Tuesday, May 09, 2006

♫Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Wasting Time♫

Okay, I have a few seconds to work on this post, so I’m going to give you the first day of my trip.
Let me say here and now that I have slept since then, so I’m sure I won’t remember a lot of it… Which could be considered a bonus for you the reader. View it how you want.

Now for those of you unfamiliar with my doings, which really is a shame – come on! I mean don’t you know that I am the most important thing in your life right now? – I went on a singing trip to Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. However, since my company’s home office is located in Santa Ana (Orange County – not to be confused with LA!!! – Barb’s and Hussy’s emphasis, not mine) and I have recently developed some fantastic relationships with some women at that office via emails and phone, I called Barb and basically said if she would lend me her couch, I would come out early and actually meet them face to face. I’d seen Barb's picture once, but not the real McCoy.

And she said YES! Woo hoo!

Now here is the problem with not actually knowing the person who is going to meet you at the airport. How do you hook up, especially when you aren’t smart enough to get her cell number or her home number prior to leaving home? And since the airports don’t allow people to meet their guests at the gate, we had to hope to meet at an undetermined spot somewhere in the LAX airport. You can tell that I am NOT a seasoned traveler… adventurous – yes; prepared – no.

When I got off the plane, I headed to baggage claim and I tried to call Mr. Right to have him look up her home phone via internet. No answer. So I tried my friend John – no answer, again. Okay, I won’t panic. I’ll find her eventually. Hey, that woman kind of looks like Barb; should I yell out to her? No she was walking with an agenda, plus she was with some cute guy. I called my friend Susan, basically telling her that I was completely using her and would she be so kind as to look their info up. Fortunately, Susan likes me. Still, I think…

I got the number and called their home, only to leave a message on a machine. Hmmm, now what? As I’m pondering whether or not I will ever get my luggage or if I will meet up with my friend and not be stuck forever at the LAX airport to live a life as a bag lady who only washes every so often in the lavatory and whose diet will consist on ketchup and mustard until I can get enough quarters from the cart return so that I can finally buy a very over-priced, crummy burger, my phone rings. One of Barb’s daughters bravely returned my call to give me her mom’s cell number.

I wouldn’t have to be a bag lady after all. Whew.

As I placed the call, the lady that I thought might be Barb but was with the cute guy, came back, searching for someone and was answering her phone. I smiled and waved. She had a look of relief on her face too. Made it… Next time, I’ll know to plan ahead.

On our way to their house, we chatted as if we had known each other forever. This included J- her husband. We talked about gas, food, driving, work, family, church, God… you know, all the good stuff. By the time we arrived home, I knew this was going to be a great couple of days. Relaxing and fun. Plus, I discovered that I wouldn’t be couching it after all; the eldest daughter graciously gave up her VERY comfortable bed so that I would have a room.

Side note: Barb and J have done a great job with their girls! They were well-mannered, courteous, fun, talkative and friendly. I felt like Aunt Sha by the time I had to leave. But I was the aunt who forgot to take their picture… Sheesh!

That night, Barb and I drove to pick up Hussy (who really isn’t one, but it’s a play on her last name). After missing her apartment a few times even though we talked to her a few times on the cell, we finally found her. We headed to the Rusty Pelican in Newport Beach for some of the world’s best seafood. Seriously.

Here is a picture of we three ladies out on the town. Barb didn’t shower that day so neither Hussy nor I were willing to sit by her. But since we were all Christians, we still loved her. (Look at how white I am compared to them... "Which one of these is not like the other? Which one of these looks like she hasn't seen the sun in a very long time?" That is how that song goes isn't it?)

A real restaurant with real tablecloths and real glasses and real silverware – wow! It’s so much different than our evening out at Long Johns Silver. And it tastes better too! And I can’t get that view in Kansas. Especially when I looked out and saw this man, who really has no business wearing shorts without a shirt, dancing in a boat, by himself. You go guy… away. Really, it was not a pretty sight.

For the record, I’m really bummed because I did an audio post from the restaurant. It was witty, it was fun, it was more that you could imagine anything I had posted being. Barb and Hussy were talking on it too. It was going to be my first interactive, “Live From OC, It’s Shalee” post. But alas, it was not to be. It was lost. Gone. Disappeared. Vanished into the thin blogosphere. I just hope it didn’t post on some guys’ post all about sports or car repair… Now that would be funny because it was as girlie as you would imagine it to be! Some poor schmuck is out there trying to explain to his wife why he has wo

And per f-stop’s advice, I am posting a couple of pictures that I think are magazine worthy. I could see them located among the many pages of Bon Appétit or Gourmet. F-stop said I should contact the restaurant and sell it to them for advertisement purposes. Not a bad idea.

I love this photograph! I really like how Barb is looking away and the light is hitting everything just right. The appetizer is a skewer of 3 different fishes (But mostly I liked the drink. Let me highly recommend the raspberry lemon martini the next time you are on the town. Yummy!)

This is shot of the crab cake they make. Délicieux! And I didn’t even like crab cakes. (I do now.)

They brought out calamari, and I flat out said no. But of course they talked me into it. It was wonderful – soft and fish-like, not chewy at all. If I could get that kind of calamari here, I would order it often. I’m not holding my breath for it here in the middle of the country.

After a fabulous dinner of King Salmon with Cucumber Salsa, I was stuffed. I couldn’t eat another bite. Until Hussy ordered the Chocolate Torte, which came straight from the oven with vanilla ice cream… Mmmmmmmmmmm, you just can’t beat steaming chocolate/fudgy cake.

Since we now were like barrels because we were gluttonous pigs, we drove to the beach and walked and walked and walked. We also talked and talked and talked. Of course it made a perfect backdrop for a photo op! So here are the ones we took.

That was a wrap for the first day. Long, exciting and everything I prayed that it would be. I can’t wait to go back to see them again, and of course to eat everything in sight. I’m blaming it on the sea air.


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