Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation, Red Hat Convention, Wild Animal Park, Book Signing

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Hello to everyone. The rumor going around that I fell off the earth is totally false. Doug and I have been in lovely San Diego, California where the temperature stayed around 71 degrees the whole time we were there. We even missed the water outage in Weatherford along with the triple digit temperatures, an excellent miss to be sure.

We drove to Dallas Love Field on Tuesday, July 27 and boarded a plane where "bags fly free" and had a pleasant flight to San Diego. We stayed at the Manchester Hyatt Hotel right on the water. In fact, there was a yacht basin right outside our window. On Wednesday, I checked in for the convention and Doug and I spent a large part of the day just shopping around in a lovely little village next to the hotel. We wandered into an Indian jewelry store that was having a half-price sale. Oops! This was all I needed to see. Doug said, "Well your birthday is next week, so if you see something you really like".....enough said. After some serious perusing, I honed in on a beautiful Charoite pendant set in tooled silver. Charoite comes from Siberia and is not known to occur anywhere else in the world. The sales clerk told me I had good taste! Then, of course, we needed a chain and earrings to match. I just love going shopping with Doug.

Early evening the early attendee Red Hatters boarded buses and went on a dinner cruise. The pirate theme was well represented in attire and attitude and we had a great time line dancing and getting acquainted. The highlight for Thursday afternoon was a pool party with great entertainment by professional Hawaiian Hula dancers. Thursday evening brought opening ceremonies with our Exalted Queen Mother arriving on a surf board carried by some very handsome young men. Friday morning brought out all the fun people at the Sunrise Pajama Breakfast with Damon Wayans. Later, he autographed his book "Red Hats" and the line was long. He also donated the hat that is pictured on the front of his book for a fund raising raffle. Early afternoon was the designated time for a fashion show and it was fabulous with all the grandly feathered hats and jeweled dresses stirring the masses shopping genes into such a frenzy it was difficult to get into vendor booths, but we managed! I even managed to get my photo taken with Exalted Queen Mother Sue Ellen and Vice Queen Linda. Later that evening, we disco danced to our hearts content and I along with several others wore purple wigs we purchased in the shopping frenzy that instantly turned us into wannabe Tina Turners.

Saturday evening's formal banquet was lovely with everyone decked out in their Red Hat finery and being entertained by "Company B" and "Sensation Showband". Red Hatters do love to dance and we wore ourselves out. The theme was "Red, White and Blue" all American and I went as a native American showing off my shawl that I decorated for an upcoming powwow.

Sunday morning farewell breakfast gave us one last chance to say goodbye to old friends and new and we were entertained by lovely vocalist LaTonya Boston who also happens to work at Hatquarters. Next year our convention will be in New Orleans and, our being in Texas, this is a place we can drive to and not have to pay luggage fees to the airlines.

Doug and I stayed until Tuesday so we could explore the area more fully. We walked over to the aircraft carrier "Midway" and took a complete tour. It was very interesting and a bit claustrophobic climbing up and down those little ladders, but I wouldn't have missed it for anything. Here I am sitting in the "Air Boss" chair on the Midway. The statue of the sailor kissing the girl when the war was over was in a park just below the Midway.

We also drove to La Jolla and visited the Birch Aquarium and even though we've been there before, it was just as interesting to us. We left there and wound our way down to town where we found an lovely little sidewalk Mexican restaurant called Alfonso's. The food was phenomenal.

We spent all day Monday at the Wild Animal Park operated in conjunction with the San Diego Zoo. They concentrate on endangered species and from what I could see, their program is quite successful. In particular, they have five baby elephants and it was a joy to watch them play with each other. We took a tram all around the park to view rhinos, different types of deer, hippos, and giraffes. We also went up 400 feet in a tethered helium filled balloon . We ran into a park employee playing with a three banded armadillo named Armando. He was absolutely adorable. (See photos of all.)

It was a fabulous trip and it was good to get home even with all the laundry to catch up and 275 emails to answer or zap.

I will write more later about the rest of the unaccounted for time since we returned because there is just so much going on in this family you wouldn't believe it. However, I do want to announce that I am doing a book signing at the Barnes & Noble Book Store on Northwest Highway just across the street from North Park in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, September 8, 2010 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. Be there or be square!

This is all I have to say for now.

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