Hello from Southern California! It's amazing to wake up in Little Rock, Arkansas and a few hours later driving a red minivan in Burbank, California. Too bad the rental car agency didn't have a convertible available this time like it did in February when my daughter Sara and I traveled to California to visit different colleges.
I'm seeing our good friends, the Shea family, for an early birthday celebration. My birthday is on October 28 and their son, Logan, turns 18 on October 29. Two of their other children, Andrew (22) and Allie (15) also celebrated birthdays earlier this month. My late husband, Stewart, and I lived next door to Darin and Kari many years ago. Before children, job changes, and their relocation to California in 2009. It's a treat when I can visit them and also incorporate attending special charity events and Halloween themed amusement parks.
I'm picking up my daughter, Sara, from the LAX airport Friday afternoon for a weekend of fun! We have VIP tickets to the Young Storytellers Foundation's The Biggest Show fundraiser on Saturday, October 24 at New Roads School in Santa Monica, California. Actors Jack Black, Max Greenfield and Leslie Mann are among the artists scheduled to perform scripts written by fifth grade students in the Los Angeles area.
On Sunday we are going to the Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights event with haunted mazes, rides, scare zones and a terror tram.
I've been lucky to have been able to travel quiet a bit through the years. Whether it was accompanying my husband on business conferences in Hawaii and Washington, D.C., going on family vacations to Disney World and Orange Beach or treating my daughters to graduation trips to Chicago and New York City, I've found there are a few items that are necessities for traveling.
If you're visiting California and stay in a hotel such as the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica, I have a few packing ideas and hospitality recommendations in mind. You can get more information about this particular hotel on the website: http://www.fairmont.com/santa-monica/
My Overnight Travel Essentials
When I travel, I always take my iPad and my prescription medication with me. In addition, for this trip to California, I purchased a carry on bag and included the following items: a red fleece jacket to wear on the airplane; the magazine Guideposts and a copy of the book The Land of Stories - The Wishing Spell, personally signed by author Chris Colfer to read in the hotel; the DVD School of Rock with actor Jack Black because we might meet him at the VIP reception on Saturday night; my boarding pass and copies of our tickets to the Universal Studios Halloween event; and my daily medicine divided into two separate zippered pouches, a gold one for medicine I take in the day and a green bag containing medicine I take at bedtime.
My Top 3 Ideal Hospitality Items
By staying at different hotels and resorts, I've found there are 3 ideal hospitality items I wish an establishment would provide:
1. A high quality hair dryer
2. Along with personal toiletries such as small bottles of shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and lotion, I would like to see hotels offer other items including organic deodorant in spray bottles that can be used by both men and women and prepasted disposable toothbrushes.
3. A power strip charger that can be used for several different types of devices, including phones, tablets and iPods.
I am enjoying my stay in California and look forward to taking many more amazing trips!