After my east coast vacation ended, Pete and Jen came to LA the following week. It is my first time having family visit me, and I was excited to show them my new life here.
My first day back, that Sunday, I took them to Beach Yoga with Brad--one of my favorite things to do in this city. It's a slow, restorative yoga practice right on the sand, looking straight to the ocean. It is so peaceful and beautiful; sometimes you even see dolphins in the water! And it all takes place just down the street from my apartment.
The best part of the class is doing downward facing dog right on the water's edge. It's such an amazing perspective. It's impossible to leave class in a bad mood!
Afterwards, we went to the Santa Monica Farmer's Market to get some breakfast, and I started feeling a little strange. I was still sick with a cold, but my food didn't taste right, and my lips were tingly. I went home to take a nap, but when I looked in the mirror, I noticed my lips looked really strange and I was having trouble moving my mouth. Dan took me to emergency care, and I was diagnosed with bell's palsy, a super sexy condition where half of your face gets temporarily paralyzed....for weeks! I was plagued with an ear ache, an eye that doesn't blink very well (which means no contact lenses for me, lots of eye drops and sleeping with an eye patch), pain in my cheek and a lopsided smile. I just did not feel like myself.
Luckily, you can't tell too much.
Well...except when I smile. (Three weeks later, the pain is all gone, but the left side of my face is still stiff.)
Worst of all, I came back to the office with a mountain of work piled on my desk, which meant long hours, working through the weekends and not a lot of time to get well and ease my stress. Let me just tell you, it hasn't been fun.
Luckily Pete and Jen were super understanding, and I tried to see them as much as I could that week. Jen's brother, Greg, who also lives in LA, joined us for dinner at The Galley on Main Street.
I hope I will be in better condition the next time family visits!
Then, of course, a few weeks later, Hurricane Sandy happened. Luckily, all of my NJ family members fared well in the storm and even had power at the end of it. Even my Uncle Henry and Aunt Stephanie who live by the beach were okay. We are very lucky. My mom said it was really scary and windy; she thought the windows would break in. The only thing that broke was the garage door.
Pete says there is a lot of trees/power lines down, and he snapped this picture of the long gas line in my hometown. So crazy to be away while all this is happening.
I am really sad about the damage that took place at the Jersey shore. My family used to spend our summers there when I was a kid, and it hurts to think about all those boardwalks and neighborhoods being destroyed. I hope they are able to rebuild soon. I can't stop thinking about it.
To end things on a positive note, Dan is participating in Movember, which means he is growing a mustache for the month of November to raise money for man-cancer. I don't particularly care for facial hair, but I gave Dan permission to grow in a 'stache (it's for charity!) I have never seen someone so excited. Here's the link to donate. If you choose to donate $25 or more, you will get a daily picture of Dan's blossoming lip fur. This is his first time growing anything on his face. You don't want to miss out on this historic event.
All pictures (except the self portraits) by Pete.