... but you can't take the city out of a girl. That is the reason why I headed westward to civilization (Pasadena) today, while Eddie delved deeper into BFE territory (Hemet). Some couples need to spend all their free time together. We are not one of those couples. It works out well. Plus I really enjoy my little day trips outside of the Inland Empire. And when I'm happy, Eddie's happy. It's a win-win situation.
I started off my day (sans camera - booo!) at Dashing Diva nail salon. I knew that I was one of the first appointments of the morning, but damn it was quiet when I walked in. It felt a bit unnerving. The receptionist didn't help matters; she was not at all friendly or welcoming. Why do people like that end up in hospitality oriented positions? Things rapidly improved however, when my technician showed me to my seat. I was escorted into the VIP area! I don't know how or why that happened, but I felt quite spoiled as I gazed out upon the masses from my comfortable chair behind the fringed curtain. I got to enjoy the privacy of the back area, as well as my own tv, for the duration of my mani/pedi. What I didn't enjoy though were the strange co-irker dynamics going on between the lovely ladies attending to me and the aforementioned unfriendly receptionist. They clearly had some sort of issues going on based upon the dirty looks the receptionist gave to the technicians and the resulting rapid fire conversation between the two technicians in their native language. Some things need no translation though, such as the look that one of the technicians gave me that clearly said, "Receptionist Girl is a beeyotch." I nodded my head sympathetically.
After leaving the nail salon, I headed over to Salon Sessions for a much needed trim. Eddie always teases me that the only reason I go to there is because of the number of times either the salon or its owner has popped up on shows we watch such as America's Next Top Model, Shear Genius and Flavor of Love Girls' Charm School. What he always seems to forget is that I had been going to the salon since it first opened, before it appeared on any of those shows. I had followed my stylist Ruth to the salon after she left her previous employer. Seeing Ruth now requires an extra 30 minutes of driving and 30 extra dollars, but she is well worth every penny. I trust her skill so much that earlier this year I sat down in her chair and told her to do whatever she wanted with regard to cut and color. The result was a haircut and style that received far more compliments that anything I had asked for in the past. I loved it so much that I've maintained the cut ever since. There are supposed to be a lot of layers and texture, but my hair had grown out so much that the style was looking pretty muddled. Forty minutes later however, I had my style back. yay!
All that pampering made me hungry (it's so hard being waited on hand and foot), so I headed over to The Crepevine Bistro. I had walked by this place for years, but never went in and actually tried it until I read Weezermonkey's review of the place. Last time I ordered the duck confit crepe. I ate every single bite and washed it down with an excellent glass of albarino. This time I ordered a steak and cheese crepe, which is technically not on the crepe menu. It was on the flatbread menu, but the server said they could easily make it as a crepe instead. I ate every single bite and washed it down with a delicious pomegranate champagne cocktail. I've never been able to leave enough room for a sweet crepe at The Crepevine yet, but I always leave with a happy tummy (and slightly buzzed).
While I was at The Crepevine, I surreptitiously observed the family seated practically right in front of me. Their dynamics and conversation entertained me while I ate. I know it's considered "bad" to eavesdrop, but sometimes it's inevitable in such close quarters. The group consisted of an engaged couple, the fiancee's mom and the fiancee's grandparents. Amusing Item #1: When the fiance gave his fiancee a bit of crap about the Nutella and banana crepe she had just scarfed down as she is supposedly on a diet, fiancee responded with, "But it's all fat free. Nutella is made from cocoa and cocoa doesn't have any fat." Umm, according to the Nutella jar in my cabinet, one serving of just Nutella has 190 calories, 100 of which are fat calories. There's apparently more than just cocoa in the jar. There's also apparently a reason why this woman's diet isn't working as well as she'd like. And aside from all that, I was amazed that the woman didn't slap her fiance upside the head for his comment. She was very calm about it. I guess it happens often? All I know is that a comment like that would so not fly in our household. Amusing Item #2: When their bill arrived, the fiance immediately started crowing about how his item didn't cost very much and he was only going to put in X amount. (cue visions of many MM debates) That was followed up by much confusion about how much his future in-laws each owed. Then his fiancee started harping about other money he owed her from the day prior. Now I know everyone handles their money in whatever ways that work for them and that it's not uncommon for there to be much confusion about bill splitting, but I have never seen it happen among such immediate family members. I could never imagine quibbling with my parents, grandparents or in-laws about whether they owed another $2. If there's ever any argument over the restaurant bill when we dine with family, the disagreement is about who gets to pick up the entire check. Not about who ordered the iced tea when everyone else ordered water. It was odd, yet entertaining to me. I felt kind of bad for the grandparents though. They seemed like such a sweet old couple; I couldn't believe that neither their child nor their grandchild wanted to treat them. I hope my future kids love me enough to buy me a crepe in my old age.
In order to let my buzz wear off a bit before driving home, I started browsing the usual shops on Colorado Blvd. Then I headed up to Union St. to Clothes Heaven, which is a resale boutique that had been mentioned in one of Diabolina's blogposts. I wasn't expecting to find or buy anything; I just wanted to check it out. Famous last words. The salesladies were incredibly friendly and helpful. Too helpful. Once they saw the first dress in my hands they pointed out all the similar styles they had available as well as other pieces from the same consignor. I walked out with a never-worn, tags attached Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. Original price = $285. I bought it for $139. Score! I've done a lot of shopping this week; there will be a post shortly with pictures of every bullet that has hit my wallet the past three days.
So how on earth can one top a day of pampering, eating and shopping? With a cupcake of course! My last stop before heading home was Dots, to pick up a couple Hostess and Red Velvet cupcakes. I also picked up a mini Strawberry cupcake to tide me over during the drive and prevent any temptation to tear the box open while on the 210. The cupcakes made it home safely, as did I.