Monday, February 4, 2019

Out in California

This month is extra busy, so I'm tempted to conserve time and energy by continuing with almost wordless NaMoPaiMo posts for the foreseeable future. This would, in fact, be my plan were it not for one thing: I really need to write about my recent trip to California. That was such a wonderful week. There's just no way I'm not going to blog about it.
Things got off to a slow start - literally. My flight to Los Angeles was delayed for five and a half hours due to mechanical issues compounded by blizzard-like conditions. It was a long day of doing nothing, but eventually we did make it to California.
I was met at the airport by my friend, Erin Corbett. I hadn't seen her in just over a year, so we had a lot of catching up to do on the bus ride to Santa Barbara.
In Santa Barbara, we were met by Kylee Parks, Amanda Brock and Megan Cotte. We squeezed ourselves and our luggage into Kylee's already crowded vehicle and drove to the Parks' home in Los Olivos. Heather Malone joined us there for dinner and talk. Then I bedded down for the night in Kylee's daughter's room.
The next morning, we toured the Alama Pintado Equine Medical Center where Kylee's husband, Greg works.
This was a really fun and informative outing, and will undoubtedly be the topic of a future blog post.
Kylee Parks, Erin Corbett, Melanie Miller, Barb Ness, Amanda Brock, Dayle's mom, Heather Malone, Jennifer Buxton and Dayle Steinke
After the tour, Amanda and I joined Melanie Miller and Barb Ness for an afternoon of food and window shopping in nearby Solvang.
Although I grew up in Southern California, I had never been to Solvang. What a cute town! 
We had a great time walking and talking and looking for horses.
Found 'em!
Amanda Brock 
After several happy hours, we headed back to Los Olivos for HESTFest. Hosted by Kylee Parks and Sheryl Liesure, this event lived up to its billing as "A Premiere Collection of Model Horse Merchants and Artists."
Kylee Parks with Takeshi and Neeko
Kylee had her entire showstring on display, which was every bit as amazing as it sounds.
photo by Erin Corbett
I really enjoyed having a chance to talk to talk to so many people in a non-show environment. This was a fun evening. Expect more posts on HESTFest!
Melanie Miller and Cameron Clow
Saturday, was Super-CALI-Fragilistic Live.
Kylee and the army of Tadpoles
It was, well, super.
People's Choice Callback Table
The prizes,
Custom Snuggle Sacks by Megan Cotte for each Tiny Tadpole
the competition,
Tension and photos at the Artist Resin Callbacks table
the people...
Meredith Conrad, Heather Malone and Erin Corbett
all of it was Super!
Jennifer Buxton and Kim Murray with their NaMoPaiMo ponies
I judged the Performance division and that was super, too.
Overall Performance Champion and Reserve, Allie Davidson and Lauren Wood
Brace yourself. This is only the beginning. There will be a lot more posts about Super-CALI-Fragilistic Live!
After the show a bunch of us went out for dinner. Someone took a selfie of the entire group, but I can't seem to find it. This makes me ridiculously sad, so here's a picture of Erin's meal instead.
photo by Erin Corbett
On Sunday, Heather, Erin and I rode the bus back to LAX. They boarded planes and went home, but I got on another bus and began the second part of my California trip. The next several days were spent with my mom at her home in Altadena.
Jennifer Buxton and Jeanne Bray
Of course, every trip to Altadena starts with a hike in Eaton Canyon.
Recent rains had filled the canyon with water, which made the trail a lot more wetter and slippery than usual. I persisted and was very happy when I reached the waterfall.
On Tuesday, I got up before dawn and drove to Santa Anita Park in Arcadia. There I was met by my good friend, Corina Roberts. We stood side by side at the rail, photographing race horses and solving the world's problems.
It was a fabulous morning.
photo by Corina Roberts
Up to this point, my entire week had been planned well in advance, but on Wednesday, something truly unexpected happened: I reconnected with my friend, Janie, who I hadn't seen or talked to in twenty five years. 
It was a wonderful horse-filled day, and I am sure there will be more posts on this, as well.
I flew home on Thursday. Once again, my flight was delayed, but that was okay. I'd had such a great week in California. I didn't mind staying just a little bit longer.

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