After leaving tri-camp, I hit the road to visit my good friend Heidi in L.A. I’ve known Heidi for a long time and she’s one of my closest friends. We’ve shared a great many experiences together and have a freaky amount of stuff in common. She’s currently getting her PhD and has been crazy busy in the past few months, so it’s been a while since we’ve had a chance to chat. I was really looking forward to seeing her in person and hanging out.
We’d arranged to meet at the car rental place so I could drop off the minivan and check that task off the list. When I was setting up my trip, I’d checked in with her about staying the night at her place and adding a day to my trip and while we were coordinating all of that she’d invited me along to Passover at her grandparents house. We had a little time before it started, so she drove me back to the apartment she shares with her husband Tom and their very cute little dog named Oatmeal. While we drove, she filled me in on the back-story for the family gathering we were about to attend.Without going into too much of her family business, but in a nutshell the Passover was being held at her grandparents house not at their request and they were not pleased about it.
When we got back to the apartment, I was amazed at the change in Oatmeal. (A little backstory: Oatmeal was rescued from a puppy mill and lived most of her life in a small cage, churning out babies. When I first met her approx. four years ago, she was very timid and terrified of new people and spent a lot of our visit nervously pacing in circles.) Now, she’s this beautiful, bouncy creature – still a little leary of new people, which is very understandable given her past. She hates having her photo taken, but I couldn’t help myself:
She’s got an amazing vertical leap, she can jump from the floor into Heidi’s arms, seemingly effortlessly. It’s pretty impressive.
To get over the trauma of photographs, she had to snuggle up with Heidi alot. And eventually fell asleep tucked into Heidi’s arm:
Soon it was time to head over to Heidi’s grandparent’s for some family fun. I’ve never been to a Passover celebration before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m pretty sure this one was totally unique. Heidi has one niece and three nephews that I’ve heard stories about for longer than a few of them have been alive, so it’s always fun to see them in person. I hadn’t seen some of her family since she got married a few years ago, so it was nice to catch up with everyone. Initially, her grandparents had made themselves scarce (prompting us later to joke that it was a Passive-aggressover, hence the name) but when they did make their appearance they seemed to get more into the spirit of things as we went along.
Heidi’s grandfather is a character (in the very best sense of the word) and led us in the speediest Passover ever. He and Heidi’s older brother gave each other a hard time about the Kugel the brother had made and there were great food and dynamics aplenty (thankfully, I had been given the run down from Heidi so I didn’t accidentally hurt anyone’s feelings or start any new fights… ) but I had a great time. There’s something about family gatherings, when they aren’t your own they are much more fun.
Afterward, we headed back to Heidi and Tom’s place where we chatted for a bit, then took Oatmeal on her customary walk. She has a routine where she jumps up onto little fences and curb cuts along the way, which is really adorable. Toward the end of the walk, there is some terraced landscaping that she can leap up onto and then scamper around on the grass on the top – it was unbelievably cute. We ended the evening with more visiting and a viewing of the season finale of Oprah’s Big Give, which I hadn’t seen before but enjoyed immensely. It was really nice to just relax and veg with good friends after all of the activity of tri camp.