Time sure flies! My trip to Palm Springs was a BLAST, what could be better than a road trip with model horse friends? All the planning, all the packing, all the driving - it was all worth it! I road-tripped with some fellow "clinky collectors" so you can imagine what was in all the stuff wadded into the rental van:
We rolled into Palm Springs at the "high heat" of the day (Thursday 6/25), about 5:30 PM. It was only 111 degrees... BLURG! We unloaded the van (thank goodness for curbside unloading), collapsed in the blissful air conditioning of our room, then mosied along to pick up our NAN packets. Packets gathered, we grabbed a late dinner at a wonderful deli just down the street from the hotel, Sherman's Deli. Tummies full, we made a late night run to the grocery store to stock up on in-room essentials like breakfast stuffs and Starbucks Via coffee (life-savers, these were!).
Friday, 6/26/15: the first day of NAN! This was "OF plastic" day for me, I had only a hand-full of horses qualified and only brought a few - I figured this was my "ticket" into the show hall since Kathy was showing in AR/CM performance (and did really well, too!) and Tracy was volunteering. None of my OF plastics did much, but I wasn't really expecting them to. The classes were large, and the competition was incredibly tough! Still, a fun day was had. Drooling on horses, hanging out with my long-time friend, Cory Hartung!
Cory and I have known each other FOREVER. For those hobbyists who have been around a while, do you remember those "pen pals wanted" ads that used to run in the old "Just About Horses" magazine? Yes, all those horse-crazy, Breyer-obsessed pre-teens looking to write letters to each with (GASP!) pens on paper and sending those messages off into the great, vast U.S. Postal system... That is how Cory & I "met" all those years ago. And we stayed in contact over the years, through real teen-ager years, boyfriends, horses, pets, parents, you-name-it! We first got to meet "in person" when I attended a live show in Southern CA - Cory wasn't showing but stopped by with her then-boyfriend (now husband!) just to say, "Hi!" They couldn't stay, but it was our first face-to-face meeting... Years later (7 or more???) I went down to the L.A. area to visit several museums (the Getty Museum, the Museum of Tolerance, the King Tut exhibit at the L.A. County M.O.M.A., etc.) and in conversing with Cory she got us the "friends-and-family" hook-up at the hotel she worked at. We dragged Cory along with us for one of the days and did the MOMA and the LaBrea Tar Pits tourist-y things. So now, 2015, was our "once-a-decade" chance to hang out - and it was at NAN!
After a long, hot day at NAN, what do you do? Have a margarita, of course!
Saturday 6/27/15 - NAN, Day 2. CM/AR halter day for me. Tracy was showing OF performance (and kicked some serious booty!), Kathy was judging all over the place. My horses didn't do much (I didn't bring many), my NASD mare (Noble Love) won a Top Ten. Again, large classes and tough competition. No complaints, though! Cory & I left the show hall early, as my classes were done. What to do in the middle of the afternoon when you're in the middle of a desert? Find a much cooler place, of course! Cory & I went up the Palm Springs Tramway to hang out on top of the mountain, where it was a LOVELY 78 degrees or so...
After we got back to the hotel, Kathy & Tracy arrived back from their respective NAN days and we went to find dinner. Tracy is a big fan of Yelp!, so based on Yelp reviews we opted to try The Tropicale. No regrets! Patio seating was fast, service was wonderful (and very helpful in recommending drinks!), the food was great, and we all had a much-needed good time. Cheers!
We managed to get everything back to the hotel room, Cory had to gather her stuff & get the heck outta dodge to get back home to her family. When you're brain-dead, glorified zombies, you apparently don't think clearly. Cory had made a trip down to her car, the rest of us went down to the hotel bar to secure dinner. Cory came back to gather the rest of her stuff, and figured that someone was in the bathroom so she laid down and closed her eyes to wait... And wait... And wait... Eventually, she figured out that there was NO ONE in the bathroom so she called my cell phone. *facepalm* I felt like such an @$$, LOL! She found us down in the bar on her way out, we all hugged and said our good-byes! No hard feelings, that's a true friend! (Seriously, I felt like pond scum!)
And then came the bad news: one of my road-tripping buddies needed to get back home by a certain time on Monday. In figuring our departure time on Monday morning, we needed to be loaded and at our planned breakfast spot no later than 6:30 AM. Uhh, yeah, OK. We did it. The drive home went well and we stopped at the famous Harris Ranch Restaurant & Inn. Californians who have driven I-5 know the spot, others know the Harris Ranch for their beef, other know Harris Ranch for its connection to the race horse, California Chrome. Regardless, I had never stopped/eaten there (always wanted to!) so it was a treat. More yummy food/drink (watermelon lemonade - yes, it is exactly what it sounds like and it is SO GOOD!)... I did have to snap a hasty photo of an old newspaper-type print, it didn't come out very clear so I guess I'll just "have" to go back!