Day One: Huntington Beach

Woke up in one place and went to bed in paradise. It was a long day travelling yesterday--with delays in NYC and a puking kid in the row in front of us, spewing onto K.'s brand new shop coat. However, the JetBlue experience was wonderful, timely and what with endless TV, I spent the time prepping for Southern California by watching non-stop Orange County Housewives complete with their endless facelifts, drunken escapades, blonde confidence, heaving bosoms, lives and behaviors modelled on total fantasy and wild, emulating children. I pity all the husbands and boyfriends for their perfidy and falsehoods. It was delightful. And, totally alien to this country mouse from her frosty plateau. Totally holiday fun!

We rolled into Long Beach--strolling into the sunshine--down the ramp into perfection. We rented a really nice Saturn. Bags were quick and we were on our way to the Huntington Beach Hyatt, which, before I go any further, is amazing. It is a rambling big, resort hotel with a heated pool outside and a multitude of little hot tubs sprinkled around the property all facing the water. Birds of Paradise, Clematis (planted in red and white stripes), and a big koi pond along with huge, terra cotta pots with plants are all over the place. There is a holiday image we will post tomorrow as it is so perfect for the 25th. There is a lovely bridge that takes you to Huntington Beach (which we walked down) which, in the early evening, people make these big bonfires to cook and sit by. Bonfires and Southern California makes one pause--but its just me. I'll get over it. The passagiata by the beach was remarkable...with the sunset and all the outside activity that seemed very calm and "safe" compared to the nuttiness that happens on Venice Beach and Santa Monica.

We arrived at the crossroads of surf and skate frenzy with Johns Surf and the Hurley store. A. and K went wild. Tons of their look, long boards, longer boards and longest boards along with surf boards and gear. Tons of stripes, graphics with a sprayed texture added in, more sticker than you know what to do with, colorways are all brown/black/beige and rusty, and more brands than you know what to do with. The big surprise for me was the "Obey" line of skateware by none other than our old pal, Shepherd Fairey. Teeshirts and hoodies using his poster imagery --and of course, the Andre the Giant/ Obey the Giant star. I hope to snap some shots to better understand what he is doing. It feels as if the art is driving the skate stuff...and some throw ins (like black jeans etc.) Aunty Baby proclaimed rightfully, that all the stuff in those stores were made "right here"--and if you go to certain taco establishments, the stars of these businesses will be found there. We hope to get an eyeball of that. As we strolled, there were more and more skate and surf stores along with these cute, blimpy bikes that are stretched out and very comfy looking. Lots of funny surf and skate related holiday stuff (iie a fake Christmas tree decorated with cruising board wheels) or bright red feather wreathes decorated with logo stuff from the industry. Great. Eyepopping. We settled on dinner at a mesquite/mexican place where we all dove into big plates of mexican food...getting us ready for a mexican breakfast this coming morning.

And there will be lots, tons, of picture taking today. I guarantee there will be some money spent today.