Sunday, January 20, 2008

{ LA, Dallas, and Meeting Joni }

Dennis & Leen Showroom LA
Day 1 - LA We arrived to sheer Bliss - sunshine and 72 degree temperature, which was most welcome after leaving Vancouver at 8AM to darkness and the perpetual rain that makes the other 6 months of the year (May thru September) worth living here. Pick-up the rental car and hit the freeway to Santa Monica and spend a few hours at Fred Segal and walking Santa Monica Blvd before checking into our Hotel, Le Montrose, which I was happy to see is a stone's throw away from the Pacific Design Center. After a quick change we are off to see the sights: Beverly Center & Sunset Strip.
Day 2 - After getting copious directions from our Concierge we head off to the LA Mart. Only a scant one hour in traffic....relatively easy by LA standards. Heaven.

I visit the Jamie Young showroom and finally get to see these lamps in person. Heaven.

Jamie Young's most popular lamp right now

Sofa at the Kravet showroom covered in Lee Jofa Sassari Ikat

I saw a real yellow theme happening for the upcoming season. So fresh.

Python side tables on castors

Python X Benches

Then back in the car to head to the Pacific Design Center. It is now 11:00. Everything in LA revolves around the freeway and timing for traffic is crucial. I arrive at the PDC and have a scant 2 hours before I have to be back on the freeway to the Mart to pick-up my daughter. Okay now it is serious concentration and deciding what is absolutely essential to see. My first stop is Hollyhock, Susan Reinstein's store. I breathe, take it all in, am Albert Hadley's book: Drawings and the Design Process and 2 wonderful cast bronze planters and head off to the PDC, but first decide to stop at Nancy Corzine, Formations & Dennis and Leen. Then on to the PDC. There is so much to see that I can't do it all. So priorities: Janus et Cie, Edelman Leather, Ralph Pucci, Neirman Weeks, Donghia....and I am all out of time. That evening supper at a superb Italian restaurant sitting outside on the warm...then on to The Grove for some power shopping.

Nancy Corzine

Traditional Moroccan carpet

Chandelier at Donghia

Janus et Cie

Ceramic Coral Lamp at Nierman Weeks

Artwork at Nierman Weeks

Day 3 - We fly to Dallas at 5:00 PM and we need to buy an extra suitcase for all our purchases at The Grove last night. Then there is time to visit the hip Kitson Botique on Robertson Blvd for some funky zebra print scarves, Sak's for a new pair of Tory Burch Randy Flats, Anne Fontaine for wonderful double color white blouses, and we walk the Rodeo Drive strip and have lunch on the sidewalk at The Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive before we head off to LAX. A quick lunch and a rearranging of our suitcases to accommodate all the shopping purchases. I am so excited to be going to Dallas because I will finally be meeting Joni of Cote de Texas blogging fame. I feel like I already know her through emails and reading her Blog. She is flying in from Houston and staying at the same Hotel as us. Charmaine and I arrive at our Hotel in Dallas at 10:00 PM, only to find that they have given us a room with a one Double Bed when 2 beds were requested and paid in advance two months ago. We sit in the Lobby and moan and complain while I am finally getting to meet Joni. We are all tired by now and we (my daughter is a little crusty about the mix-up). They put a roll away cot in the room and we fall into bed exhausted. But I have finally met Joni and we plan to meet up for Breakfast in the morning.

Day 4 - Breakfast with Joni and we are off to a good start. We compare what our favorite coffees are: I am a double shot Latte gal and Joni has a coffee drink that totally intrigues me - a coffee with foam on top and a shot of Vanilla. She tries my Latte and we are instant comrades. Then we head off to the Dallas Mart using the GPS Navigation lady to get us there. After a few "re-calculating" maneuvers we arrive to filled parking lots and Joni expertly lands us a parking spot by seeing someone leaving and driving them to their car and getting their spot. I am impressed!! Way to go Joni. We then register (which is another task of mammoth proportion that Joni again breezes us through like a pro) and we then proceed to maneuver our way through the Mart. We focus and develop a game plan because it is so huge and there is so much to see that you can't do it all. We visit my daughter's showroom that carries her line of greeting cards and hit some showrooms. Joni and I find that we have very similar tastes, we get excited about the same things, and it is easy to navigate through the maze of showrooms together. These are some of the things we get excited about.............

This mirror would be great on either side of a fireplace

Crystal Candlestick

Chinoiserie inspired side table

A good looking Classic Brass and marble table

We have lunch, talk, laugh, get to know each other. And I can hardly believe we are finally talking face to face. Heaven. We both agree that this would make a great little chair in a Bedroom

A Ruthie Summers look alike chair
We go back to the Hotel with the GPS Lady this time we are having conversations with her like she is the annoying but lovable "back seat driver". We rest up and Joni and I get our second wind and sit on the bed in her room like teenagers talking and surfing the Internet and Blogs on her laptop. Heaven. It is 1:30 AM and we can't stop talking.

Day 5 - Our last day in Dallas. We decide to visit the Highland Village Mall and do some fun browsing. Joni's daughter Elizabeth has just gotten her report card and has done quite well and Mom wants to buy her a gift at Tory Burch and my daughter loves Tory Burch, so we have a consensus.....Tory Burch it is. We tell our GPS Lady where we want to go, but unbeknowst to her there is major construction on the road we need to use, so after "re-calculating" and driving in circles, Joni takes the upper hand and ignores the GPS and gets us there on her own. Joni and I end up falling in love with the same scarf at Tory and we each buy the same one (now we are true girlfriends).
Joni at Troy Burch with her purchases...That is yellow scarf that we both had to have!!!

We have an absolute ball at this store. It is fun, colorful, trendy and the staff are so great. We have just a few minutes left before we need to head to the airport and for the finale we head over to Anne Fontaine and again we each buy the same white shirt and find out that we also have the same tastes in clothes. We are not wanting our time together to end, but alas all good things end and we say our farewells and I get Joni to promise me that she will think about a trip to Paris together.....soon, very soon!!!!!!!!!!!!
To be continued in Paris.

Okay, Joni has also done a post on our meeting....go to her Blog to read it.