*This is an extremely photo-heavy post. And quite long in general. Feel free to scroll as slowly or as quickly as you’d like! Or skip altogether.
I have been planning to write this post for the past week since I arrived back home from my trip to Los Angeles last weekend. After traveling all day last Sunday, I arrived home past midnight on Monday morning. I spent Monday catching up on collaborative blog posts that I had already committed to. Tuesday, I ran errands all day catching up on all of the other life things that had been neglected while I was away. And Wednesday night, an awful stomach bug started making its way though my house. My oldest son had it Monday while I was away and he was visiting his grandparents with my husband. By Wednesday, the little guy had it. Thursday, it was the husband’s turn. And then in the wee hours of Friday night, it struck me and it took me down hard. I am still not feeling quite right and am unable to eat very much at all. Why do the germs always hit the mommy the hardest? Anyway, I am thankful it stayed away until after my glorious, wonderful, exhilarating, fabulous trip! So let’s get on with it.
Amy and I headed to the airport in Syracuse, NY, Thursday morning after getting the kids off to school. As we were getting ready to leave, we were alerted by email that our flight from Syracuse to Detroit was delayed about one hour. This was a bit concerning since our layover in Detroit was only about 1 1/2 hours. When we checked in at the airport, the airline booked us on a later flight out of Detroit just as a back up in case we missed our connecting flight. Which was a really great idea since that is exactly what happened!
See how fresh Amy and I look before we started flying! So this is how it all went down…we landed in Detroit with 45 minutes until our connecting flight. We had high hopes of making it. But just as everyone stood up on the plane and began gathering their things, we were told to please sit down. No one would be permitted to exit the plane at that time. Then two police officers came on board. That is never a good sign. Apparently, there was an incident two rows behind us with a drunk man who apparently offended/assaulted/taunted the woman in the seat next to him. We are not quite sure what happened, but when the police escort you off the plane, you are probably in some kind of trouble.
We still had hopes though once we were permitted to exit the plane. Except we had to get from Concourse C to Concourse A and of course our gate was the very last possible, furthest away gate. While Amy stayed back to wait for her carry-on bag which ended being checked, I ran as fast as I could to reach our gate in time. By “ran as fast as I could” I mean I sped walked on the moving sidewalks. I sweated. I panted. I cramped. And I arrived at our gate just in time to wave our airplane good-bye. But, we were already booked on the next flight. So we took 2 hours to decompress and de-sweat before boarding the flight that would last 4 hours and 40 minutes.
We ended up sitting with this amazing woman, Rosa, who adheres to my belief that all things happen for a reason. We missed our flight and she was supposed to fly the day before. And yet here we were…all three of us…like little chatty soulmates reunited after lifetimes of separation. We seriously talked for 5 hours nonstop like old friends! And Amy and I made a great new friend! So thanks, Rosa, for being such a fabulous woman and traveling companion!
That’s Rosa on the right. And you can see we are looking a little haggard at this point!
We finally arrived in Los Angeles just before 9:00 p.m. which was midnight our time. We were tired. And I was stinky! Initially, Rena of Fine Whatever had planned on picking us up at the airport but due to the delays we encountered, we decided to meet up the next morning instead when we were fresh and not-so-travel-worn!
L.A. from the airplane.
We got an Uber car to transport us to our hotel in Santa Monica. We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton which was a beautiful hotel with excellent service and accommodations. I highly recommend it! We ordered room service at 10:30 at night and the food was really quite good. Then off to sleep we went.
The hotel lobby from the 5th floor.
The next morning, Rena was due to pick us up at 9:00 a.m. Due to the time change, we were awake around 4:00 a.m. so we were definitely ready to go by 9:00. While we waited in the lobby for Rena, we took some photos with the Hilton’s Christmas tree.
Rena picked us up and we headed straight for the fashion district in L.A. so I could shop for new merchandise for Shelbee’s Shoppe. I found some really amazing pieces and really adorable fleece lined leggings to bring back to the cold of the north country! I am currently working on getting photos of my new merchandise posted online.
Shopping in the wholesale stores.
We grabbed lunch in the food court stationed in the middle of the wholesale shops where we spent most of the morning. It was so nice to sit outside and eat lunch in December. That is definitely not a luxury we have in northern New York State!
Rena and me after lunch.
After shopping, we headed to the pier in Santa Monica. It was a gorgeous day!
It was a little windy on the pier.
The we went back to our hotel to freshen up a bit, grabbed some dinner, and then headed off to Anne M. Bray’s Fashion Rainbow Art Show to view our own images in person!
Look! It’s me!
The artist (Anne) and one of her muses (me)!
Me, Anne, and Rena.
It was so fabulous meeting Anne in person. And Rena. And I am so grateful to both of them. They are the most wonderful women! I don’t even really have enough words to describe how amazing they are. But you can see by our smiles and laughter in the photos how well we clicked and how much fun we had! And a huge thanks to Amy for capturing most of these moments for us! (And for being my traveling companion!) This ended our day on Friday.
On Saturday, Amy and I planned a day of shopping in Santa Monica. Mostly because we needed a suitcase in order to get all of my new merchandise home. For some reason, the wholesalers would not ship it for me. And it turned out that it was less expensive to check it all at the airport then the FedEx charges would be. So off we went…into blogger heaven…the Shops on the Promenade in Santa Monica! The shops began about 2 blocks from our hotel so we started walking.
The best selfie ever. Just look closely.
After our Santa Monica shopping escapade, we dropped our haul at the hotel and took a very long walk into Venice to visit Amy’s high school friend, Jenn.
I saw this sign outside a shop in Venice.
Jenn was hard at work decorating her office for the holidays in a Candy Land theme. This girl is a creative genius!
After hanging with Jenn for a bit, it was time to get ready for Anne’s art opening. And we spent the evening at the gallery meeting some other muses who were portrayed in the show.
On the way to the art show.
Anne and her beau.
Deborah (another muse featured in the show).
In front of Deborah’s sketch.
Chatting with Ruth (another muse).
Me, Ruth, and Anne in front of Ruth’s sketch.
Other works featured at TAG Gallery.
After the show, Rena, Amy, and I went for dinner back in the Promenade in Santa Monica. But not after getting the big empty box that Anne had brought for me to pack my merchandise in! Thanks so much for remembering! In the middle of her art show opening, she remembered that I needed a box!
Jenn met us for drinks as well and we had an awesome girls’ night out!
And at the end of our middle-aged Cinderella-type night, it was back to the hotel to pack and get ready for a full day of travel the next morning.
Jenn picked us up in the morning and took us to breakfast before dropping us at the airport. Thank you, Jenn, for breakfast and for the transportation!
Amy and Jenn saying good-bye.
My checked box coming out on baggage claim!
The flight home was rather uneventful except for a 1 1/2 delay in Detroit while they de-iced the plane. It was quickly starting to feel like winter in the north!
And the rest is history. Getting back to reality and better health now just in time for the holidays! I hope you enjoyed my massively huge photo essay! I apologize for so many pictures, but sometimes images speak better than words!
If you want to read more about our trip, Rena has written about it as well here and here. And a huge special thank you to Rena for being our tour guide, our taxi service, and our shopping companion! I really can’t thank you enough! It was such a fabulous weekend.
Keeping it on the edge,
Linking up with these Fabulous Link Ups Where I Link Up.