First In-n-Out chocolate shake….

So In-n-Out is somewhat of a California Icon. Much like other Southern Californian families, when we have relatives visit from out of state it is usually expected that sometime during their stay we will be asked to take them by that “In and Out hamburger place”. It also never fails that past residents will make it their first stop after flying in. My sister, who currently resides in Montana, is at this very moment, probably still trying to figure out a way to have me ship a double double and an order of animal fries (and 3 grilled cheeses for her overly veracious fiance).

I am not sure if I can recall the first time I went… though I am pretty sure it was with my dad. He did the typical dad thing and drove me up to the place talking about it like it was his amazing discovery and the only reason that they were successful was due to his blessing and patronage. I am sure I totally fell for it. Everyone thinks their dad is the greatest guy in the world. He could have been a street sweeper and you would still consider him KING of the street sweeping men, he was the best one out there and could save the world with his big truck and broom. Alas, my father was not a street sweeper. Infact, I don’t think my siblings or I really know what he does… But we can all agree he watches a lot of CNN and talks all important like on the phone a lot. My friend Seth thinks he is a spy… maybe…

(Okay, back on topic Paul.)

A couple of days ago when the wifey had to take off to a baby shower, the boys and I ended up having a day to ourselves. After a little house cleaning to surprise mom with when she got home, we hoped in the anti-green mobile and we set out. First stop; In-n-Out. Austin new immediately what he wanted, “chocolate shake, PLEASE!!”. Now there was no way I was going to get away with giving Austin a cup of swirled Ice Creamy goodness without Xander noticing. So I buckled. I decided it was time for Xander to have his very first, “all his own”, “Chockie shake”. You should have seen this kid’s eyes as I handed it to him. For the first couple minutes he just sat with it. Looking at his trophy in delight and awe. After a bit he decided to take a sip. His mouth did not move from that straw for what seemed like a eternity. Every time I turned around to ask if he was doing okay, I was immediately responded to with a intense grunt that resembled something similar to a “no”. Guess he was too busy to talk. After a short drive, we got to our little hike location in Santiago Canyon. Xander still wasn’t done. Austin and I got out of the car and look around a bit. I went to get Xander out so he could walk around a bit too. Xander still wasn’t done. So Austin and I stuck close to the car and looked at some rocks and talked about how this particular spot in the Canyon was supposed to be haunted. Xander still wasn’t done. This time daddy decided that it was at least time for Xander to get out of the car. He clutched that palm tree clad paper cup for dear life as I removed him from his seat. That straw was back in his mouth before his feet hit the ground… I think this kid might like chockie shakes…

So, Austin, Xander, Daddy, and one In-n-Out chocolate shake had a great hike… we explored a couple neat little trails and threw some rocks in a stream. Xander even managed to remove the straw from his mouth and ask where the tigers and elephants where… apparently Black Star Canyon looks like Africa…

In the midst of all of this I realized that I was talking about the place like I owned it… telling Austin all of the ghost stories, explaining to Xander that there were mountain lions but no tigers, telling them that this was what all of Southern California used to look like and how it used to be better this way. Then I realized, I did the same thing at In-n-out! I told Austin about how they make burgers how they should be made and that I only got shakes from them cause they had real ice cream in them.

AWE CRUMBS! I AM MY DAD!!!

I wonder if they think I am just as awesome as I thought my dad was (still do).

It was a eye opening day, this is why I am a photographer. It isn’t the money, it isn’t the gigs (both are plenty important though!!! lol). It is the time in-between. The ability to get up from my desk when I feel like it and go spend time with my boys.
I don’t do it enough…
I am cutting this blog short…
I have two very important people to hang out with…
Happy Tuesday!

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