I love love love Vegas!! There are no two ways about it, and advising one of the stores in a premier shopping mall on social media issues was almost a dream come true… The fact that Hattitude is a hat shop made it an actual dream come true! (Watch out – its new super-jazzy website is launching soon!!)
Between discussing SEO, mail shot campaigns and a social media strategy, I managed to find the time to try on almost every pink and purple hat in the store. Even got to design a few customised Mojo fedoras, despite some artistic disagreement over the aesthetic merits of mixing orange and fuscia ribbons…
The whole trip was fantastic. I stayed with a cousin that I met on Facebook… He casually invited me over, I said yes, he was shocked – and suddenly I was there!! 122 degrees in the shade and fun whichever direction I turned.
Getting a vacation within a vacation, he drove me through the desert to Coronado, a gorgeous San Diego beach where we walked along the shore at sunrise. It was a favourite haunt of Marilyn Monroe, and so lovely that I wrote poetry about it while I was awake at 4am. (Most nights!) It was absolutely one of the most beautiful places in the world, and almost one of the most peaceful – despite the US Navy SEALs marching and the helicopters circling San Diego’s huge naval base. Every girl loves a sailor, right?
Further up the San Diego coast I met new cousins – true Californian beach babes with golden skin, who swim with sea lions. We’ve built up a Facebook friendship now – someday I’ll dive with them in the Pacific Ocean and search for mermaid treasures. We visited more new cousins in California’s wine country. Spending an afternoon wine tasting up the road to Dolly Parton’s home was such fun too – although forcibly mixing my colours meant I had to pay full attention to staying on best behaviour… And I wasn’t drinking in heels either… I save those ‘incidents’ for my London networking adventures!
One of the trip’s highlights was a tour of the Hoover Dam; the incredible artistry and technical skill that enabled its construction 80 years ago, ahead of schedule and within budget, should make some of today’s engineering firms ashamed. Another was a morning at a shooting range. Didn’t know whether to mention this as opinions obviously lurch across the scale, but I have to admit it was incredibly good fun – and I hit the target!!
It’s a bit like the advice I give to businesses in training sessions: set your target, aim, fire. If you don’t have a target you’re never going to score. My shooting teacher, the mad hatter, told me to always aim high. I’ve had that advice in the past but seemed to have forgotten it. It’s front line now. Aim for the stars and you might just hit the moon…
I’m very lucky that I have a business I can run from anywhere in the world. Not that I needed to… everything ran smoothly in Marion’s capable hands. But if I ever wanted to uproot, west coast America seems a nice place to choose. I didn’t post a lot on social media while I was away, but I did bombard my personal Facebook page with photos. Gill commented that I seemed to have found my spiritual home (not least because of the hat shop). Bit of Stevie Nicks on the sound system and she might just be right. Simon called me the definitive unreconstructed it-girl – not sure exactly what that means but I like the sound of it!!
Huge thanks to Stephen and Fester for putting up with me for nine days, cooking for me, spoiling me and making me want to stay. We played this album on our road trip through the desert but it resonates for far more reasons than that. ‘Sail on silver girl, sail on by. Your time has come to shine, all your dreams are on their way. See how they shine… if you need a friend – I’m sailing right behind.’ Behind, in front, next to you: here I am: back in London, back where you can follow me… @WeekendWitch.