OK, confession time. And it’s a slightly embarrassing one that Taylor, Evalyn and I (Sam) have been keeping. We *deep breath* are “Stylers.” What is a Styler? If you don’t know, it’s probably because you’re an adult who listens to sophisticated classical music all day. But we are Harry Styles fans. Yes, even though we are grown women with our own children, we are obsessed with the former boy bander and his beautiful face. Mostly we’re obsessed with his music, but the face certainly helps. We love him so much that we decided to plan a work trip to his San Jose show on July 11. Yep, will travel for Harry. But, in our defense, we consider this to be “team bonding,” but without the trust falls and ice breakers. Working remotely, you have to get creative, you know?
I’ve talked about this before, but I have the worst travel anxiety. I tend to be a “worst-case scenario” type of thinker, which doesn’t help when you’re boarding a very large aircraft. But this is why I always choose to fly with Alaska Air. From the catchy safety video song to the in-flight service, I always feel so much more at ease with Alaska Air than I have on other airlines. The airline just makes the whole traveling-for-work experience that much easier.
After I boarded my Alaska Air flight, settled in with a pre-flight cocktail (it was after 11 a.m., OK?) we took off from San Diego…
… and landed in San Francisco a brief 59 minutes later. Just enough time to enjoy another cocktail and a cheese plate before we touched down.
One of my favorite parts about traveling to San Francisco for Glitter Guide work is the immense amount of adorable boutique hotels there are in the city. This trip, I got to stay at the insanely lovely Laurel Inn, in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of SF.
It had the kindest staff, and the décor was dreamy. You guys, this place is pattern heaven. The walls, the gorgeous tiled floors, it was all perfect.
I was completely obsessed with the Palm Springs-esque color story and the gorgeous view of the city. It was truly the perfect stay for a work trip because I had the perfect work station, and I was provided with fresh coffee and local pastries each morning. Yep, I’m sold.
Then a quick dinner and cocktails on Filmore with Evalyn. Is your graphic designer this cute? Ours is the cutest! Funny story: Taylor and I were kind of sheepish about asking Evalyn to join us for Harry Styles because we didn’t want her to think we were silly. Well, turns out girlfriend had already bought tickets before we even asked her! #Dreamteam
OK, on to the fun stuff.
You know when you’re having such a good time you forget to take any pictures or videos? Or at least, any acceptable pictures or videos? That was our night with Harry. After dinner, drinks and a quick Uber over to the San Jose theater (well, after a three-hour car ride adventure delivering Farm Girl Flowers to Google, but that’s another story for another day), we got there just in time to see Kacey Musgraves wrapping up her set. Don’t get me wrong, she’s a peach, but she wasn’t who we were there to see.
Full disclosure, I did not take this picture because we were nowhere near close enough to see him this well. We bought basically the cheapest nosebleed seats you could get, because it was about the bonding experience, not the view. But for anyone who doubts our love of Harry, the boy puts on a heck of a show. Just ask the thousands of screaming 14-year-olds surrounding us. At one point, I looked at our friend Rachel who was semi-working, semi-paying attention to Harry, and said, “How do you know you’re the oldest people at the concert? You’re looking at Google Docs on your phone.” If there was any doubt about us being the oldest people, the throng of parents waiting outside to pick up their children as we left to call an Uber removed any shadow. But so fun, and so worth it. We knew all the words and jammed our little hearts out.
Listen, if you’re looking for a way to let loose and have fun, or maybe you need a unique way to bring your team together, may I suggest attending a large-scale arena tour for a former boy bander-turned dreamy-heartthrob? Works like a charm.
Back to The Laurel Inn for one more lovely night, then up early to Uber back to San Jose. Since traveling for work more frequently, I’ve really learned to par down what I need to bring with me. Luckily, Alaska Air doesn’t have any insane baggage fees, but I still try to fit everything I need into one carry-on. I always keep my little wallet, Warby Parker sunnies and my favorite ILIA tinted lip conditioner in my purse. And a portable charger—don’t sleep on that, it’s key.
Another crucial must for team bonding? Rides to the airport. Gotta squeeze in every last “IRL” minute you can! If there’s a better excuse for a team bonding trip than flying to the Bay Area so you can squeal at Harry Styles together, I don’t know what it is.