Hi, Anna-Liza here.
Lyda’s a tough act to follow. While she was having a harrowing adventure involving hot firemen and general freaking-out-ness, I was completely oblivious. I did think it was odd that she wasn’t answering emails and all, but as I frantically prepared for my trip, I didn’t worry too much. Some, but I figured she’d let me know if anything was really wrong. Um, yeah. (Do that to me again, girlie, and I’ll come out there and smack you good!)
Frantically preparing was mostly work-related. I had taken one day off a couple of weeks earlier (for the Yarn Harlot’s visit, you may recall), and returning to work after was rather less easy than one day off really should warrant. So this time, I wanted to be as prepared as possible. I had thought I was before the Harlot’s visit, but hey, I forgot all about psychically divining what my clients would do while I was away that I had no warning of. So I tried to do some of that. (Didn’t work).
Anyway, a little prequel to my arrival and meeting of Laurie … at the airport in Denver, the gate for my flight changed after I checked in, but I missed the announcement. (I am giving United the benefit of the doubt here). There I was, happily knitting away (cabled socks) at what I thought was my gate, when I realized that it was rather later than I had realized, and the flight number on the sign wasn’t mine (nor was the destination). I blame it on severe undercaffeination, myself. The gate attendant told me at what gate I should have been knitting, and that I’d have to hurry, so hurry I did. I am pathetically out of shape. Running the whole way proved impossible, but I managed to walk damned briskly in between (shorter and shorter) bursts of running. Nevertheless, I missed my flight by about 30 seconds. My completely breathless state seems to have awoken compassion in the breast of the gate attendant. She was very kind (possibly because I did not scream about how they should get me on the plane anyhow) and at first mentioned standby … then in midsentence she said “Wait, let me see if I can do something …”, fiddled with her computer, then printed out and handed to me a boarding pass! For the very next flight! She said I was confirmed and she’d gotten the very last seat, but “you should know you’d normally be on standby all day.” I would have kisssed her if I wasn’t pretty sure she wouldn’t have taken it well. So now I say, blessings on you and those you love, gate attendant lady!
Bonus: the new gate was two down from where I was standing, rather than clear at the other end of the concourse. Bigger bonus: it was the same flight my friend Ms. English Hotcar was on. See, she had booked her flight earlier than booking mine, and couldn’t get me a seat on the same flight. But now I had one, and it made things much, much simpler on the L.A. end of things. I’ll tell you what, her double-take on seeing me was classic.
The only thing of note about the flight was that I was seated next to a gentlemen in the fashion industry, who was reading through several copies of Women’s Wear Daily and other industry periodicals, one of which had a feature article on men’s knitwear. This fall’s men’s fashions will be of interest, knittahs! (Texture! Cables! Zippered cardigans!)
Once at the hotel, Ms. Hotcar had to start preparing for work-related activities pretty much right away. I got hold of Lyda and heard an abbreviated version of the previous post. We eventually reached the conclusion that she should not try to drive to L.A. from her home in the O.C. in the middle of rush hour, even if it meant she missed the SnB and Laurie. I knew from that conversation that (a) she isn’t a Laurie-stalker in the scary sense, and (b) she must have really been feeling bad. As indeed she was, but she didn’t let on.
I promised Laurie I’d let her see the one and only pic I took of her before posting it, so y’all will just have to wait. Lord knows when she’ll have time to get back to me! Besides, the one she posted had both of us (and Frank) in it. (Thank you, Faith, for taking it!)
So, the New Otani Hotel and Garden is very nice indeed. I’d seen some mixed reviews on some of the travel sites, but the negative comments all seemed to be about stuff that I don’t care about (what? you can’t mean they don’t completely redecorate every year?), and so it proved. The people were very nice and the service was very good. The hotel was attractive and the room was more than comfortable and clean–the whole place felt luxurious to me, without being oppressively so. There was one little, funny thing–this sign in the garage:
We had nice views of the rooftop garden, too. This post is already ungodly long, so for now I’ll just leave you with some pics from and in the hotel.
Daytime view from our room:
… oh, and those socks that Laurie liked so much? The Embossed Leaves ones in lavender Wildefoote? Here you go: