Tuesday, March 26, 2002

Sorry for the delay in my tale about my trip to LA. Here it is in brief:

The trip started out late...the Twin Cities was under a winter storm warning where we were getting an inch an hour in snow. Many flights were cancelled...but not ours (Daphne and I), no ours was delayed...and delayed and delayed. I believe we finally started boarding around 2am. *yawn*. I had bumped myself up to first class and was excited to finally experience the luxury of the big butt seats. This flight didn't disappoint. I had TONS of room. If you are a fat chick and have some frequent flier miles to spare, bump yourself to first class, you'll LOVE IT. Ahhhh. I was even able to put my tray table down all the way. The lap o' luxury! :-)

We arrived at our hotel at about 5am on that Friday morning. Clearly, Friday wasn't going to have a LOT of early day touring potential. We slept and then headed off into the great LA highway tangle towards a shop called Big Bad and Beautiful. Not exactly my clothes suiting my body or taste. The few georgette things that I liked were made for someone much taller. I wasn't fond of the *too* much crap stuffed into a single store look or smell...there's just something wrong with that. If I'm going to spend $90 on a jacket, it had better not be polyester/cotton and had better not smell musty. On top of that, the woman who runs the store was less than honest when asked about other plus size stores in the area. Initially she said there were "none" and then I mentioned that I knew a woman named Monique ran a store *somewhere* in LA. Well, ummm...that's when the proprietor decided to tell us a nasty story about Monique and how she *steals* designs and such. Hey, ya know, I don't need to know all of the history between them, ya know? It was bad form. Oh, and theft of the designs?!? Please! There wasn't anything original in the entire place....all of it was just basic, basic.

So, not to put a completely bad light on the trip to the store...we did happen to mention to the proprietor that we were heading to the Big Difference dance the following night. Well, another customer heard us mention that and she piped up that she wanted to go, but hated going when she didn't know anyone. Well, hey, she knows us now! Roslynn is one of those genuine people who I'm very glad that I've had the opportunity to meet. I can probably only count on two hands the number of people I've met over the years that has struck me like this. She's sweet, smart, cute and well, genuine! (If you're a single guy in the LA /San Fernando Valley area and looking to meet someone like that, let me know. ) We left the shop and walked down a couple stores and had coffee with Roslynn. (Gosh, I hope I'm spelling her name right! :-) ). Delightful chicka! I'm sure Daphne would agree.

We said our goodbyes and "see ya tomorrow nights" to Roslynn and we headed to Target down the street to grab some stuff that we had forgotten to pack. I received my big butt bruise at this Target lot. I parked a wee bit close to the car next to me (I was driving a boat of a car and I'm used to a wee Beetle, ya know). I scraped/squeezed my bum getting out of the car, which resulted in a bruise about the size of a large grapefruit on my bum. It hurt like a sunovobeyatch the rest of the trip. I purchased a curling iron (gotta have "bouncy" hair for the dance, don'tchaknow?) and a couple of Kelly dolls that were dressed in Easter costumes. (I knew some day I'll have to confess my obsession with the little Kelly Club dolls in cute little costumes. It started innocently enough one Halloween season four years ago...the rest is history....I'm hooked.)

Off we went back to the hotel, fully loaded with jetlag. I don't think we did anything but order dinner and watched Shallow Hal on the in-room movies the rest of the night. Not a hugely eventful day. My review of Shallow Hal will come in the next "Two-Second Movie Review".

Saturday started with a morning trip to Venice Beach. It was *very* windy and quite chilly as was most of our trip. We walked along the bike path and got sand blasted along the way. My skin has never been so smooth. heheheh. Actually, it was probably worse than a winter storm on my skin. My lips were very dry after that. After getting a pound of sand in my eyes, we stopped at the giant K sculpture and took some photos (Click here to see the Big Girl Big Stuff tour photos from that stop). We headed toward the shopping area. Here's a picture that I snapped there. It made me laugh. It's a stand with garbage-y looking film packages blowing in the breeze. It just screams, "Come here and shop!", doesn't it??

I stopped at a store that was selling lingerie. I asked the woman who was wearing socks on her hands (it was cold!), "Do you have anything like this in larger sizes?" She proceeded to show me some caftans even though I was pointing at the cool chain mail outfit. She called back to the guy who owns the shop, "Do we have anything more in large, ummm, big, ummm..plus sizes?" clearly acting unfamiliar with the terms. I said, "What about fat chick clothes." She didn't get the humor. hehehe. She then proceeded to tell me that her aunt is, "... a BBW...very large chested." hehehe. She was obviously one of those "BBW = Big Breasted Women" people. Ah, who was I to explain to her? :-)

We stopped at a few other stores, looked at the empty muscle beach area, ate a nummy corn dog and proceeded back to the car. Daphne was going to meet her cousins and I was going to meet up with "Lindy B" from the Dimensions boards at 1pm.

I get back to the hotel with a few moments to spare before "Lindy B" was to arrive. I quickly try to clean out some of the sand crusties in my shoes, eyes and ears...and then off we went on a grand tour of the area! Wheeeeeeeee! "Lindy B" was very kind to even offer to have lunch with me, much less offer a several our excursion through the city. Very sweet, don't ya think?? :-) We hunted down the Hollywood sign, the La Brea tar pits (where this little boy found some tar oozing out next to the sidewalk, rather than in the pits). I vaguely remember seeing this when I was probably around 4, but it was very fun to see again. I don't remember the buildings surrounding it, but now there are some fabulous looking museum buildings around it now. Apparently, one of the pretty art museum buildings next door is slated for a major overhaul...why?!?! I have far more photos from the trip and will eventually add them to my "US Tour Photos". "Lindy B" was such a gracious hostess and a wonderful LA historian. I picked up tons of factoids during our drive through the city. We stopped in Beverly Hills to take a photo of a lovely house which had a huge patch of its yard covered with trailer trash bunny and tulip yard decorations. Lindy mentioned that they decorate seasonally with that stuff. I got a good chuckle out of it. :-)

After looking at the trashed lawn, we started to hear a noise coming from a back tire. It sounded like we had a branch stuck in the wheel well. We had to drive quite a ways out of Beverly Hills to find a place to stop. Apparently the folks in Beverly Hills don't need to buy gas?!?! hehehe. Anyway, we look around the tire we *thought* had the twig, and nuthin'! Strange. I started to get the feeling that my extra poundage was breakin' her little car. :-( I *always* feel like it's my fault when something goes wrong with someone else's car, ya know? Anyway, I head back to look at the tire on my side and there was a "huge" nail sticking in the tire. Well, not as huge as we thought it was judging by the sound...just an inch long nail wedged in the tread of the tires. Very strange that the sound *seemed* to be on the other side *and* that it sounded so much like a branch or some other large object...not a wee nail. Problem solved.

Off back towards the hotel, we made a photo op pit stop at the Randy's Donuts Big Girl, Big Stuff tour stop and of course to buy a couple donuts. The donuts were pretty good, but you have to admit, the donut on the building is the best! I hugged Lindy B and sent her on her way back to her family. She's a sweetie. If ya need a LA tour guide, let me know. I'll see what I can do to hook ya up with the best!! :-)

Next up...preps for the Big Difference dance. *blah* *blah* *blah* Voila! We head down to the dance. Not a huge crowd, but not too shabby. If you're an FA in LA, I don't know why you're not there...there are LOTS of nice looking women there and quite frankly, very few available men. Roslynn did show up. YAY! Dance over, we went up to Pam's room where I got the phone dropped on my foot by a seemingly careless individual. (I got quite a few bruises from this trip!). We (Daphne, Roslynn, Ilan and I) decided to head off to Denny's instead. Woohoo..nothing like Denny's in the middle of the night. ;-) Decent chatter and then sleeeeeep...sleeep. 'twas a long day of sightseeing and socializing.

Daphne and I were a little bit slow in the morning on Sunday. We had party hangover without even drinking! Our one big plan for the day? The Getty Museum! We arrived at the line up of cars at the Getty. I read online that they no longer require parking reservations for weekend visitors. YAY! We went into the parking ramp and headed down...and down...and down and down...I felt like we were *close* to the center of the Earth, when I finally see a parking spot. Yay! Up the elevator to the chilly wait for the tram. It was a very cold blustery day in LA. Clouds were threatening rain the entire time. The tram ride was a great way to get initiated slowly into the breathtaking views of the area.

The Getty itself was fabulous. I looooove the architecture...I looooove the views...oh, and the art was cool too. heheh. There are comfy seats in all of the galleries...something you don't find in every museum. There was a Rembrandt that Daphne and I both agreed reminded us of the Masterpiece game we played as a child. If I remember correctly, the painting was on the cover of the game. If you're in LA, make sure you stop here. The museum isn't overwhelming in it's scope...the collections are relatively small, so it's not like the Louvre where you'll need a few days to see most of it.

Sunday events ended with a short jaunt over to the big donut to get a photo of Daphne with the thing and then a jaunt to a wonderfully nummy italian restaurant....the name of which escapes me right now. OH, we watched another in-room movie that took us into the wee hours of the day.

Monday it was time to head back home. PACKED plane ride, and this time, no first-class seat. :-( I had an aisle, so it wasn't *too* bad although I was near the bathroom where I kept getting hit by those needing to empty their bladders. I hate that.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots of stuff, but that's the "quick" overview. hehehe. It took quite a while to write this all down! Overall, it was much more fun than my last trip to LA...and I don't dislike the town as much as I did before....in fact, I can see why people live there now! It's not a bad place at all. :-) I was disappointed in the weather...far too cold, windy and drizzly to even attempt a belly flop in the pool. The traffic still sucks just as it did before, but it wasn't nearly as bad as my last trip. Maybe because I was driving this time it helped the time go faster while waiting in line after line? :-)