I haven’t been out to the west coast in… a really long time. Not since I was a kid I think. I’m a grass and trees and pastureland kind of girl, so admittedly the Southern California landscape doesn’t really call to me, thus I just never seem to find myself there. But since I WAS going to be there for once – and indeed Presto was staying at a farm that some of my friends also keep horses at – I figured we definitely had to squeeze in some meet-ups. First on the docket was Emily and May of May as Well Event.
As is often the case when meeting other bloggers, I felt like I already knew Emily pretty well. I’ve been following her and May’s story for years, and we chat a lot online. I definitely wanted to finally meet in person, and of course meet the famous May. And since our horses are so very very very different, I was like… “we should take pics of them together”. It did not disappoint, the juxtaposition is hilarious to me. Proof that eventers come in all shapes and sizes!
Presto was absolutely obsessed with May. As soon as she walked over he was like OH MY GOD WHO IS THAT SHE’S BEAUTIFUL I WANT IT. May, on the other hand, was like “omg this idiot” and wanted nothing to do with him. She tolerated him, but was clearly totally disinterested in making friends and opted to just ignore him completely. Presto, bless him, is rarely deterred by how other horses feel about him though (zero self-awareness in that one), so he was bound and determined to fully investigate May regardless of how she felt about him.
Presto was very displeased when I dragged him away from May and put him back in his pen. If it was up to him we would have taken May home with us and she could have been the love of his life. I’m not sure what he liked the most – her size, her golden color, her apathetic attitude, or the fact that she thicc, but he was VERY into her whole aesthetic. Who knew.
The owners of the boot company Majyk Equipe also keep a couple of retired horses at the same farm, and they were out there around the same time. I’ve met Michael and Beverly before multiple times but haven’t seen them in years, so it was good to catch up. They have a 3yo Mighty Magic filly that they bred specifically because of Presto, so it was cool that they got to finally meet him in person. I was informed that he was big. Everyone keeps telling me that. Let me live in denial, people.
After they said hi to Presto we made plans for the next day. I wasn’t flying out until Monday but Megan was leaving with the horses on Sunday morning, and everyone else was also leaving sometime on Sunday. We all went to the show on Sunday morning for breakfast, and I stayed for a while to watch the showjumping and take some pics of Britt and Ricky.
After that, Michael and Beverly picked me up and we drove out to Laguna Beach for lunch and some sightseeing. All I had really seen of the area so far was the drive between Ontario and Temecula and then back and forth from Galway to the Airbnb, so this was my one touristy day. They picked a great place, Laguna is definitely beautiful and a fun little beach town. We found a restaurant with rooftop seating, the weather was gorgeous, and we sat there and had lunch with a fantastic ocean view.
After we ate we strolled up and down the boardwalk for a while, taking in the very stereotypically California environment. Beach volleyball, check. People rollerblading, check. Surfers on the water, check. Vendors selling sea-themed art, check. Baywatch looking lifeguard, check. The people-watching down there is pretty epic too. We climbed the stairs of a hotel to get a good view of the beach and enjoy the afternoon. It didn’t suck.
After that we drove back to Ontario and they dropped me off at my hotel for the night, next to the airport. I figured since I’d had such a stereotypically California day already, I should top it off with one last thing, so I walked down the street to In-N-Out for dinner. Technically we have a few of those in Texas but I’ve only been to one once and it was probably a decade ago if not more. I wasn’t really even hungry but I got a burger and a chocolate shake and had zero complaints about it as I waddled back to my hotel room.
It was really great to finally put some faces to names as well as catch up with some old friends while I was in Cali. I had a great trip, largely thanks to all of these folks as well as Megan’s entourage, and got some great pics and memories out of it too. I’m not generally the best at maintaining my human connections sometimes, I tend to withdraw into my day to day minutia, but this whole trip really reminded me why it’s so important to surround yourself with good people and to keep up with those friendships. Perfect little mini horsey vacation!