Note To Myself: Never…repeat…never pack
your awards show dress in a suitcase that will be checked luggage at the airport! How could something as cool as heading off to LA to pick up the lifetime achievement award for my mom end up with me panicked, racing down 8 blocks in busy Santa Monica to the nearest clothing store 45 minutes before I am to leave to go to the Grammy’s? I will tell you how…the airlines that’s how…
Rewind…three days before trip; My sister and I have spent the better half of the week making the final plans to fly out with our families to LA for the Grammy awards in place of our Mother “who by the way for all you trashy tabloids that may happen upon this blog” was tied up tending to a sick family member. She is fine…wonderful…and in no way on her deathbed nor being held captive by dad’s ghost or trolls that live under her tour bus…she was in fact being a good sister to her older brother…but that doesn’t feed the simple-minded now does it?
Any who…I had found the cutest pair of red high heels pumps that I am telling you right now…were to die for! These girls were hot…and they matched this sweet satin little dress that I already had or I should say borrowed from my sister…that would work great for the Grammy’s without me having to buy an expensive new dress that I would more than likely never wear again…so I went a head and forked over the money for shoes…I know I will wear those babies again…and felt sure I was good to go. Thefemalefarmer…is Grammy bound and looking good! The trip we planned included our families going with us with the plan that we would fly out a couple of days early so we would be able to take our little kids to Disney Land for a day. My sister “Patsy” and her husband Philip along with their 2 kids that are 9 and 11 and my husband Mark and Lucca our 7-year-old son. Lucca was out of his mind with excitement and wouldn’t let Mark and I talk about the trip at all with him until a couple of days before we were set to leave. He said he couldn’t stand to think about too long in advance or he would go crazy…I am just happy the little guy knows what he can and can’t handle. This was also the first time Lucca would be flying so this was indeed a very exciting trip for him and us as well. We had heard about a possible winter snow storm that could move into middle Tennessee later in the week but you know…so far every time they have said snow this winter …nothing…so we were all still all planning on flying out Thursday morning. By late Wednesday the weatherman was really dishing out the warnings and they also added a good chance for sleet and ice on top of the half a foot of snow they were now predicting. We had asked one of our farm crew guys from last summer to come out to the farm and feed and water the animals for us the 4 days we would be out of town. Now, any of you that have animals know that leaving them is hard enough and when you have a farm full of chickens, pig, goat, donkey, cats, dogs, fish, baby chicks, ducks and worm bins…yes..don’t asked… it gets to be a fairly big job to take care of them on a good day…now below freezing temperatures, ice and snow…so at the last-minute Mark opted to stay at the farm and forgo the trip like any good farmer would have to do. By the way we did get around 5 inches…no ice here in Goodlettsville…but some of Tennessee did get a real icy mess on their hands. So early Thursday morning I packed up my new shoes and the red party dress in my suitcase took Lucca by the hand and we few off into the western sky’s leaving old farmer Mark to hold the farm together during this prediction of a massive snow storm while we would be soakin’ up some southern California sunshine. It’s not fair, I know…but old farmer Mark doesn’t look good in high heels… (You can read Mark’s Grammy blog by clicking here)
The flight took us to Dallas and then we would change planes to head to LA. We would be flying right into this impending snow storm on our way and we were all a bit nervous about the flight as well as possible delays or cancellations in our Dallas connection to LA. We arrived at the Dallas airport with a little drizzle happening outside, but nothing that I thought would prevent us from catching our connecting flight. Lucca was in deed loving the whole experience of flying…hanging out with his cousins and just getting to ditch school for a couple of days. He wore a huge toothy grin for the first hour into the fight almost breaking his neck looking out the window of the plane. I had a hard time just keeping him from bouncing up and down with pure joy only a seven-year old could muster. We had a bit of a layover in Texas so the kids played at the gate while Patsy and I grab some snacks for the next leg of the journey for them and I called home to check on Mark and the weather. “They are now saying we would get up to a foot of snow and ¼ inch of ice” Mark informed me during the call. “I think I made the right decision in me staying behind” he sort of sighed into the phone…I could tell though, he just may have been enjoying a little peace and quite at home alone for a change as well…just a little… We’re fine I told him and Lucca is having a blast…no worries everyone is doing great…Love, love ,love hung up the phone just as the airline called our last boarding call for our flight to LA. I had noticed that the rain was coming down a little harder by the time we were boarding our connecting flight, but nothing too bad. The flight was good…a little bumpy starting out but once we had good altitude things calmed down and we landed at LAX without any traumatizing incidents. We rented a van and headed out for Santa Monica were we had rooms at this cute hotel that Philip had found online that looked out over the historical Santa Monica pier. The kids took one look at the towering merry-go-round at the end of the pier and squealed with glee. Welcome to Sunny WARM California!
I do like the west coast…I don’t know why but I have always liked the west coast, there is something about the sights and colors of the west that tend make me want to grab a fresh healthy salad and sip fruity drinks and talk about global warming…I don’t know why…it just sends me in that direction… We unloaded our suitcases my one ….to Patsy’s six…and we noticed they were all damp feeling. We didn’t give it much thought at the time instead we were busy heeding the call of three anxious children that were hungry, tired, over excited and ready to have some fun. So we left all our bags in the rooms unchecked and headed to the peer for some fun. Once we got back to our rooms to settle in for the night I wanted to get Lucca his toothbrush out of the suitcase. Again I noticed the bag was fairly damp on the outside where I am guessing it was left out in the rain in Dallas while being loaded on to the plane for LAX. As I unzip the bag I could tell the top layer of clothing was also damp…maybe a little more than damp they were wet…not ringing wet but damp all the way though. I had packed my dress one layer down along with my new pair of heels. So as you can imagine once I saw that my first layer of clothes were wet I immediately dug for the dress my heart rate on the rise. Now satin and water is a really bad combination and I could feel the panic set in the pit of my stomach as I felt for the dress under a layer of dampness. I pulled the dress free and although it was a very wrinkled and a little damp it didn’t upon initial inspection looked to be too worst for the wear. So I hung it up and removed the rest of contents of my suitcase to let air dry. Damn airlines leaving these suitcases out in the open during a rainstorm… well at least they didn’t loss my bag…that has happen on several inopportune times.
There is a two-hour time difference Pacific in California from our two hours ahead Central time in Tennessee, but did Lucca understand that we can’t go and play in the ocean at 4 in the morning…no…he did not and so we began our morning on the extra early side. Not even the street cleaners were up when we started hunting down a mere muffin for breakfast. Living on a farm we get up with the chickens as they say…so my son is use to early mornings, but not 4am.! We spent the day at the beach and the peer building sandcastle, feeding birds and sightseeing. We must have walked 10 miles that day and loving every minute of it. Mark called to let us know the snow had started but it didn’t seem to be as bad as they thought it would be…that is so far…it was still early in the weather system though. But he was fine and missing us…we missed him too.
We opted for a little seafood that night and had dinner on the peer at Bubba Gummp’s (yes.. from the Tom Hanks movie) Lucca ate so many little popcorn shrimp I thought he’d be sick, but he just kept telling popping them into his mouth saying these are the best shrimp ever! He also informed us at the table he would be moving to California when he grew up…like thirteen or so…ha ha
The next morning Lucca and I did sleep in a bit we woke at a quarter to 5 am…the hotel’s night watchmen must have thought we were crazy getting up so early with nowhere to go. I wanted to check out the Santa Monica farmers market that morning and was told that it was only a few blocks from the hotel. Lucca wanted to hang out and play with Patsy’s kids David and Emmy so Philip my brother-in-law and I took off for the market around 8am…much too early for Patsy to face the day with only one cup of coffee… The market was great and so much fun….like being home here on the farm only with citrus fruits…. I loaded up on some of that fresh fruit, nuts and local artisan cheese oh yes…and sampled some wonderful baked breads and locally made jams. I always try to visit the local producer only farmers markets when I travel. Not only do I eat great that way it helps me to learn from other market farmers that in turn brings those new ideas to my own farm and farm market and I love getting to connect with other farm brothers and sisters all over the country.
After the trip our from this yummy farmers market we all decided to take a walk to the promenade where all these shops are located only about 8 blocks from the hotel before Patsy and I had to get ready to leave for the award ceremony that started at three pm. across town. Lucca and his cousins enjoyed the sights of the city and loved this cool little toy store we found in the promenade. We spent a couple hours just looking around the area and then headed back to the hotel to get ready. Now both Patsy and I are pretty much old hats at getting dressed for stage and these events so we don’t really feel too much pressure although this event was the Grammy’s so maybe a little extra pressure, but we have done this kind of traveling thing so long now we only needed an hour or so to get the job done and be on our way. I still needed to steam out my dress from being crammed in my wet suitcase so I did give myself a few extra minutes for that. We arrived back at the hotel around 12:30 in the afternoon and after getting the kids settled and looking forward to going with Philip to check out Disney Land…well we did change that to Universal Studios because of traffic…while Patsy and I attended the Grammy award ceremony.
We had to leave the hotel by 2:15pm to meet our contact person at the VIP entrance that will walk us through the red carpet press line where the press corps take pictures and such…I got into my room and began heating up my steamer and my curling irons all the stuff it takes to go from life A to life B for me… once the steamer started whistling little puffs of steam I took my dress from the closest and began gently running the steamer down its length releasing the wrinkles from the fabric. I had just begun the process when I saw the dark wavy tell-tell lines all across the front and back of the mid section of the dress. Water stains! And lots of them. The dress was ruined. I had less than an hour to find a replacement and get my makeup on, my hair curled and my ass ready to go to Grammys….damn airlines!
Panic…heck yes… I was panicked, here I am heading off to the biggest event in the music industry with tons of celebrities wearing designer dresses and thousands of dollars worth of bling around their skinny little necks and of course legendary music icons I would be rubbing shoulders with…if I got lucky …I’m there to represent one of those music icons who was being bestowed a great honor and I am at this point standing half-naked in a hotel with nothing but a suitcase full of jogging pants, kids clothes and cute shoes. I am so screwed! Tick tock…tick tock…time is running out….
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