So far this year I have gone on two short trips. First, Yonca and I went to Las Vegas, and it was wonderful.
When we first arrived, Yonca and I hung out with her (my new) British friends at the house they had rented for the weekend. We enjoyed the spa and then got ready to go out into the strip! We had dinner at this delicious place, and then checked out the gambling scene. I am not a gambler, but I love going to new environments and seeing the kinds of people who frequent them. I always wonder about their lives and their stories.
That night, we got back to the house and all went to bed. The next day I had time alone in the spa, and it was lovely. I felt like I was truly on vacation. Eventually we all got ready and headed out to explore the strip the different hotels. We had lunch, went back to the house, and had our own time. I napped, barely getting up on time to get ready for our night out. We went to Zumanity, a Cirque De Soliel show. It was my first one ever! I was not sure what watching a show about human sensuality would be like, but it was amazing. The cast of the show were so athletic, expressive, and creative. You've got to admire that stamina and talent. Truly amazing.
That evening we went to dinner at an Italian restaurant at The Venetian, and it was the best yet. I was in love with my pasta. I also fell out of my chair while drinking tea, alarming the restaurant staff and creating quite a scene. My table and I just about died laughing. I had hot tea all over me. After that, the British friends wanted to gamble, and Yonca and I wanted to dance. We ended up at another hotel, and where we had an incredible time dancing. We met with the guys afterwards to check out the tables more, and I gambled on Roulette and won almost every time! I doubled my money taking some risks! That weekend was my first gambling experience. We made it back to the house, where we hung out for awhile and had a great time. The following day we hung out a bit and saw some places on the strip before heading to the airport.
I didn't know what to anticipate with the Vegas trip in advance because I hadn't been there in so long, and I didn't know Yonca's friends. I also didn't want any foolishness going on-No random, inappropriate action going on from people at clubs or casinos. No funny business. I wanted to go with my friend and have a blast, but have it be appropriate and not feel compromised at all. I feel I accomplished that. It was a truly great time, and these British friends of Yonca were total gentlemen the entire time. Seriously, the most proper gentlemen ever. We had lots of tea parties, which I love.
It was so good for me to get away, even if the weekend pulled on my mama bear heart strings a little. I didn't realize how good it was for me until I went and had returned.
Two weeks later, I went to Boston for one of my best friend's weddings, and then to New York to see colleagues/friends. It was a definite trek and adventure. I went to the coldest part of the country which has been experiencing the worst, most blizzarding winter ever. Suffice to say, this So Cal girl was concerned. I knew I would just go and do it, and whatever happened, happened. But I am not familiar with weather worse than bad fog and heavy rain showers. Yes, So Cal really kicks our butt around here with weather.
Praise be to God, I am happy to say, that I made each leg of the journey with success. I never got lost (severely lost, at least), my phone GPS never died on me in the -6 degree temperatures in the middle of Connecticut, and I was only hit by a car once. Yes, I was hit by a car, but it was definitely their fault, and they took sole responsibility. I didn't really have to do anything besides fill out some forms and the rental car dealership. So all was well.
Thursday I took a redeye flight into Boston and landed in the frigid arctic cold in the morning of Friday. Josiah, my good old friend, was getting married that evening in Barre, MA. I was excited to see him and so excited to see his girl.
Thankfully, my hotel allowed me an early check in, and I was able to nap, eat, and get to the wedding on time. I met Melissa, Josiah's now wife (!!!), and she is lovely. She is an incredibly animated, lively, loving girl. She hugged me a few times something fierce, and it was great. I had only wished that I could spend time with the new Hillner's and get to know them together as a couple more. I am certain we will be able to at some point in the future. It was a delight to be at their wedding and to see them and their families.
Josiah's family was wonderful and warm and incredibly kind and inclusive. It was great to finally meet them.
Saturday afternoon, I made the drive to New York to stay at my friend Jency's house. She is actually my manager, and she is awesome. It was Valentine's Day and she was my lady date. Usually for Valentine's Day, I have an annual party at my house. I honestly missed honoring my tradition with my son and my friends, but being in NY with my lady date/friend/colleague was wonderful. We had a lot of fun walking the city, eating, drinking, and dancing.
The next day we attended a nearby church, and it was awesome. I loved it. It was incredibly lively, diverse, and passionate. I love diversity. Few things engage my heart and waken me up as much as diversity does. I love seeing unique and different people, all marching to the beat of their own drum. NY is full of these people. But you know? I felt like I fit right in because LA is the same way, just on a smaller scale. Our drivers are crazy too, and we have all kinds of people all over the place doing all kinds of things. Just like NY. Really, I felt like I blended right in. Yes our crazy drivers are different, but still. I had no problem assimilating to this scene quickly.
Back off my tangent here- After church, we met our newest colleague in the city at Pranna, Brian. Brian was as a trooper. Jency and I danced our butts off, and the poor Brian just hung out. He declared many times he was fine and happy off to the side. I will say, he is a jovial and hilarious person to have around. I am glad to have met our newest team member and now, friend. We finally left with some other friends of Jency, and went to this Mexican place. I hadn't eaten much at all. I was a little cranky and didn't feel well, and I couldn't seem to eat that Mexican food either. But we still had a great time together. Our other colleague met us there, which was great because he's actually a friend of mine whom I have talked with frequently but had never had the opportunity of meeting. It was a good day and a good night.
That night, I drove back to Boston and made the flight out back to LA on the first plane out of Boston since the last blizzard. Just now I almost accidentally typed wizard. Totally noteworthy. Because how cool are wizards?!
Anyway, it was a great trip filled with lots of good, good people.
That is my trip recap! I realized I had never posted it.
Cheers to all!