That’s right, sadly our first US summer has come to an end. I know many people that would be jumping for joy at the thought of their kids back to school and out of their hair. Not yours truly.
I love the lack of routine school brings: sleeping in, not having to worry about getting home in time for school pick-up–or even being at school to pick up; no car pool queues and no worrying about what to pack for lunch.
But alas like all good things in life they must come to an end. And there is always an upside: I’ve missed you! I’ve missed my Blogs and have so much to tell you it feels like I haven’t caught up with my best friend for ages. (Which is true too).
Where do I start? Let me start by telling you that summer was great. We had one of our good friends come at the start of summer and that meant showing them around the LA we know and love and a couple of roadtrips. It was with them we conquered Yosemite and then drove to Vegas via Mammoth and Death Valley. It seems like a lifetime ago.
The day after they left my mum and brother came and five days after they left my in-laws came. In between we had a great visit from fellow Blogger UK Desperate Housewife of USA. And that my friends is summer done and dusted. We estimate five or so days with just ourselves for the whole nearly three months. No wonder I’ve neglected you and I am exhausted!
There were so many highlights it actually feels like a bragfest if I go through them all with you. But what that makes me realise, once again, is how bloody lucky we are to be living here doing the sorts of things we’re doing.
Which brings me to how this Blog was born. You know when you read someone famous talk about the struggle to make it big and you sit back and think, “wow, did you what? Good for you. How did you manage to achieve that?” And it’s hard to imagine them as everyday normal people.
OK, not that I’m saying I’m all over the mags and hugely successful by any stretch but I wonder if I’ve conveyed to you that just over 12 months ago I was a normal, happy person getting up at 5am many mornings a week to take my son swimming then go for a run myself before I had to go back home to help my daughter get ready to take her to the bus to start her day. Then work or go to the gym, grocery shop, manage the soccer and waterpolo teams and be ready for the kids to come home and do their afternoon activities, dinner etc. Blissfully happy as you can only be when you live in Australia unaware (fundamentally) that there are normal people living similar lives to me in Beverly Hills 90210.
Until my hubby got a call about moving there.
So of course we are constantly pinching ourselves and wanting to share a glimpse into how life can suddenly change for an unsuspecting Aussie family like us. I’ve had nothing but great support for my blog but I do wonder if people realise that we weren’t “destined” for this life nor were we looking for it per se; it just happened. Apart from the usual teenage stuff neither of our goals were to make it big in Hollywood–or make a go of it here. Such is the wonder of life sometimes. That’s what makes our story so cool.
So … apart from a few travel stories over the coming weeks I’ll share with you tidbits from our summer (told in the spirit of this Blog) in LA including :
- Heading to our first Bar Mitzvah–90210 style
- Mr H & I at the Creative Emmys
- The kids and I at the Teen Choice Awards
- Brushes with fame out and about in LA.
What’s on this week?
With the kids reluctantly packed up to school for another year and having the house to ourselves again it’s obviously time to focus on It Started in LA. Aside from that I have a mountain (and I mean mountain) of ironing.
(I don’t mind ironing because I have a system: I record my favourite shows–and with M-Go or Netflix I don’t even need that–and I watch them while I iron. It passes the time nicely and I have a great excuse for watching TV. High on my list, if you’re interested, are Orange is the New Black and Scandal—which we saw being shot when we first arrived in LA and had no idea how big it or the stars were. I’ve since added Sons of Anarchy—which is tough because it’s up to season bazillion), Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad so it’s just as well I have a mountain of ironing. Wait, did I mention Mad Men and House Of Cards? No? You get the picture).
Plus I want to get out and meet more people to start my new series, “Profiles” and trying to get on set to get a taste for that aspect of LA life. And of course I need to start planning our next holiday. Busy huh?
Birthday parties 90210 style
In the meantime I’m party planner for my daughter’s up-and-coming 12th birthday party. It’s been an eternity (according to her) since she’s had a party and she’s picked this year and turning 12 to have one.
Sigh for me. And Mr H. I’m sure it would be the same in Australia but pin the tail on the donkey, bringing in a clown or even an at-home dance party don’t seem to cut it anymore.
What do you do for a girl who is practically last in her class to have a party and everyone else has pulled out the big-gun ideas? With a lot of tossing up and negotiation we decided on a screening of the movie The Giver (a book my daughter and her class studied last year that I also read and loved) at Mr H’s state-of-the-art “Viewing Rooms” at his sound stage on one of the studio lots.
Sounds flash huh? I thought so but there was a little skeptical worry that everyone has access to such an amazing opportunity that it wouldn’t be special. Lucky she realised that living here does not necessarily mean everyone has access to it and we’re on. We’re all on board and I have to deliver a party that’s 2040 with a twist of 90210 and a Hollywood chaser.
Three key differences between parties 90210 style and 2040 style:
- The key difference that’s highly evident is that there are no lolly bags. That could be a good thing I hear you say except they are replaced with a more upmarket version and called a “party favour”. Party favours can be anything from a gift card to your favourite store (with the 2040 present budget) to a kit filled with fabulous goodies also equal to or greater than the 2040 present budget (or maybe I was just a little on the scroogey side?).
- We’ve upped the anti. That’s not to say it’s not happening at home but I don’t think it’s happening across the board. While all very gorgeous some of the parties my daughter has been to include lunching at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, High Tea at Le Montage, a private nails party at a nail salon, dinner and pool parties with ice-cream vans and all the bells and whistles required to keep some 20 girls amused for a few hours.
- Catering. There is no sign of party pies and sausage rolls nor of fairy bread and for that I think we should all have a minute’s silence. No sign of lolly bags either but we’re changing that with a “candy station” to get us through the movie.
From my son’s perspective there were hardly any parties this year giving way for more intimate affairs with a couple of mates over. Except one girl who had a massive party at the Polo Lounge of the Beverly Hills Hotel–booked out for Saturday night. That one was quite the affair!
I’ve changed my thinking a little from when we first came. While I’m not changing who we are or what we believe in I am accommodating things 90210 style. A wise person (my mum) told me over the holidays that I shouldn’t make the kids stand out as being totally different to everyone else just because I want to stick to how we do things at home. Her view was that (especially as you get into the teenage years) it’s good to be a bit under the radar and kids don’t particularly like to stand out as being especially different. That’s not unlike what one of my school friends told me (reminded me of) when she came to visit earlier this year either. So I’ve wiggled.
I think it’s good advice and I’ll continue to monitor how it means we navigate life 90210 style.
Enjoy the start of Spring Southern Hemispherers while we adjust to Autum (sorry Fall) here. Thankfully LA’s weather doesn’t really change very much so the forecast is for sunshine and sunshine followed by sunshine.
xx It Started in LA xx