Deja Vu

You remind me, yeah
You remind me of such sweet memories
OhI saw you before baby
It’s a deja vu honey
Don’t you know that you remind me

You Remind Me – Mary J Blige

I have been traveling to NYC in February every year since 2013. It has been a constant for me and a savior from the winter blues, even when it’s a blizzard or lowest temperatures on record. I feed off the energy and it fuels my creative juices. I don’t know why January always seems so brutal but this year was no different than any other, just a new set of challenges. I was looking forward for this trip especially when my round-trip flight cost $5.20. And, after a few conversations, I was able to convince my friend, Sofi to go with me.

I headed out early because the Jet Blue red eye only runs Monday and Thursday during the week and I made a commitment to back on Saturday for La Noche Encantada. Beyond attending Fashion Week shows, I wanted to meet with my tattoo artist to talk about collaboration for Paris Fashion Week, have dinner with Amanda and Andy, fabric shop and get my brows done at Macy’s Herald Square (yes, I go to NYC for my brows, don’t judge). However, a HUGE opportunity was presented to me the week before my departure. The Louis Vuitton team from Herald Square reached out to the Stylist team to talk about the opportunity to sell to Louis Vuitton (yes, Louis Vuitton) to our clients when they use their Macy’s card. I was ALL over the opportunity, so I explained I would be visiting and we set up a time for training on the process and an overview of all the offerings.

Sofi would be joining me Wednesday night so I scheduled all my engagements before her arrival. I worked Monday; went home packed and headed to the airport at 10pm. I was pretty exhausted so I knew I wouldn’t have a hard time falling asleep…the only issue would be whether or not my row would be full or I’d be able to lay out. Thank you, God, I had the whole row to myself so strapped into the middle seat belt I laid horizontal and soaked out as much sleep as I could squeeze out to the 3 and a half hour flight. Arriving to NYC about 5:30am, I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. I was on a pretty tight budget for this trip and since Super Shuttle, formerly, my inexpensive way into the city, was no longer in operation, I put on my big girl panties and decided to take the subway to my hotel in lieu of an Uber or Lyft ($10.50 vs $40). I really had to wake up now and pay attention to where I was going. I had to switch trains once but made without too many issues in getting there (it was morning rush hour so the train from Jamaica Square was a little tight).

I arrived at the Doubletree Metropolitan about 7:30am and was able to check into my room with warm cookies about 9am. Exhaustion took over so I took off my clothes and climbed into bed with Vanderpump Rules on the tv as background noise. I came in and out of consciousness, finally waking up at 1pm. I was planning on meeting Amanda and Andy in Hoboken, NJ for dinner about 6:30pm. I jumped into the shower and dressed in layers because I know how cold the weather along the waterfront in NJ can be. I wore a sweater dress, nylons, over-the-knee boots, my North Face zip up hoodie and my faux fur coat and headed out. I decided I would head out to St. Patrick’s Cathedral, as I always do to say a prayer for me. Luckily, it was three blocks west. However, I noticed my hotel was caddy-corner from the historic Waldorf-Astoria, the grand dame hotel, and the first place I stayed in NYC back in 2005. Currently under a remodel, I couldn’t go in to see this beautiful art deco designed hotel but it started the chain of deja vu moments throughout this trip.

After a few prayers at St. Patrick’s in being in awe of the beauty this holy place hold for me, I decided to get my energy infusion and sensory overload from Times Square. I walked through and moved on to Herald Square. I wanted to find the Macy’s employee entrance before my meeting in the morning (I had been smiling ridiculously the week before at the thought that I was going into Herald Square to learn about Louis Vuitton…wait, did I tell you about this already…lol).

I continued on to the Path Station on 23 street. I was dying. The weather was gorgeous and I was wearing too many layers. As I walked up to the station, deja vu hit again. I had been there a year before, having problems with the ticket booth and being introduced to a ginormous subway rat, so as I descend into the bowls of the city, I was alert of what might pop out to say, “hello”, while having both cash and card ready to purchase my ticket. I arrived earlier than Amanda and Andy, so instead of hanging out in the train station with all the “real cool” people, I decided to walk to the restaurant since it was such a beautiful night. As I walked through the neighborhood, I asked myself if I could live there. The streets were quaint some still with charm like cobblestone streets and full gardens in the front patios with easy access to the city, I thought I just might.

I arrived a little bit early and got our table. They arrived and I greeted them with big hugs. I was so happy they could join me for a dinner early in the work week. Amanda asked about my plans this trip and we talked about life since I last saw them in December. I think I finally convinced them to come out to NM in May (fingers crossed). I loved that I was with them as their daughter shared her wedding video, so I got see it as well as Amanda’s emotional response to it–it was beautiful.

We continued to eat, drink, converse and laugh, especially at the Exit sign that was covered with a simple piece of paper that said, “This is Not an Exit”. They both said, “only in New Jersey”. We walked back to the train station embraced and headed our own ways. I boarded the train and got off at the 33rd street station, this time it was early enough that I wasn’t afraid I was going to be locked in underground. The night was so incredibly beautiful, I decided to walk back to the hotel (5 miles walked).

I crashed into a deep sleep but woke up a few hours later and made myself go back to sleep. I woke around 8am and realized I needed to leave the hotel by 8:30am to get to Macy’s by 9:00am. Walking traffic was a crowded as the subway the morning before. I envisaged walking to work and thought about where I’d live and my ideal job in the city.

As I approached the Macy’s entrance on 35th, I joined the mass going in and I got the goosebumps. I was so excited and felt like I was walking into Miracle on 34th Street. This was it the flagship store and I was training with the Louis Vuitton team (did I already tell you that?). The entrance was different than my own at Coronado. I checked in and presented my ID. I called my contact when I was informed that I would need to be picked up from this area. My colleague, Imran, came a few minutes later and took me over to the store within a store. I met Amanda the store manager and we started from the 3rd floor and worked our way down.

The top floor was a museum of beautiful hand panted trunks, women’s shoes and accessories. The two of them talked about how I would get an assist credit on orders placed with the Herald Square location. We talked about the seasonality of the product offerings which added to the exclusivity of Louis Vuitton.

We moved on down to the 2nd floor and the men’s offerings. I already had a client waiting for me to come back and work with him on a few accessories, so I asked a number of questions about the products.

We continued down to the first floor. I learned about the latest spring offerings and the luxurious fabrics, the design and the desire it all created. I snapped photo after photo building my portfolio for social media to generate the excitement that I could be the key in New Mexico for Louis Vuitton. Right now you can by fake ones, previously used ones or order on-line but I could help curate your collection directly. That made me happy and I really want to overachieve this goal as well as make the team aware of it so if the opportunity arrives in NYC…just sayin! After being given a goodie bag of the latest scents and some more photos, I headed upstairs to start the posts and grab a coffee. I loved saying, “I’m a Macy’s employee for my discount at Starbucks.” Around 11am, I made my way back to the hotel. I was planning to meet Anna, my tattoo artist at the Whitney for a conversation on creation and collaboration and to view the exhibit on Mexican Murals.

On my path back to the hotel and literally across the street from Macy’s is the Desigual flagship store. New York Fashion Week began for me in 2013 with a ticket to see Desigual at Lincoln Center. It absolutely changed my life in so many ways. I am grateful for heartache and the heartfelt life I’ve lived because of it. Thanks for reminding me La Vida es Chula and Sex. Fun. Love. ♥️💋

The weather was still incredibly mild for February so I decided I’d walk to the Whitney, which is on the westside near the Hudson river. As I walked through Chelsea, I stopped at a few mom and pop shops to look at fabric and such.I walked down the street of the Doubletree I normally stay at and smiled, I looked over to my favorite local coffee shop to see Malcom Gladwell step out. Now, I didn’t stop him to talk about his writings or ask for his photo, but knew it was him and smiled. I received a message from Ana saying it was looking more like 3pm, so walked around the corner I popped into the FIT museum to see the latest exhibit and to kill some time.

I guess I’ve visited so many times that the pieces I saw were from previous collections, yet I was still inspired. I continued west through campus and dreamed what it would be like to be a student. As I walked down 8th, deja vu hit me fiercely, but I had been there just a year before. As I walked past Dallas BBQ, I was reminded of my first official NYFW visit and being stopped on the street by a clairvoyant named Dallas and every time I see a reminder of Dallas, I want to reach out to her and find out what she currently sees in my life. I walked south past Momofuku Nishi and remember getting flustered when I couldn’t find it and having a smiling face peer out to great me and the wonderful dinner of pasta, wine pairing and conversation a cold February night, just the year before. I smiled and continued on.

Checking off my 3rd Eduardo Kobra mural…I absolutely adore them and hope to stumble upon all of them in my Ms Adventures in NYC

As I walked through the meat packing district toward the Whitney, I looked up and saw familiar lighting coming from a building in the distance. This trip I had a different view. Last June, I was enjoying cocktails from that view above wondering what was on the lower level. Today, I was there. I was early for our meeting time so I decided to visit the high line. I had been talking about going there every trip and especially when I was there last April when I thought I was going to be doing dinner solo on a beautiful spring day. I walked through the path and enjoyed the views the flora and the art that dotted the landscape.

Can you see the lights at the Top of the Standard?

I finally got in contact with Anna and we met on the 8th floor cafe. We started talking about our day and slowly moved into ideas about design and how to incorporate her designs into what I would create. I looked through her sketch book with intention from woman figures, to script to clowns, there were beautifully sketched pieces that I thought could be incorporated into a printed pattern or free-formed painting on fabric. We talked about out the options. As we wrapped up our discussions, the view from the windows called to me so I stepped outside to take it all in.

sketch by Anastassia Menshikova

We descended the stairs and went into the exhibits. Unfortunately, I paid the $25 ticket and the Mexican Mural exhibit wasn’t up yet. However, I saw a familiar New Mexico artist and the painting that my mom had a print of. We also appreciated a number of fashion based sculptures. We walked out about 20 minutes later.

As we walked we talked about tattoos. Anna mentioned how much tattoo artists hate getting them. I laughed because I assumed because of the sheer number of them each artist, I’ve seen, tends to have. Walking down the road she blurted out, as a pothead I feel it my responsibility to offer you some. I smiled thinking she must feel comfortable with me to offer. I declined but it brought up the discussion on pot and whether it had been legalized in NYC as I smelt it around every block in the city. She stated it hadn’t but it was decriminalized. That discussion went on to include whether or not you can drink or smoke before getting a tattoo. She said really it doesn’t make you bleed more if you drink but tattoo artists don’t want to deal with your drunk ass. She also highly recommended not smoking before going in for one if you don’t smoke on the regular because you don’t know what reaction you will have. I just figured I’d ask in case I want to take a shot of tequila the next time. LOL. We parted ways a few blocks down the road. Famished I stopped by Cava for a kids meal and made my way back to the hotel to prepare for Sofi’s arrival. Along the way, I stopped by a wine and liquor store. It was one on Madison that I had frequented two years prior when I was staying with Laura for my AW showing at NYFW and we stocked up on wine because a bottle for $9 is better than a glass for $10. As I write this blog, I finally googled why beer and wine aren’t sold in the same store. I guess beer is considered a bread product and can be sold with food. Wine and spirits are considered alcohol and alcohol and food can’t be sold under the same roof. HUH?!? Well, ok.

I saw you before baby
It’s a deja vu honey
Don’t you know that you remind me

You Remind Me – Mary J Blige

I got back to the hotel and relaxed for a couple of hours. Checking and responding to email; reading messages from colleagues whose positions have been eliminated from the company and feeling a little melancholy about it all. I was watching Twilight New Moon (the absolutely BEST one of the series) when Sofi arrived, around 8:30pm. As she was freshening up, I was scrolling through Instagram and saw a post from our social media team that the Style Crew members in NYC had a chance to see Jessica Simpson today at 6pm. AGAD!! I was just there earlier and wished I had seen it, so I sent a message to the team leaders saying sharing my bummery. It was a total missed opportunity.

The original plan was to go to dinner at this fabulous Chinese restaurant I had been introduced to in the East Village but after realizing we’d be leaving about 9:30pm and the restaurant closes at 10:30pm. We opted to stay nearby. I had told her about the igloos on the rooftop of 230 5th and since it still was a lovely evening we opted to go there. Of course I made Sofi walk, because it was only 23 blocks away and since we’d be noshing on appetizers and sipping cocktails it would be a great way to get our metabolism going (I don’t think she entirely believed me). When we arrived it was a little after 10pm and for a Wednesday night there was a good mix of people but it wasn’t super busy. We found an igloo to ourselves which was a nice break from the light breeze filling the air. The last time I had been here was 5 years ago, during the day and in May and the views are absolutely phenomenal with the Empire State Building within reach, around the other corner, the golden gilded Woolworth Building (sorry, Sof I thought it was the Met Life Building), and just a little further, the Freedom Tower. When we realized there wasn’t table service we got up to order at the bar. Fried foods and cocktails were on the menu tonight…OH BOY! With cocktails in hand we walked back to the igloo and found there were a handful of people there, both of us being wallflowers we opted to sit under the heaters in the open space. It was really nice until the breeze started picking up, but we had a great conversation about work and what we hoped to do for the next few days. We headed back about midnight, Sofi made me take the subway. Back in the room we drank more wine and continued our conversation until drifting off about 2am (10 miles walked).

dreamy gray day in NYC

I woke the next morning around 8am. I had an appointment at the brow bar at Macy’s. I tease that I fly out to NYC to get my brows done (I do but sometimes it’s months in between and I really am looking like a uni-brow…lol). Walking, I arrived just minutes before the store opened. I love the way Herald Square welcomes its guests with music and clapping. I made my way to the Benefit Brow Bar, saying a warm “hello” to Kosima, aesthetician. She asked about my trip and what shows I’d be seeing. We talked about her recent vacation to Jamaica and how warm and beautiful that was. After 20 minutes, my brows were separate and quite lovely. I asked her were the Last Act formal dresses were because 1. I was on a tight budget and 2. I still didn’t have my dress for La Noche Encantada.

As I was perusing the beautiful dresses and realizing Last Act pricing at Herald Square was not the same as Last Act Coronado, I realized I had a direct message from Noura Barnes, one of the leads for Macy’s social media. She mentioned there was another event happening on Friday and if I was in town she would share the invite. I asked her to please share. I also mentioned I was at Herald Square and if she had time I’d love to visit with her. She did but mentioned she was in the building across the street. I headed her way.

11:11

As I went through security and received my temporary badge, I had a reminder from someone that I was in the right place at the right time. I went upstairs and had a lovely conversation with Noura. She talked about the background of #MacysStyleCrew, about upcoming opportunities, and some changes within the organization. And like any good leader, she asked for my ideas and input taking notes she offered to look into it more. We talked for about 45 minutes and then like social media mavens took a selfie together. I headed out and realized that I needed to check with my team back home because they were taking on the fitting for the emcee of La Noche. I’m glad that I did because nothing was in place as I had asked, which totally frustrated me because I took the time to ensure that everything was in place. It ended working out smoothly and the emcee didn’t end up wearing the clothing, but I hate not looking professional and that could’ve been a reflection on me and my work. Because of that I needed to walk it out, so I headed back to the hotel on foot.

As I arrived, Sofi was ready to hit the town. We were both hungry so opted to go to Urbanspace, a cafeteria like concept that you could choose between several different restaurants in one location. We walked to the one near Grand Central Station (later realizing there was one right across the street from our hotel). The only event we had planned for the evening was the ASC Fashion Week Industry Party at Celon on 40th. I did want to continue to look for a dress and accessories so I thought I’d try Buffalo Exchange and Sofi was down. We headed west, but like every start to your trip in NYC, you need to go to Times Square for that energy rush. We did and I got a few great photos of her soaking it all in. We then headed down fashion avenue.

As we approached, FIT I asked Sofi if she wanted to she the exhibits. When she agreed, we went in. Unfortunately, the ballerina one I wanted to see wasn’t open yet…what the heck NYC two exhibits I’d miss out on this trip. We walked through the clothing as armor (me for the 2nd time) and then the black history month exhibit. We picked out our favorite looks in each. Outside the FIT was a coffee and tea pop up shop for the new CW show airing that evening, Katy and Keene. As I’m sure it was targeted for fashion college students what a great way to remind them to watch it that evening.

We continued a few blocks south when we arrived at Buffalo Exchange. I’ve shopped here so many times and love the selection I always find. I was immediately drawn to a black lace and leather Diane Von Furstenberg dress, a brightly colored animal print Kate Spade dress and then I almost fell over when I found a Halston Heritage dress on sale from the $40 asking price. The only problem, my boobs. Could I get a reduction in the next two days? Probably not, so after I found that it was only going to cost $30, I thought I’m going to have to get shapewear, which made me throw up a little in my mouth, but the dress was perfect…I needed to suck it up. Sofi found this fabulous off the shoulder black dress with a slit up to there and a fun black acid washed jean dress right out of the late 80’s. We took our purchases and started to make our way back to the hotel. We stopped at jewelry wholesellers along the way. She found some fun brightly colored earrings and I couldn’t make up my mind on what would be the right accessories for the dress.

It’s crazy to me how much negative attention Shakira and Jennifer Lopez received for their performances during the Super Bowl half-time show. They are strong, beautiful women who showed that being older is powerful when you are comfortable in your own skin and own who you are. YASSS QUEENS!

We made it back to the hotel and started to get ready for the evening ahead. I had started a conversation with a friend back in ABQ earlier in the day when I had come across a meme of Jennifer Lopez that said, “Latinas be like 132 years old”. I thought it was hilarious because no one ever believes I’m 46 years old which is a blessing. He didn’t understand my humor (I know it’s not for everyone but I think I’m flippin hilarious). We were ready and calling for an Uber. I opted to wear my over-sized, black waffled tunic with over the knee boots and my grams squash blossom necklace and Sofi wore her recent find with skyscraper booties (like she needed to add height next to me).

We got to the club and a dj was playing. As both self reported wallflowers, we opted to go to the bar and get a glass of wine before settling down at an open table. After a few photos and another glass of wine, we decided to hit the dance floor and danced until well after 11pm (HAHAHA I’m old).

We were hungry and since the bartender ignored our original order for food I told her we were way too close not to go to Shake Shack. Oh my heavens there’s nothing like it after dancing for hours. We got back to the hotel and continued our conversation. The plan was to do a guerrilla photo shoot in the morning and I suggested the Flat Iron Building. Let’s see if we’d make the 9am call time (8 miles walked).

“Today, I get to play photographer…let’s see how that goes.”

I dragged my butt out of bed about 9:30am. Sofi immediately mentioned we were pushing out the start time to 10am (that later became 10:30am). I was to be the photographer and we were being joined by one of her model friends that she met at the Coco Rocha camp last year. I threw on my athletic wear, hightops and put my H+CA hat on. No time for a shower. We took the subway to Madison Square Park. Now I notice everything that happens around me in this busy city but also in life…so this city can become overwhelming….the sights, the sounds, the smells, the closeness of it all. However, I love being that “fly on the wall” taking it all in and using it to inspire my creativity. This morning, I played photographer and can’t wait to see the “official” photos but for now, here are my behind the scenes.

And yes, I am officially adding photographer to my resume.

Luckily, Sofi has published one and it’s so fun! She entitled it “You can’t sit here” total Mean Girls reference…but I see power in it and the black and white filter makes it even more so. After grabbing a bite to eat, we took the subway back. I needed to get ready for the Cocktails and Corsets event at Herald Square and she was going to go to a casting for an upcoming show. I got dressed in my dungarees, white button up, red handkerchief, leopard print booties and red lips and took my Halston dress with me to see if I could find the right minimizing shapewear. Getting off at 33rd street, I arrived at Herald Square just as it started to rain, I walked in and headed up to the 7th floor where the event would take place in intimate apparel. I walked in at 2:38pm (the event began at 3pm) to a line so I took my spot and waited for a little over a half hour, talking to the other attendees and hoping my phone, which had been tweaking out the entire trip wouldn’t die on me). I checked in on Sofi and like me she was in a long ass line. However, I was indoors and she was outdoors, mentioned it was snowing at one point.

Once I approached the entrance, I received a swag bag that I kid you not weighed 10-15 lbs. I then proceeded to the selfie station to take a photo and post on Instagram thanking Noura and the Style Crew for the invite.

#macyslove

I proceeded to the lingerie and shapewear and realized I didn’t need an expensive sausage maker, I needed a minimizing bra. So I grabbed a pair of fishnet stockings (Roaring 20’s theme, plus I think they are super fun to wear) and a minimizing bra that was on a super sale. With my Macy’s employee discount and no sales tax, both would cost just over $20 (WINNING). I put on the bra and tried on the dress and viola it smoothed me out and made me look a little smaller. I loved the dress and the flow making it feel flapper-esque plus the color was absolutely fab. I’d just have to decided on shoes and accessories. After making my purchase and watching an impromptu lingerie fashion show, I headed downstairs to see if my contacts at Louis Vuitton were working because I had a client interested in making a pre-sale and wouldn’t it be AWESOME to make my first sale while still in NYC. He wasn’t there so I headed back to the hotel. The rain had returned to a drizzle but it was a little colder. I held my coat tight with all the extra weight and walked back to the hotel. I stopped again at the neighborhood wine shop and got a white this time to drink while we got ready for the NYFW week shows we were about to see as part of the Art Hearts Fashion production. I walked along the west side of Grand Central Station and was completely reminded of the opening scene in Before We Go, where Chris Evan’s character tries to help Alice Eve’s character get a cab (I adore this movie and exploring NYC with a stranger and realizing you need to own your shit even when you don’t know the outcome and “being okay with not being okay”). Since the show was in the East Village, I thought for sure we’d go to Szechuan Mountain House for their namesake caldron of soup and then around the corner to Angel’s Share so I could show her this fabulous Japanese speakeasy and we could enjoy a cocktail before the show.

Everywhere I travel, I people watch and make up stories about where they are coming from and where they are going.

We took the 6 and got off at Astor place. It was right outside a Starbucks I had frequented quite often in the past year. We walked along St. Marks and ascended the stairs to the Chinese restaurant. I had totally forgotten how crowded this restaurant gets and in that moment realized I should have made reservations, but in my attempts to see if we could be seating in a timely manner, I went to the hostess station only to be informed it was going to be an hour wait. We didn’t have the time so the next best option was Shake Shack across the street…just kidding. I had been told about Joe’s Pizza at Union Station and only 5 blocks north we walked and talked. I mentioned the demographics of the area with NYU nearby. It was Friday night and the streets, restaurants and bars were overflowing with college students. We got to Joe’s placed our order and as luck would have it, a table freed up. We sat down and started to enjoy our NY style pizza.

I think my eyes rolled to the back of my head in pure delight when a reporter and camera man walked in. She mentioned that the official Twitter account of NJ exclaimed that New Jersey was the pizza capital of the world just in time for national pizza day. She asked if we would share our thoughts. I guess she thought two chicas from NM were New Yorkers…not gonna, I loved it. Later, we found out we made the news.

After our bout with fame, we walked back over the Angel’s Share to see about that cocktail and again I forgot it was Friday night. Grrr!! I did have Sofi peek in and then we grabbed a Lyft to the NYFW venue, Angel Orensanz Foundation. We arrived on the scene and retrieved our press passes. My phone was dying and while I brought my backup portable charger, it seemed it wasn’t charged so when we entered the venue, I set up shop in the corner borrowing Sofi’s charging cord and plugging it into the wall outlet. I stood back and soaked it all in. From the formal gowns to the everyday wear to the street wear. There was something for everyone. I photobombed at every opportunity and exhaustion was starting to set in. Sofi wandered around the venue taking photos and seeing if she could vye for space in the photographers rafters.

We took our seats about 45 minutes later. This was the first time Sofi had been on this side of the runway shows and for me, this is where fashion week began for me, as an attendee. I do miss producing my show but it was nice to just enjoy it with an attendee’s perspective.

The three designers in this block told their own story which I loved. I thoroughly enjoy when you can see a vision, context and a narrative in a cohesive collection.

As we talked, I watched it from my designer perspective and Sofi watched it through her modeling perspective. I was happy to see Hunter in the audience. She modeled for me on a couple of occasions and was featured in my designs in the December 2018 issue of British Vogue.

The show wrapped up close to 11pm and it was our last night in town…that fact was starting to set in and honestly, was depressing. We thought maybe we’d get a night cap but then stumbled upon a corner wine and spirits shop we went in and decided bubbles would be the best way to celebrate another phenomenal evening. I loved the character and personality of the shop.

We grabbed an Uber and made our way back north to our hotel. We stopped at the counter and asked for a cookie on our last evening the staff gave us TWO each. We headed upstairs got comfortable and talked and talked until after 2am. At that point I knew I wasn’t going to make it back to Macy’s or to the jewelry shops in the morning and thought about plan “B” (5 miles walked).

one last glimpse of my fav building

I woke close to 10am and before I forgot, I sent KK, who was house sitting for me and picking me up from the airport, my list of items I’d need to change in the car on the way to the convention center for La Noche Encantada. I reached out to my event partner in crime, Lee, and double checked she had everything needed to get our booth set. I jumped into the shower and tried how I was going to pack my already full carry-on suitcase and carry-on tote with the additional two dresses, bag filled with goodies and boxed treats from Louis Vuitton…time to sit on my suitcase. I made it work and had one additional carry-on tote. Luckily, Sofi was checking both her bags so I asked if she wouldn’t mind carrying on my tote. She graciously obliged. We arrived at the airport with our first stop in Dallas, TX. Luckily, we didn’t have to switch planes and could move up to easy accessible seats off the plane.

We arrived 10 minutes earlier than our scheduled time. KK was there to pick me up with and I changed in the car. I arrived at the venue 10 minutes before the opened the doors for dinner. As I was walking through the event talking with people, I was inspired to see the fashion. Especially those that I personally dressed. I loved hearing the comments from friends who had been following my adventures via Instagram and Facebook and their surprise to see me. We had a lovely evening going from dinner to the entertainment to the dance party after and boy, did we dance. After tearing down the step and repeat and pulling together all our goodies, Lee gave me a ride home. I fell into a deep sleep when my head hit the pillow. It was after 3am EST (20,000 dance steps).

Every day I try to spend time journaling what I am grateful for. On this trip, I am grateful for:

  • $5.20 cost for a round trip ticket
  • an empty row on the red-eye
  • early check-in
  • beautiful weather in NYC in February
  • spending time with friends–long-time and new ones
  • walk-able cities
  • taking a chance for new opportunities (and remembering to not play small)
  • being reminded that I am in the right place
  • food that nourishes the soul
  • dance floors

Today, as I complete this post, invitations are still coming in for shows this week…next year, I will stay for the entire week (I say that every year). I love that I’ve shown so many loved ones my New York. I’m totally down for anyone else that wants to go…just know I’m kind of non-stop, except for shopping and a cocktail. I like to walk and plans are totally fluid. Thanks for following along on another Ms. Adventure and remember life is a gift…enjoy it to the fullest!

With light and love,

Dara Sophia

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