After much deliberation I decided not to meet my east coast friends in Atlanta this year and opted to return to the fun in Sacramento. I had spent the past several weeks working out what outfits to wear for each day and each evening and thought I had a pretty good plan. Part of the fun of these trips is the anticipation and planning that proceeds them. I try to find outfits that are appropriate for the settings, stylish and flattering and to present a variety of looks.
When I arrived at the hotel my roommate DonnaKelli had just arrived after a long drive and Gina Lee had arrived after a long day of traveling as well.
Wanting to meet the local girls for dinner we got right to work getting made up and dressed to go out. I had originally planned to dress very casual since we planned to go country dancing immediately after but when I learned everyone else was getting more dressed up I adjusted my thoughts and put on a brown top, tan pencil skirt, and nude heels. So already my wardrobe itinerary was trashed.
Dinner was pleasant and no one in the busy restaurant seemed put out by the 10 transgender ladies at the large table. After dinner Gina, Donnakelli and I changed and went to the country bar. I wore white short shorts and a floral flowing top along with high shafted cowgirl boots in the look that is very common these days.
When we arrived I showed the bouncer my VIP pass that they gave us from last year and 2 of us got in without having to pay the cover charge. Wednesdays at this place is 18+ and the place was filled with young adults crowding the dancefloor and filling the place up. Much different than our experience last year. After about a half hour I had thought this was a mistake. The music was too loud to talk much and they were doing lots of complex dances I had never seen before.
At one point a guy on the dance floor saw me watching and motioned for me to join saying I'll never learn just by watching. I attempted to join a couple of line dances by fumbling my way through them and the people nearby were kind enough to try to point me in the right directions. However, soon the music changed and suddenly they were playing several dances that I knew. That was a lot of fun but I get overheated too quickly. As a couples-dance came on I took the opportunity to cool of where Donna and Gina were. They were too tired and intimidated to try to join in. Just as the couples-dance song was almost done a young man came up to me and asked if I dance. Stupidly, I said yes I dance. Then he clarified "do you Want to dance with me?" I said I dont know this dance and the song is almost over anyways. He said ok but said he'd ask again on the next couples dance. I said fine since up until then they had played all line dances and I didnt think we'd be staying much longer. A few songs later the dj announced the next song was for swing dancers. Soon the guy was back so I accepted his offer to dance. I prefaced it by insisting that he not dip me. (I didnt need a wig to fly off!) It was fun and challenging to be lead as girl and to spin and dance but my partner was not a very good dancer and a few times I had to subtly correct his hand positions.
Eventually, I could see my friends were pooped out. So we went back to rest up for the next few days.
Day 4 Part 1
Another late night begot another late morning. With nothing planned for the day of the big party Gina, Jennifer and I decided to accompany DonnaKelli to the Ulta store to pick up a few things.
I decided to dress the way lots of cis-gender women dress and wore exercise clothing and sneakers. DonnaKelli frequently dresses that way to run errands and was plenty willing to follow suit. The sales ladies at the store greeted us enthusiastically. Crossdressers need lots of cosmetics.
We split up and shopped around a little. I enjoyed the freedom of shopping for cosmetics enfemm since I usually buy things while out running errands in guy mode.
After shopping we popped into a nearby fast food place to grab lunch. My grabbing efforts were somewhat lacking as I dropped a large cup of soda right in front of the order counter. I apologized profusely and then we found a table to sit at. A family was eating there but there weren't many other people in the establishment. They gave us couple of curious looks at first but certainly were not bothered by the fact that four guys dressed as women were sitting nearby.
We got back with lots of time to spare, and time to spar. Since DonnaKelli and I were dressed for a workout we went down to the exercise room of the hotel to take some fun pictures pretending to work out. And then returned and put on our jammies and took pictures pretending to be having a sleepover and pillow fight. I know it's cheesy and silly but it's still fun and I dont take myself too seriously. I'm glad I have friends that are not too concerned about perceptions to stop them from having a good time.
Finally it was time to get dolled up for the big Sparkle event.
When we got back I was TIRED! I really wanted a nap and I wasn't feeling very good. I was seriously considering skipping the evening dinner and clubbing with the large group of ladies in the city. I laid down on the bed and texted my wife saying maybe I should have not come out for so long. I took some medicine, had a snickers and a coke and after a while started feeling better. I chose a royal blue key-hole dress, nylons, and boots. The look was feminine but in line with what I noticed the cis-girls wearing outside the clubs last year.
By the time we got to the dinner I was feeling fine and getting to see new and old friends again made me forget about thinking I was spending too much time in Sacramento. A couple people recognized me from my online presence. That can be kind of awkward but surely is a compliment.
After the dinner most of the ladies walked down to a nearby pub while others hit a dance club. I joined the pub group and noticed that this year there was a big sign on the door that said that it caters people of all genders and sexual preferences.
We stayed there a couple of hours. I noticed the tgirls mostly talked to other tgirls but I guess all groups of people mostly talk to people withing their groups. I did meet a couple of girls that were undergoing transitions and was surprised about how willing they were to share the personal details of it.
Day 2 Part 2
Despite the lack of fun the previous night both Gina and DonnaKelli were enthusiastic about trying to go country dancing again. Since I didnt ahve to change except to put on boots I took the opportunity to shave again. If shave early in the morning I need to do it again by evening. I realized that my razor wasnt as fresh as I had thought and made a mental note to buy a new one somehow the next morning.
We convinced the always ready for fun Jennifer, the expert at photos with strangers-Diana, and the incredibly beautiful Diana to join us.
The atmosphere this night could not have been more different that the previous night. When the bouncer recognized us he even said, things are a little different than last night, ladies. The place was nearly empty. A handful of people were at the front bar and even fewer were in the back around the dance floor.
We took a table near the dj booth and before long the dj was playing anything we requested. It was a ton of fun to teach other dances that we knew, both line dances and different styles of couples dances. A few regulars were there and joined in the fun. We stayed and danced until 1 AM including plenty of picture taking...the dj turning up the lights and directed us to good photo spots. Before we left he told us to get in touch with him next year and he'd see about arranging something special for us.
Once again the Gems put on a wonderful event. The MC was fantastic. They had a comedian, cute decorations, a fun DJ, best hat and best shoes contests(I won 3rd) , raffle, dancing, "Barbie" photo booth...etc. Just a fun evening.
So much of the work was done by volunteers showing the personal interest that people have in making the event a success.
As planned ahead of time I had brought my cowgirl boots and Donna's down and we slipped them on when the music started so that we could dance easier. Gina and Jennifer and many other girls (and even the DJ) kept the dance floor hopping.
I met a few new people and the photographer did a great job of capturing the festivities.
We had joked about going across the street afterwards to go bowling in our fancy dresses but we may have to incorporate that into next year's fun.
We had such a good time that we talked about maybe flying our wives in for the last day of the event next year. It seems like they would enjoy it as well.
I miss seeing my east coast (Atlanta) friends and really hope to get out there next year but coming to Sacramento has been so much fun (and is so much less expensive) that I likely will return next year.
Day 2 (part 1)
Refreshed from a good night's sleep we took our time getting ready in the morning. We had plans for each evening but really had no definitive plans for any of the days. Gina wanted to pick up something at the store so spending a few hours at the mall was an easy choice on how to spend the afternoon. I wore skinny jeans, knee high boots, and a yellow winged top. We arrived and walked up to the food court. As we passed the Buckle store I stopped to admire the sparkly cowgirl boots. At salesman engaged me in conversation but we did't linger very long.
After eating our lunches and passing the Buckle store again I got sucked in by a sales girl. Once I told her that I had a boot in that brand already she knew I was a potential buyer and really went out of her way to try to find something I'd like. Ultimately, I didn't buy anything but it was fun to be catered to for a while.
As we continued shopping I found a ladies room so I left the group and went in among the other women. I quickly entered the first stall as always somewhat concerned about making others uncomfortable. When I exited the stall I took my time washing my hands and touching up my hair as other ladies came and went.
Once back with my friends, we fulfilled out obligation to check out Sephora. We browsed around a little and got a quick picture before realizing it was getting near time to get back and changed for dinner.
Dinner plans were to meet some other tgirls at a mexican restaurant. As more and more of us arrived throughout the week, our dinner parties grew. I decided eschew wearing a dress and went for skinny jeans, strappy heels and an off the shouder black top. Most of the transgender ladies chose to wear dresses since they don't get to dress feminine as often as they wish.
As usual dinner had good conversation and ample photo taking but ran much longer than expected. DonnaKelli, Gina, and I had convinced a few others to try out the country bar again and I was ready to go back and kick up my heels again.
Tips & Tricks
Day 3 Part 1
Friday morning I had to go get a new razor. Since I could't get enfemm without shaving I had to break my rule and go out as a guy. However I didnt want to take my sparkly nail polish off and have to reapply it later so left them as is. I had located a Target a block away and figured buying the razor at the self-check-out would be easy enough but DonnaKelli asked me to stop at the Starbucks for her on the way back and I knew that could be interesting. She wrote down her order and I left to run my errands.
As expected, Target was uneventful. When I got to Starbucks I handed the young girl DonnaKelli's order and she commented how she loved my nails. I thanked her and she asked where I get them done. I explained they were the veneer appliques. Then she asked if I was at the drag show the night before. Somewhat confused I said No, That I was in town for an event on Saturday. She said, Oh, There was a drag show at her college the night before. Overall the exchange was quite pleasant and kind of fun.
After everyone was ready we met in the lobby and discussed how to spend the day. The general consensus was to go see a little of the area. A local girl suggested we go to Old Town Auburn, an old mining town in the foothills, rather than go to downtown Sacramento so we went there.
Our first order of business was to get lunch. We chose a restaurant with a beautiful setting but the service was very slow. No one seemed to care much as we talked and took lots of pictures. We were seated across from a rough looking couple of guys who surprised me when one of them offered to take pictures for us!
After lunch we shopped a little at a wonderful vintage store and then spent the rest of the time taking advantage of the picturesque setting and backdrops. Kim Rydick showed how she could be a professional photographer with her skills and ideas.
As usual, we headed back keeping in mind the time it would take to get dolled up for dinner in the night-club area of Sacramento.