The Sunday of Memorial Day weekend (no need to shame me that we just passed the 4th of July weekend – that’s coming – probably right in time for Labor Day – HA!) we planned to head to my cousin’s mountain home in Lake Arrowhead. Chachi said that his mom (who was from Japan) would pronounce it Lake Aro Hay. We kept calling it that all the way up there. It made it feel like she was still with us.
The last time we went to A’s place was Thanksgiving weekend a few years ago. It was moody, rainy, inclement and my car was having transmission smells. But it was around the time that Chachi had just gotten his Contractor position at the Mouse House and we were happy for it!
This time, it was summer and my car’s transmission was a-ok, so we were good to go!
We weren’t staying the night, though there is room. We thought we would be hanging with A, L (A’s hubby) and PinkyStrong (her 8 year old daughter you never want to find yourself in a pinky war with. She will win. And you will cry).
But when we got there, we saw A’s bro and his fiancee out front with L.
We walked inside and found 2 other families: children and animals!
If we had wanted to stay, room was looking slim. But A, being the kind of hostess like my mom, would have just made it work.
A’s friend wanted to go for a hike, so A, Chachi and I all invited ourselves along.
It is so pretty up there. A is kind of a fitness beast and says she runs this trail back and forth sometimes just to alleviate some of her energy. I got tired just listening to her, let alone ACTUALLY hiking. Chachi was impressed I was doing so well since when we hike, I take way more breaks. That’s what public shame will do when you are vain like I am – you suck it up!
On our hike/walk, A got a call from some friends of hers who live near her in the city but who also have a place up there. They were having their own little Memorial Day soiree and wanted to know if she could come.
She did, with the caveat that her 11 guests could come. No problem, said the hostess! We would just have to bring a little extra food.
These friends of A’s are very unique: genius, friendly and generous, but odd.
Chachi and I looked at each other and thought, we will stay for maybe a half hour and then head back. We got our hike in. We got our family time in. We got our mountain adventure in. We could leave the party and take a gander at the lake before the sun went down. That was the plan anyway.
Our party caravaned it to the other party.
We all got out, with mouths agape at the size of this “cabin.” It was HUGE!
The minute we walked in, we were noticed someone playing the piano (the host’s brother-in-law – also a genius intellectual) and some delicious food being prepared by the hostess. Homemade pesto filled our nostrils and wine started pouring. On the grill, the host was making grilled fish with a marinade. I don’t eat fish, but it looked like it would be good. This party, like my cousin’s was filled with more children and more dogs. Both groups were awesome! The kids later put on a dog show for all the adults. I swear some of the dogs looked at us like, “Thank god you arrived. These kids are making us jump and sit and stay – and they can barely do that for themselves!”
The other guests were just as interesting and just as nice! It was the kind of party that felt cinematic! Awesome stories, unique adventures and lots of generosity, all surrounded by high ceilings and a lit fireplace.
We stayed much longer than intended, but it was worth it. Chachi’s philosophy is to say yes to as much as he can. He figures that better things happen when you do that. He wasn’t wrong.
Regretfully, we finally peeled ourselves away and drove to see the lake just after sunset.
We pulled the car over and took it in.
Down below, amidst the lighted homes, you could hear the sounds of people having a good time and the smells of bbqs.
Lake Aro Hay hadn’t disappointed at all. If fact, with all the planning we had done the entire weekend, we hadn’t planned on feeling as content, blissed out and surprised as we did.
With a slice of the various adventures feeling like mini vacays in our pockets, we smiled and drove back to the city.