I left Hawaii on a Wednesday morning at the most ungodly hour of 7 AM.

What this means is that I actually woke up at 3 AM to walk Dante for 2.5 miles and then medicate him in hopes that he wouldn’t get me kicked out of my first class seat. We were out the door by 5 AM and headed to Honolulu International Airport. Just me, Dante and Mom and Dad.

The best parents in the world. In case you were wondering.

Oh yeah. I forgot about that smog.

The 5 days I spent in Los Angeles were filled with resting (I finally came down with that cold that had threatened to attack me the whole month prior to my leaving) and walking into the beautiful little city of Sierra Madre to have breakfast, lunch and/or dinner with friends.

Have you ever tried to gather 5 friends together to have dinner? Sure. No problem, right?

Ok. Well, have you ever gathered 5 friends with 5 dogs owned/babysat by said friends for dinner?

If you’ve never done this and you live in a city that you can, I would highly recommend it.

First, getting to meet up with some of your closest friends for an evening of laughs, food and wine (or iced tea for Carol) is already pretty awesome.

Throw in all the dogs and all of a sudden your evening becomes hilarious.

The restaurant we went to is in Sierra Madre and is called Sierra Bistro. Their outdoor area accommodates your furry kids and they even have a doggy menu, complete with chicken breast, hamburger and even hot dogs.

We had a Dante (Bichon Poodle), Darby (Shih tzu), Cecil (Pictured above … Terrier mix .. he’s 14 but has the energy of a 3 year old guys), Clair (I believe a Mix, but she was so sweet and Dante nearly killed her because he’s kind of a jerk when it comes to other dogs in his space.. ugh) and finally Cleo (the Teacup Chihuahua).

We tried to get them to take a group photo. We tried to get them all to sit in a perfect little line. They had other plans.

Pets are fun.

Oh My Gosh guys. I met Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman! She just came out with her newest cookbook and I went to Vromans in Pasadena for her book signing. I stood in line (well .. we … my friend Christine came with me) for 4 hours. Totally worth it. She was so nice and I gave her some Hawaiian Salt and then totally freaked when she asked me what she could make with it. Seriously. All I could come up with Kalua Pork. And then I proceeded to tell the wife of a cattle rancher that pork is the best meat. OMG .. what is wrong with me???

So .. talking about Kalua Pork. It happens to be the one requested item my friend Anne likes for me to make when ever we see each other. This time WE made it and she saw how incredibly easy it is. I also gifted her with a bag of Hawaiian salt but didn’t get tongue tied like I did with Ree.  That’ll be another post. BUT .. I did want to mention, Anne’s daughter, Bailey (who I’ve known since she was 4) is now 12 and super helpful in the kitchen. She helped me make spam musubi and we also made california rolls.

Ok. I’ve decided if I ever have a kid .. I sure hope it’s a girl. Actually, I’ll just take Bailey or hope that my kid is anything like Bailey. She really is the best kid guys.

Poor Darby had to deal with Dante the bully for a whole 5 days. And don’t even get me started on poor Tigrishka (Anne’s cat). Sorry Tigrishka. Dante is such a beast. heh…

Dante was able to fly with me in cabin from Hawaii to Los Angeles. It was a great flight and though Dante may have been slightly anxious, I’d say it was much better than having to put him in Cargo (which is what I ended up doing on the flights from Los Angeles to Virginia). I’m sure we were both horribly traumatized.

I did take a picture of Dante on the flight from Hawaii to Los Angeles, unfortunately half of  his body was out of the bag and under my legs.

But I did take some photos of him before he went to Cargo.  And after we left him, I proceeded to cry the next two hours because I felt so awful.

He did make it to Virginia where TG picked him up from Delta Cargo. The people at the Los Angeles facility were really great and super nice so I felt sort of good about it.

Not really. But it wasn’t their fault.

Los Angeles was great. Meeting up with friends was truly amazing. I’m glad we had time to stop over.

We’re in Virginia now. TG and I are trying to buy a house.

What? I KNOW!?!?!

Well, we’ve started the process. I’ll keep you guys updated.