V-Day, Part deux

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As promised, some photos and story snippets from Valentine’s Day:

My Valentine’s Day began on Thursday the 13th — I left work and hurried to Wholesale Flowers & Supplies, where I usually buy my ingredients for delicious arrangements during the week. On the weekends, I take advantage of the incredible farmers’ market selections all over San Diego. It was crowded, but not horribly so, and there were quite a few people there selecting the perfect flowers for their honey-buns. It was a very nice thing to see, actually — men, women, children — all hand-picking exactly the right flowers to help them express their affection.

I bought a small selection there and hurried home to make an arrangement for a local South Park business-owner’s special lady. After delivering that, I quickly cleaned up my working space and hopped in my car for the drive up to LA.

I had decided to take Friday off of my regular day job to make sure I had enough time and energy to devote to Valentine’s day, and also so I wouldn’t run myself down and get sick (important to always worry about yourself!) In the spirit of Love day, I had resolved to spend the weekend focusing on showing the people in my life how important they are to me. And who better to be first than my parents?

Other than my untimely early birth, I don’t think I have ever really surprised my parents. Turns out, I should have been doing it for years! I arrived in Pasadena at about 9:15 on Thursday night, along with a couple of bouquets I had made. I rang the doorbell a couple of times (my parents usually ignore people who come to the door, especially after 9 pm) and finally I could hear my dad stomping over to see what the ruckus was. I swear, if he had answered the door with a shotgun, he couldn’t have looked any scarier. Beware, you solicitors who dare to knock on that door! Both of them were quite literally stunned, but ultimately pleased, and we stayed up talking for a few hours before I finally curled up to sleep in my childhood bedroom.

On the morning of Valentine’s Day, my mom and I trekked out to the LA Flower District, one of my very favorite places in the world! If you haven’t been, you really should. They’re open to the public at certain hours, and wandering through the scented aisles of every flower you could ever imagine is just the loveliest way to spend some of the moments of your life. Here‘s a really fun post by Emily Henderson about exploring the market, for further reading.

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Some of my selections on the cart, waiting to be swaddled in foreign-language newspapers and packed into the car for the long trip back to San Diego

After an all-too-short morning (including a rushed but extremely delicious mom-made french toast breakfast), I started the drive back down the I5…. Apparently it was a holiday weekend, and a LOT of people were on the road on that gloriously-sunny February day… It ended up taking me quite a bit longer that usual, and my cushion of time was getting thinner by the moment. Finally, I accepted that I could have walked to San Diego faster, and as I needed to deliver an arrangement dangerously close to the time I was still stuck on the freeway, being passed by all manner of snails and turtles, I exited and started looking for a place to work some magic.

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The Whole Foods parking structure in Del Mar ended up winning. I’m not entirely sure if it’s legal to arrange flowers on your trunk in a parking structure, but I tweeted this photo and Whole Foods tweeted me back, complimenting the arrangement! So I figure they probably want to start hiring me to arrange flowers in parking lots all over the Southland, right? I’m waiting for their call…..

Delivered that one, and got back on the freeway.

It was about 3:30 at this point, and I had been hired to fill a home with flowers by a gentleman as a surprise for his lady, who also happens to be one of my best and oldest friends! The lady in question was supposed to get home at about 6, so I had my work cut out for me… I worked pretty feverishly, and was terrified a couple of times that she had returned home early when the dog started barking maniacally at the door. But apparently dogs sometimes bark for no reason whatsoever, so that was super cool.

Anyway, here are some of the finished products:

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People often ask me about the best part of being a florist. I always say that I love doing something that makes people happy! And that’s definitely true, but there’s also this wondrous thing called leftovers….

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With leftover flowers, as with leftover food, there’s that tantalizing knowledge that you have the opportunity to revisit something that you enjoyed so much the first time around! And, that second time, you’re able to enjoy them in your own home, wearing pajamas! Win-WIN!

Some of the leftovers scattered around my apartment:

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I think this may have been the best Valentine’s Day I’ve ever had! The combination of spending time with so many of the people I love, and brightening the days of others, truly makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I hope you all had wonderful weekends, and that your weeks are going swimmingly ~

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