Onward and upward!

Thank you for being part of our journey these 3 years! We've so appreciated all your kind words and visits. Onward and upward with our journey!

Friday, June 24, 2011

ASTRA - Way better than EIEIO!

ASTRA....now what could that mean? I just spent 4 days surrounded by ASTRA folks having a blast in California. There were ASTRA top 10 toys and ASTRA vendors with mountains of things to delight and amuse. ASTRA seminars packed with exciting ideas I can't wait to implement! Have you guessed what ASTRA stands for? No? It's something for you to remember and check out in your own backwoods or while you are traveling. It stands for American Specialty Toys Retail Association and what an amazing group they are! Look for an ASTRA store near you for a fun adventure! Their help in getting My Toy Garden off the ground has been immeasurable. So many retailers have spent time answering my questions and giving me more to think about and plan for. The website gives me peeks into the hottest toys on their shelves and what's to come next. I had a blast in California for the annual convention! It was their biggest and best yet with close to 300 vendors there. I wandered the aisles of Marketplace for 2 days feeling like I'd just eaten a 16 layer chocolate cake by myself. I can't wait to start placing orders for many of the things I saw there that will be so much fun for you to play with!

I also met a great new friend, Heather, from Colorado who works at GrandRabbits Toys. (My MI friends will understand why I can't pronounce that right.) She and I seem to be long lost siblings of some kind. We had so much in common and laughed a ton. The last night was on our own so we decided to rent a car and drive to Laguna Beach and eat at Las Brisas, an cliffside ocean view restaurant wrapped in a rose garden. As we were getting ready, the car rental guy I'd befriended a few days early on my one day early arrival gypsy day, called to asked if we really wanted a 4-door or if a convertible would be okay? Okay? Okay! Wahoo!! A silver Chevrolet 200 convertible with 2,000 miles on it pulled up to the front of the Hilton and he handed us the keys! It didn't matter that we were a bit cold, we cranked that top down and off we went! Such a fun way to wrap up a great trip!

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