Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Go west young man.

We just got back from Los Angeles and a faster-than-it-should-have-been tour of family and friends. In hindsight, we wish we'd had a few extra days to spend, but given that this was our first trip out of Charlotte since Connor was born, we wanted to be as non-disruptive as possible to his routine.

We flew out on Thursday and Connor was great on the flight. He had a few moments, but his ears didn't seem to bother him and he slept for most of the flight (props to my wife for holding him both times and allowing all the blood to drain from her arms so he wouldn't wake up.) At one point a woman suggested that we let him run around the cabin a bit to calm him down during one of his little fits. Yeah... lady... he ain't even crawling yet... Must be all that hair.

We landed in LA, rented a car, swung through Carl's Jr. for a Western Bacon Cheeseburger (Hardee's doesn't sell them out here despite being Carl's Jr. in alsmost every other conceivable way), drove to San Diego, checked into our hotel and had dinner with some friends at a Mongolian place we used to frequent. Yup, we're crazy, but it was fun and it proved to be better than trying to go to dinner with them on Friday night.

Friday we swung past our respective previous offices. We started the day at my wife's company's San Diego office where she had been working before we moved and she said hello to all the people still there and got to meet several new employees who only know her as a voice on the phone. In the afternoon we dropped in at Sharp HealthCare to visit my ex-teammates at Central Materiel Management. (Yes, "materiel" is spelled correctly, look it up.) A lot has changed there, but a lot has stayed the same. All in all a rather surreal event. We closed the day with dinner at Souplantation (which our friend Don astutely dubbed "Everything but the meal") because the nearest Souplantation in NC is almost 3 hours away (and fresh corn on your salad is not worth the price of gas to get it.)

Funny story, we actually looked into setting up a Souplantation franchise here in Charlotte with the equity from our place in San Diego, but all of their restaurants are owned and operated by the company so all we could do was send them e-mail begging them to consider opening one locally.

Saturday we drove up to visit Misha's Grandma and Uncle in Burbank. It was great to see them, especially since we weren't able to fly out to attend her 90th birthday party. Afterwards we went to her mom's house where her mom had hired a professional photographer to take pictures of Connor in a 150 year old Christening gown that Misha had been photographed in as a baby. They even used the same chair (though it has been reupholstered since Misha's photos.) The pic was one that Larrian's been eager to get since before we got pregnant, so we couldn't refuse her. Other poses were taken with Connor in his diaper and a cute outfit. The final pictures came out great, though the photographer's a bit on the pricey side so we're not sure how many we'll end up purchasing.

Sunday we drove up to my parent's house but stopped by Eden Memorial Park to visit the graves of my Aunt Bernice and Uncle George. Aunt Bernice passed away last April, right after we arrived in Charlotte and we weren't able to fly home for the funeral. She was an amazing lady, full of more life than most people I know, and with more energy than the average 25 year old. It was a great loss and since we were back in town and had the opportunity to visit her grave, I didn't want to pass it up.

Later that morning, we got to my parents house which was in the final stages of preparation for Connor's naming ceremony. A Jewish boy is usually given his Hebrew name at his Bris, but since we had him circumcised at the hospital and didn't have a formal bris, we wanted to have a get-together at my parents to give him his name and introduce him to friends and family who hadn't had a chance to meet him yet.

We gave Connor the Hebrew name "Chaim Zohar". "Chaim" means "Life" and "Zohar" means "Light" or "Brilliance". We felt this was a fitting name as he is the brilliant light in our lives. "Chaim" is also the masculine form of "Chaya" which was my grandmother Irene's Hebrew name and whom Connor's middle name "Raine" memorializes. The ceremony was very nice (albeit a bit sweaty since it was outside during a heatwave) and was conducted by Rabbi Don Singer who also married us back in 2006 so it was nice to have him also conduct this ceremony. A real Circle of Life moment. It was also great to see family and friends, though the afternoon went quickly and I would have liked to have been able to spend more time with everyone.

Then, Monday, we packed it all in and flew home. Another rather uneventful flight (except during taxiing to the runway when the turned off the air and Connor went nuts) and we got home late thanks to a delay in LA, but it was good to be home. A mixed feeling somewhat because it would have been good to spend more time at each our destinations. We were so rushed at times that I'm getting tired again just writing about this trip, but we managed to get it all in and then some, so all-in-all a smashing success.

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