“Thanks for not letting me sleep til noon, daddy.” I was sitting in my mom’s backyard when my 14-year-old daughter, who I lovingly refer to as Drama Queen, walked outside and said those words. My instincts told me she was being sarcastic, but as I looked up from my laptop I realized my daughter was being sincere. ”Fo shiz,” I replied. ”Glad you had fun today.”
I woke up Saturday morning feeling like I’ve been a complete lazy ass the past few weeks and decided to do something about it. I recently lost 65 pounds and although I haven’t “slipped back,” I put three or four back on and haven’t ridden my bike in a month and rarely go out and walk.
Glancing at the clock I noted it was just after nine so I went to my daughter’s room and announced that it was time to get up. ”What time is it?” She groggily asked. I informed her that it was nine and that we were going to the dog beach to take Lucy, our 10-year-old boxer/pit bull mix for a walk and to chill for a couple hours.
“Why are we going so early?” Her Majesty wanted to know. ”This isn’t early, Sleeping Beauty,” I joked. ”If you hurry up we can stop and split a donut on the way down.” She wanted to know if we could go to Krispy Kreme and didn’t appreciate it when I said it was out of the way.
”What do you mean it’s ‘out of the way’?” She semi-whined. I paused for a moment to make sure I had all my sarcasm gathered in one spot.
“Well,” I said before taking a long pause. ”You know how we drive down the street and turn left to go to the dog beach?” My daughter looked at me like she knew I was going somewhere with this, however she wasn’t awake enough to figure it out.
“Yeah,” she said.
“Well,” I continued. ”To get to Krispy Kreme we turn right. [pause] And drive about three miles.” Pausing again to gauge her reaction, I realized there was none and so continued. ”And then drive the three miles back,” I explained. ”Then to the beach.”
“Oh,” Drama Queen said, pondering the information. ”Are you sure?”
Was I sure? Was I sure Krispy Kreme was the other direction or was I sure that we weren’t going? Not that it mattered because the answer was the same.
“I’m sure,” I said with a smirk. ”But tell you what. If they’ve built a new Krispy Kreme in the last 48 hours and if we pass it I promise to stop for a hot dozen.”
If you think she let that go, then you obviously don’t understand teenage girls. For the record, I really don’t understand them but I fake it pretty well. Over the next twenty five minutes I was “reminded” that Krispy Kreme is way better than the donut shop on our way. And that we had no other plans the rest of the day, so the extra drive wasn’t keeping us from anything. And that she really wanted to go.
Somehow we made it to the car and with a very friendly 55 pound pooch in the back, headed towards the Huntington Cliffs, A.K.A. the dog beach.
After scoring a prime parking spot (with 25 min left on the meter) I made sure my daughter had plenty of plastic bags and headed across the grass and down the hill to the beach below. Two cleanups later we arrived at the sand.
Dog beach is a mile long stretch in the OC and is one of my absolute favorite places. Since we were staying for a couple hours, DQ had towels, sunscreen, Kindle, iPod touch, phone, foldable sunglasses (which she wore only after I reminded her to) and assorted other things in her bag. The beach is strewn with boulders and we found a nice spot about halfway down where I could lean against a flat rock and read my social media marketing book once I was done walking both Lucy and myself.
Taking Lucy here is something I love to do but don’t do nearly often enough. Drama Queen stayed to lay down so Lucy and I meandered to the far end of the beach. As we did I noted that my dog has been showing signs of aging and that the last few times we came here she’s had a hard time jumping into the back of my small SUV. Lucy was still running and playing with other dogs but not as fast as she used to.
Returning to our spot, I sat down and let my daughter play with Lucy at the edge of the water. I brought a book to read but I don’t think I got through five paragraphs. I was too busy enjoying the scene of them playing and I remembered back to when we got Lucy from the shelter nine years ago. It was around the time DQ’s mom moved out and Lucy was a surprise for her sixth birthday.
We had a great time at the beach and once back home, chilled. Around three I decided to make guacamole and to begin getting dinner ready. My daughter saw the tri tip on the counter along with a red, yellow and orange pepper and got excited. ”Are we having tri tip?” She asked.
“Yep,” I replied. ”Tri tip sandwiches, mango salsa, tomato salad with balsamic and other stuff and grilled corn.” A huge smile appeared on her face and she asked if she could make a cake. I told her she could and after looking in the pantry and in the ‘fridge announced that she was making a heart shaped strawberry cake with strawberry frosting and sliced strawberries between layers.
Yes it was good and yes I’ll share the recipe with you on Wednesday in my Daddio’s Diner segment.
Dinner was off the hook and dessert was too. That brings us back to the beginning of the story. Shortly after dinner (and after harassing her to get the dishes in the dishwasher) my daughter thanked me for waking her up early and for the beach trip. It was then that I fully realized that my teenage daughter actually enjoys spending time with me and that I may actually be doing something right. Cool.