The Mothership has landed.

Trip Start Sep 16, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, October 21, 2011

Well, we wake up knowing that today has some challenges in store for us. We went to bed with lots of things up in the air, which does not really sit well with me.  Noah sorts a late check out.

First stop, breakfast and coffee.   Not normally in a morning food in our family, but there is every single kind of doughnut you can imagine at breakfast.  Things are looking up. 

Back at the hotel,  Noah calls a computer company and the first person he speaks to sounds efficient and we are full of confidence.  They say they can look at the computer this morning, so that is a relief.

Next step, sorting out the hotel room we did not use. So Noah calls Super 8 (the hotel we have stayed in most which is part of the Wyndham Group), and tells them the whole story (Ie we lost our reservations details, no one could find them, we booked another room, please do not charge us for the unused room (you told us you wouldn't but we have lost the reference number for that call)).  When Noah tells the story it lasts a lot longer and then when he finishes he realises he is not speaking to the right company.  Okay, so we need to speak to Wyndham people.  So, Noah calls Wyndham people, and tells the story again.  They say he needs to speak to the General Manager at the hotel we did not stay at.  So, Noah calls them, and after much confusion that we agree that we will pay for 1 nights accommodation and not 2.  Result.

So Noah and Woody then go off to see good computer people.  Noah frames this as a special Buzz Lightyear mission – Elwood buys this and embarks on the mission enthusiastically. The people are lovely and very helpfully, (we highly recommend PC Avenue in Anaheim!!) Elwood is delightful and, without trying, manages to score 4 biscuits, a massive packet of crayons and a notebook so they come back with a load of badly draw animal pictures.

I stay home; finish 2 days blog photos, upload the blog, pack and, if I am honest,  I put the TV on in the background.  I half watch a woman in labour and then I watch a woman give birth to twins with C-section.  Why I watch either of these things, I have no idea.  It was quite unpleasant.

Just as I am being harassed by reception at the hotel to get out of the room, Noah arrives.  We quickly load up the car and Noah does not mention the outcome of the computer doctor. I do not know if this is good or bad, it is definitely one of them. I finally ask and it is a massive thumbs up.  All sorted for the sum of $40 – thank you very much computer people.  We love you very much.

So we have the address of the hotel and we are on our way.  We are all happy, and discuss what sort of inappropriate footwear mum will arrive in (My money is on the shoe boot, Elwood thinks something purple and Noah is backing the sandal.)  We chat about my mum and I say something mildly disparaging about my mum’s driving to Noah (I pass comment on the number of U-turn smy Mum needs to make in any journey! Ha!)  Elwood is not having a bad word spoken about Grandma, even in jest, gives me a little telling off and spends the remainder the journey singing Grandma’s praises.

We arrive at the hotel, and Noah goes in to speak to them.  He is gone ages and when he pops out to ask me a question, I realise there has been a big misunderstanding. But I cannot do anything about it as Elwood has taken this opportunity go to the toilet in the car park.  (Bet you weren’t expecting that! Neither was I...) 

So, it turns out they cancelled both nights at this hotel, and charged us for 1 thinking that we were staying for none.  So we have no booking but they have charged us $135 for last night.  Oh man alive, this is crap.  But we have lost our fight, so we rebook for tonight and try and not think about the wasted $135 of yesterday. 

However, I find this impossible and I am super mad, and unfortunately Noah is in the eye of the storm.

Noah takes Elwood to Venice Beach and I stay at the hotel to work out how we pick up the Mothership,  what we do tonight /tomorrow, to sulk a little bit, and then finally to cheer up.  I book my dream accommodation in Hawaii so I am pretty much on an Aloha buzz after that.

So I do the internet banking and write up a bit of the blog.  I put the TV on and half watch a show on pageants.  I did not mean do this, but when a mum says 'You don’t want to be the turd in the punchbowl’, it gets my attention.  I most certainly do not want to be a ‘turd in a punchbowl’.  I would go as far as to say I don’t want to be a turd anywhere.  Therefore, I watch this show.

We still do not know when Mum is arriving; we have decided to take at stab at 6pm.  It feels about right, we will soon find out.....

Very quick budget update.  (Vanessa – please do not read this, you will freak.)   Yesterday we wasted $135  on the hotel, bought that giant bear, and we secretly bought Woody a talking Jessie to give to him later), and the Disneyland food was not cheap.  So, in a nutshell, yesterday was disastrous budget-wise.  Prior to yesterday we were $240 over budget, after yesterday we are $410 over budget.  This is not good, but we can’t do anything about it right now, and it could be a lot worse, so we are going to style it out (a very underused financial term) and go out for dinner on Venice Beach, drink too much wine, and comeback with some ambitious business idea.  (I do not want to shirk responsibility on this but, Mike – you and Noah must have agency talks urgently.  We have a lifestyle to fund!)

At least if we encounter any problems whilst Mum is here, she always carries with her a million pound cheque made out in her name from the Bank of the Universe.  You can buy them off the internet for 1.  This is not a joke.  Mum says you have to act like you have abundant wealth, to attract money, so she carries this cheque and she also has a green wallet as it is meant to attract money.  We seriously love the wisdom of The Mothership.  In some circles, she is known as Deepak Diane.

Noah and Elwood have a great time at the beach.  Elwood gets a good, sandy leg stretch and they play, you guessed it, Fireman Sam.

So we arrive at LAX airport and we do not know what time mum arrives, or even what airline.  We ask at information, and they look at us in a disbelieving  way (not helpful) .  We looked for a flight which felt right, it had just landed, so we got Woody some food (two terminals away) and came back and as if by magic the Mothership had arrived.  Yipppeee.

Elwood talked non stop at Mum and Noah and I just felt happy and relaxed.  The Mothership does have that effect.  We found a restaurant for dinner near our hotel.  We ordered food and then Elwood had a bit of a meltdown, so Noah got his to takeaway and mum and enjoyed  some big glasses of wine, a fabulous meal and a mango sorbet for dessert.  The meal was interrupted by a sing song of ‘That’s Amore’ and all the waiters and waitresses come and say hello and cheers to every table.    Well, I felt jubilant.  It is brilliant.  I want to come back tomorrow night.  I also want to dance (they played Hey, Mambo next), but no one else did so I hold back a little.  Anyway, it is not just the wine, the garlic bread, or the music – it is all of that and more that makes the evening lovely. 

And that is it.  Tomorrow morning, we will see how Mum feels and decide what to do from here on in.  We don’t care what we do, we are just back to being happy, together and on holidays.

Sunny thoughts from Venice Beach for our loved ones and all the best to the man who has just unclogged our sink at 11pm.  Much appreciated.
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Helen on

Hello Deepak Diane and of course the Eves. I have a million dollar note which you are welcome to. Easier to cash than a cheque . Di are you coming to Oz too?

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