Friday, March 01, 2013

An addition to my PANK army

Did you know I'm a member of a new demographic that marketing agencies have finally decided is worth focusing in?  That's right - the PANK has finally been recognized.  What's a PANK?  Well, I'm glad you asked.  PANK stands for Professional Auntie, No Kids.  We are a group of women who either by choice of by fate have no children of our own but who have jobs, good incomes and a group of "sisters" and "brothers" either related by blood or chosen to fall into the category of sibling who have children.  My life is FULL of nieces and nephews and not just the ones related to me by blood.

I went to sunny southern California for five days last week.  It was work and fun related as many of my trips tend to be.  I like to go down and visit CB in February because I can usually finagle it to be with her on her birthday or at least very close to that day.  Her birthday fell on a Saturday this year so I got to be there on the actual day.  To spend her day we started with this:

That's the first of four of those we would eat (and by we I mean her - I had three and one smoothie) during my days down there.  What?  We had no problem with that.  If you had eaten one you wouldn't have been able to stop either.  I'm not certain what all the yumminess was that was in it but I'm sure one ingredient had to be Crack.

The first two days I was there we laughed constantly.  In fact, on Sunday morning I woke up and had sore stomach muscles from the day before - which was discovered in a laughing fit.  Man, I miss my buddy sometimes.

Of course we had to go for a walk as soon as I got off the plane.  Who could pass this up after coming from snowy Spokane!?


Then, by far the highlight (sorry CB), I got to meet my new nephew.  Other than my blood family no one in my life has been around the way CB has.  There is not a time in my life that I don't remember her being in it.  Literally.  Not a minute.  So other than my sister's kids, who I love like my own, there isn't a kiddo I feel more tied to.  Mr. Kobe Dragon did not disappoint.  He waited for me to get there to have two of his best nights of sleep and to start smiling.  Some of the smiling might have had to do with the fact that when I was around him (or his mom) I couldn't take my own smile off my face.  He's a good mimicker.  We spent hours sitting in the sun on the back porch on Sunday morning.  I seriously wanted to take him home with me.  I love all of my girls and having them so far away as they've started their families have been tough.  I treasure every moment I've had with them and their broods as time has gone on.

Here's the first smile that we think was a true smile - and yes, it was at me being goofy.  Get used to it kid.
Your mom and I will embarrass you.  It's only a matter of time.  Just ask your dad.


We spent a lot of time just hanging out with Mr. Kobe Dragon.  I haven't really been sleeping much the past couple of months and while I was there I suddenly found my sleep skills again.  I was even able to take a nap with CB and The Dragon.  I couldn't believe how refreshed I felt after my trip.  Here's some more pictures of The Dragon.  Eventually, I had to stop because he wanted to start charging me for his pictures.  Southern California kids.  Seesh.

We celebrated CB's Birthday at the same restaurant where we had her surprise 30th birthday party.  It's an awesome restaurant and CB and CF's friends are always so warm and friendly with me.  Robert kept my wine glass filled, Craig ordered food for CB and I all night.  We laughed and laughed.  Craig would do everything he could to get CB and I giggling and then he would get CF's attention and just point and chuckle.  CF's response was always the same and expected eye roll.  Craig loves to bust on CF.

The crew: Ray, Sarah, CB, KT, Craig, NG, Robert, CF, Travis, Mira and Kathleen
Happy Birthday CB!!!

In addition to getting to see CB and The Dragon I had to do a little work so I spent one night in a nice little hotel in Marina Del Rey.  My room had a great view of the Marina and I spent some time on the balcony the morning I left reading and enjoying some sun after my run.  Southern California life does not suck.

I went for a run around the Marina.  I love the snowy mountains as the backdrop for the palm trees.
The other wonderful thing that I got to do while there was hang out with Goff.  She and I have been friends since our freshman year of college.  We were/are sorority sisters, went to London at the same time and had adventures there and have continued to reconnect at least every couple of years since WU days.  Our lives are scary similar in a lot of ways.  It's always so nice to fall back into our easy friendship.  We had an awesome, long dinner at Chaya in Venice Beach with great food and a wonderful bottle of Chianti.  She stayed with me at the hotel and we had breakfast the next morning before she had to head to work.  I admire Sarah a ton and I'm so thankful for her friendship.

It was a great long weekend.  I got sleep, got good cuddle time with my new nephew, got sun on my face and started to get the light back in my hair.  If only real life was always like this.

My next adventure starts midweek next week and it is going to be a true adventure.  I'm completely along for the ride on this trip.  I only know a few of the people I'll be on the trip with and I've made none of the plans other than how I'm getting myself to the hotel where I'm told we'll have at 1500 square foot suite.  I'll tease you with this: 10 ridiculously beautiful women, sunshine and 80 degree temperatures, palm trees, not in my time zone and a bucket list opportunity involving an ocean. 

Have a great weekend.

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