I’m home from vacation and so overwhelmed with so many different emotions – happy to be home, sad to be back in Michigan, missing the Wisneski family (four legged members included, of course). I’m going to try to write a coherent post so, let’s see how this goes.
We arrived at the Ontario airport on Wednesday a little before noon local time and were picked up by Frank. Frank and his family are the amazing kind souls who offered to let us surf their couch for the better part of a week while we were in California. Frank manages the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/MajorTheDiabeticAlertDog and also the website http://www.blackdogsrule.com. His 11 year old daughter, Stella, was diagnosed 4 years ago with Type 1 Diabetes, and they have two diabetic alert dogs. (More on that later on).
Frank took us to pick up our rental car and then we headed to the house. We were greeted by the most adorable little dog, Angus, and two majestic black dogs, Major and Raven. We hung out at the house for a while before leaving to head to Hollywood.
We drove around and up a random road because we had time to kill and found something beautiful: Runyon Canyon. Gorgeous!
(iPhone photos by my husband)
Then we went to a taping of a tv show called @midnight. It’s a game show on Comedy Central and it was a RIOT! Unfortunately, no phones or cameras were allowed, but we were on the FRONT ROW and one of the comedians on that night was DREW CAREY!! It was SO awesome.
(A promo image from the episode we attended. Photo from Twitter.)
The next day, we headed out for the beach. The original plan had been to take surfing lessons, but the southern California coast was in the middle of some of the largest swells in decades due to an offshore tropical storm, and we definitely didn’t feel safe taking lessons in 25ft waves. It was a bummer, but I do feel better knowing that we had a pretty epic reason for not being able to do the lessons.
Traffic was crazy and it took two hours to get to the ocean, but the drivers in LA are so much more courteous than the ones in Chicago! We drove up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu and had breakfast for lunch at a cafe called Marmalade. Then we stopped on the beach and we both experienced the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
(Check out the CGM transmitter on the back of my arm!)
After almost getting pulled into the ocean, we drove down to Santa Monica and checked out the beach and the pier there. We picked up a couple souvenirs on the pier and got a little sunburnt too.
(Santa Monica Beach, the Pier, and Ocean Avenue)
We had dinner at a place called Sizzler, then went to see a movie. (It was Frank’s wife’s birthday, so we tried to give them as much of the day to their family as we could). We saw “Lucy” and it was…… mehhh. Then headed back to the house for the night.
On Friday, we decided to walk around on the Walk of Fame and do the “tourist” part of LA. However the second we arrived, I was having a low so we ate at a place right there. I had some kind of chicken wrap thing that must have been made with pure sugar because my blood sugar skyrocketed after that and stayed high for quite a while.
The Walk of Fame was pretty cool, other than it being 100 degrees outside and being constantly harassed by people wanting us to take bus tours. I saw a lot of names that I knew, but a LOT more that I didn’t. It was neat and a cool experience.
We ended up heading back to the house early. We had received word that Allen’s grandfather was not doing well. He was set to be taken off life support later that evening, so we Skyped our family back home and were able to say goodbye before he passed a few hours later.
Frank had pre-arranged for us to have a family night with their family, so Frank took me, Allen and Major (one of their diabetic alert dogs) to In-n-Out to pick up dinner. While we were waiting for our food to be prepared, Frank handed me Major’s leash. I asked him, “Are you sure?” because I was TERRIFIED! He was confident in me though, and I successfully handled Major through the crowded restaurant. Major was the star though – tons of people, food on the ground, a new handler, and nothing phased him!
(Photo on the left by my husband, photo on the right by Frank)
Allen played Minecraft for a while with the kids on the xbox, and Frank showed me a bunch of awesome editing tricks in Lightroom. He used to teach at a local college, so I learned quite a bit of timesaving techniques from him that I am excited to implement! After the kids went to bed, Allen and I sat down with Frank and Laurie to watch “Ender’s Game.” Everyone was asleep by the end but me.
Part two to follow!