ROAD-TRIP!!: a Post Holiday Spree at South Coast Plaza!

I don’t know about you but my years in retail burned me from shopping the day after Christmas. It’s one of those "things" that I never do anymore. I usually wait till the last few days, sneak in a bit to a couple stores if there is something I *must* have–but typically it’s only for returns and then I just wait till after school starts and people are back to work. For some though, it’s more like a "religious" experience–being there first thing when that door opens. It’s like that Mervyns commercial where the woman says "Open, Open, Open".. it’s like magic! Or maybe it’s just the latest derivative of sports– think of it as football + baseball+ basketball = after Christmas shopping because it does require stamina, strength and lots of strategy and it helps to have a plan and team players!

So why did I end up at South Coast Plaza the day after Christmas?

Well it was an idea that my friend, Anne-Marie had. She had never been to the "day after’.." holiday sale (can you believe that one?) so we decided to go and asked  our BFF, Sheri  to meet us there. It helped because we needed to give her birthday + Christmas gifts too. Also my child came along for the ride. We wound up taking the back road in to South Coast Plaza –the biggest $ per sq foot mall in the country. It ‘s got all the great, trendy, haute couture, cool,  expensive stores along with the usual fun stuff. Consider it when you are looking to cut the traffic down to nil if you are dreading the thought of parking $ and traffic in Beverly Hills because it has everything that the Golden Triangle ( read Rodeo Drive and environs), Beverly Center and almost everything that Manhatten (NYC) has too– all in one easy location.

We got to the mall just after 11 and the line INTO the mall wasn’t more than a good city block long, but it was the sight of the parking that was horrendous– as in NONE or very little. We drove about 15 minutes to see anything and wound up valet-ing the car — at 6 bucks and splitting the cost, it was worth  saving us the  hassle of finding a parking spot.

So off we go with stuff to return/exchange at Sephora (and nothing else.. thankfully). The interesting part about these returns is that part of it was gifts I wound up not giving because they were 1) the wrong thing or 2) the right thing the person had already gotten.

Also dads are a funny breed. Mine was so fearful of this place that he goes in and buys ANYTHING just to get the shopping chore done and tells me I can return what isn’t right (most isn’t right) and I have to make the schlep to the store.   Also some of the wrong things I had purchased before the Sephora had moved from its’ carousel location to the  new, larger, brighter, lighter, more spacious quarters down by Robinsons May (soon to be Bloomingdales) were no longer at Sephora– like Anna Sui and Paula Dorf. Because I didn’t find the receipt in my pile o papers, I couldn’t return the Sui compact and get the Dorf blackberry mascara for which I was jonesing.

We were meeting BFF Sheri at Sephora but she was trying to get in off the front of mall –*huge mistake*. It was parking lot city on the main drag in front of the mall and she wound up looping around to get to the back of the mall and actually parked at Crystal Court.  ( She learned an important lesson: always go in off the back: More and easier parking!!)

We stood in line for the returns–piece of cake and the "kid" went off to make a cookie run because she got hungry already, we were checking out all the new lines like Cliniques’ ColorSurge ButterShine Lipcolors.. YUM.. but my colors weren’t there – almost entirely sold out!

The kid got a few things with a GC she got for Christmas (she spent that one faster than a 16 year old boy scarfing a pizza. I sprung for a few more items and got a couple things for myself:Sephora brand red currant lip marker; Guerlain Rouge Passion #25 Kiss Kiss metallic gloss and something else but I totally lost track of what it was. I wanted to buy more stuff– but they were out of so much. I looked longingly at Smashbox, Sue Devitt, Longo and NARS but truly–how much stuff do I need? I was thinking about foundation but that was not the day to get it.

We were all starving by then and headed back down the mall to the Wolfgang Puck Cafe.. which Sheri had said wasn’t so busy. We stopped at Rampage and found lots of cute things in my price bracket but not the kid’s.. paying 40-50 for a tee is not my idea of fun.
We stopped at Brooks Brothers where the sale was 40% off the cashmere  and an EXTRA 15% off  anything if purchased before 1 PM.  Consequently the line was 50+ deep and was down the left wing and around the corner inside the store!
Heading back down the mall–dodging, weaving and scoping out Chloe, Celine, La Perla, JCrew and Bottega Veneta –turn left in front of MACYs and turning right at Tourneau, then out the 4 door spread to the Puck Cafe which was filling up but slowly. The reason for the s l o w fill on the tables was because they were short-staffed. So the 15 minute wait was actually 30 but thankfully we got a table inside!!! *(yay!!) Sitting down, we checked out the menu, turned in drink and meal orders and scarfed the first of two orders of flatbread and foccacia. It took 30 mins for us to get the food and  my order was forgotten and the kid’s order was incorrect but everything corrected quickly.. but by the time the food arrived  we weren’t so hungry. My salad got packed up– the tortilla soup was mes a mes  and the kid didn’t finish her burger. Anne-Marie’s pasta was outstanding as was Sheri’s spinach salad.

However we did open some presents! The kid got a snowman stuff figure with a pocket for a sugarplum bath  bomb( yum.. the dog went after the figure at home. He tried to snag it off
the dining room table. Bad Doggy!) I got a bottle of Starbucks liqueur which is lovely. We  contemplated the  different things to do with it: over ice cream, made into an ice cream soda
(yum) and also how I could turn it into a martini. Definitely right for experimentation. (want to join in?) Anne-Marie got a great tin of L’Occitane . She was thrilled! Sheri got  a cosmetics smorgasboard: mini glosses  from the  PINK Mini Assortment I had ordered from Sephora (the one with the feathers) along with some mini (read super deluxe gwp sample) of Caudalie skincare items and FRESH bath items plus two martini candles — cosmo and raspberry tini plus a magazine subscription. It was definitely a great exchange and we made up for the belated birthday girl!

Wrapping things up with the bill, we headed over to Williams Sonoma where Sheri and Anne-Marie went in search of cool stuff. The kid and I headed over to Napoleon Cosmetics to do some exchanging of skincare items for color products. The kid got a shadow, a gloss and an eye pencil, I wound up with Golden Sunset #29 shimmer shadow and Copper #30 shimmer shadow and LONG BLACK mascara and still had some $ back in GC format. The more the merrier to spend in the Saks Beauty Dept (Mercier cream shadows anyone?)or $$ off the Vince cashmere I am stalking.  We headed back to W-S to retrieve our BFF’s and found Sheri at the register and Anne-Marie and I checking out the martini and mojito mixes. Key Lime and Meyer Lemon Martinis sound divine!

We checked out to  get in line for valet which was moving fairly quickly (it was almost 3 by then) and  get the car. It was a hilarious scene since there were easily 50 or more people waiting for their vehicles and trying to navigate around a taxi that was waiting on a fare but would *not* move!

Hugs to Sheri who went off on a hunting expedition for her car *(and it truly was an expedition) and we went off the way we came in to return home. However those going into the mall were going to find that getting N was a lot harder than us getting out. The line that originally had been 1 block long at 11 AM was now THREE MILES long at least going down four stoplights for 2-3 lanes!! We swore we would not repeat this shopping road-trip again (at least not to South Coast Plaza. Cabazon or Fashion Island is on the list!)
Realize that we didn’t really hit any large stores other than Sephora (and we were there well over an hour) and no department stores other than a tiny section of Saks,  we didn’t have to deal with waits (other than for food)  which wasn’t so bad and we did have a great time.

that’s the LA Story!



Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

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