It was lust at first sight!
Oh! The sleek, sexy form …
The kiss of the wild …
The seductive embrace of luxury …
Photo credit: Meryl Ann Butler
Yes, the very first moment I set eyes on that Leopard Limousine, I was in love. And just a few short weeks later, we were reunited; on my birthday; surrounded by goddesses.
After a lifetime of hosting birthday celebrations for kids and husbands, it was finally my turn.
I have treasures beyond measure in my goddess girlfriends, who are creative, passionate, and fun. They all dove into the merriment, properly accessorized with leopard wear: Purses, spike-heeled shoes, and earrings, and they were draped with the furry leopard boas I made for all of us. I had even discovered a YouTube video on how to paint leopard spots on fingernails, so my nails were appropriately polished for the occasion.
Leopard Babes: Cara, Meryl Ann, Norma, Ariana, Susan. Photo: Jane Shirek
When the fabulous limo drove up our street, curious heads peered out of opening doors. We gals piled into the fabulous feline interior. Every inch was lavishly embraced in leopard upholstery and carpet … even the glassware was an elegant delight—imported from Italy, with perfect, laser-cut, leopard spots.
Limo interior. Photo courtesy Leopard Limousines
I had copied my favorite celebratory songs onto a CD, and printed copies of the lyrics. As our limo purred down the highway, we leopard goddesses snuggled in the plush leopard upholstery and belted out “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” at the top of our lungs. Get back, Cyndi Lauper!
Meryl Ann and Cara - Fun on the Santa Monica Carousel! Photo: Jane Shirek
Our first stop was to one of the places in the LA area that I love best, the Santa Monica Pier, to ride the carousel.  As a carousel aficionado, this 1922 beauty built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company is one of my favorites. And the entertainment industry loves it, too. Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s characters perpetrated their famous "sting" at this very carousel.
Photo Credit: Santa Monica Pier Restoration
Its horses and chariots, lights, brass poles, and mirrors have all been restored to perfection. The carousel is housed in the Looff Hippodrome, a National Historic Landmark designed and built in 1916 by Charles I.D. Looff.