Thursday, October 4, 2012

Best of LA

I was lucky enough to finally make my way to the West Coast thanks to General Motors. Here are a few highlights from my weekend getaway.

I was spoiled and stayed at The Langham Hotel in Pasadena. I was excited to here one will open in Chicago. Maybe I will get lucky and stay there a night. The room came with its own copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. I didn't have much time for reading but it was a great option and almost made me stay in the first night. To a mom, nothing seems more relaxing than a hot shower and a good read, uninterrupted.
I was given a few roses upon my arrival. I noticed everyone else received only one but I was given two. I'll brag a bit and say I still got it.

What I didn't have was the sense to turn off the flash but whatever. I decided to head out to West Hollywood on my first night, used my new eyeliner from the Carine Roitfield Collection from MAC, almost had my car towed but had a blast that night with friends that were in from Chicago never the less.
When I came back, I opened the leather box in the bathroom to find a shaving kit, a dental kit, a sewing kit that actually saved my day the following day and many more goodies.
In the morning I headed off to pick up my tickets at will call for the Alma Awards. It was inspiring and down right amazing to see so many influential Latinos all in one room.

I dressed in red to match the red 2013 Buick Verano that was so graciously loaned to me by the team at GM. I appropriately named her Lola and she drove like a beauty. I have never driven an American car until now and I was in love. I felt a bit of sadness when I had to say goodbye.

I even ended up at Bella Nail Spa to get the pedicure of my life (30 foot rub, thank you) and picked out "Big Apple Red" from OPI to match "Lola". The hotel also has an OPI color named after it in that beautiful shade of pick that cover the boxes and accent decor. Yes, I own it now.

The outdoor hallway from my hotel room to the lobby was a bit long but a refreshing site and walk every morning. I missed it as soon as I left.

Behind the building I was staying in was an herb garden. I didn't try any of the restaurants at the hotel but on the morning of my departure when I saw this, I was filled with regret.
I didn't take a swimsuit and quickly regretted that also. You would have cried if you saw the private jacuzzi that was covered by trees on the other side of the pool.
It wouldn't have been fun had I not did a little shopping and evened up in Santa Monica for a little retail therapy. That is when I discovered Johnny Was.
The shop girl was AH-mazingly sweet. She was a transplant with such a great attitude and was seriously a breath of fresh air.
This store was covered in books, scarves and a vibe that I dare not put into words as I fear it just wouldn't be enough.
I was told these were made just for the shop and now looking at the pictures I am kicking myself for not picking up one or two. Lucky for me they have an online shop.
I had to photograph the chairs. Since I am in the middle of redoing this whole house, this was a big inspiration for me. I'm going bold, mixing prints and not apologizing. The classic chairs and the traditional rug look comfortable and lived in. It is just what I want to live in everyday.

I could have and should have brought a few things with me. My suitcase was just already filled with a items I picked up in Pasadena that I was sure nothing would have fit. 

I walked out of the outdoor mall and walked straight here. It was a beautiful day, so I kicked off my sandals and dipped my feet. The water was chilly but felt great.

All in all, it was a great trip. It was lonely when I first arrived as I knew no one and knew not where to go. I had a few "online friends" I had made try to squeeze in some time for me which was extremely touching to say the least even though we didn't actually get together. I have to go and make time for these amazing women. In a short amount of time, I saw the Hollywood sign (from the road), had dinner and drinks in West Hollywood with my Chicago friend and his partner. I had a pedicure, lunch and bought my new favorite clutch in Pasadena while picking up tickets for the award show. I went to the Almas! I saw too many celebrities to list and made some amazing friends that night. My new friends took me salsa dancing after the after party. The dancing, the inspiring conversations and the late night run for a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos was too fun to even go into details. My last day was filled with window shopping, magazine shopping, lunch in Santa Monica and the pier. Not bad for 48 hours. Thank you so much GM. You made this mom extremely happy.

Disclaimer: I was flown to LA, given a shiny red Buick and all my expenses were paid. No stings attached. This post was not paid for nor required and all thoughts and opinions (like always) are my own. If I don't like it, I won't write it but I loved it.

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