A Caribbean cruise, a blimp ride or a trip to the Soviet Union: Some Orange County moms would go for broke if they could spend Mother's Day any way they wished.
But asked about the best Mother's Day they've ever had, many spoke of humble pursuits where familial intimacy came first.
Christine Stulik of Newport Beach, an amateur pilot, most fondly remembers when five generations of her family got together for a home-cooked meal.
"It was my great-grandmother, my grandmother, my mom, myself and my girls," said the mother of three with "SKY MOM" written on her license plate.
Billy Nave Masters, a UC Irvine supervisor-lecturer in teacher education, said nothing will ever top having her entire brood under one roof. Her eight natural and adopted children are now scattered across the country.
Masters somewhat wistfully recalled the sort of low-key day, "before my kids did go away," when they'd simply say " 'you go run a bubble bath and we'll take care of everything.' "
Usha Sampath, a fifth-grade teacher who lives in La Palma, said her most memorable Mother's Day was spent with several families in the Southern California East Indian community who regularly conduct various activities to perpetuate and preserve their Hindu culture.
"All the fathers gave us a lovely surprise," said the mother of two. "They gave each one of us a rose and sat us down and served us a traditional Indian meal they had prepared."
Of course, not everyone's favorite Mother's Day was a la Donna Reed. Costa Mesa Mayor Mary Hornbuckle chose the one she spent with her husband on Maui--without her two daughters.
What was so great about it?
"Now that's a silly question to ask when you're talking about Hawaii," she said with a chuckle.
Sue Howard of Irvine dashed out of the house for her finest hour.
"I got a new pair of running shoes as a present," said the marathon racer and fitness trainer, "and went to Mason Park in Irvine to run a Mother's Day 10K race."