Sunshine in February is a very, very good thing. Following on our week spent in San Francisco, we soaked up even more Vitamin D during a weekend spent catching up with old friends in Southern California.
We spent a night visiting with the Werndorfs at their gorgeous house outside of LA. It was such a treat to see these guys outside of TIPark, and to get a sense of their life in LA.
Jenni spoiled us with a delicious Mexican spread. It's not everyday that Darren is the shortest man in the bunch!
JJ also braved the LA traffic (two hours!) to come see us and meet Harper.
Jenni snapped a few family pics of us with her actual real camera (putting these up here is dangerous - they will underscore the limits of my trusty Iphone camera!).
On Saturday, we reunited with one of our very closest friends from Stanford, Rudy (Chris Rudiger we are being particular). Rudy was the very first person I met when I walked into our dorm Freshman year, and the three of us became inseparable instantly during preseason. I'll never forget the look on my dad's face when he came to visit that fall and I introduced him to my new best friends: my next door neighbor, Californian-football-playing Rudy, and my hallmate four doors down, South African-soccer-playing Darren.
Our group of friends started referring to Rudy as "Uncle Rude" 14 years ago (the details are fuzzy but I'm sure this name was born late into a non-sober night marked by heartfelt pledges to watch our kids grow up together). So, it filled my heart to watch him meet Harper for the first time.
We spent our weekend with his beautiful family poolside - introducing Harper to the joys of the meat smoker and the pool, reminiscing, laughing, eating delicious food and playing hilarious card games.
Rudy and Kacie's twin girls Paislie and Paitynn could not get enough of Harper. The cuteness was totally overwhelming.
Harper was a little unsure of how she felt about the pool, but she absolutely embraced the post-pool lounge:
Harper was an absolute star on multiple legs of a long first travel adventure, but she's ready to be home. I realized pretty quickly that our days in DC have typically included at least one opportunity for a car-ride-prompted nap (and a car-seat-continued nap once we arrive back at home). In San Francisco, we took her on marathon walks of the city and she slept in her stroller the entire time. In Murrieta, she was not at all interested in napping during the day in her travel crib when there was so much fun to be had outside. For the first time, she became a girl who did not want to be parted from mom and dad. She longed for more sleep but refused to give in to it, and she needed to eat but instead protested with heart-wrenching wails.
As you can see from the photo below, she was categorically wiped out by the time we got on the plane in LAX and slept for three straight hours on me on the plane. Our trip was amazing, but the 10 degree weather and 5 inches of snow have given us a good excuse to hunker down and let this little lady catch up on some much-needed uninterrupted nap time.