Monday, February 25, 2008

Indiana meets Hollywood

While contemplating how I should blog my trip to Cali I thought about doing it in 2 parts so that this post would not be so long and put ya' all to sleep. But while at Meijer today I was met by the cart nazi again and seriously she just is giving me so much blog material that I must do this Cali trip in one post so I can post about Hitler's x-employee tomorrow.

We started our trip at 3 p.m. Wednesday last week. Our flight left at 6:55 a.m. Thursday morning. Hence the excuse to leave the night before and visit my favorite vice. Ikea. However after taking 5 hours to get to Chicago our shopping time was seriously compromised and in danger of being rushed. We ran into a blizzard with white out conditions just outside of Gary, IN and then ran into traffic that had us at a dead stop before we even got to Chicago. And if that wasn't irritating enough some streets in Chicago have 2 names. One direction is one name and the other direction is another name. We were lost for close to an hour in Schaumburg. But not to worry we were women on a misson. We finially got there with 2 hours until the mall closed. We totally forgot about eating because really how can you eat when there is shopping to do? We got the things I had wanted at Ikea and Bobbie got some things she had wanted at the mall. Then we headed over to Gino's East for some of Chicago's deep dish pizza. Delish. It was 10:30.

Do we look tired? Really? Because we only got 4 hours of sleep before we flew out the next morning. We were on a high. And not from drugs. From the very thought of not changing diapers for the next 3 days and having the experience of travelling together as friends, to meet a friend. We were in for some serious fun and we were well aware of that fact.

Our friend Jael picked us up at LAX and we headed over to Hollywood. We had hopes of eatting at "The Ivy", a little restaurant in Beverly Hills where the stars and celebrities are often seen....we were seated and the waiter brought us water. But after seeing the menu and figuring out we would all have to share one bowl of soup we left. Not before Jael and Bobbie stuffed as much of the free bread as possible in their mouths. They make me so proud. I only wish I could've gotten a picture of the cute cafe before we left. It was shabby chic and adorable. However the waiters already seemed annoyed with the country bumpkins so I couldn't swallow my pride long enough to ask them to take a picture. So we packed up and headed to The Cheesecake Factory and MMMmmmmmm was it delish. Our waitress brought us lots of free bread and even a free bowl of soup to sample. We ordered and I had a wonderful alfredo with chicken. It was perfect!

Here we are in Beverly Hills just after lunch ready to rock the town.

On Hollywood Blvd.

While looking around on Hollywood Blvd we checked out the Kodak Theatre where the Oscars were being presented on Sunday. We were looking around when a guy asked us if we would like tickets for the live taping of American Idol. Really?? Sure!! What's the catch. NO catch. Free. I like free and we headed over to CBS and watched the live taping of American Idol. COOL. Very COOL. Paula Abdul is cool. Being on TV is cool. I mean we were totally cool. There were about 50 people in the audience and I had to resist the urge to get up and sing a solo. Because really I can sing so totally cool. That is if you are deaf. They took all cameras and cell phones before letting us into the live taping. So if you don't believe I am really a star please come over so I can show you my 2 seconds of fame. Because it was video taped on high quality 1985 version VHS. So cool. By the way as soon as we were done with the show we took a picture of the only guy we could at American Idol. He is pictured above. After the show we headed back to Jael's house and crashed for the night. It was close to 1:00 a.m. when we got to bed.

One of the biggest highlights of this trip was Savers. This is a thrift shop out in the O.C. (Orange County) in La Miranda. We spent 5 hours here. Hard to believe? Not really. There was so much to see, try on, and buy! I got an American Girl doll for $3.99 (retails for over $100) Lucky jeans for $4.99 and Born shoes for $4.99. That is before the 30% discount I got because Jael had made a donation before we started shopping. I also got a cute childrens tea set from Ikea, several pairs of jeans, skirts, dresses, kids clothes, a toy clock from Pottery Barn and lots more.....Bobbie and Jael kept finding things for me to try on and I kept loving what they found. What a rush. People in Cali get rid of so much! Now we were on a bargain high. Lucky for me Jael had an extra suitcase for me to have to take everything home in.

After the bargain high we hit the mall in Brea. One of the many shops we went to was See's Candies, a famous chocolate company based out of South San Francisco, California. Again Delish! This sweet lady, named Cecilia gave us lots of free chocolates. And again I like free. It's amazing how friendly I can be when given free chocolate. I bought a couple pieces to bring home for the hubby and kids because I didn't feel right asking her to bag some extra samples. I do have standards people.

After chocolate we headed upstairs in the mall to this shop that sells Aveda. Love the smell, love the product. We played around with their makeup display and then the hair care display. Then we got a free hand spa. Can I say again...I like free?

And as if we didn't do enough in one day we went to see a movie. Fun. What a day. So carefree so relaxing.

The next day we went to Jael's daughter, Avery's last basketball game for the season. Then headed over to Jael's husband's parents house to pick some fresh Cali oranges. I knew Donovan would enjoy them. And hello! Free!

After the orange picking we drove to Newport to the beach. As you can see it wasn't quite swimsuit weather. It was o.k. we had fun checking out a surfing competion that was going on.

A little boy that had been surfing with his daddy. Made me lonesome for my little boys.

more beach pictures.

Enjoying the day. After the beach we headed over to Crystal Cove for some more shopping. Because we were trying to break some kind of shop till you drop record. We visited a Gap body store and found a swimsuit for me. Cool. What was cooler than that is these 2 friends of mine that each put $ towards my suit for my birthday gift. You guys are cool!!! Thanks!! After the Gap we visited a store called Trader Joes. A food store. Very cool food store. We then headed back to Jael's home because Bobbie was giving a jewelry show for Jael's friends living in California. Bobbie sells Lia Sophia, which is why I had such cool jewerly to wear while we were there. Thanks Bobbie. After the show we headed to the mall, because again we had not done enough shopping and were trying to get the world record for most shopping done in 3 days. After the mall we headed over to "in and out." A burger joint famous for making hamburgers from fresh, french fries right from the potato fresh. We stuffed our food in our purses and went to the movie theatre again. By the time we got home it was late and we had packing to do. Our flight left at 6 a.m. and the airport was an hour away. Can you say 3 hours of sleep?

Sunday morning while at the airport we saw this couple in line with us. Well actually stared at this man. They were behind us in line. 7 foot tall. Yep. Had to have a picture of this guy. Funny thing was - the first picture the guy who took the picture for us cut his head off. Seriously. We had to have someone taller take the picture. Coming home from Chicago was perfect. Good roads, good traffic.

And my home
coming. Balloons and all.

How sweet to be home. I missed them all so much.


Kim said...

I am so jealous! It looks like you had an amazing time, I can't wait to see more pictures!

Rosetta said...

I just got home from a rather frustrating evening (work) and logged onto "livin' the dream".
As usually happens, it made my day! And it was free! I can see that you had a great time! I'm so happy for you but will admit, just a tad jealous. Nice welcome home posters, kids! thanks for sharing your pictures and stories~I look forward to reading the next one! Rosetta

krista said...

Glad to hear you are back safe and sound and I am proud of you for blogging so soon! Sounds like you had a great time and you took great pics to tell us all about it. Can't wait to hear more!

Anonymous said...

was admiring the necklaces that you all were wearing and then here you actually gave the link! too funny! i'm checking it out.
it looks like you had a really great time!! i had another friend who went to cali recently under the same circumstances-( blogged w/ pix also, might be fun for you to check out!
so-i'm thinking it's about my turn, care if i borrow jael for a week? hee,hee

Sherri said...

WOW HEATHER!!! What a dream...lucky you! Hollywood...American Idol...great till you drop...what a vacation to remember! The Saver Store sounded awesome...almost worth flying out there just to go that store. =)

Glad you made it back safe & sound. Can I go next time? =)

Cindy said...

I'm exhausted just reading about your fun trip! How can you pack sooo much in? When you recover, please come over. Next week??? I'm going to Florida on Thursday to see my Mom, and will come home on Monday. Oh and who's star are you taking a picture by ... Dennis the Menace? :) I could only read "Denni"

heather said...

Kim...what are you talking about you are going to Cali Friday. :)

Rosetta...I'm glad I put a smile on your face. My mission accomplished!

Krista....PTL for bringing me safely home...your right!

Wanita....I'm having a book party for Bobbie. I will send you a catalog. And Jael is a wonderful host. I'm sure she would love to show you around. Or maybe it will take her a while to recover from us being there.

Sherri...the Saver store was worth the flight alone. You would have loved the store. And if there is ever another trip- It would be fun to take you too.

Cindy....The star on the sidewalk was Dennis Quaid. We also took pictures of Tom Hanks, Renee name a few. Next week sounds great are you serving lunch for Kim and I? :) Oh wait Kim will be gone to Cali. I guess just I will come. :)

sethswifeforlife said...

I found your blog through my sister's (resolved2worship) site, and really enjoyed reading your last post! We grew up in southern California, and you mentioned some of my most favorite places and memories from there. Cheesecake Factory (where we'd go for birthdays sometimes), Savers (where we did half of our shopping) and Trader Joe's (where we did the other half of our shopping! haha!). We grew up in Huntington Beach, right near Newport.
Anyway, what a precious enjoyable time you had with friends, how great is that??!?!
blessings on you & yours,

bobbie said...

Can I just say.....HOW LUCKY AM I???? (:
I DID get to enjoy this trip too!!!
God truly does bless us all with Heather as a friend....I know I would not of enjoyed this trip near as much with out her company!! And for sure I would not of taken ANY pictures!!! (: Thanks for going with me my dear friend....another great memory to add to our collection!! LOL

Kiandra said...

You write very well.