Wednesday morning I was worried. Brian and I had considered driving down to South Pasadena for Thanksgiving, as Adriana had handled the drive fairly well when we went for Halloween. But the Christie mentioned something about 11 hours on I-5 on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I decided that we would fly, in spite of the airport crowds. So I packed Adriana's and my duffle bag on Tuesday night, and planned on leaving for the airport almost two full hours before our flight was scheduled to depart (it's about a 20-minute drive with no traffic). And you know what? There was no traffic. We found a parking spot immediately and were taken quickly to the airport by the parking shuttle. We walked directly to the front of the line to check in (no checking in from home when you are traveling with a "lap baby"). The short security line moved quickly. Our plane boarded and left on time, and there were enough empty seats that we had our own row. Flying the day before Thanksgiving? No problem. What was I worried about?
It was a nice trip down to see The In-laws. Wednesday night my sister-in-law made a cheesecake topped with fresh berries to celebrate my birthday, and there were even a few presents for me. I spent most of Thursday over at my sister-in-law's apartment where she baked bread and a pecan pie, I made two pumpkin pies and an apple pie, and we took turns chasing after the baby. I gave many thanks for her standing mixer. Brian loves this recipe for pumpkin chiffon mousse, which I've made only twice before, both times deeming it good but not worth the effort; with the standing mixer it was a piece of cake (er, pie). Dinner was fantastic and we spent time after dinner playing a fun game of Trivial Pursuit, in which we kept reminding each other that the copyright on the game was 1981--questions about the Soviet Union and sports records weren't exactly up to date.
We spent a good part of Friday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It wasn't Adriana's first art museum, since we did spend her first six months in the land of the free museums, but it was the first since she'd become mobile, so I was a little concerned about how she'd hold up, but she did fine: she nursed through the exhibit on Islamic art, slept through Southeast Asian, European, and Japanese art, and was up in time to enter the Dalí exhibit. She didn't last long in there, but I didn't really mind slipping out, as surrealism isn't really my favorite. I was glad to be able to enjoy the exhibit Japanese Prints: Word/Poem/Picture, especially several scrolls by Otagaki Rengetsu. I liked the simplicity of her drawings, the curves of the Japanese characters, and the translations of her poetry:
"Through fields and mountains the autumn moon follows me on my joyful way home as if to send me to bed."
Saturday we headed back home. The Burbank airport was virtually empty, and there was again plenty of room on our plane. We found our car, in spite of the fact that we didn't take the little card with us and didn't know the name of the lot. "No, I think our shuttle is yellow," I told Brian as we wandered outside at San Jose and he pointed to a blue van. Luckily a white van with yellow and black lettering pulled up just behind the blue one and it took us to the right lot, with Brian teasing me the whole way about how all I knew about where we'd left our car was "yellow." I don't know what he was so worried about; it was obviously plenty.
After a couple of hours at home we headed back out, to see my friend Lynn, who was at her parents' house for Thanksgiving. It was fantastic to see her and her husband. She's expecting her first baby in April (a girl!), and I was a little envious of her belly, but it was fun to talk baby stuff and catch up.
And to round out a perfect holiday weekend, Adriana slept for nearly six hours straight when we got home. What more could I want?