Friday, July 3, 2015

Our First Excursion

When Sugar Plum Fairy was asked to be the Junior Queen at the Portuguese Celebration, we sat down and prioritized.
At the top of the list was choosing two young ladies who would accompany us on this journey as attendants.
As far as our daughter was concerned, there were only two that came to mind.  
 These three girls have been friends since kindergarten and we have always been friendly with their parents, but allowing their daughters to travel with us as well as being available for dress shopping and picture taking and, and, and and....well, that is a commitment we weren't sure any sane parent would agree too.
We explained to the parents what we knew and lo and behold, they all did the girls. 
And so we were off. 
While I have known these girls for 5 years, I have never been with them, all together, for extended periods of time.  
In the past 3 weeks, that has changed.
Our first trip was to Los Angeles to the Garment District. 
Hubby and Lollipop Pop were asked quite sweetly to PLEASE join us.
They agreed.
For those of you not familiar, the garment district is downtown Los Angeles. 
  I don't normally like cities.
This is a city.
With traffic that takes three times longer to get through.
I knew we had one day with three 10 year old girls to navigate this maze of streets and shops to find  matching formal dresses and hopefully matching dresses to be worn during the Celebration before and after the parade and Grand March.
My family makes fun of me because I am a planner.
A list maker.
And I was on a mission.
We could not waste our time wandering and wondering where to go.
I asked questions of friends and family for their suggestions. 
Cash only.
Negotiate with the shopkeepers.
I researched online and discovered that while the LA Mart is huge, it is well organized.
And as with most things, there is "an app for that".
 Parking lots are readily available and marked on maps. 
 The shops are clustered together by the type of items they carry.
  Kids clothing is close together and I kept that map available all day.
We spent hours walking and trying on dresses.
There are so many to see and choose from.
  It helped that we had a color palette to stick with and they girls knew what types were appropriate.
These girls were troopers. 
The only negative we heard all day (and not said in a whining or complaining way) was that their feet were tired.
Mine too! 
We stopped for lunch at the end of Santee Ally and people watched. 
 After being re-energized with yummy and fresh food, we continued and found success. 
Formal dresses were located.
Bargained for.
And purchased.
All three girls adored an after parade dress that they had tried on before lunch so we headed back.  What we learned about the Garment District is that the stores can only hold a certain number of sizes, but there are warehouses somewhere nearby.
A phone call to the warehouse and item number such and such in a size whatever is delivered to the shop in less than 30 minutes. 
 It really was interesting.
It also gave us a break. 
What I discovered in this shop was that these girls are perfect together.
I expect at some point there will be bickering or hurt feelings as they are human,  but I have yet to see it. 
They plopped themselves down while we waited and played clapping games. 
They talked.
 They had fun and they were little girls.
Theses are lousy photos...
I am a lousy camera phone photographer...
especially with signs around saying no photos.
 And when they dresses arrived, they smiled and twirled and were sweet young and all.
 After a potty break at Starbucks (because Double Chocolate Chip Frappacinos  cure all) we headed home. 
So what did I learn after spending an exhausting day with these girls? 
I learned that they are polite without being reminded.
They say please and thank you...without being reminded.
They are not complainers.
They are hilarious (a rousing alphabet game that involved "refluffles" proved this fact) and have parents who tease them at home.
 They encourage one another.
I am excited that these two will be a part of this tradition with our daughter.
We could not have asked better young ladies.


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