love, tenderness and a whole slew of other killer qualities that I hope I find in a man one day. It about melted me down into a puddle of goo when he had to leave for work and say goodbye to Asher:
I can hardly handle the sweetness. He made sure to swing with her as soon as he got home though. If I were a betting man, I'd bet he had more fun than her:
Our visit overall was spent talking a lot about food and wine - especially since we all hadn't been together since Allison finished wine school and me culinary school - drinking great coffee, strolling up to Larchmont Village for scones at the farmers market and prepping our long awaited turkey day dinner. However, in the midst of all of that, Michael and Wynn arranged for a private VIP tour of Paramount which conveniently is a stone's throw from their house. I was straight up psyched:
Ain't even ashamed to be a tourist.

Due to both Michael and Wynn's connections, we were able to see rooms not open to the public and walk around areas that are normally closed off. It was badass and I loved every minute of it, particularly the archive room, Eddie Murphy's suit from 'Coming to America' and Forrest Gump's shoes:

The NYC sets were incredible, too. They replicate several different areas of the city, be it seedy spots down near Bowery, fancy brownstones in Brooklyn or pristine sidewalks on Park Avenue:
Did you know they actually hire people to walk around certain patches of cement they ship in and chew gum, spit it out and step on it in order to replicate a real sidewalk? It's insane how meticulous these movie sets are. I'm pretty sure I'd be a stellar gum chewer and spitter outer but they weren't hiring. 

It was such a fun surprise and experience. 

Being in 70 degree weather didn't make it feel like it was Thanksgiving but our feast sure did:
I don't want to brag so I will. It was a damn fine dinner now that a chef and sommelier are handling things. I envision delicious holiday dinners from here on out. 

At that point, we were still anxiously awaiting the day that Georgia would join our family:
I guess it's a little embarrassing that she's now two months old and I'm just now posting this. 

What an awesome, rich weekend. I love belonging to a family of artists. I believe there's a part of us that just might relish in moments of meaning a little more deeply than others. The sun shines a little brighter, the hugs last a little longer and the mere presence of just being together leaves a deeper imprint on our hearts. I love my family. They're my favorites and I'm more thankful than ever for them this last holiday season.

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