I feel relaxed, and not anxious as I prepare to go to the beach with my boys and sister. I don’t forget the snacks or anything we will essentially need. I know how hectic it can be when traveling with my children. I decide to leave my wallet knowing that my concentration will be a little impair. The less I have to worry the better. With an ID, and one card in hand I head to my adventure.
Excited that my sister agreed to go with me. I wanted to take her to my favorite restaurant in LA, (The Griddle Café). The wait is always long, and it feels longer if hungry. My boys start complaining and asking how much longer, and what feels long starts feeling like an eternity. As I’m standing my son questions my choice for the restaurant and says “Why can’t we just go to McDonald’s, it’s faster you know”. I restrain myself from saying anything negative, because I wanted to have a peaceful and delicious breakfast.
The Dark Room
The restaurant is crowded and the service is fast. If you walk through the back of the restaurant it has a dark room that looks like is set for private gatherings. I’ve always been curious about the rooms, and when I’ve gone with friends they seem as curious. This day was no different, but children can be a little more impulsive, and as curious. As we walk through the hall they question from what’s in dark room, to who’s inside. They peek through the beaded curtains, and I can hear their amused little voices. When you manage to get to the other side of the walls, the atmosphere is more alive, the music loud, and people are at touching distance from each-other.
Sitting in the Dark Room
My sister’s name gets called, and we walk through crowded restaurant. As if wishful thinking we get seated in the dark room. We all become instantly excited, and as I sit my smile starts fading away. I missed the light in the room, and the loud shatters that surrounded me in my previous visits. It almost felt like someone was going to come through the beaded curtains, and start a private dance. The darkness took away from the view of the perfect cup of coffee, and beautiful plated food.
I brushed my negative vision, and we ordered the food. There pancakes are huge, and delicious. When the food arrives happiness feels the table and everything looks perfect. Seconds later my sister starts questioning her food, and has an unsatisfied expression. My boys start gagging, and spitting out their food. No one likes what they ordered, I begging to feel disappointed, sad, and confused. What was supposed to be a relaxed breakfast, becomes an uncomfortable experience. The domino effect is what I call it. I asked the waiter for boxes to go, and left with everything we ordered. Lunch and dinner for myself were on hand. On their defense I didn’t read what was inside there hamburger. Sweet onions were the culprits of the perfect outcome. The excitement of being in my favorite restaurant overpowered my judgement, and the focus towards everyone else’s needs.
We arrived to Santa Monica beach, and joy filled our souls. My sister and I smile, and enjoyed the rest of the day. It was the best four hours of the day, and the week. Watching my boys playing in the sand took me back in time. They were smaller and less complicated. Now they have different likes, needs, and harder to please, but I love them more than ever.
As we begin to pack to walk through the peer. I realize that I had lost my card. All the confusion starts creeping in, and at that point I give up. Deciding to make the best out of the outcome, we walk through the mall. We leave the beach and head to the hotel in hopes that the receptionist makes it easy for me, and not decline my stay due to no visible card. The receptionist was really nice, and provably seeing my tired expression decides to be extra kind. Kindness does go a long way, because for a second she gave me hope and filled my heart with gratitude.
Finally a bed to rest, and kids smiling again. My boys love hotels, as do I. It’s like momentary fantasy, where we forget about the everyday routine. A place to imagine new beginnings and dream again. I sit on the bed grab my left overs, and start enjoying my pancake called (Golden Ticket) one of my favorite on the menu. The day ends, and we wait for a new day. Waking up refreshed I finish my morning workout, and headed to the room. I decide to make it extra special for the boys. I come through the room announcing that were going to the swimming pool. It was 8:30 am, but not one single complain. Excited and rushing to get their swim gear, we headed to the pool. Didn’t just watch them swim like they expected. I jumped inside, and I saw my oldest son’s eyes sparkle with excitement, and approval.
The drive back home was peaceful. We ate at my boys favorite barbecue place. My sister has never been there, but she loved it. Everyone was more relaxed, and I realized that even though things never go as planned. I’m grateful for every experience, and seeing the people that I love happy is my main priority.