With the hunt on for the perfect infant Halloween costume it has been hard to take the time to sit down and write about last weekend. Earlier this week I thought I had found the perfect Lion's costume for Cohen, but after washing it (as per the instructions!!) the mane dreaded and now we must find another costume. Still, we managed to get a few photos in...
Last weekend was our one year anniversary. As a gift to one another we rented a car and went to San Diego for a long weekend. It was Cohen's first long car ride, and I cannot sing her praise loudly enough. We left at 9 p.m. on Friday for fear of traveling with Cohen at all and she slept the entire drive. When we arrived at 3 a.m. she woke up, visited with my brother, Uncle Clarke, and then fell promptly back to sleep. Amazing.
In the morning, we secured a room at Motel 6 and headed into Encinitas for breakfast.
We ate at St. Germain's Cafe in Encinitas, where we got to experience the best coffee anywhere in North County. Afterwards, we headed down to the beach, where the sun was just cutting through the fog and poor Cohen, without sun block, was shoveled back into the car. That afternoon we went to Uncle Clarke's surf shop, Mitch's, in Solana Beach for some discount shopping. Cohen had just fallen asleep and I knew there was no way she would stay that way.
Lorraine is Mitch's sister, she runs my brother's shop, and there is no way to describe her voice outside of saying it is what a dolphin would sound like, had the dolphin inhaled helium and taken English lessons from a chipmunk. And this chipmunk goes to 11. As soon as we walk though the door Cohen hears Lorraine talking to a customer and her eyes shoot open, darting around the store trying to match this heavenly noise with it's source. This voice is sheer ecstasy for Cohen. Lorraine is the embodiment of all the cartoons and children's music Cohen has experienced up to this point in her little life. I hand Cohen over to Lorraine, and she spends the next hour trying to reach into Lorraine's throat to pull out that sugar coated squeak box this woman uses for a speaking voice.
The next morning we meet my hung over brother at Pipe's Cafe in Cardiff. Amazing. Cheap, delicious food with a great cup of coffee and fresh banana bread, crammed into a tiny shack where the food is served on paper plates and the seating is minimal. The girl at the register is a little surfer girl, complete with the Lori Petty scratch voice and super meth. energy without the nasty side effects you get from actually taking meth. to get that way. She wears turquoise eye shadow and is super excited to take our order. I cannot help but envy her natural high.
We got a table inside, and just as our food was served a bird flew into the restaurant and fluttered along the window behind Dan. This is not good. Immediately all I can imagine is this bird flying into Dan's head causing Dan to erupt in some arm flailing bird killing movement that will force me to hide under the table in embarrassment. Clarke senses our discomfort and offers to help. He gets up to try to open the window for the bird, but the window is already open and Clarke is actually closing it. Another guy standing in line comes over to help my brother. Meanwhile, the little surfer girl behind the counter is yelling, "Just catch it!, Just grab it! Just grab it! You can just grab it with your hands!". My brother replies, "I plan to eat my breakfast with these hands".
Dan is just staring straight ahead at me while all of this goes on behind him, and we are both just praying that this will not have to result in some queer twist of fate where Dan ends up strangling this bird to death, because if it had to come to that, that is exactly what Dan might do. Finally, surfer girl comes out from behind the counter, grabs the bird and tosses it outside leaving my brother and the other dude that stepped out of line to help, looking like a couple of pansies who were afraid of a tiny bird. Clarke sits down at the table and Dan says, "Thanks man. If I would have had to deal with that I probably would have ended up killing that bird and everybody in here would have been like, 'Thumbs down dude, not cool!'"
We took some great video of Cohen trying to steal avacado from my fork, and then trying eat through my cheek when she missed it, glaring angrily at the camera, and I am trying to download it from Verizon, a task that has proven obscenely difficult. That evening we went to St. Tropez Cafe for cake and coffee. We bought Cohen a hat. A bold hat that Dan picked out so that when Cohen looks back over her life she can see her father supplied most of the color, when her mother always wanted everything to match. Sometimes I just have to "Let Go and Let Dan".
We went to Moonlight beach as the sun was setting, and while Clarke and Dan refused to take off their shoes, I left my flip flops in the sand and walked into the tide with Cohen in her sling. The water was freezing and Cohen was mesmerized. I wanted her to have the experience of the ocean I remember from being a child. The beach is my God, huge, as dangerous as it is beautiful and filled with life and death. I held her facing the expansive sea, I sang softly in her ear and she drifted off to sleep in my arms. A true first. In two weeks, she will be 6 months old and I am in awe that I, in this tiny body of mine, can feel a love big enough to swallow the ocean in one easy gulp.