All I Want to Do Is Have Some Thumbs

Thumbs up:  Parent’s Weekend.  We had a great visit and I loved walking around campus.  I hope my son likes the school’s vibe as much as I do:)  It almost makes me want to go back to college.  Almost.

Thumbs up:  Shopping.  We got done what needed to get done.  And, yes, we had to go to two different Costco stores to get what my son wanted.  And Bed, Bath & Beyond.  And the grocery store.  And a slew of little shops on one downtown street, where he found shoes and a new shirt.

Thumbs down:  Sprint.  We went to the LA downtown store four and a half times in two days.  (The half is because we had to return after dropping off the phone the first time to be repaired.  My husband and I disagree as to whether that counts as a separate visit or not.)  Long story.  Hopefully the happy ending is that my son’s “new” refurbished replacement phone works this time, unlike the repaired phone that stopped working a half hour after he returned to campus, necessitating visits number three and four.

Thumbs up:  Halloween costumes and college students.  Makes for very interesting people watching.  And costumes in warm LA are quite a bit skimpier than what you see in the Midwest.

Thumbs down:  Rock and Roll Weekend.  Bad timing for us.  First, there was a rave taking place outside the Shrine Auditorium, a block from our hotel, from 6pm-2am Friday and Saturday.  The music was loud enough to rattle things on the walls in our room!  Thumbs up for sleeping pills.  Thumbs down that the weekend also came with a marathon that was going right by our hotel and meant we had to move our car the night before we left or be trapped in the parking lot, unable to make our flight.  Thumbs up for my husband who went out four times that night in search of street parking.

Thumbs wondering who came up with these things:  Bacon wrapped hot dogs.  Apparently a tailgating staple.  Have you tried them?

Thumbs down:  Costly housing.  We looked at some apartments for our teen to move off campus next year.  Yikes!  Expensive.  Thumbs down that he seems to prefer luxury LA living over bachelor pad grunge.  And speaking of grunge… thumbs up that we got to see his frat house.  .

Thumbs priceless:  Time with our son.  Even doing errands.  Or waiting in line at the DMV.  Or in the car.

Thumbs down:  LA traffic.  Where is everyone going at all hours of the day and night?!  Thumbs up for my husband who navigated beautifully.

Thumbs up:  Medical screening results.  The university’s pharmacy students were offering some medical screenings and I was pleasantly surprised to have normal bone density readings.  (I don’t like milk and don’t take calcium supplements.)  My non-fasting glucose levels were fine too, but that I’d expected.

Thumbs still out:  Our new tablet.  This deserves a whole post of its own but suffice to say our new toy might not be as useful and “tech-challenged friendly” as I’d hoped.  Not so great for blog writing and editing, for sure.  But way smaller and lighter than our laptop.

Thumbs down:  Blog error.  On the plane to LA it occurred to me that I had made a mistake in talking about stores on my post published that day.  It drove me crazy that I couldn’t fix it then and there!  And thanks to the uncooperative tablet and our busy schedule, it was a couple of days until I got to make the change.  My inner perfectionist was very frustrated at first, then just went almost zen with it.

Thumbs up:  Swag.  I love free stuff.  My favorite take-aways from Parent’s Weekend are our new mugs from the School of Engineering.

Thumbs spirited:  USC football.  All I can say is “wow.”  Walking through campus and seeing all the tailgating, surrounded by throngs and throngs of cardinal and gold attired fans, traveling en masse towards the coliseum, was something to experience.  Thumbs down that more than one stadium person misdirected us to finding our nosebleed section seats.  We literally walked around the entire stadium to get to them, back past where were we first entered.  Thumbs up that the long walk caused us to arrive so late that we didn’t want to climb over several seated spectators so we dared to sit in empty “front row” seats that were never claimed.  Thumbs down we were so far from the field that we watched the game on the jumbotron until we gave up and watched the rest from our hotel room on TV.  Thumbs up for the excitement of triple overtime.  Thumbs down for Stanford.  Sorry Tish and Jan.

Thumbs down:  Neck crick.  I either slept on it wrong or wrenched it by walking so much with a bag slung across my body.  Either way, I could barely turn my head for two days.

Thumbs up:  Slippery shrimp.  My favorite food on the trip, at a Chinatown restaurant.  Yummy.  Thumbs up for Kris who answered my social media call asking for restaurant suggestions.

Thumbs down:  My eating in LA.  The two-hour time difference really did me in.  I ate a “snack” at what would have been my “regular” meal time, feeling hungry, and then had a meal with my son at his normal lunch and dinner times.  And, thumbs down that dinner time with him and his friends was after 8pm.  Thumbs down that the frat didn’t give them the weekend off from pledging to hang with parents.  Thumbs up for my “on track” eating since I’ve been home.

Thumbs up:  Stretch seating.  Hubby and I splurged on the way out and got seats with more leg room.  He’s 6’4”.  We were so spoiled that we stopped at the airline’s ticketing desk after deplaning to inquire about getting it on the way home too.  Thumbs up that a very nice agent upgraded us for free!

Thumbs up:  Home again, home again, jiggity jig.  A few days was long enough.  Once again, I’m very glad to be home with my routine and my own bed and my desktop computer and my elliptical and my afternoon green bean fries and…

Note:  Apologies to Sheryl Crow, Midwestern gal gone LA, for bastardizing her song for my title today. 




Filed under thumbs, vacation

41 responses to “All I Want to Do Is Have Some Thumbs

  1. I’m so glad you had a good time! Oddly enough, I have heard of bacon-wrapped hot dogs. My dad used to eat them on a grilled bun topped with his homemade pimento cheese. He’s quite the gourmet, my dad. 🙂

    • Karen

      I told my mom about them and she says we ate mini-versions at holidays as kids. But all I remember was the crescent dough wrapped little smokies.

  2. My youngest graduated from college in May, but you brought me back to the great times we always had when visiting his and our other two’s campuses. I always found the college kids, esp. boys, to be like big floppy friendly puppies. We always tried to take a group out for a meal and they were highly entertaining!

    Bacon wrapped dogs? Hold the dog, bring on the bacon. I guess that craze falls under the “everything is better with bacon” category.

    I was such a train wreck with eating on our recent trip to California and then upon returning…of course I was a wreck before we left, but it never occurred to me that the time change added another layer, er – excuse, to my insanity.

    • Karen

      We had just enough room in our car to take out two of his friends one night. The other we had a different friend; he said no one was around. It is always a great way to see your “child” – through friends.

  3. I am so with you on the time change messing with eating. I have less trouble traveling to Europe than I do one time zone over where my sister lives.

    Sounds like a great weekend.

    • Karen

      And going West is hard but going East is not! That reminds me to think through the time change this coming week. I think it’s the easier one for eating:)

  4. Okay – bacon wrapped hotdogs. I’ve heard of them; my understanding is that you can pretty much wrap anything in bacon. I don’t eat hot dogs (now, THAT deserves an entire post), but I’ve been known to enjoy a bacon-wrapped filet mignon or huge scallop.

    Whenever you talk about time with your son, I always think about the relationship between my mom and me. She tells me how excited she is for me to come home to visit and is taking the entire week off work, but I’m such a word person that when I see you write about it, I think more about how she must feel. There are moments when I think, “Oh my, she took the entire week off – that might be too much togetherness.” But then I realize that it’s not at all. Even though we both may be ready for some alone time when it’s over, it’s such a privilege to get to spend that time together.

    • Karen

      It makes me smile to think of you spending that time with your mom. I’m glad mine lives near me, honestly, because that way I can enjoy her often but in little doses. But, we do travel well together:)

  5. Sounds like the weekend had lots of pluses and minuses, although it sounds like the pluses won out. I loved the fact that you enjoyed the family time with your son and it sounds like he’ll be happy in his new world!

  6. Thumbs up on your report. I have such fond memories of visits from parents during school that were basically shopping binges capped with big meals out with as many friends as I could convince my parents to include.

    Remember when you used to get on a plane and you could probably score an empty row near the back on just about any flight? I hate having to pay for that extra room, but I’ve done it for my tall husband several times. We flew back on the last flight from Cleveland to Houston earlier this week, and only about 30 people were on the plane. Hubs sat right next to me – I think I offended him when I asked him to move, but I wanted to luxuriate in having an open seat next to me. He moped, but he looked pretty comfy, too.

    • Karen

      Oh, me too – wanting an open seat and some elbow room and personal space. My understanding is that the change is very intentional. The airlines don’t want to fly without seats filled. Funny that I tried to remember my own parents coming up to visit me in college and can’t. Maybe they did and I just don’t remember. Maybe they didn’t.

  7. Spending time with your son: priceless, for all of you. He will look back on these years with great fondness and love for what you gave him on these weekends and others to come.

    I always wondered about LA traffic. Every time I go, the same people are on all the freeways!

    • Karen

      As you know, we do things for our kids out of love, not for recognition and reward. But wouldn’t it be nice if some day they finally realized all that we did for them:) And were appreciative.

      • I think most kids raised in loving homes (like I’m sure yours is) do learn to appreciate what their parents do for them. The level of appreciation and understanding is different at every age though. I thought I appreciated my mother when I was 20, but now that I’m older, the depth of my understanding of what she’s done for me, sacrificed for me, and just how much she loves me is far different than it was in the past. And these are the things I wouldn’t dare even consider trading for youth. Some people complain about getting older, but I think the wisdom and new understandings that usually come with time and age are worth the price of aging. Who was it that said getting older is better than the alternative?

  8. I’ve not tried bacon wrapped hot dogs but they appeal to the food-slapper within me.

    Tell son that grunge living HAS to be done he can have LA luxury later … like when he can pay for it 😉

    • Karen

      Yes, we’ve tried that argument. Save now to have more money to pay later:) I guess a lot will depend on what his potential roommates want to do.

  9. Mary

    Whistle Dogs at the A&W drive through in Toronto when I was a kid. Hot dog stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon. This would be about 50 years ago and I absolutely loved them with a frosty root beer!

    • Karen

      Ugh to the cheese inside. Yum to the root beer. They had a restaurant I remember stopping at once or twice as a kid in New Hampshire. It was quite a treat.

  10. It sounds like you had a great trip. I’m so glad you got time with your son. And it’s okay for you to root for your son’s team rather than my team–but remember, Pac 12 against all comers!

  11. Ann

    Sounds like you had a good time. So glad you spent quality time with your kiddo. USC is on my icky list, but I was rooting for them this weekend to take down Stanford. Hard break. I’m not a huge hot dog fan. It’s a rare thing for me and bacon wrapped? Doesn’t sound too great, but then…….bacon makes most things better. At least that’s how we think here in the south.

    • Karen

      You are such a great sports fan! Me… not so much. Mostly I only ever watched if my sons were playing:) I tend to get very distracted with people watching at big events. I actually find it easier to follow the game on TV with the camera to track the ball for me and instant replay.

  12. Jan

    Your weekend sounds great. I did think about you on gameday then again when I heard that the game when to triple OT. Wow!

    Everything goes better with bacon, but instead of hot dogs I prefer nice cuts of beef, thanks. (Truthfully, I rarely eat bacon unless it is Canadian bacon.)

    Your December trip westward should only have you 1-hour off your timezone. The only sane thing this state does is refuse to change it’s clocks.

    • Karen

      Yes – we have that figured out already. We actually called since we can never keep it straight. (But there was a reason other than eating!) It won’t matter so much there because the meals are at “set” times. BTW – I have been thinking of you:) Don’t know my schedule yet… but it’s not so far off now! Time sure does fly.

  13. I could comment on so much here BUT I will stick with traffic – now you get what I talk about all the time! 🙂 It is frustrating because when you want to do stuff on the weekend, half of it may be stick in traffic which gets us to NOT go places cause we are exhausted by the time we get home due to traffic!

    Thumbs down to not getting to see you BUT thumbs up to you having a pretty good time even with all the thumbs down stuff! 😉

  14. Glad you are back! AND YUCK on bacon wrapped hot dogs.
    I am so glad you got to spend time with your son! I know as our kids get older that time spent with them means more and more as it gets less and less.

  15. Ah, the college life. It’s been, what? Almost 19 years for me since I gradated, but it seems like not much has changed. So glad you had a good time and that you had some quality time with your son.

    • Karen

      Some seems similar. But his school is so different in so many ways it’s hard to compare it to mine. I’d love to go back and do college over, knowing now what I didn’t know then.

  16. so happy you had a good time

  17. the biggest thumbs up is spending time with family! Glad you had a good time – shopping and all!

    • Karen

      We did feel a bit guilty that it was also Parent’s Weekend at our older son’s school and we weren’t there. BUT, we had only gone there freshman year… so not too guilty. And, his school got that freak snow storm so we were very glad to be in LA instead!

  18. Sounds like there were way more thumbs up than down…glad it went well.

  19. Me likey your “thumbs up thumbs down” bloggy format. Made it funner to enjoy. Thumbs UP!

  20. MO

    Tons of fun – tons of thumbs – tons of good times!!!


  21. Roz@weightingfor50

    Hi Karen. Glad you had a good time in L.A. LOVE the thumb posts!!! Have a wonderful Saturday.

  22. Thumbs up for this post. Sounds like you had a great time away!
    Thank you so much for stopping by on my SITS Day a few days ago. I’m following you now via GFC. Hope you’re having a great weekend.

  23. I went to school in CA. At one time I had 6 roommates in a two room student housing ghetto. I lived in the library. it will be good for him and it will beat the dorms or living at his house… although I suspect frat life is a lot different now than it was 25+ or so years ago. Gulp. Where’s my cane?

    I looked for you on TV. I was envious. So glad you had a good time and that your bones are tip top!

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