and I know it well ... / by jen geigley

So this is California.

This is Jen + Jamaica.

And these were the first two faces I saw when I got there. I'm pretty sure I jumped up and down when I actually met Jamaica. But I tend to do that. And her lovely friend Casey was so sweet to let me crash at her fab place in Laguna my first night there.

This was our delicious breakfast (of champions) and those are my Swedish pancakes with tons of berries on top.

This is my most excellent 'welcome to California' kit from sweet J.

This is 'the crane.'

And this was taken at The Lab.

Which brings us to the beginning of our adventures in downtown L.A.

And our stay at The Standard.

Which meant picking up Vee. (I jumped up and down when I first saw her, too.) Turning our duo into a group of three.

The rooftop view at The Standard was nothing short of spectacular.

As was the bathroom downstairs, by the photo booth.

(Oh yes! Our hotel had a photo booth.) We spent a lot of time there. But this is what we do.

The lounge/bar downstairs was full of these rad purple couches.

And an organ.

And this amazing yellow 24/7 restaurant.

Jamaica ate Ritz crackers, through the best of times and worst of times.

I danced and/or jumped a lot.

And Vee and I had our first official meal at In-N-Out. (It was really good.) I learned that Jamaica likes her fries extra crispy, and that they use something called 'spread' on their burgers.

The Dares girls (well, half of us) rolled up on CHA. And met the super sweet Elizabeth Kartchner. This is also where we get to hang out with Tina for a whole day.

We talked, we laughed ... we touched paper.

And we even spent a few minutes making something crafty at the Hambly booth with Allison.

But by the end of the day, we were spent. And so over the group photo thing.

So we ended the day with an iChat with Kristi.

Looking at these pics, I can't help but get all mushy and sentimental. These girls are something very special. I knew this trip would be good. And I knew that we'd totally mesh.

But I didn't know how much we would bond. And laugh. Get real. And just talk. We have this common thing of course, through the Dares. Which is a very cool thing. I wake up on Friday mornings (okay, now Wednesdays) and look forward to see how we've each spun the topic du jour; to smile and think about the long-distance craftiness, done separately but together. Hanging out with them in real life for a whole weekend was pretty much the best thing ever. Bordering on sisterhood. And I miss each one of these girls already.

I'm typing this while listening to Skinny Love and Blood Bank. Because the first time I ever heard Bon Iver was in Jamaica's car on the way to LAX on my way home. And that's just one of those things that sticks with you; I knew it would be the permanent soundtrack for this trip. To go right along with mental snapshots of these faces in the car.