Monday, August 27, 2012

Step Into My Office-In McDonald's?

Are You Serious?

It was Sunday afternoon and my hubby, son and I stopped into McDonald's for a quick bite to eat. We sat down and began talking about the day, football (of course) and just normal family chit chat, joking and laughing. All of a sudden a man sitting in the booth directly behind's us says, "Hello, Mr. James, I'm calling from Equity Liquidation Firm" (or something like that).

We all instinctively stopped talking mid-sentence, not wanting to interrupt this very professional sounding business call. He continued, "We have some property that I'm sure you'll be interested in. Please call me at (714) --- ---- (whatever the number was.) I look forward to hearing from you."

After he hung up, we looked at each other and started laughing realizing that we had been very courteous "employees" by remaining very quiet for his call. The man seemed oblivious to us. He was set up with his office computer and paperwork in place. He also apparently didn't worry about fellow "employees."

We started to carry on where we left off when all of a sudden..."Hello, Mr. Macks, I'm calling from Equity Liquidation Firm, we have some property that I'm sure you'll be interested in. Please call me at (714) --- ----. I look forward to hearing from you." 

Yes...we once again stopped talking, so as not to disturb the business transaction taking place. But after that call we looked at each other and said, "Is he serious?"

Oh he was..."Hello Mr. Simon..."

By the third call, my hubby blurted something out really loud & we started cracking up. The man didn't turn around or say a word. He just went down his list to find the next name. I found myself trying to hurry and eat so we could get out of there. It was like having a telemarketer on your phone and never being able to hang up to get rid of him.

Bet you never knew that McDonald's now rents out "Business Booths?!" LOL! WOW!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back To New York

JULLIEN HERRERA @ Jalama Beach, CA - photo by: Lisa Petrarca

Tonight I said goodbye to my middle son, Jullien. He headed back to his home in New York and straight to Fashion Week castings. I felt very lucky to have him home for a whole 20 days! It was definitely harder to say goodbye this time because I actually had more time with him than in the past. Usually on his short trips home he's always gone so it's almost like he's not even here on vacation. But this time I had him around a lot...AND we didn't even argue. Yes...we used to argue quite a bit because we're too much a like. We are both strong willed and like to have our own way. But with age comes appreciation and understanding of our similarities along with personal growth and change.

Today I was able to hang out with him all day. He had an appointment at the DMV, so he did an early morning final surfing session.
Newport Beach, CA
I took tons of photo's (of course) and tried to get a video with my's a little far away but I think you can tell he surf's really well.
Surfing @ Jalama Beach

I'm grateful for the family time I've been able to have this summer! There's nothing better than creating lasting memories.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to Jalama Beach

Exploring beach caves

What a busy summer I've been having! It is probably the busiest I've had in years. I've had tons of family staying with us at different times. Right now my son Jullien is here from NY. I decided we needed to do another Jalama Beach (Santa Barbara County) camp/surfing trip since it's been a couple of years. It's not only beautiful but it's isolated with no cell phone service. This allows me to have quality time with my family. I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to sit around and have everyone actually conversing instead of faces pressed into their phones.

Hiked over slate rocks and came upon this hidden wood hut
Jalama Beach is one of the only places that doesn't require reservations...which for me is perfect! I'm not a planner and usually decide to do things at the last minute. Two years ago I did my research to make sure that our three hour drive wasn't in vain (it gets pretty busy in the summer.) So I'll let you in on our little secret to make sure you get a spot on the weekend...shhhh don't tell anyone:)

We were planning on doing the whole tent camping thing when one of our friends at church told us we could use his motor-home. WOOT WOOT! SCORE! Well kind of...I wasn't prepared for the gas prices to go up just before we left...yikes, those things take a LOT of gas!
The gang

Well we ended up leaving on Thursday night at midnight. After you turn off coast Hwy 1, you drive down a long narrow road for about 30 minutes (be careful not to miss the turnoff.) They will have a sign posted which usually reads "Camp Full." Don't worry...people leave by 2:00 pm so don't get deterred. You don't want to miss this...
Good Morning Jalama

We arrived at Jalama around 3:45 am as planned and we were second in line (perfect!) We slept until 5:45 am. My hubby got out to stand in line (some guy parked behind us actually tried to cut in front of him to get a better number) The park rangers arrive at 6:00 am and we got a number and paid for a day pass (this is how it works.) We ended up being #22 (people had already gotten numbers from the night before and went to stay in Lompoc until the 3:00 pm roll call.) We were pretty confident that we'd get a spot. We parked and slept for most of the morning, waiting around for the roll call to see what spots were available. We ended up talking to one of the rangers who assured us that we'd definitely get one because he'd just driven around and counted the open spaces. He also gave us the scoop on the best spots to try and get. He marked it on the map that they gave us when we entered.

At 3:00 pm we headed to the front of the park and waited for the ranger to call our name and number (thank goodness we knew to get there early because I'm sure some people weren't getting spots. Which puts them on the list until the next day.) I know it sounds like a hassle, but if you do it right you will have no problem getting a spot. The spaces are $25.00 a night for no electricity and $40.00 a night for electrical hook ups. Beach front spots are all $40.00 a night. They also have cabin rentals (which takes reservations in advance) & group beach front sites (which also takes advanced reservations.) Note: It is a dog friendly park/beach and they allow dogs on the beach. You will need to bring your rabies shot records with you and there's a $3.00 per night fee.
Allie found this crab on the beach & thought it was her toy. She howled & barked at all the dogs who came near it!

The spots are a little close together but you can't beat the price, view, surfing and family time. We ended up getting a great view spot at the top of the hill.
Elijah enjoying the sunset view

Jullien & Josh crashed out after a full day of surfing

It can get very windy and the water can be a little cold. I'd definitely recommend going in August or early September. We had perfect warm weather with no wind and the water was about 60 degrees. Surfing tip: You need to walk about 1/2 mile south down the beach and you'll come to "Cracks." Further down is "Cracks II" & "Tarantulas." All are great known surf spots. We've actually only gone to "Cracks.".

We spent our days exploring the beach, surfing, eating, beach baseball, card games and just enjoying QUALITY family time. This is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches around.

So if you're looking for the perfect family vacation spot...Jalama Beach is the place.
Hmmm...what's he writing?
Awe...he found this heart shaped rock & used it to proclaim his love for me :D
I love this guy!!:D

Oh & I forgot to HAVE to get a famous Jalama Burger. People drive there just for the day to have a burger. If you've been looking for the perfect beach camping spot...Jalama's the place!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Joshy Turns 24 Today!

I called my oldest son, Josh this morning to sing Happy Birthday to him. After I finished the song it hit son is TWENTY-FOUR! When I was 21 I gave birth to the biggest baby, with a full head of dark, curly, black hair. He weighed almost 9 lbs. and didn't exactly look like a newborn...he looked like a little man. The family all showed up to see my little bundle of joy. While peering through the glass window at the hospital, he lifted his head up to look around...he was a strong, curious boy.

Once I was able to take him home, he was very vocal and had colic. I walked the floor with him for hours upon hours trying to keep him happy. He definitely had a set of lungs on him. I thought, "Uh oh, I think he's going to be a loud mouth like his mommy." He definitely grew out of that phase. Now it's hard to get him to talk~lol!

One of Joshy's favorite toys had a string attached that you pulled and it would land on an animal and make the sound of that particular animal. I was always so proud of my little man and everywhere we went I'd have him "show off," asking, "Joshy, what does the sheep say?" His big brown eyes would get bigger as he'd take air into his chubby cheeks and say, "Baa Baa Baa." We'd all clap for him as he'd beam with excitement. Then it was on to the next animal. 

He was quite the little artist too. While his grandparents were watching him, he snuck upstairs, grabbed some crayons and began drawing a wall mural with huge circles over the areas that he could reach. As they headed upstairs to find him...they saw him drawing, he'd slowly step back to admire his creation before coloring more. He was very proud of himself and his grandparents had a hard time getting mad at him because he was so pleased with his drawing.

Josh started playing soccer and baseball at the age of 5. He was faster, stronger and more co-ordinated than all the other kids...

This continued all the way up through high school. He was naturally gifted and talented in all he did. He never let it go to his head though and always remained quiet and humble about his extraordinary abilities. One day during his freshman football practice, one of his best friends Dom asked Josh to let him beat him just once in a race (Josh was always lengths in front of the other one ever came close to him.) Well Joshy, being the nice, humble kid that he is didn't even think twice about it, wanting his friend to feel good. As the coach blew the whistle for sprints, Josh slowed up and let Dom win. He didn't think anything of it until one of the coaches started to yell at him, "Don't you EVER hold back again and let anyone win or beat you, friend or you hear me?!" That was the first and last time he ever purposely let someone win. Josh didn't like to get yelled at. At his freshman football banquet Josh won MVP and they dedicated a section of the highlight video to him titled, "Number 9 and the O Line." Needless to say, it's been a classic in this household as all the younger brothers watched it over and over again, so proud of their big brother. As a matter of fact...I think Adam was bragging and looking for it to show his friends at the last family get together.

Josh continued to excel in track and still holds a record at Edison for the fastest 400M for a Frosh/Soph. He made it to the State CIF Finals as a sophomore on the 4x400M relay team.
Josh making his move to pull ahead of Compton

State Qualifying 4x400M Relay Team

Josh continues to excel and overcome anything that is thrown in front of him. He is currently assisting the hairstylist who works on the set of  "True Blood." He recently went on set at Nickelodeon Studios to train under the stylists and eventually hopes to open his own shop. I know he will achieve his dreams because he wont stop until he does...not to mention, he gives the best dang haircuts around! SERIOUSLY!!
Joshy and little brother Jullien
Joshy & His Girlfriend Charmaine w/Little Brother Elijah

I'm so proud of my son and I'm grateful that Heavenly Father blessed my life with him. So on his special day, I want to say...I LOVE YOU JOSHY! HAPPY 24th BIRTHDAY SON!!