Southern California Road Trip: Part One

07/17/2009 By Shawn Burns

We arrived at our Orange County hotel at three in the morning on Tuesday, just six hours after we’d left the San Francisco Peninsula on our dead-of-night escape.

Tuesday (part two, because part one was spent driving and then sleeping) was a family visit. Emily’s uncle’s family lives in Yorba Linda, and despite his house being damaged in the last round of fires and flooded when a toilet overflowed (forcing the family to live in a hotel for 45 days in a row), it was beautifully restored and it was relaxing just to hang out there. But Erin, the tiny princess of Finding Things That Will Hurt, kind of miserabled herself by falling down stairs and whacking her head on things. She liked the dog, though.DSC02375

This is Lucky. He’s a service dog for Emily’s cousin J, the flower girl at our wedding who is old enough to drink now but never would. J doesn’t move very quickly, hear or see very well, hence the dog, but she loves Erin and Erin loves her so much she can hardly contain herself.

Wednesday we visited a cousin at work, in a new parent store with a play area for the kids. Erin superheroed it up when she found the costume bin.DSC02324

Then we went to the uncle’s beach house in Newport Beach and strolled along the boardwalk at Erin’s pace. She was easily distracted by sand. DSC02342

She spent a lot of time riding on J’s lap in her wheelchair. There was ice cream to be dribbled down her chin, birds to be chased, and boys who had frisbees. DSC02354

Thursday was Disneyland Part One. It was Adrian’s First Visit, Erin’s Fifth Visit, and my birthday. Happy birthday to me. I love going to Disneyland and I’ll never stop loving it. I don’t care that Disney wants my money and my soul. They can have it. Star Tours rules.


We took Adrian on his first ride, and stank up the submarines with his first on-ride Crapola Diaper. It was intense. And where do you go when you’re on a fucking submarine? Nowhere. You’re welcome, Korean Disney Fans who were on the ride next to us. Greetings from America.

Want to see a picture of Erin pretending to be tired?


I say “pretending”, because that kid burned with vibrant, ridiculous energy right up until we got back to the hotel after closing the park down at midnight. She was unbelievable. She could not see enough or do enough. Adrian, on the other hand, pretty much slept the entire time we were at the park, with the exception of the Jungle Cruise ride. The puns pissed him off and he cried most of the trip. But he liked his ears.


Grandma grandma grandma. What would we do without grandma? She came to the park with us and watched the kids so Emily and I could go on rides on our own. She took Erin on the Buzz Lightyear ride so that someone could ride by himself and look cool while kicking ass with the lasergun.

Shawn on BuzzlightyearFriday morning we went to breakfast and then began our drive to San Diego for Southern California Road Trip: Part Two. But first we stopped so that Erin could play at a park and burn some energy off before her destined nap in the car. So she ran around the park until she saw the tire swing, then she exploded into a version of the Sesame Street Theme that, we’ve come to realize, asks “Can you tell me how to get, how to get some friends in the street?” I’ve no idea what mayhem she plans for those friends, but they’d best guard themselves. This kid plots evil.


More road trip stories and pictures to come. I will bore you in four parts. But the four include the prelude that most of you read and decided was a clear indication that I should keep my day job: My “forsooths” and “inasmuches” fell on unimpressed eyes. Verily.