The weekend away made me very thankful for many different things; good friends, fun times, laughter, health and safety. It's a luxury to be able to travel and see other parts of the world. It rejuvenates my soul to be able to dig my toes into the sand and feel the ocean waves rush up and pull away.
We didn't get off to a smooth start. Amber was flying into Toronto from Halifax. We were going to fly together to Los Angeles but Air Canada, being ever so helpful, would not let her on the plane because they felt her luggage wouldn't make it. Honestly it could not be considered a security threat to fly without luggage nor is it like the airline has a perfect record for delivering every piece of luggage that is on board with their passengers. I sat on the plane, watching it fill up not knowing that Amber had run to the gate and was standing there being refused on. She asked for an Air Canada employee to let me know the situation. They walked up to the general area I was sitting, called out the wrong name and then let me know that my friend wouldn't be able to make her connection. I assumed the fog had delayed her flight and I had no idea that she was standing inside the terminal looking at the plane. They did not even let me know which flight she would be traveling on. Then we pulled away from the gate and sat on the tarmac for another 45 minutes because the fog was so heavy. Air Canada should get a gold star for customer service. At least they could have faked some effort in trying to be helpful. Needless to say I spent most of the day at LAX. Jade arrived about an hour later and we eventually found Amber and made our way to Solana Beach.
On Friday the amazingly, bright blue sky and warm wind had me permanently smiling. We spent time at the beach and having a relaxing pedicure waiting for Ruby, Violet and Cherry to join us. The group of us went for drinks in Del Mar. At this point I was smiling so hard that my cheeks hurt. Margarita influenced shoe shopping followed and I couldn't resist making a purchase. After exploring a few more shops having huge sales (twelve dollar dresses!) we made our way back to the condo for a few more drinks and more conversation. Jade told us the story of how her six year old son came to use the phrase sweater meat. She also taught us how to use the term snack bracket in a sentence. "My neighbour's husband got a raise which put them in a different snack bracket."
Saturday we had breakfast at the Brockton Villa Restaurant in La Jolla. We strolled around, watching seals swim around the shore. We then headed to the historic Hotel del Coronado, grabbed a latte and lounged on the beach. Some of the girls needed a rest while the rest of us were going to go the private club to enjoy the hot tub. We didn't make it there in time so instead we had a bottle of champagne and tried to find hockey night in Canada on the satellite dish. We ended the evening with a late night dinner at Jake's Del Mar.
On Sunday after a quick run to Trader Joe's and Target, we spent most of the day at Fletcher Cove. I tried not to get sun burnt while we admired the cute surfer boys. My friends were having fun body-boarding until they attracted the attention of the lifeguard who came to warn them about the rip current. A wave washed up and soaked all our towels exposing us as the tourists on the beach.
Late afternoon Cherry had to get home so we decided to get some last minute shopping done. That's when we first noticed the overwhelming scent of fires burning. After washing the sand out of the towels, we were off to the University Town Center. At this outdoor mall we noticed that we became lightly coated in a layer of ash. We got everything we came for except for the specific requests made by my daughters. Strawberry had asked for a crocodile while Buttercup was hoping for a bumblebee. Instead they had to settle for a kangaroo and a pink kitty.
Cherry, Ruby, Amber, Jade and Violet - Yah that's not their real names.
We had a low key evening as we packed and watched the reports about the California fires. The closest one threatening the area was the Witch Fire. The strong Santa Ana winds kept some of my girlfriends up most of the night. We had planned to be on the road shortly after eight A.M. but we got an extra early start on Monday morning. After stopping at two Starbucks locations and finding both of them closed, we had to go to a grocery store to get caffeinated. Locals were stocking up on ice and water. There was an eerie and surreal atmosphere. The skies were black with smoke. The news reports were chilling. It looked like Armageddon. I feared for the locals and the helpless animals. Luckily we had no trouble making it to the airport in time for our flights. We safely made our way home to our various destinations. Our third annual girl trip was beyond memorable.