So this weekend Husband, Bean and I flew to Los Angeles to attend the wedding of one of my dear friends. About 2 dozen of my oldest friends, most of whom I see only at Christmas, were there for the event. It was stressful, surreal, fantastic and difficult, all rolled into one.
I have been to L.A. exactly once. Well, not so much been to L.A. as driven through it on my way to do some charity work in Tijuana with my church youth group. It was kind of a hilarious experience to arrive in L.A. and be surrounded by well dressed women with big fake racks, to see that it actually was gorgeous outside (even though it's february), and to see streets actually lined with palm trees. Seriously. Palm trees.
We stayed at the hotel where the after-party for the wedding was going to be held, in order to increase the chances that I might actually be able to get in some time with my friends. It was the most bizarre place I have ever been. The hotel has this ultra-mod decor, complete with silly high-design furniture and a glass-walled bathroom (meaning that the shower offers no privacy whatsoever). Everything in our room was gray, except fora yellow stripe across the curtain which continued onto the wall... It was all very trendy and forcefully hip. The concierge who checked us in pointedly said to us "We don't get a lot of kids here." Well, then!
The clientele at this hotel took themselves no less seriously. I had hoped to take the Bean swimming for the first time in the roof-top pool. But when I went to scope the pool situation out, I found exactly 0.0 people actually swimming in the pool, but about 2,000 fully dressed hipsters standing around the pool drinking $8 Pabst Blue Ribbon and looking pointedly bored with the world. I wasn't about to go put on my bathing suit and splash around with my 10-month-old in front of a bunch of people whose only joy in life is to judge others. So I hastily retreated back to the room.
So instead we prepped ourselves to attend the rehearsal dinner. We got ourselves all gussied up and went down to the hotel lobby to have a cocktail while we waited for Arduous to come pick us up and take us to the rehearsal dinner. Normally, I might have felt a little funny wearing stiletto heels and a satin halter top at 5:00 in the afternoon, but the hotel was designed to make it constantly feel like nighttime. The lobby has almost no windows, and was purposely underlit. I think it's so that people don't feel like jerks when they have a cocktail at 3:00 in the afternoon. So we settled in with our drinks and let the Bean have a rollicking good time climbing on the lounge-y furniture and crawling in the very deep shag carpet.
The rehearsal dinner was a blast, held at a nearby hole-in-the-wall cantina. It was wonderful to see all my friends and the Bean was TOTALLY into the mariachi band. We had to retire early, of course, but the Bean was a real trooper and lasted till 8:30.
We were most likely the only people in the entire hotel to go to bed at 10:00 that night.
The Bean, who is not good at sleeping in strange places and who was on the final stages of cutting a tooth, woke up four times that first night. It was difficult for everyone involved. At Bean's 2:00 a.m. wake-up, I could hear the people in the room across the hall from us out in the hallway. A bottle of champagne was popped.
Bean slept in until 6:30, and we made our way downstairs to the hotel's 24-hour restaurant for some urgently needed coffee. A HILARIOUS group of 80s glam partiers sat at the booth across from us, finishing out their night. It amazes me that people can really put in the effort to have such polished personas. I felt like a slack-jawed yokel in comparison, wearing just jeans and a sweater.
After breakfast we returned to our room to put the Bean to sleep and found the hallway filled with the odor of a certain kind of party. Apparently our neighbors across the hall were still going strong.
That night was the wedding, which was amazing. It was held in an amazing art deco ballroom, and the ceremony was held in the round, which was lovely... no one was more than about 6 feet from the bride and groom, which made it feel very intimate. The bride was absolutely gorgeous. Frankly I am a HUGE sucker for weddings, and this one was particularly lovely. Bean tried to serenade the bride and groom during the ceremony, so Husband opted to take her outside, but other than that she was a very good girl. (Oh, and she looked adorable, even if I do say so myself)
Husband took the Bean back to the hotel soon after dinner so that she could go to sleep and left me to enjoy my friends (best husband ever? yes, yes he is). After the ceremony was over, we went back to the crazy hotel for drinks at the rooftop bar. The absurdity of the whole hotel experience was captured perfectly when we saw Ron Jeremy having drinks about 10 feet away. I made it till about 1 a.m. before I started to crash and decided to go to bed.
The next morning, the Bean was being extremely fussy, but we chalked it up to a combination of teething and staying up too late. We were rushing around all morning trying to get packed and ready to fly back home. The airport shuttle was late and the driver gave us a hard time as we wrangled the car seat into the van. He proceeded to get lost on his last pickup, so by the time we got through security at the airport we were rushing to make our flight.
We got on board and a tired little Bean nursed right to sleep. And then she slept. And slept. And slept. For two hours she slept. The Bean NEVER naps for two hours. When I bent to kiss her forehead, she was burning up. We roused her so that we could take her temperature. She had a fever of 102!
So Husband got some napkins and water and we tried to cool her little body down while we waited for tylenol to do its magic. We landed about 30 minutes later, grabbed our bag and headed straight to the Urgent Care center at the Hospital. Where we waited and waited. And waited. And then we waited. Finally, 4 hours later, we left with a diagnosis of yet another ear infection. That makes 3 in the last 7 weeks. Poor Bean.
So at 9:30 last night we finally got home, 11 hours after leaving the hotel in L.A.
It was an exhausting weekend, but I was reminded what an amazing group of friends I have and I was so happy to see all of them. But traveling with Bean was a lot harder than I expected. It's really hard when she's not comfortable, and when the location isn't exactly baby friendly.
Our next trip is going to be even scarier... Husband and I are going on a mini-vacation sans Bean next month... stay tuned.
4 days ago