Tuesday, December 26, 2023

The Day After

So that was a short respite.

I’d prepared and planned to stay in Long Beach through Christmas Day, return today Tuesday, with the caveat that, if I was having a good time, I’d extend the stay.

As it were, the great grandson opened his gifts 7:30 Christmas morning, after which I did an early checkout of the hotel and was back in my unit at the complex by noon.

Long Beach was a drag.

I did not get the Harbor View Room I’d requested ─ the side of the hotel with a view of the Queen Mary. Instead, I ended up with a view of a restaurant’s alley. Which might have been cool had anything interesting happened in the alley, but all I saw was restaurant linen being piled up and the occasional worker running through.

Energy in the area has shifted. The streets were relatively empty ─ nothing interesting to see, to do. No longer safe to walk around visiting old haunts due to an explosion of the unhoused.

Driving down the street, I spotted a house all decorated for Christmas. The house had a chain-link fence separating the property from the sidewalk and in a little area right next to where their fence ended, right up against it, was where an unhoused person had erected his living quarters.

Passing the Covenant Manor retirement complex, along the entire outside perimeter of the fence were the unhoused.

When checking out early at the hotel, I saw an unhoused individual walk in, stride right over to the coffee bar, help himself to a cup of coffee, go to exit the hotel, stop in the door to yell something I couldn’t make out, exit, walk across the street, disappear down an alley.

The hotel did have a security person stationed at the desk ─ first time I’ve seen that ─ which tells me they’ve had some problems, but he’d stepped away. Was returning just as the unhoused gent had yelled whatever it was he’d yelled and was walking away.

With extra time on my hands Christmas Eve, having decided it wasn’t safe to walk down to the Big Penny selfie site, get a photo I’d been wanting to take during previous visits but never got around to, I drove over to the site.


Seeing the old guy camped out front .... for why? I didn't dare get out of the car to try to take a selfie. Not to mention, capture an image of the penny's flipside because, if you look closely to the right, you'll see the legs of one of two guys I spied lurking suspiciously behind the penny.

Long Beach has changed ─ a drag and a downer.

Long Beach was not a complete drag and downer, as I did get to see the new baby girl.

Even got to hold her for a hot second.

However, a hot second was all that was allowed because, with so many people granddaughter and grandson-in-law know learning later rather than sooner ─ before they were around others, thereby jeopardizing the health of others, that they have covid, the two are being extra cautious of who comes into their atmosphere as the baby does not yet have immunities.

I was the only person allowed to visit since the new baby was born; the only person allowed to spend Christmas with them. Everyone else has to wait until March, when the new baby will be four months old, and her immunities have taken hold. That included White Grandma, White Grandpa, the Black uncles.

Though I’d been boosted and, knowing I'd be around little ones had taken the extra precaution of a home test before heading to Long Beach, I was yet and still limited to look, but don’t touch — other than the hot second I was allowed to hold the little princess. I wasn’t even allowed to kiss all on the great-grandson as I usually do.

So, after watching the great-grandson open his gifts, no place safe to go, nothing safe to do, no kissing, no holding, I headed back to the hotel, packed, checked out early and drove myself home.

Traffic was easy breezy going up and returning but, because of my gut issues, there's so much preparation involved in travel, and my being so stressed with worry about what could happen as I’m behind the wheel on a long drive since that tire blew out on the freeway, that I don’t think I can do this again.

It's just too much work and, with my being on edge during the drive up and back, going anywhere further than a few miles away is just too exhausting.

So, unless I win the lottery and can employ my own personal driver, this last trip may be my last trip.

First Look

First and Last hot second hold.

The great-grandson was gifted (spoiled) with way too many toys for an 18-month-old.


Included in the gifts from his parents was a pair of toy binoculars and a spy glass, which he instinctively seemed to know how to use.


Shades of having picked up his GG’s propensity for observing others perhaps, LOL.

I'm also told he likes to hide behind doors, jump out, try to scare his parents.

They don't know where he learned that, but believe it may be inherited, because that was something I did through my early years, well into adulthood, and still enjoy watching TikTok videos of people scaring other people.

For sure, the great-grandson doesn't seem to have inherited my adventurous nature, like when I jumped right on the Santa Train at the Breakfast with Santa Event and was ready to ice skate until I thought how an injury could end me, because great-grandson wasn't quick to accept the Mickey Mouse airplane, with all its unfamiliar bells and whistles, as being his forte.


His parents say, from how he was at first fearful of the exercise ball in the room, but has now embraced it, that he has to first observe certain items, get accustomed to before he trusts, and will send me vid when he does.

So, while he was somewhat alarmed by all the bells, whistles, spinning, I positioned myself to where I could take a spin around the room without putting my full weight on his toy (no vid to show you).

I also couldn't wait to try the spaceship he'd acquired since my last visit.


Ready for Take Off



He seemed none too pleased, like what the hell daddy.

So, though Long Beach was a drag and a downer, no kissing, no hugging, look but don't touch, I managed to have a fun time and got to play with the great-grandson's toys.

30 comments:

  1. I've seen so many YouTube videos of the homeless in LA and other southern Cal. cities. OMG! The ones in LA go on for miles....and miles. Call me ignorant. I guess I just don't see that here in the Midwest and in smaller communities. I've read many folks are bailing out of LA d/t the homeless situation and even encroaching in high-end areas. Yikes! It's a problem everywhere and a sad one. That spaceship was the coolest thing. Boy, would I have loved that as a kid...and adult! LOL! Glad you got your hot minute with the new one. Sorry you didn't get a longer visit and Long Beach was not the same anymore. Did you used to live there? I always wanted to see the Queen Mary....maybe now not so much. Happy Holidays!
    Paranormal John

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    1. I lived in and around the Long Beach area most of my life. Loved that I could walk anywhere anytime day and night. Not like that now. Funny you said that about encroaching high-end areas because, behind the complex are pricey homes. I often see people who live in that area, walking for exercise up and down the hill. Don't think they'll be doing that again because I noticed today, when stopping at a pokestop on the corner, that a homeless encampment has begun along that area.

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  2. You may have been able to hold the wee baby girl for a hot second, but what a great photo of the two of you! And that little boy is no fool -- he wants to check things out first before deeming them safe to play with. I like that cautious approach.

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    1. That photo may be the only one she sees of me holding her as a baby in the album I'm making for her. The great grandson is too soft from being babied. He needs to toughen up now, before he begins to expect to be babied, so he'll not grow up weak. His parents, of course, disagree, but we shall see how things go when they realize what is instilled now can't be undone.

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  3. Great photo of the hot second hold of the princess.

    Hope all recover completely.

    Will Jay

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    1. Thanks, WJ. I don't usually like how I photograph, but I do like this one. They're all fine, because they were lucky and did not let any of those friends who later found they have covid, visit. Realizing how close they came, they are now semi in quarantine, until March, taking no chances.

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  4. The look-but-don’t-hug really sucks, but is understandable. Still, it REALLY sucks. I'm glad you at least got to see them. What a shame about Long Beach. I wonder how the city (state and country) will find a positive way through all this. You look adorable in the space ship!

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    1. Yes, I was lucky to get to see them. Especially, since other family members were not. Part of the problem with homelessness is the rents are too high and getting higher. Unless and until they do something about that, more and more of us low income folks are going to be pushed out onto the streets.

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  5. Maybe you should have brought that airplane thing home with you! Or the spaceship! Then the People Who Surround You would have something to talk about. šŸ˜„

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    1. Don't tempt me. When the kids outgrow the spaceship and airplane, I might find room for them, build my own toy room.

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  6. Maybe Great-Grandson can help you gather intel for the Tales of the Complex. No one would suspect him of spying ....

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    1. Now that's an idea. He could get up close and personal with a little video recorder in his diaper.

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  7. I think you need to print a copy of the photo of you and the baby.

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    1. Already sent out for processing. Going to go into the Creative Memory Album.

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  8. Adorable photos! Love the side eye in the last one. It’s a shame about Long Beach.

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    1. Now that he's got a sister, he'd better get used to having to share his toys, LOL. Long Beach got a new mayor shortly after I was there for the Pride Parade in 2021. I think things kinda slowly went downhill from there until it's now worse there, than here.

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  9. Looks like a good time overall. Adorable baby. Great grandson was probably happy to have his space shuttle back šŸ˜Š
    Too bad about Long Beach. I remember my Grandmother talking about how nice it was there.

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    1. The shuttle was fun ... that is, it was fun for me. He didn't care for my intrusion. Plus, I was counting down and making blast off noises, LOL. I really enjoyed the years I lived in and around Long Beach. Never feared for my safety walking around, exploring .... until this last visit.

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  10. Yes. Sometimes that kind of thing happens around/with the grandkids. It can be vey disheartening. I did know the homelessness was so bad there. There are so many problems I wish I had the money and know how to help. I stayed home for Christmas although the Grand Girls came over a couple of times before. I just want to stay home, a sure sign I'm getting really old.

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    1. Staying Home sounds like a good idea to me. Travel takes a lot of work.

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  11. I see you had a great holiday, Shirley! Your great-grandson is gorgeous and you look too young to be a great grandmother.

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    1. It's all smoke mirrors and good makeup, Kay. Without makeup, I look every bit my age. Good luck with the šŸœšŸš️.

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  12. Those Great Grandbabies are so precious šŸ’•... The Daughter told me Long Beach was scarier than Mexico so your observations didn't surprise me... Dawn the Bohemian

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    1. Well that's really saying something if the Daughter finds LB scarier than Mexico. I've never been to Mexico but from what I just read about the residents of a luxury building in LB being terrorized by hoodlums, I believe her.

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  13. What a lovely photo of you with the new baby. Such a shame your visit was cut short but great that you managed some on to one time with the children. How awful to have some many homeless camped everywhere.

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    1. At least I've a photo of both grandbabies while still just weeks old. Something they can look back on. "Everywhere" is precisely the correct word. Around here, I think only Beverly Hills is immune.

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  14. Another blogger and I have been having a conversation about how the unhoused population is really going to explode as the baby boomers age out of the workplace, especially those who have been always renting and have little to no retirement beyond social security. There will be far more homeless than there are now. It's getting scary here in the San Joaquin Valley to see the older people on the streets already.

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    1. I've read that some seniors took their pensions and relocated to areas where they could live quite comfortably, then gentrification and other issues priced them out and onto the streets.

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