In November of 2015, the week before Thanksgiving my husband Phil and I set out on our first dedicated vacation in over 6 years to sunny Los Angeles to visit friends, go to Disneyland and for me to vend my first West Coast show at Designer Con.
Me being the high strung, workaholic east coaster I am I scheduled full days of activities every day we were there. We flew in Monday night and stayed with our friends Ben and Karen (who you may know as our Best Man from Phil and I's wedding) who had recently relocated to Pasadena from Brooklyn for our first leg of the trip. In fact, MOST of our friends from New York had relocated to Los Angeles in the past year, especially our friends who work at DC Comics. At the time of our vacation, we had actually attended 6 goodbye parties for friends leaving New York City. So visiting Los Angeles we had the unique experience of seeing more of our New York friends out there in the span of a week than we had in the past 6 months back home. Also the weather was glorious and all of our friends had the cutest little houses with adorable little backyards. And omg the marijuana dispensaries out there were blowing my mind. So Phil and I's opinions about LA are… complicated, to say the least. There were a lot of feelings on this trip that we still aren't sure how to process.
Ben and Karen had the cutest little bungalow style house in Pasadena, and with a YARD! I was admittedly a little jealous, especially as it was late November when we were out there and it was in the 80s and sunny all week compared to the rain in the 40s we left NYC in.
Phil, Ben and I made a day trip to Little Tokyo on Tuesday of our trip and I went on a mini shopping spree.I found a super cute little store with cheap-yet-adorable Japanese housewares. I was SO EXCITED to buy sponges and tweezers.
On Wednesday we had an impromptu lunch with the awesomest of artists, the great Coop whom I've been friends with online but had never met in person. I've been a fan of his art since the 90s and was super excited to grab lunch and talk about comics and art.
Thursday we spent the morning and early afternoon at Disneyland and then after a rest went to California Adventure in the evening. OF COURSE I got all dolled up to have my own little pinup adventure in the parks, the weather was PERFECT.
We hit Disneyland first to check out all the Season of the Force stuff that was up in Tomorrowland first thing. IMHO, Hyperspace Mountain wasn't very impressive. I don't know if it's that this particular version of Space Mountain is the first and thus very old, but all the Star Wars projections were so bright they drowned out the rest of the star lights in the coaster. As far as the rest of Season of the Force, it mostly just seemed like these expansive Target-like shopping pavilions had taken over the floorspace of Tomorrowland, and even for first thing on a Thursday the lines had already gotten a little out of control so we headed elsewhere. Hopefully the dedicated Star Wars themed world they're building now is more impressive. Lol, I'm such a snob. XD
We also got on the Dumbo ride in Fantasyland. Since Phil and I are not small people, we figured it'd be best to get individual Dumbos (plus I got that floofy skirt!). Halfway through the line I also realized Phil and I were the only adults going on who didn't have some small child in tow, which I found humorous.
After Dumbo we went to get Dole Whip floats and get indoctrinated into the Illuminati, wait- I mean, watch the Enchanted Tiki Room. It was a much needed break in the dark with air conditioning and a tasty beverage.
After we got out of the Tiki Room it was crazy crowded, hot, and lunchtime. So we decided to dip out, but managed to find the entrance to t he mysterious Club 33 where I could grab a quick photo.
Lunch!! And then a nap!
|"No. No. You've got to sign for it."|
We went to California Adventure after we ate lunch and took a nap, but we didn't know it closed so early (like 9 I think, we thought it'd be open til 10-11) so we were running around trying to see everything. Def want to go back and JUST see California Adventure when we come back next.
Buuuut- we did get to see THE THREE CABALLEROS, which is one of my FAVORITE Disney movies. Also Jose Carioca is my favorite Disney animal character, with Donald almost immediately behind. So it was a SUPER TREAT to run into such an obscure group.
Friday we spent coming back to Pasadena from Disneyland, then setting up my table for Designer Con, then meeting up with Phil's old coworkers and friends from DC Comics, who had all moved to LA from NYC in the past year. The dinner was a delight, I think it must have been about 20 of us all along a long banquet table at this great Mexican restaurant, all hooting and hollering and being loud obnoxious New Yorkers in Burbank. In fact we had SO much fun we didn't take a single picture. D'oh.
Saturday and Sunday I spent vending at Designer Con alongside my pal Peter Goode whom I know from the art scene back in Baltimore. He actually curated some of my first group art shows! This was my first west coast convention table and I think I did ok. After just coming off the insanity of New Yoprk Comic Con a month prior I wasn't super blown away by the attendance, especially since I found out that CTN Expo was the same weekend over in Burbank and in all honesty I think THAT was more my ideal customer base. Ending the already packed vacation week with a con table to work was probably also not my brightest idea ever. I was SO TIRED from everything else that I just couldn't muster the energy to be excited about selling. I honesty would have rather been sitting poolside, but alas I was there and may as well make the most of it. It was great to see everyone that came by- I was so happy to finally meet followers from my social media accounts and other artists based in California who I've never had the pleasure of meeting in person. I felt so bad for my friends that I hung out with after the show, I was so tired I almost fell asleep over dinner- both nights!
|I finally got to wear my Luchadora skirt!! A Paigey/Maria/Little Asian Sweatshop collaboration!!|
|I got to meet awesome Tiki artist BIG TOE! He was such a sweetheart!|
|With our NYC-turned-LA friends Pat and Jen and their new California baby!|
Overall we had a fantastic time in LA. To the point where we almost didn't want to come back, especially with how cold and lousy the weather was when we returned. We def want to go back out there again next fall and see even more of our friends and all their lovely faces and all the cool locales and such.