07/04/2012 to 07/08/2012  Back to the Mainland for Ben's wedding
When I booked the red-eye from Hawaii to LA it sounded so sensible.  Not only would we sleep on the plane, so as to not waste any daytime
vacation time, but we would save the cost of a hotel room for a night.  Oh what a bad plan.  We even had pillows and everything, but I just could not
sleep.  It was miserable.  After too many hours of that, we arrived in LA at about 6:30AM and got the truck from the horrible, rude, off-airport parking
lot where it got yet another big ding, but how do I yell at them for the ding they put on when it is covered in other dings?  Um, excuse me, yeah, you
see this ding here, yeah, that one, right between the dent and the scratch, above that rust spot.  Yeah, that one.  You did that!  
Needing coffee, we headed to my brother's place to pick up our fish.  He sleepily met us at the door in his robe and shoved the fish out.  Yeah,
whatever, Mister "I slept in a bed last night"...  Happy Fourth of July.  
Fishie was happy to see us, and off we went on the almost two hour drive to where we had left the RV.  We got there, made a pot of coffee, did three
quick loads of laundry, put it all back into the suitcase, and pulled the trailer all the way back to the coast to Dana Point where we were staying at a
hotel.  I had originally booked the hotel for my brother's wedding, thinking we would fly in, but plans had changed, but not in time to book any RV
parks.  Well, there were a few I could get into, but none would let us come in on the 4th, supposedly because of traffic, and the one that would let me
come in on the 5th was $120 a night.  WHAT?  The hotel we were in was less than that, and had a lot I could park in, so we were back in a hotel for
another 4 nights.  My mom and my step-dad, Sandy, were staying in the same hotel, and they met us in the teeny tiny lot and closed their eyes while
Richard and I did our usual awesome job of team parking (Translation - lots of quiet arguing, eye-rolling, and arm waving until we were both proud of
our parking job.)
It was now early afternoon, and we were whooped, but I hadn't
seen my mom since Christmas, so no time for a nap.  Instead
we sat on the patio and drank left over reunion beer and ate
leftover reunion peanuts and watched all the 4th of July traffic
pouring into the state park across the street.  After nibbling on
more snacks for supper, I barely made it until 9:00PM for the
fireworks.  Richard and Sandy didn't even walk to the park to
watch them, but mom and I did.  Do I look tired?  With my last
run over a week ago, I vowed to get up early for a run, then
meet my folks for breakfast at 7AM.

Thursday the alarm went off early, and I promptly shut it off.  
My mom finally called at 9:00 and told us to get a move on.  
We went down to the harbor for breakfast, shopped a bit, went
back to the same place for lunch, then headed to the Ocean
Institute for a tour and down to the tide pools to see what we
could find.  We found the regular array of barnacles, hermit
crabs, and small fishes, but nothing cool like sea stars or
octopi.  
Pizza for supper, then off to bed early to get our beauty rest
for Ben's big day.  
Finally, Friday was the day we've been waiting for forever!  My little brother finally got married.  
Whew!  It had been cloudy and overcast since we arrived, but as we were driving to the wedding,
the sun came out, and everything was lovely.  Because we were worried about traffic, we got there
early.  Not a problem since Ben was getting married at Tivoli Terrace where they have an art
show.  Richard and I were strolling among the displays, and found an exhibit we really liked.  Not
only was the art very cool - thousands of drywall screws set in at all different heights, then
painted, to make a 3D art exhibit- but the guy had a good sense of humor too.  Most of the
displays had signs that said, "no photos please" or similar.  His little sign made me laugh out loud.  
Well, that was a mistake because that alerted the security guard to our presence, and he really did tell us we weren't allowed to look at the artwork,
since the place wasn't officially open yet.  We were just allowed in for the wedding, but no looking.  What?  Well, without looking at any 'art', we found
that the Tivoli Terrace was still lovely, my folks were lovely, and of course, so were the bride and groom.  (Richard and I were lovely too, but somehow
I failed get any photo evidence.  You'll just have to take my word for it.)
Saturday I finally got up in time to get a run in.  First run in almost two weeks!  Lots of snobby Orange County housewives running also.  Because of
the perfect weather - and it really is perfect there - we had been planning on checking out houses while we were there.  But, after having such a nice
time in Hawaii, and after getting snobbed on during my run, we skipped house looking and just relaxed.  
Sunday we headed way up north to Burbank for Ben's champagne brunch, then back south to the hotel to pick up the RV, then on further south to
Oceanside where we were able to squeeze in for only 3 nights at the Elks lodge there.  Finally, after three weeks of hotel beds, I finally get to sleep in
my own home!