Rachel Does Manila: Day 1

Around Manila
December 28, 2009

The 24 hours leading up to Rachel’s arrival in Manila were filled with non-stop pacing and a few mini panic attacks.  The mix of anticipation, concern and lack of control threw me into a tizzy.  Here’s the play by play.  She was 45 minutes late out of MSP airport due to a hold-up in Chicago, where the jet was coming from.  Then Denver set her back another 45 minutes due to de-icing.  It was not looking good.  There was a critical connection that she needed to make in Albequerque in order to get to Los Angeles in time for the flight to Taiwan.  (Yes, I am well aware that this sounds like a nightmare schedule).

The Albequerque flight was scheduled to take off at 8:35, but they held it until 8:45 when her plane arrived.  She ran to the next gate over and hopped on as the gates slammed shut.  At this point, we were watching flight tracker but had no idea if she’d made it or not.  We assumed the luggage was a lost cause.

I was over the moon when she called from LA to say that not only was she sitting on the Taiwan plane on the tarmac, but at the last minute she’d decided to downsize to a check-on only in case connections were tight.  I was in awe (seriously, who can pack in a carry-on for a 2 week trip???  Not me, that’s for sure).  We were golden – my friend was really going to make it here!  Not such a good start, but I was determined to make it up to her…

Rachel got in around 12:30 and we were home within the hour enjoying Norma’s specialty, Sweet and Sour Pork.  36 hours of flying and she was still smiling!  That’a girl!  We decided on an afternoon of pampering to keep her awake (she needed to get on our schedule) and went to Henri Calayag’s Salon to get the ultimate hair cut for her.  The picture above is the before shot.  The “Master Stylist” looked slightly apalled when she told him it hadn’t been cut since April!  :)

As I mentioned before, Filipino salons are the ultimate in pampering.  In total, the haircut took around 75 minutes.  The picture above shows the blow-out, which lasted a good 30 minutes.  That was before the “final cut” which took about as long as the “inital cut”.

This is my favorite shot from the day, taken during the “final cutting.”  Why bother using a hair clip when you can just have your assistant stand there and hold it???  Thank goodness for the assistant!

Rachel emerged a new woman with healthy, layered locks.  Next up we were off to Browhaus to both get a little eyebrow threading done.  I was so excited for Rachel since this was her very first time trying it.  As for me, I’m on my 4th time and am really starting to see the stylist’s vision for my brows!  :)

Here’s the after shot – isn’t she stunning?  And all for a mere $25!  Now that’s a great reason to stay awake… stay tuned to find out what’s on the big agenda for tomorrow.  There’s no time to rest, our days are filled to the brim.  I am honestly having a hard time editing the agenda to make sure it’s reasonable.  So much to show/do!  There’s nothing better than playing host, especially when it’s for one of my dear friends!

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