It’s hard to believe vacation is over, but I squeezed as much in as I could.

Emma Kelly and I took the first flight we could to get out of here and get to Los Angeles. But thanks to a certain airline being bought by another certain airline, after waiting in line for the self-serve kiosk which told me I had to see a ticket agent, and then after waiting in line for the ticket agent, I was told that even though I booked our flight on THIS airline, I was actually flying on THAT airline. And that airline was approximately 20 gates away. And there was construction. And we had to go outside and speed-walk with all our luggage — excuse me, I had to speed-walk with all our luggage while simultaneously telling EK to run. Come to find out that speed-walking 20 gates in 100 degree heat was going to cause us to miss our flight. So a bus driver mercifully stopped and carted us the rest of the way. And then I go inside and wait for a kiosk, only to be told I had to see a ticket agent. WHAT????? I was telling EK, “Pray! Just start praying!” And she did. She folded her little hands and squeezed her little eyes shut and started mouthing out a prayer for only God and her to hear. And thank you, God, for answering my little girl’s prayer. We made it. Now, we had to sit on the next to the last row in front of the only toilet on the plane. And when EK had to go, I had to go in with her and almost vomited — literally — from the smell. But we made it to LA in one piece, which is really all that matters, right?

We were FINALLY going to visit our friends Josh and Patti, who’ve been living out there for a couple of years now. They always adored Emma Kelly. I remember the last dinner we had with them before they packed up and moved away. We went to Patti’s favorite Mexican restaurant and they gave EK these sweet little princess gloves and she gave them a finger-painted masterpiece. And as I recall, EK pouted. It wasn’t exactly the memory I wanted to have Josh and Patti to take with them to LA, but it was the memory they were getting. Of course they said they understood. EK was only 3, right?

So we landed at the airport — at a different terminal than what I’d told Josh and Patti. Oops! And the minute we got in the car, EK pouted. I don’t even know what it was about and honestly, it was probably over nothing. Pouting is what she does. But of course Josh and Patti understand. It’s what 5-year-olds do, right? Um. No. It’s embarrassing. But we choose to ignore the brat in the booster seat and head straight to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, because you just can’t get any more LA than that. And after we dropped of our suitcases, we headed straight to Malibu.

On the way there, we passed by the Biggest Loser Ranch. Very cool. Very vacant, though, so no Bob the Trainer for me to fawn over. And then we went to a playground in the middle of this Malibu country mart/shopping center place because apparently all the celebrities who live in the area bring their kids there. Alas, there were no celebrity sightings on the playground. EK wanted to play, though, so Josh stayed with her while Patti and I went into Kitson. And guess who was inside? Paris Hilton and her little blonde-tourage. Just so you know, Paris is absolutely ridiculous in person. And kinda short, actually. And she walks like the sidewalk is her own personal runway. And everybody knows good and well she summoned the paparazzi to find her there and then she has to go out of her way to pretend she’s taking phone calls and ignoring the photographers’ questions while simultaneously and nonchalantly answering them. So anyway, unbeknownst to them, Josh and EK suddenly found themselves heading straight into a paparazzi swarm and the photogs start buzzing, “Kid! Watch out! There’s a kid!” And as they parted to let Josh and my daughter pass by, an X17 cameraman catches my daughter looking over her shoulder as she’s asking Josh, “What is that?” That’s Paris Hilton. “What’s Paris Hilton?” And then Josh explained paparazzi and EK decided she wants to be one. At least she doesn’t want to be Paris Hilton, right? [See picture below]

Oh, and that was the only celebrity sighting we had. Since we left LA, though, Usher was photographed at that same playground with his boys, and Josh and Patti went back to that country mart and saw Brody Jenner, Eddie Van Halen, Rachel Zoe and Rodger and their son, and David Spade. Oh well!

We had dinner at Paradise Cove on the beach. While we were waiting an hour for a table, EK created a game of throwing peanuts into the parking lot and letting cars drive over them. It sounds incredibly boring, but it’s amazing how fun something like that can become when you’re waiting for a table. Anyway, we ended up having an amazing dinner and EK was completely wired until she got to bed around midnight. Of course, that had me a bit concerned because we had to be at Disneyland at 9am! But I’ll tell you about our Disneyland adventure later because this is becoming ridiculously long and I still have 6 more days of vacation to tell you about!!!