I want to start off by thanking my wonderful husband for allowing me to go on my THIRD girl's trip in the last 12 months!! I also need to thank my in-laws for helping babysit and drive my kids to school while Steve was at work. I feel so lucky to have such loving family members to allow me these breaks, and even more lucky to have so many friends that I want to see and spend time with.
This past weekend, I flew to Los Angeles to meet up with two of my eldest and dearest Peoria friends (who no longer live in Peoria)....Betsy and Chelsea. We have known each other for over 16 years, they stood up with me in our wedding, and have been true blue friends to me for all of these years. You know they are great friends when we don't have to see or talk daily, weekly or even monthly, but we pick up like we never left off everytime we are together. I love these girls, and we had a phenomenal time together!
We chose LA since Chels has never been, and Betsy is a regular there and loves it. I could have gone anywhere, as long as we were together. We all met up on Thursday afternoon at our hotel: The Roosevelt Hotel. It is a historic hotel in a great part of town with several wonderful bars. We started by enjoying a cocktail by the pool and splitting a meal.
Then we walked a couple blocks to get a pedicure and catch up more. The place was a little iffy, but we survived without any problems (that we know of yet). After hitting a couple of stores on the way back to our hotel, and getting our photo taken in front of Michael Jackson's star, we worked up an appetite and decided to freshen up and hit the town. Since we all love our Mexican food, we wanted to kick our weekend off with that. Betsy chose a place that Jennifer Aniston raves about, Marix Tex Mex. The place was hoppin, and we had a delish dinner along with some margaritas. Since that was our first day there, and we had traveled all morning, we called it a night early and headed back to our room.
Friday morning was quite leisurely, with us chatting in bed for 2 hours before hitting the showers. When we finally made it out of the room, we were starving and dying for some caffeine, so we grabbed a light meal at the Coffee Bean and then headed downtown to the garment district for some bargains. We all went there hoping to find specific items (I wanted a light coat and fun boots), and we all came away with something. Unfortunately, I didn't find either of my desired items, but I did get a good deal on a hair straightener! While walking around, I must admit that I have never seen so many shoe and accessory stores. For those who LOVE shoes, it was a dream come true.
All of the walking around made us hungry, so we left to grab a bite and then hit some more stores! If only I was wearing my pedometer because we logged some serious steps that day. After freshening up again, we went to a great tapas place with Betsy's sister, Melissa. Then we went to see Grace Potter and the Nocturals at a sold out show! Melissa works for Hollywood Records, and was able to score us great tickets to the show, and we were able to meet this future rock star! Though I had never heard of her before going that night (which really doesn't say much since my iPod is still playing "hits" from the early 90s), I had a great time and really enjoyed her music. We had several drinks while rocking out, and thought we were going to get crazy and head to the bars, but the short drive back to our hotel made all of us sleepy. Why is it that we couldn't hang?
Oh well....we had a big day planned for Saturday since it was our last day there. So we got up early, grabbed a bite at Coffee Bean again, and then walked up to Runyan Canyon, hiked, took a few photos, and walked back. The 3.5 mile jaunt made me feel less guilty about all of the calories I consumed the day before, and it gave us all a nice burst of energy! After showering, we drove to Santa Monica to check out the beach and do some more shopping. Of course, we had to grab lunch to sustain us, so we chose a place with sidewalk dining so we could people watch. Santa Monica has lots of street entertainers and interesting people walking around. In fact, we watched one little act breakdance on the sidewalk for awhile. They were incredibly strong and had great muscle control to do some of the crazy moves they did. However, when they started pulling from the audience, we were out of there!
Notice the verbiage written on the stop sign
At the Santa Monica Pier, Saturday
That night we hit a hip little Asian place near our hotel. We all enjoyed another wonderful meal, and more fun stories. Thank goodness Chelsea has a memory like an elephant because she was reminding us of all kinds of things from our days back in P-town when we were all single.
Sadly, we had to get up at the crack of dawn to head back to reality on Sunday. And though I spent the majority of my day traveling, it was well worth it since I got to catch up with some of my besties. I have always heard that a woman should feel lucky to have one "close friend." I guess I am REALLY lucky because I have four women that are such a huge part of my life, and after spending time with two of them this weekend, I was reminded of how blessed I really am.