Friday, August 20, 2010

Vacation re-cap - Part deux!

Okay folks, I'm back to hopefully finish the vacation recap.

Official Day 1 of the Conference.  Mom and I rose early to get some breakfast and head over for "Opening Ceremonies."  Breakfast was good.  I tried to stick to fruit and eggs, taking some upstairs for J when he woke up.  HE was on vacation after all, but not so much me.  We boarded the buses and headed to the Staple Center where the conference was taking place.  First up, as usual, was the host welcoming us and being friendly.  Now before I drop his name, I want to say that before he actually had his own TV show, he was actually a host at our Conference 4 years ago - no name then, but now he has a TV show.  Hmmm....were we a stepping stone?  Anyway, our host was none other than Tom Pappa from The Marriage Ref!  He's very funny and "acts" like he should when need be. 

Tom's big entrance.
The entire set.

So after Tom had some fun, then there were dancers and singers talking about how much they liked being advisors.  Then the CEO spoke and he's always great to listen to.  Then, break time.  Now during break, because Mom was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, she got to meet Condoleezza Rice, before she did her keynote speech.  Dad had come over from the hotel to hear Condi (what WE call her) and meet her.  So they went to meet her and I had a cup of coffee.  Photo op done, back to work.  Condi spoke and what she said was interesting and political, but it really didn't tie into what we do, so it didn't "fit" for me.  And she doesn't smile much.  However, she was a great speaker and even though her speech didn't tie into work for me, it was good.

 Condi Rice.

 Here's the photo of Mom and Dad with her Hall of Fame photo.

Then, work done, we headed to lunch with what Mom calls her Diamond Girls.  J walked from the hotel and met us at the Staple Center to walk to lunch with the Diamond Girls at Trader Vic's - an Asian-Hawaiian restaurant.  The four of us walked over there, intending to find the Diamond Girls and hubbies and they weren't there, so after some phone calls they were on their way.  Mom calls them the Diamond Girls because they all have their diamond ring, which is half-way to the Hall of Fame in the company's eyes.  It's an award on the path.  And Mom is the FIRST to get Hall of Fame of these women!  Lunch was okay, but I could tell J didn't like his food (I warned him - he ordered stirfry and he doesn't like Asian food) and he was bored.  But he held tight.  There were more presents and cards and lots of laughs.  Finally, about 2:30 pm we all headed outside to go our separate ways.  Mom and I had a hair and make-up appointment before the big night, and the other couples had sightseeing to do.  J and Dad took off together for the hotel and we took off in a cab to find the hair salon I had booked thanks to  Found it and just in time for our 3 pm appointment. 

I had a photo of my dress so the lady knew what she was up against.  As you can see from the above photo, Mom's hair is really short and curly, so she just was getting a wash and style.  I was getting an updo of sorts and then we were supposed to both have our make-up done.  Wendy was my hairdresser and she took her time and was meticulous.  We told them we needed to be out of there by 4:30 pm and they assured us that wouldn't be a problem.  I kept my eye on what was going on with Mom and her hair, and also watched what was being done behind me, and both seemed to be progressing fine.  At one point, I looked over at Mom and didn't recognize her.  The lady had made the top of her hair really flat and was trying to give her bangs, which didn't look right on her, but she seemed to be okay, so I didn't fuss too much.  My hair was finally done about 4:15 pm and Mom was still having her make-up done.
 The final product of my hair.  Nice huh?!

Mine was supposed to be done by the same lady.  Remember, we were supposed to leave at 4:30 pm and we still needed dresses and final touches before loading the buses at 5:15 pm.  When the lady kept fidgeting with Mom's makeup at 4:25 pm, I knew I was not getting my make-up done today.  No way was I gonna make Mom late for her big night.  The woman finally finished her make-up and now Mom was saying she didn't like her hair.  I felt increasingly bad since this had been my idea!!  But there wasn't much the stylist could do to fix it and make her happy, so we opted to pay and leave, and hope Mom would have better luck fixing it with her own stuff.  They took forever to have us pay and now we are both agitated.  Finally, bolted out of there and found a cab to drive us 4 blocks that would have taken us a little longer to walk, ran up to the room and dove into our dresses and accessories.  I fixed my make-up from the morning a bit and pretty soon we met Mom and Dad at the elevators, tuxedos and fancy dresses...and thankfully, fixed hair!  Mom made her hair how she wanted it and I was more than relieved!  Headed downstairs to wait for the bus and take pictures!
 Dad, Mom, me and J.

I post this picture because the guy standing to the right of Mom was her PE teacher in HS and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame the same year she was for our company.  Think he made a wise career change?  Plus his son is in the business.  So we have a lot in common!

Got on the buses to the Staple Center again for cocktails with the CEO and finally time to have fun.  Just a couple candids. 

  This one wasn't really a candid I guess, but wanted to post it for prosperity sake.  Probably won't get him in a tux again soon!  Yes, it is currently the photo at the top of the blog too, but at some point that will change I spose.

Finally, it's time for the dinner and the presentations and all that.  We wandered over to that separate area and it was J's first view of the room.  It was done up quite nice.  Found our table and finally time for some food.  Steak and Salmon.  Not too bad and good for my Weightloss Challenge. 

Before the big walk, there was the photo montage that went by that I am in (surprisingly enough, being an only child!).

About dessert time, Mom's pager went off (they had given her a pager so she knew when she needed to come to the stage to be presented.  So off they went for their big moment. (see above video)

Finally, after all the awards had been given, and all the food eaten, it was time for the entertainment!  Jay Leno performed.  He was up there for an hour and a half!  He stayed mostly clean, no cussing as there were kids in the room, but he got a little dirty about sex and stuff.  Oh well, it was fun and we had great seats!!!

 I was gonna post video, but the only one I took had the company name in the back and I can't post that.  Sorry folks!

After Jay's set was over, we opted to head out for the evening as it was now almost 11 pm.  Back on the buses and back to the hotel.  All tired and satisfied that the evening was a success. 

Quick funny story.  After saying goodnight to my parents, J felt the need for a soda.  So, most of tux still on (jacket had been discarded) he took off to find the soda machine and the ice machine, per my request.  He'd been gone awhile and I was getting a little worried - after taking a lot of bobby pins out of my hair, my cell phone rang.  He had forgotten the room number in our maze of a hotel.  I reminded him of it and pretty soon he came sauntering in.  While he'd been wandering, he'd been asked more questions about the hotel - apparently his tux looked like what the male staff wore at the hotel.  After he'd gotten the ice, he'd thought our room number was 1447 instead of 1427 so went and tried his card in the door.  When it wouldn't work, he banged on it.  A very surprised couple answered and J, having been asked if he worked for the hotel said, "did you order some ice?"  They said no and he apologized, then called me.  Talk about thinking on his feet and funny!

Well, here we are at the end of another long post and still not done.  Until tomorrow folks!

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