I've never been west of Salt Lake City, so just the trip alone was amazing enough. I have major wanderlust and am constantly of dreaming about the next opportunity I will have to travel. I love airplanes, I love people watching, I love going places I've never seen before.
California was a whole new ballgame. People were so so nice, but you can tell that life is just different out there. I was definitely not in Kansas City anymore.
Our first stop was Venice Beach, where we stayed right near the ocean and I stumbled upon the most adorable little book store. I don't know how that happens, but little bookstores always have a way of finding me when I am on vacation. It's a little twist of fate that always brings me to my happy place.
Snapshots of California will always give me a warm fuzzy feeling. I loved the beautiful orange trees the most. Burbank was beautiful. In another life, that would have been my place. We saw a taping of the Ellen- Dierks Bentley and Sean Hayes were there, totally fun!- and I loved walking around Burbank. We took a Lift over to Hollywood and stayed just love enough for me to see Marilyn's hand prints but then I was ready to get the heck outta Dodge. It was way too commercialized and touristy, almost like a mini version of Times Square.
I enjoyed sitting in quiet restaurants or on the beach with my mom the most. This was the first and only trip we've ever taken with just the two of us, so it was a rare treat I wanted to make sure I made the most of.
Okay, if I am being honest, we all know that the highlight of the trip was going to the Critics Choice Awards. I promised myself I would play it cool, and for the most part I did. But when Petra walked by my table, I did squeal. My mom has not watched Jane the Virgin but I happily gave her the run down before we went because I knew they would all be there. Petra was a dream. But nothing prepared me for meeting Gina Rodriguez and Brett Dier.
They were so incredibly friendly and you could tell they were so happy and honored to be at the Critic's Choice Awards. Gina and I chatted about how cute Mateo is and how he makes her want to have 10 of her own babies. I told her how much I love her inspiring and upbeat Instagram posts... I might have gotten a little mushy but you know what? I don't even care. They were gems, I tell you. Gems.
Everyone we met was just so friendly and nice and HAPPY. Butterflies got the best of me and I didn't walk around too much, I just wanted to soak it all in. I happily watched from afar and saw Amy Schumer and Jennifer Aniston and Sylvester Stallone. Grae Drake from Rotten Tomatoes and CNN was a dream boat. She was so nice and my mom and her acted like long lost sisters.
The whole night could not have been more perfect. There are so many random, funny things, like getting in the more important line at the awards show and accidentally walking in with Mayim Bailik until we finally found the right entrance...
This will go down in my history as one of the most amazing, smile inducing, memorable trips of my entire life.