An Angel City weekend recap
Hey, guys! I’m so sorry that I totally dropped off the face of the planet without any explanation. I had every intention of posting a quick little something on Thursday afternoon to let y’all know that I was going to be M.I.A. from blogging for several days while I was in Los Angeles for the LA Times Festival of Books, but I busied myself with the task of squeezing in a 10 mile run and searching for enough clean underwear.
It felt like home.
But now I’m back in Indiana and aside from the overwhelming desire to lie down in the middle of the road and take a nap for a thousand hours, I’m doing quite well! (We had to wake up at 3:00 a.m. yesterday morning to catch our flight home and not only were we exhausted from no sleep the whole weekend, we also lost 3 hours by the time we landed in Indy.) But all in all, I would definitely give the four-day trip to Los Angeles two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
We didn’t have any issues with traveling other than waking up at the butt-crack of dawn to catch our flights, but I fly so infrequently that I never get annoyed with being at an airport. Getting on a plane like a big girl and flying across the country is still a fairly new experience for me and I was very wide-eyed and “I’m just so happy to have been invited!” about the whole thing. All of our flights were on time and I only had to sit by a complete stranger on one out of four planes, but I promptly switched Brittany, my fellow publicist, seats because the she’s single and the stranger was, in her own words, a “tall glass of water”.
|I spent most of the flights reading on my Kindle. I felt fancy.|
The only glitch in our travels to and fro Los Angeles was the unfortunate incident when Brittany and I both fell asleep on our connecting flight back to Denver and accidentally head-butted each other awake.
And we came up with a rather entertaining game we aptly named “At How High of an Elevation Would You Be Comfortable with Falling Out of the Airplane?” As our flights prepared for decent, we would monitor the ground below and determine when we’d feel safe falling out the plane and not dying. Brittany, clearly a much braver girl than I and far more comfortable with broken bones or paralysis, would always choose to fall out of the plane at a much higher altitude than I. Apparently I’m only comfortable falling out of an airplane when I'm not falling so much as just ... walking.
The LA Times Festival of Books was an even bigger literary event than I remember from 2010 when it was held on UCLA’s campus. (Trust me, the walk to my booth this time was like, half a mile.) This year the festival took place at OSC and this campus was just as beautiful as the former. I was pretty confined to one small area of the whole shebang and didn’t get an opportunity to really explore the event (I mean, I was there to work after all …), but I do know that the celebration was a book nerd’s dream come true.
|I was totally crushing on this giant green dinosaur mascot. |
I have a poster of him for my cubicle!
|Myself and a few of the publicists at the book festival working the signing booths!|
I was in charge of one of the signing booths and was responsible for facilitating several hour-long book signings for our authors. I got to use my “sales girl” voice and encouraged passerby to stop by the booth for a free copy of the book and a chance to meet the author. Everything went smoothly and even though I’m not a huge fan of shouting in the middle of large crowds (I think I sound like a man), I loved having the opportunity to meet new people and talk to random strangers about whatever the heck I felt like. There were several doggies at the festival and getting kisses from a beagle named Barkley made me feel less depressed about being away from my Joey.
Some of the 2012 LA Festival of Books guests included Betty White, Bethenny Frankel, Tori Spelling, and Mayim Bialik. Unfortunately, my booth was extremely busy and I didn’t get to see any of these ladies in action (I was particularly disappointed about not seeing Mayim Bialik because I LOVE me some Amy Farrah Fowler), but you know who I did get to meet over the course of the weekend?
Friday night we had a few hours to kill between setting up our booths at the festival and heading to dinner at Rock Sugar, so my travel group and I got to spend some time walking up and down Hollywood Boulevard like true L.A. tourists. As I we found our favorite celebrities’ Hollywood Walk of Fame stars and hand prints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theater, we had to avoid some rather um, sketchy folks dressed up like famous movie characters looking to charge you money for a picture. I did a remarkable job at dodging a creepy SpongeBob SquarePants and a flamboyant Jack Sparrow, but I was much less successful at deflecting a 90s throwback Michael Jackson. I averted my eyes and tried to slink past the sequin-gloved performer, but as soon as I crossed his path he called after me all Michael Jackson-y, “Come here, girl!”
Apparently “Come here, girl!” from Michael Jackson is my calling card because hearing those words spoken to me in that voice awakened some kind of trapped inner fan girl because I instantly pivoted on my heel and darted back towards him shrieking “OKAY!” like a total groupie. You know what I like to call that voice of his? Instant panty dropper.
I didn’t know I felt that way about Michael Jackson (let alone a fake one), but the intense beating of my heart and my sweaty palms indicated that I clearly love him a much more awkward way than I ever suspected.
|Putting my hands in Marilyn Monroe's hand prints. |
And trying not to show you my underwear.
|Looking pitifully touristy outside the Kodak Theater. |
Strange that they host a glamorous event like the Academy Awards
only a few feet away from a dozen cheesy souvenir shops.
Saturday night the whole group feasted at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the same hotel Whitney Houston was found dead in earlier this year. I stuffed myself with lots of sushi in an effort to pretend like that wasn’t majorly sad and creepy, but by the time I was half-way through my overly strong whiskey and Diet Coke, I could barely remember my name. That was the very first time I was unable to finish a drink at a restaurant, and that in itself is one for the record books.
|Some of the ladies before heading out to the Beverly Hilton Hotel.|
Finding our way to Trader Vick's inside the hotel was kind of confusing, and we ended up having to walk a legit red carpet event to get to the restaurant. Apparently the John Wayne Cancer Institute was hosting a ball at the hotel that evening, and we were the lucky tourists who stumbled across their glamorous red carpet on our way to eat our non-famous food in our non-designer clothing. Luckily the paparazzi were packing up their cameras and couldn't be bothered to notice us simpletons. (But I'm sure they weren't feeling the urgent need to snap our photos anyway.)
At the conclusion of the book festival on Sunday evening, myself and a few of the other publicists took a trip to Santa Monica and dipped our toesies in the frigid Pacific Ocean before heading back to the hotel to more or less take a small nap before we had to wake up and catch our flight home.
To say I was homesick during the whole weekend was a complete understatement. While LA is extremely exciting (though kind of run down) and I wished we had more time to explore the extravagant city, I was desperate to be back in Indiana with my hubsy and beagle. When we were teenagers, I was used to living 4 hours apart from Clayton and only getting to see him once a month, but after getting married, we've hardly spent any time away from each other. Come to think of it, the longest we've been apart since tying the knot was the first time I was asked to go to the L.A. Times Festival of Books in 2010. While I was thrilled to have the opportunity to revisit California, my heart felt sad and anxious to be away from my favorite bearded companion. That being said, I made sure to complete my standard "I don't like sleeping in bed alone" routine and spritzed the first teddy bear Clayton ever bought for me with his cologne so I could snuggle with it every night while I was away.
Trust me, there was no better feeling than coming out of the airport gate yesterday afternoon and seeing my hubby standing there, waiting for me. The image of my husband standing in the sunlight cast from the giant airport windows with his brilliant blue eyes shining at me was so adorable and breath-taking, even I almost wanted to vomit. I hate being away from him.
Clayton and I have been tossing around the idea of moving away from Indiana in the next several years and taking in the experience of living in a brand new place, but visiting California only reminded me that I'm not in any hurry to leave my home state. While I fantasize about the idea of living someplace beautiful like Colorado or Tennessee one day, Indiana has always been my home and my love affair with it isn't coming to an end quite yet. Flying over flat, boring ol' Indiana after soaring over mountainous stretches of land didn't depress me like I thought it would. In fact, it felt warmly secure and comfortable.
It felt like home.