it was a fabulous, relaxing, peaceful way to start the day...until an unexpected visitor dropped in to say hello.
that was our cue to get ourselves ready for the day and head outside to check out the resort. we'd arrived so late in the day that we hadn't had a chance to see the sights, so we went for a lovely leisurely stroll. the pool area looked fantastic:
and there's even a separate, adults-only pool.
it's a really beautiful resort. like, i can't even imagine how many awesome weddings they've hosted at this very spot:
once we'd gotten our fill of the terranea, we decided to pack it up and head out to see what other mischief we could find in the area. i spent some time admiring all of my new pretties in the car.
we ended up heading to the el segundo/manhattan beach area to explore the point, a new shopping/dining extravaganza that recently opened. the hub had already been once before, when he dropped me off at the airport for my trip to san francisco in october.
before grabbing some lunch, we did a little exploring in some of the shops, like the lucky brand flagship store. there we found a bunch of great stuff on sale, plus a nice selection of records...like this gem:
the hub had really enjoyed a sandwich he'd had at mendocino farms, so that's where we stopped for some grub. although it was crowded and service was a little slow, the prosciutto/chicken sandwich i had was totally worth the wait.
and i liked the crazy hipster booth we sat in, lined in fake grass.
afterwards, we headed over to my parents' house to scoop up the bean, who was enjoying some quality time with her lolo and lola. we spent a little time chatting with them before heading off to our next destination, just five minutes away:
our girl scout troop had signed up to hang out with the laker girls at the lakers' practice facility, which is where their minor league team also practices and plays. the d-fenders were playing against the bakersfield jam that evening, and the girls were going to learn a dance routine that they'd perform at halftime. fun, right?
on our way through the facility, we walked past the rink where the l.a. kings practice. there were other teams playing there as well, and it looked like there were also youth hockey teams present.
and then we went through a quick security check before finding seats at the basketball court.
the girls joined several other troops out on the floor and got their first glimpse of the laker girls.
they wasted no time in getting the girls up and starting some warm-ups and stretching.
they struck a pose to begin the routine. i don't know if you can see my kid in the background, just off to the left of the laker girl in this shot.
it was a fairly simple dance, during which i noticed that all these dance lessons that the bean's been attending for the last few years were starting to pay off - she caught on to it quickly and had it down after a couple of run-throughs. during a water break, she and one of our other girls had a little bonding time with their laker girl.
and then when they'd practiced the entire dance a few more times, dance camp was over. at that point, the rep from girl scouts came over to ask for help from one of our scouts, and since the bean was right there, i happily volunteered her to do whatever it was they needed.
when she came back, she reported that she and the others from the other troops had been tapped to sing the national anthem at the beginning of the game. i was super excited (um, hello, bucket list item, CHECK!) for a few seconds until i looked at her again and asked a very important question:
"do you KNOW the national anthem?"
i got the wide-eyed, deer-in-headlights stare and a tentative shake of her head. shit shit shit.
and so i did what any of you would do: pulled up youtube and found her a video to watch with the song and lyrics on the screen. and like the eager-to-please student that she is, she sat right down and did a little star spangled banner cramming. well, not a little - a good hour and a quarter's worth of it. while she practiced, i watched the d-fenders come out and get a little pre-game practice in.
and by the time she reported to the microphone with her fellow scouts to do their thing, she was about 85% confident that she could do it. i gave her a little pep talk and told her that i knew she'd do a great job and if she forgot the words...fake it till she made it. after all, it wasn't like she was doing this solo - the rest of the group would totally fill in. she was nervous as she headed up there, but you couldn't tell.
i think the nerves got to the others too, because about halfway through the song they all kind of petered out and went silent for a few seconds. the audience picked it up though, and the whole room helped them get through the end of it and then burst into applause for their bravery.
as the game began, it occurred to me that there were cameras filming the whole thing, but i had no idea if there would be video available for us to watch later on. i approached one of the official-looking guys (and by that, i mean he was wearing a suit) and chatted him up a bit to see what i could find out. and while he didn't know where we might be able to catch the footage being filmed, he offered to let me sit in the front row and take video of the girls while they performed their halftime show.
methinks this is about the closest i'll ever get to a courtside seat. okay, so the lakers weren't actually there at that time, but they're there on the regular. and their logo is in the middle of the floor. so it sorta counts.
this is also the closest i'll ever get to a game ball.
like, i was so close i could feel the air whooshing past as the guys played their hearts out on the floor. see how close i was? see it??
i even got an unobstructed view of the laker girls during a time-out.
and when the girls came out for their dance, the bean was absolutely beaming as she saw me sitting right up front.
she rocked it, as they all did, and had a great time doing it. i was one proud former cheerleading mama.
after the game, the d-fenders went into the locker room to get cleaned up and the girls all lined up to meet them and get their autographs. and then afterwards, we were going to get to take pictures with the lakers' championship trophies. i think we parents were more excited about that business than anyone else.
the players were super friendly to the girls and happily signed autographs for everyone.
two of the trophies were brought down for us, while the others stayed safely up above.
we decided to take a group shot, although the hub sheepishly admitted that he wanted a solo picture with them too. luckily, the staffers were very accommodating.
except, of course, when the hub took his place between the prized gold balls and put his hands on them.
"SIR, PLEASE DON'T TOUCH THE TROPHIES."
on our way out, the bean paused to touch the purple velvet lakers sign. "it's so soft, mommy," she breathed. this girl and her textile fetish, man. it's comedy.
from what i understand, they do this event every year. i'm 99.999% sure we're totally going to sign up again. it was way too much fun. and maybe next year, my co-leader and i will attempt to make them let us join in.
that would be EPIC.