Ohhhh it felt great to spend a week in Seal Beach in the summer. Over the last four years the only times I’ve been to Seal Beach have either been on tour for a couple of quick days with Humming House or back in December 2015 for my grandma’s 90th birthday celebration. This was the first time I was able to make it to our family jam party since 2012, and Javier’s first time since 2010! Way too long.
The garage jam has evolved since its inception back when I was a kid. When it first started in my aunt Shelley and uncle John’s garage (or that’s at least where I remember it starting), it was just family with a couple of acoustic guitars and sitting around in beach chairs in a circle. Eventually it became a plugged-in performance with drums, keys, bass, etc. followed by an “after glow” of quieter acoustic music. These days, there are set lists, BGVs, rehearsals, song lyric and chord books, monitors, rows of chairs, a permit for noise, a taco bar – it’s an all-out Seal Beach live music bash. I have hated missing it over the last four years! The best part for me was getting to sing with my pops again – we sat around in the evenings going over old songs we’ve been singing together for years and years. Maybe in a few years we’ll have Penelope singing harmonies with us for a three-generation family band! Already making plans…
We arrived in Seal Beach a week before the jam, and stayed in a house across from the ocean with Ian, Andrea, and the kids for the whole week. Every day we’d all wake up and work out, have our shakes (we are all doing the Beachbody on Demand / Shakeology routine, so it was fun to have some extra workout partners!), and either head to the beach or to John and Shelley’s house via Main Street. We’d play Scrabble by the pool, lounge in the hot tub, shop on Main Street, get coffee in the afternoons, walk along the pier in the evenings, play music on the patio at night…all around vacation perfection.
One highlight was the morning of the jam when a big chunk of the extended Cali family came over to our rental house for a family brunch and a baby shower for Penelope. My mom and cousin Randa organized the whole gathering and had our house buzzing with family for three hours. Randa made these incredible pastries, roasted almonds, a coffee cake, and brought over tea for everyone. It was such a perfect memory for our last kid-free vacation – a huge thanks to my mom and Randa for organizing and to everyone for coming out! I can’t wait to introduce Penelope to this amazing family she’s joining. What a lucky kiddo.
The week passed by too quickly, and we are already planning ahead for next year’s Seal Beach vacation. It’s CRAZY to me that Penelope will be ten months old next July. My parents started taking me out to Seal Beach when I was six months old…and pretty soon I’ll be taking my infant daughter out there for family vacations. Life is wild. I’m so excited for these new adventures!