Wednesday, October 16, 2013

life is sweet...the OC trip


If you don't like looking at other people's vacation pictures you might wanna move on;)  Just sayin' this one is obnoxiously filled to the brim:))  HA!!!  Okay so girls I feel like I've been to a far away planet.  One filled with strange beautiful creatures, lush plants, over the top restaurants and shopping that just doesn't seem possible...of course that foreign land is actually LA and Orange County and if you haven't been there you really need to see it with your own eyes.  It's so very much like what you see on TV but magnified 100 percent. 

As I was sitting at the airport waiting for my flight to take off I was mentally counting how many times I've been to Cali.  TWELVE!  I've been there twelve times!  And as much as I love the weather and the unbelievable amount of things to do and see I always, ALWAYS feel a little out of my element.  Like I just don't belong.  Maybe on the 13th visit it will feel like home;)

**Little side note...stalker Becky comes out the second my feet hit the LAX airport.  I become "tuned" into all things celebrity and make eye contact with every person I see.  It's weird.  Can't help it.  My dorky side just comes out guns full blaring.  This last time I didn't see anyone that I recognized, but two "important" people got off the plane at the gate I was sitting at.  I didn't know them, but I could just tell they were different.  There was an air.  Anyhoo...they had a driver at the gate!  That means they actually had to pay for him to get past security.  Can you imagine??  Okay so the important people get off the plane and immediately drop their carry-ons without so much as a hello to this poor servant person and walk on ahead with the guy scrambling to grab the bags and catch up.  Can you say rude?  It was slighty disgusting and very much what I imagine is the norm for a lot of these famous people.  Just had to share.

My girlfriend Tracy who lives out there picked me up and she showed me the town while we waited on Lissa to come later in the day.  We walked Rodeo Drive (gawking at the valet drivers)...ate at Sprinkles and then she took me to Pink's.  Pink's Hotdogs is a local legend.  I read about it years ago.  It's a hotdog stand that's been there forever.  People stand in line for long periods of time to get one of their crazy hotdogs.  Imagine avocado and caramelized onion and chili and sauerkraut and all sorts of weird things on a bun.  That's what it was.  I got mustard, ketchup and onion.  I'm boring like that.  It was good.  Different, but good.  The casing was firmer than normal hotdogs.  Okay enough about that;)

After our LA tour Tracy took me home.  This is her sweet place. She loves cloches, crowns and lots of sparkle.  She has a great style, and I have to say she's way up there on my list of best hostess'.  I had chocolate covered nuts by my bed and a bathrobe and slippers to wear.  I felt very pampered. 

And her sweeeeet dog HANK! Oh how he made me feel right at home too.  Kinda fell in love with him.  He would sit right by your arm and keep nudging you until you petted him and when you stopped he'd do it again...and again.  I miss Hank;)  Then he'd curl up on the couch and cuddle with his momma.  Beyond sweet!

Late that first night Lissa finally came.  Come on girl!  She'd been at Disney all day with her parents.  How much fun would that be?  Anyhoo by the time she got there I was TOAST.  I'd been up since 4 am EST...which means 21 hours with the time difference.  That first night was short.  But the next morning more than made up for it.  Tracy took us to the Ramos House in San Juan Capistrano.  Talk about a picture perfect, all things California restaurant AND we got to meet Tracy's beautiful momma.  If you ever get a chance go there!  Beyond good.  GO THERE!

We also went antiquing...she loves me.

Tracy kept asking us throughout the weekend what our favorite part was and even though I have lots more to show you THIS was my favorite.  One night we just got cozy
Tracy showed me how to make her delicious caprese salad.  We popped some wine and had our own little tasting.  We lit candles and shared what God had been doing in our lives.  It was beautiful and intimate and very very special.  It's really what the whole weekend centered around and I'll never forget that night.  I love these girls.

The next day we hit Newport Beach.  Think mansions and cottages and lots of moolah all on the bay.  Absolutely stunning beauty.  My favorite memory is singing Chicago's Being Without You at the top of our lungs with the windows down.  Oblivious to all the bikers and walkers:)  Oh and Lissa sitting in the back with her sad mopey I'm freezing face;)  Good times!

Newport came with a whole lot of excitement.  Tracy signed us up for Timree Gold's painting class.  I'd never done anything like that before.  SO MUCH FUN!!!  She walked us through step by step and at the end we had our own little...BIG masterpiece.  I think we nailed it. 

That night we hit the uber swanky Javier's.  Uh can you say fabulous!  This is one of the places that made me feel out of my comfort zone though.  Very adult.  Posh.  Fancy people.  Fancy food.  It was so beautiful.  SOOOO luxurious.  They even had a bathroom attendant!! 
Is it just me or is that a super weird job.  I can grab my own towel thank you:)  Having someone do something for me that I can easily do a Valet holding the door open...or two servers at the table at once is uncomfortable.  Is that just my Midwest upbringing coming out?!  I appreciate the attention, but it makes me feel awkward. 

Sunday pretty much blew my mind.  For years I've had the Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea on my bucket list.  I'd seen so many shows on HGTV filmed there and I knew celebrities walked the aisles and I'm a dork I know, but I just HAD TO GO!  Tracy kindly obliged.  It didn't disappoint.  Within five steps in I found a belt gal that literally had leather that I was swooning over.  It was incredible.  I spent more than I would have if I'd done all the thrifting myself, but the leather was gold.  You guys will DIE!  I went not expecting that at all.  Talk about a major blessing.

The only downside to the flea is that most of the vendor only accept cash.  I didn't know that.  And since I never use an ATM I couldn't figure out which card and how to do it.  So I had to bum money off Lissa.  I hated doing that.  I was like WHY GOD WHY...I'm at the flea and I can't spend freely.  This is torture.  But it all worked out.  Trust me.  I found my treasures.  The ones I was supposed to get and nothing more:)  And it was a good thing because nothing more would fit in my suitcases.  My carry on (which was filled with belts) alone weighed 42 pounds.  He knew when to cut me off;)

Oh and right after we hit the Luggage Room (SO GOOD) for lunch and drove by the Father of the Bride house!!!  How fun is that!!! 

One of my favorite parts of visiting a friend is seeing the familiar, the intimate...cue momma's house.  This is Tracy's childhood home.  Needless to say she gets her beautiful style from her sweet momma:) We also got to drive by her brother's home and her old house in Pasadena. LOVE!

Okay so last day finally.  If you're still with me you deserve a macaroon...just sayin;)

We had to drop Lissa off for an early flight (cue sad face:/), so we hit the amazing Bottega Louie in downtown LA for brunch while we waited for my flight.  Again another impossibly beautiful restaurant with amazing food and gorgeous waiters.  It was straight up out of a movie.  Very French.  Best breakfast I've ever had!  No lie.  That top left picture was a potato cake with buratta cheese, prosciutto and basil.  Sounds weird, but it was perfection on a plate.  Add a little lemon ricotta pancake on the side, and roasted potatoes with asparagus and this girl who really doesn't think about food much at all is all of a sudden a major FOODIE;) 

So there you have it, a beautiful weekend all tied up with string.  Beyond grateful my honey lets me travel.  These occasional mini trips are like an oasis for this homebody farmgirl.  I've been so blessed to spend quality time with my far away friends, to see some amazing things I'll never forget, and to experience Gods goodness in the most unlikely of ways.  Now it's back to work...I've got some CUFFIN' to do!!

Be a blessing.

**to see more pics of the weekend find
Tracy @lvngprtythings and Lissa @hawaiimama808 on Instagram

Chicago lyrics
avocados, heirloom tomatoes and buratta cheese
laughing til it hurts
sunshine and palm trees
jo Malone orange blossom cologne
treasure hunting
leather GOLD
getting pampered
stories of God's handiwork in a dark cozy living room
friends who listen to you dream
luggage that made it home
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