Don’t ask the questions to which you don’t want to know the answers…
Great hook, huh? This is the lead sentence Susan and I decided she should use in a query letter for the novel she just finished. Susan, fellow “happiest mommy” and I have spent the better part of the last week in southern California discussing her book, shopping, eating, drinking, shopping some more, and — did I mention — shopping?
The girls’ gathering began on Tuesday when Susan picked me up from LAX. Well, it actually began an hour after I discovered I left my cell phone on the plane, went from desk and clueless personnel on one floor to another, to going through security AGAIN (!) to finally arriving back at my original gate where I was finally reunited with my can’t-live-without-it piece of technology.
And now Susan will continue the story while I flat-iron my hair and slap some make-up on my newly self-tanned face (my glowing white skin, I’ve decided, screams tourist in this region).
We headed towards Santa Monica to start our shopping bonanza on the Third Street Promenade. Tara was shocked to see “Dr. Hooha.” Although there was a lot of window shopping, no purchases were made. We were focused on eating and getting some of the Mexican food we can not locate in our home states. The “Taco Tuesday” meal was cheap, but we paid $11.00 for a single margarita! Outrageous! We brushed it off by getting our mani and spa pedi for only $22.00! We’re not in Michigan or Oregon anymore, Toto.
Our hosts live in the affluent Santa Monica area…most noted by their celebrity neighbor, Owen Wilson (no we never saw him!) Gretchen and Doug’s house is beautiful and we enjoyed our hideaway in the back guesthouse. Doug fixed our dinner that first night and we reminisced about high school and updated each other on all their happenings while sipping on wine. So California!
Our second day started with breakfast at a cute cafe that did not offer items like chicken fried steak. Instead it was stir fry veggies and cream cheese omelette and buckwheat pancakes. As we enjoyed our Southern California breakfast and regularly returned to our car to fill the meter, we discovered our parking ticket due to parking in a no parking area for street cleaning! We decided to quickly moved out of the area and get far away from meters.
Our afternoon was filled with normal girlie activities like shopping at the Westside Pavillion and getting our makeup done at Bare Essentials. We munched on “Cheese on a stick” while sipping blended mochas. After a long day of walking store to store in search of bargains, we took our hosts to dinner at Typhoon. This is a PanAsian restaurant located at the private plane airport. Although there was the option of crickets and scorpions on the menu, I could not convince any one else to be that brave. We dined on haute couture food and enjoyed another bottle of wine.
Our third day was spent in my old stomping grounds of Long Beach. It was a wonderful to drive down the coast line and eat at my favorite sushi place of all time. (The same place I dined before my husband proposed.) We shopped at the local mall and returned to 2nd Street (the beachy promenade) for their night of “Stroll and Dine.” Local vendors lined the street so we could sample their goods. The weather was perfect in the 70’s and we had a fabulous time going in and out of the local shops.
And now here we are on our last day and I dread saying goodbye. I enjoyed my “girls’ weekend” with my oldest and best friend. In this time, we returned to being seventeen by staying up late into the night discussing our most vulnerable thoughts, gossiping about friends, and wondering what the future will bring. Reality that I am a thirty four year old woman who has responsibilities like children and a mortgage stares me in the face. I return to the future Tara and I discussed 20 years ago and will reunite with the children I dreamed of having.