Celebrating My Friends Birthday

After I came back from Napa last week my friend and I were able to finally get ahold of each other and start planning a late birthday outing for her.

She wanted to spend the day together – since we talk a lot and need hours to catch up – so I planned a lunch and dinner for her birthday.

I decided to wear my “Collectif London” red top and “Collectif London” Jean wiggle skirt with my Louboutins.

A Hispanic cashier at the grocery store (where I bought my friend flowers in a vase and balloons) asked me if I’d ever heard the song, “por mujeres como tu” by Pepe Aguilar. I told him yes and then the African American man behind me in line looked at me and said, “Oh yes. Por mujeres como TU.” We laughed about it. It’s a really pretty Mexican song and I was flattered they thought a song like that could be fitting for me.

My friend and I met at the 18hundred – a trendy stylish restaurant with American hand crafted food.

I arranged the whole vase, flowers and balloons – she especially loved the vase and so did I.

Well call my friend Monica (to protect her privacy.) Monica & I had a nice time at the 18hundred. I was glad that nothing much has changed despite the restaurant acquiring new ownership last year. The food is still great, the place is unbelievably adorable and the music selection makes you want to get up and dance.

Interesting fact: The 18hundred building is 109 years old
They had the cutest selfie mirror downstairs by the bathroom

After leaving the 18hundred, Monica suggested we go to a bridal shop and try on dresses just for fun. I had never done that before but it sounded like fun!

We stopped at Dutch Bros coffee because I had a craving to try their cold coffee. It was our first time there believe it or not. I had heard my friends post about it for the last 2 years but had never been.

The drive thru girl standing outside taking orders was really cool and helped us find a drink we would like. She told us about the time she threw up after she drank the anhilator (it has 8 shots of espresso.) I loved how she broke out of work character and was just laughing and vibing with us. We decided on the “Golden Eagle” as that seemed to be a popular choice and she assured us it was one of her favorites.

At the drive thru window the employee and her manager wished my friend a happy birthday after they saw the flowers and balloons. They seemed very caffeinated and were extra excited haha. Monica was a bit embarrassed but I thought it was funny.

Excuse my arm – it’s still peeling from my sunburn. Monica and I LOVED the cute straw colors. Sometimes it’s the little details.

The verdict: the Golden Eagle was AMAZING. Do you know how hard it’s been to find a GOOD ICED COFFEE?? I mean I have searched high and low and now I finally have my place. I will definitely be a Dutch Bros customer from now on.

Isn’t it weird to think Starbucks actually has a competitor? I would’ve never imagined. I always saw Starbucks as the King of Coffee for all time. I guess no one can ever be sure that they’ll always be at the top. The thing is…some places start out strong but end up changing management, owners, etc and the product quality takes a hit. Other times they simply don’t change with the times which is just as detrimental.

Anyway we made it to David’s Bridal. I turned my car off and looked at Monica. “What are we gonna tell them?” I asked her. She said she would tell them she was the one getting married – she raised up her hand which had a fake engagement ring on (she uses it to deter men away.) It had costed her $7 and she asked me if it looked real. I looked at it, raised my eyebrows and said, “No.” We laughed about it but decided to go in anyway.

So we walked inside and one of the consultants greeted us and asked if we had a date set. It felt like she thought we were lesbians which was funny to me. We walked around looking at dresses and Monica never let it show that we were just there for fun. She seemed completely believable about her “upcoming wedding” when she talked to the store consultants who were eager to help her and incredibly friendly.

Monica asked me earlier if I’d ever thought about getting married as shes been thinking about it more often lately. I honestly never have – I grew up not caring much about weddings. As kids, my sister and her friend would look through bridal magazines and talk about their dream weddings. I just couldn’t be bothered to care. The idea of having a wedding just isn’t thrilling for me…except for the pretty wedding dress – you know I love a pretty dress. The dress literally has to be perfect – everything else can crash and burn but the dress…the dress!! I’m kidding I’m kidding haha.

We found a dress Monica liked and went to try it on in the fitting rooms. I didn’t find any I liked in my size. I tried on the tiara crown veil though. In my opinion, the crown veil is EVERYTHING. It’s not even a wedding without a crown veil. Tell the pastor to stay home if the bride doesn’t wear a crown veil. Hahaha…I’m kidding but I do wish I would’ve found a wedding dress to complete the look.

My friend would make such a pretty bride

We had a lot of fun at David’s Bridal – so much that Monica didn’t want to leave but we had dinner reservations at the country club. So we made our way out and as we walked to my car Monica looked up at the sky and jokingly shouted, “God please help us find a good man! We wanna get married! Are you listening??” “Yea God, are you listening?” I added and we laughed.

I hope my friend does meet a good man. In fact, I’m sure she eventually will.

We made it to the petroleum club at Sundale which is a private restaurant on the golf course. You can only get in if you have a club membership. I wanted my friends birthday to be special so I paid for membership just so we could eat there. Needless to say Monica loved the restaurant.

We took an elevator to the top floor where the restaurant overlooks the golf course. We were greeted by the hostess who seemed to be waiting especially for us. She knew my last name and walked us to our table which also had my last name on a placard. The table was elegant and the food was very good. The servers gave exceptional service as well. It was an experience we’d never had before.

I’ve been to many 4 & 5 star restaurants over the years but I’d never been to a private restaurant. Monica whispered how quiet and peaceful it felt in there. There was only one other couple sitting in a table down from us. We both understood the allure to private dining. It was just so…nice.

We had shrimp capellini, creme brulee for dessert and Monica had a Moscow Mule cocktail to celebrate being 21. Later that night she opened her gift from me which was a $200 gift card to Nordstrom Rack. She was so excited. I figured she’d love a little shopping spree because who wouldn’t right??

She then gave me some gifts she had for me from her trip to Africa (she went with her church recently.) I picked out a little wooden baby elephant and some beautiful flower earrings.

Her dog Remy climbed all over me while we talked in my car outside her house and she told me I looked good with a small dog. “Yea-Paris Hilton vibes,” I said rolling my eyes. “Ohmygod YESSS!!” She agreed and we both laughed.

It was the end of the night and her birthday was over but I could tell she had a great time and so did I. Here’s hoping that she has many more birthdays and that we continue to know each other for a long time.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Human trafficking & appearing on the News

So it all started last Wednesday. I took Layla with me to run errands. We stopped at the DMV but it was closed due to Cesar Chavez Day. We then headed to Home Goods where I picked up a few essentials for our bathroom. Let me just say my local Home Goods is heavenly. They were overstocked with amazing stuff.

At 4 pm I took Layla with me to my first Yoga class. growing up in a cult religion Yoga was “off-limits.” It was “bad.” Many articles were written from our religious leaders to scare us away from ever trying out such a “devilish practice.” Was it devilish though? Well I tried it and it was not devilish at all. I did not have to put my mind in a blank state. It was soothing, and calming. You are connecting with yourself, your body, your breathing, your emotions. It’s very healthy In so many ways. Sometimes I think back at the things I was made to be scared of and I laugh a little.

After We finished our snacks we walked out through the shopping plaza. Thats where things got weird. I noticed two young guys standing in front of a ROSS store (wearing all black) with an older women whispering something to one of them. She walked away as soon I came by. One of the guys approached me and asked me if I had some money to give him so they could get something to eat. He said that he and his friend were traveling from Jalisco Mexico to Colorado but the lady who was supposed to take them wouldn’t arrive until the next day. Everything seemed suspicious. I told him I didn’t have any cash on me and kept walking.

As soon as we left, Layla and I went to watch The Croods part 2 at the movie theatre. It was such a cool experience to finally see a movie at the movie theatre again. I have to say The Croods 2 was hilarious and visually pleasing. I felt that everyone wanted to clap when the movie finished. You could feel the excitement in the room. I should’ve started the clapping for the hell of it. I mean it’s been a whole year since we’ve done this so Hell Yeah that deserves a clap in my opinion.

Well it seems that the guys from ROSS and that lady followed me. After Layla and I left the movie theatre we headed to Walmart since I needed to get some groceries. That’s where things got weird.

It was about 9 pm when I walked into the Walmart with Layla. I felt drugged… as if I was on some sort of cocaine stimulant. I felt overly energetic and loud. Layla seemed to have the opposite effect. She seemed sedated. I had her lie down inside the main part of the shopping cart.

I then ran through the Walmart racing the shopping cart around while talking really fast. I would break the shopping cart if I saw people nearby as I didn’t want to hit them. It seemed like I was nascar driving it though.

I was at the produce section getting lettuce when the guy from ROSS walks straight up to me. He had no shopping cart or items in his hand. He said “Hi how are you?” I leaned in closer to him, squinted my eyes and said “aren’t you the guy from ROSS??!!” I was really hyper. He shrugged a little embarrassed it seemed and nodded yes.

He then proceeded to give me a story on how the police didn’t let them stay at the ROSS anymore and this “nice lady” who was helping them out gave them a ride and brought them to Walmart.

He only made himself look more suspicious. He then asked me for money again. I told him I couldn’t give him any money because my family needed it more. He asked if I had a husband and when I told him no, he asked for my number. I said “Oh No NO no…!! I don’t hAVe timE for THaT!! I have to look after all of my family – definitely not, no! I don’t have time to date!” I was very dramatic without wanting to be. I also felt that I gave him “crazy eyes” a few times accidentally. I was so hyped up and not like myself. He told me I was pretty. “Oh you can find pretty things anywhere,” I told him matter of factly. Then I told him I had to cut the conversation short because I needed to hurry and finish grocery shopping since I had a long way home. He said he understood. I asked him his name. He said his name was Juan. “I’m Denise” I said as I firmly shook his hand and added, “Well take care and good luck on your trip to Colorado!”

He said thanks and told me I was pretty one last time. “Yes thank you! I mean No- I mean thanks !” I said laughing a little. He looked a little weirded out but smiled and nodded before walking away.

I continued to zoom through the aisles with the shopping cart and talk loudly to myself while Layla seemed completely un phased and sedated. At one point I loudly said “DO I REALLY NEED TOMATOES?! … I DONT THINK SO !!!! ….but I do need CUCUMBERS!!!” A lady passing by with her kids, raised her eyebrows and smiled. One of her kids came over and stood right in front of me. He seemed about 17. I was feeling each cucumber to make sure I didn’t take any soft ones and this young kid just stood there making me feel uncomfortable. I started giving him a disgusted look and he finally walked away. Like honey, leave me and my cucumbers alone! This is private. Jesus. He was making it really awkward.

People seemed to think I was funny though the way I talked and ran around the Walmart. I can say I have never acted like that in my life so it was pretty bizarre. I paid for our groceries and then got my self defense tool out before walking to the parking lot with Layla. I didn’t see the guy from ROSS anymore but when I got to my car I saw one guy in his car behind mine and one guy in his car in front of my car. It seemed a little strange but I didn’t pick up bad vibes. I protected Layla by putting the grocery cart in front of her and giving her the weapon to hold. I then put the groceries in the trunk of my Jeep as fast as I could. Looking back I should’ve just had security escort me to my car. Anyway, I got Layla in safely, as well as myself and I locked the car as soon as we were in. I noticed there was double the normal security outside as well as police officers in tan suits. Then again that Walmart is known for criminal activity at night.

Thankfully we got home safe and I didn’t see anyone tail gating or following me. My brother later told me my car door handles could’ve been laced with drugs while I was at the movie theatre.

This incident made me more aware on ways to protect and defend myself. I will be getting my CCW Permit soon to carry a glock gun on me. I’m honestly excited about it. If anyone tries following me around again they’re going to be saying hello to my little friend.

There is also a keychain from invisawear.com that texts up to 5 contacts your exact location. You can hang it on your pants and it looks like a normal keychain. I also like the alarm keychain that makes an ear piercing noise. There’s nothing like the glock though if you ask me. I’m ready to be Laura Croft: Tomb Raider.

The following day I met my friend at a trendy Hotel restaurant. We met when we were part of a pyramid scheme two years ago. Thank goodness we finally saw through it and left at the same time. I met so many great people though.

My friend Esme surprised me with two gift bags for me “just because.” It was so unexpected but also super nice. I was kicking myself for not bringing her something too. It’s really the little things that make the world go round.

We literally spent 12 hours talking that day. She’s PuertoRican and I don’t know what I am except Spaniard-Mexican…but we both talk a lot.

Well we were sitting at the table talking, enjoying our cheeseburgers and cheesecake, when a news reporter comes up to me and asks me if I knew that the First Lady Jill Biden had spent the night in the hotel and had just left. I had no idea. He asked if I had any words with her or any interaction at all. He asked if I had been at her Cesar Chavez event the day before. I had not and neither had my friend. The news reporter was about to turn away when he turned back towards me suddenly and asked, “Can I interview you?”

I was startled but replied “Sure! I just don’t know what I’m going to say.” He assured me that I didn’t need to worry. He would ask the questions and fix it up so we would look good. He asked me to put the microphone piece on my suit blazer and began recording me. Basically I talked about how I noticed Black SUVs outside on the side of the hotel as well as police cars so I figured someone important was at the hotel but I had no idea it was Jill Biden. When he Interviewed my friend Esme he asked her if she was excited to know Jill Biden had just been in the hotel. She replied, “Honestly I was more excited to see my friend…but she did tell me something about some SUVs and I was like, ‘hmm what’s going on??’”

Those were the clips the news reporter decided to put on the news. My friend and I had a good laugh at what we said and the fact that we happened to be on the news so randomly that day.

Truth is though…I don’t like getting into political things because it’s such a touchy subject. I have friends from both sides. Personally though my friend and I like Trump but we’re respectful of other peoples choices. I feel that people should be able to like anything including mustard on apple sauce and people shouldn’t judge someone on their choices. I don’t like the division politics creates.

I also think that Jill Biden is most likely a very nice woman. It was an interesting experience to be on the news. We were a bit nervous but thankfully you couldn’t tell.

As we continued to eat our food, we noticed secret service and military personnel walking out of the hotel.

Also an interesting fact about the Padre Hotel where we had lunch: they say the 7th floor is haunted. Particularly room 704.

Many tragedies have happened at the hotel including fires and earthquakes trapping young children into their premature death. The hotel was bought by a couple of business men from San Diego and began its remodeling in 2002. It was finished and reopened by 2010. It is referred to as a “boutique hotel” and also known as the “gem” of Bakersfield California. As soon as you step inside you know it’s a luxury experience. It’s not just luxury though. They did an amazing job at combining luxury with a trendy modern feel. I wouldn’t expect anything less from San Diego Designers though.

Despite it being haunted I just might go back for the food. Ugh and the vibe. It’s such a beautiful Hotel. They also have a type of night club that might be reopening later this year. I’m somewhat skeptical of going to a night club because of the things that can happen but at the same time it’s on my bucket list as I’ve never properly partied at a night club before and the young person stuck in me wants to live out that experience. I’ll just take my glock to be safe. I’ll be like an undercover party goer. I would obviously not drink or eat anything there unless I see it being prepared and I would never leave my drink unattended. Party rules 101 right?? Ugh. This reminds me… I want to go to IBIZA so bad. That’s big time on my bucket list. Big time big time. Imagine being on a plane with a bunch of friends and hyped up people ready to party?? One can only dream…

Thanks for reading,

Denise