Friday, June 19, 2009

Tar, baby

So, I took the flock to the La Brea Tar Pits this past week. I've insisted that they take a break from all those brainless activities that make a summer vacation,.. .a summer vacation.

I got us out the door not too shabbily at 8:30 - 9:00 ish and we made it to La Brea just like the iPhone said. Then, the iPhone decided to play hardball with me when I took a wrong turn on La Brea Blvd. - it refused to continue routing me to my destination. In fact, it pretended to not know that the tar pits existed. I don't think it had really gotten over Spring vacation when it was navigating me and I still ended up in Disneyland, instead of the Ontario Airport. I had no idea the iPhone had a built in IQ meter, but apparently I don't qualify for ownership.

I've never led anyone on, dear iPhone, in my lack of navigational skills. I am the first to laugh hysterically at the fact that I have an actual degree in geography, but I can not find my way out of a paper bag with a Thomas Guide. Or, that I work for a company that makes mapping software for a living, but fail to know which way is east unless I see the sun and say the rhyme in my head "lefty westy,.."

So, little iPhone, I'm sorry I turn you on your head so I can figure out where I am (represented by that pulsing blue dot that looks a lot like my blood pressure when I've been in the car with five crazed children for almost two hours in LA traffic and have lost sight of my termination point) and where I am supposed to turn in time to actually turn there. Unless that iPhone grows arms out of its sides and takes control of the wheel, I will continue to get lost. YOU GOT AN APP FOR THAT?

Anyway, I digress. We get to the parking lot. They only take cash for the $8 parking fee. I have only a five dollar bill and no ATM card in my purse. (what is a trip if it's not adventurous, eh? No vocanoes to hoist myself on? Well, I'll drive into LA with no cash or gas, but with five kids and see where it takes me,..) The gatekeeper takes pity on me and waves me in anyway. We park, J finds his wallet and lets me borrow three bucks with very high interest, I assure you. I give the money to the man.

The museum is beautiful, if you can get past that tar smell. For God's sake, don't you think the people of LA would put some sort of proposition on the ballot next time to take care of the stench?

Nice grounds for rolling down, running away from mom (especially fun if you are only one year old and can make EVERY PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE yell loudly at me 'Your baby is over here!" Yes, people, I have an eyeball on it. I haven't lost one yet. Kid, I mean. Or eyeball for that matter.)

The musuem itself is very nice and would be more fun if museums didn't make all five of my children deathly hungry just as the credit card is processed. I make them suffer through two movies and trapse the whole way 'round. I point out the real life paleontologists who are hacking away at fossils behind the glass. I make them walk in the aboretum and ask them all sorts of annoying educational questions before we go back outside to gnaw on some granola bars.

We then go find PIT 91 - reminds me of Area 51, but this has massive amounts of old bones. Now that the children have fuel for their brain cells, they find this marginally more interesting. Five minutes pass, so we trapse to the snack bar for $25 worth of coke and chips. Then go and spend more time in the gift shop than in the museum. Leave. Actually find the freeway all by myself with no help from any electronic devices.

Only have gas in the Suburban for oh, 60ish miles. Decide to gun it out of massively annoying traffic and see how long I can coast down hills to the Valley while all the babes sleep. Decide to exit right before the warning light. Pull into gas station - that only takes cash - and go back out into extremely bad traffic looking for gas station. Try to look composed as children all wake up and ask what's going on. Fume on in to credit card accepting station and fill 'er up. Then, fill up the kids again, because it's been, oh, what? an hour? Starving. In and Out is nearby. Make it through the meal until the very end when Fifi spills my dt. coke onto my lap. Now, THAT will keep me awake for the rest of the ride.

Put a sweatshirt on the car seat and turn on the seat heater in hopes that by the time I have to stop for food again on the way home, I won't look like I just peed my pants.

Get home in time for dinner. Remember hubby is at a meeting til late and I'm in charge of dinner. Run to store for pizza and beer. Call it a night. Get ready for the next field trip back to the Science Museum. And the good thing? I've been there before and vaguely know where it is,...

1 comment:

Teri said...

Love that you went there without the full-time nanny along. Who the heck has energy for a trip like that? You're amazing. How many of the beers did you drink with dinner? I think I might have downed three.
Five kids. The tar pits with five kids. Wow.
So... were your pants dry in time?