Whew. What a trip, in more ways than one. The invite to bring The Smooch! Project to Coronado/San Diego has been such a great gift, for which I am truly grateful. Actually accomplishing this had been my primary challenge for the last few months. This was our first Smooch! Away Mission (SAM) where we would travel by airplane. Figuring out how to “fly the Smooch!” turned out to be both fun and anxiety-inducing. Was I going to rent, borrow, or bring my own equipment? I decide to use my own, but what was the best way to get it there? You’ll see my solution in the photo below:
This is Martha Delaney, Super Smooch! Supporter with greatly relieved me just moments after we landed in the San Diego airport. The photographer is her mother, Martha Lepore (more about both of these remarkable women below). Between us is literally the Smooch!-on-the-move: Two heavy-duty cases holding all the necessary electronics (strobe lights, laptops, and more) plus a huge black duffel bag holding everything from light stands, power cords to my personal items. The cases were checked as luggage and could not exceed 50lbs each. The oversized duffle bag would not be accepted if it weighed more than 100lbs. I was very, very close to being overweight on all three pieces and had worried for days that I had exceeded the airline limits. As you can see, the baggage made it, along with with us. No mishaps or challenges to overcome so far. The San Diego SAM was off to a great start.
This smoochy adventure would never have come about without the amazing support of both Martha Mom (MM) and Martha Kid (MK). Mother and daughter worked together to set up the trip, taking care of all the travel and accommodation details. MK accompanied me to Coronado/San Diego, where I am now very comfortably staying with MM. I am so very lucky!
MM is a highly energetic retired marketing pro who continues to work tirelessly to help the Smooch! make a big splash while here. I arrived four days ago. Three days ago, I gave a presentation to the local Optimists Club. Two days, I was taped live on a local TV station. Yesterday, we went to the Coronado Public Library to set up the equipment. Today we hold the 106th Smooch! shoot there. All organized by MM. Early next week, MK has offered to be my San Diego tour guide, as we check out some of the amazing attractions that entice millions of people to visit this area every year. On Wed, MK & I will return to Minnesota.
I’m just over half way through the Coronado/San Diego SAM, which has literally been a dream come true. My newest wish: More Marthas for future Smooch! SAMs! These two women made this trip both fun & easy, really setting a high benchmark for all upcoming smoochy trips. As I’ve already said, I am exceedingly grateful to both Marthas. I have no idea what the future holds for Smooch! Project trips but if they are anything like my Coronado experience, I am gonna be one spoiled photographer!
I love The Smooch! Project because it brightens up even the darkest day.