Sunday, February 12, 2017

The Girlfriend Getaway

Yesterday was an awesome day with great friends. We did the Girlfriend Getaway with Day Tripper Tours in San Diego, and it was fantastic. It was a day full of chatter and laughter, afternoon tea in Long Beach and a few hours at the Vintage Fashion Expo in Los Angeles. This expo is a huge event that takes place fives times yearly in both Los Angeles and San Francisco.
If you've never done a Day Trippers Tour, it's a great way to get out of town for the day to explore museums, tourist attractions and special events throughout southern California. The cost of the day trip might seem high to you, but it includes your round-trip transportation from a pick-up point in San Diego, admission fee, meals depending on the tour, snacks and a very entertaining tour guide. What I love about these day trips is you don't have to drive. Just show up at your pick-up point and let the bus driver take you there.

We had a very comfortable bus ride in the rain.  It was a perfect day to anticipate our visit to have delicious hot tea in an elegant Victorian setting.  It brought back memories of Gerry and I walking through the heavy rain at Edinburgh Castle to have tea in The Queen Anne Tea Room. It was one of the highlights of our perfect day in Edinburgh. Upon arriving to the tea room, I was delighted to see how pretty the tea room looked from the street, so English-ly quaint!  I was more impressed with the wait staff who welcomed us as we made our way to the Grand Tea Room. I felt like I was back on a cruise ship.
Elise, owner of Elise's Team Room, has a business that has been thriving since 1996. Whatever she did, she did it right as tea rooms don't generally do well as a private business.
Contrary to what you see in the food photos, I left feeling absolutely stuffed. I forced myself to eat everything, and that's something I never, ever do, but I couldn't help myself. The lemon scone was one of the best scones I've ever tasted, and that's coming from my own experience enjoying scones in tea rooms throughout England and Scotland. First came the lemon scones with clotted cream, lemon custard and blackberry jam. Next came the tea sandwiches (cucumber and cream cheese, butter and raspberry jam, chicken salad and egg salad), then finally the piece de resistance. . . the chocolate biscuit cake that takes two days to make! This was Princess Diana's favorite chocolate dessert (she was a chocoholic), and hence the name of our event at the tea house was called the Princess Diana Tea. The teas were great, too.

On to Los Angeles, the Vintage Fashion Expo was very interesting. I've always admired retro fashions, and have even worn pieces that resemble styles from the 1950s and 1960s. This expo at The Reef, a creative urban habitat in South Los Angeles, was eye-candy for me. There were so many cool people walking around wearing retro styles, even children were participating!

Walking through the booths brought back lots of memories - clothes I wore as a child, as a teenager and especially, the lovely clothes my mom wore as a typical housewife caring for her children. I always admired my mom's clothes, shoes and her jewelry from the 1950s and 1960s. As a teenager, I used to sneak a peak in my mom's closet to look at her evening dresses and shoes and hope that she'd one day give them to me "when I was all grown up". Alas, I grew to have a completely different body type from my mom, body measurements and all. The good news is that my mom did give one of her cocktail dresses to my daughter, Lindsay, and it's a stunner. It's an espresso-colored, body-hugging number with spaghetti straps. The fabric shimmers in the light and you can't take your eyes off of it. I just texted her to tell her not to give that dress away as dresses of that type were selling at the expo for $450 on up. I didn't bring a lot of money with me to the expo because I thought I'd be bargain hunting. Well to shop vintage means you better come with lots of bucks, and maybe bring your credit card, too.
I came upon a non-designer alligator (gasp) handbag that I loved and it was priced at $450. Ugh. First of all, I know what you're thinking. A poor alligator was killed for its skin but that was decades ago and way before PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was founded in 1980. However, it is legal to have alligator skin in the state of California. Secondly, I would never, ever buy animal skin or fur these days. Times are different. We're now very concerned with protecting our wildlife from becoming extinct. I dismissed purchasing this bag because of its price, but found a similar 1940's handbag for $60, and it's in good condition. I was able to haggle the price down to $50.
Going through the vendor areas, I found three dresses that I adored. I couldn't stop looking at them, and I knew that I'd look great in them. In fact,Trini told me that this one particular shoulder-baring trapeze dress was totally me. It was my style but at $650? I couldn't do it. I can start saving for it, though, and maybe at next year's expo, that dress will still be there to become mine.