I Would Wake Up In Portugal.

Once Andrew left I packed my schedule with things to do so that I would keep busy and not miss him. Yes, that should work because dealing with my actual feelings would take up too much time.  I had two international trips coming up, my birthday and then before I knew it I would be in Portugal. I could do this!

We had settled on a mid-August time frame for my visit, it was the only down time I had until work got really busy! I told my assistant Billy to pack as much stuff as he couldn’t into the next few weeks, or until I left for Miss Teen USA in the Bahamas.   Billy was always one to over deliver at his job and so he did just that.  I secretly think it was because he didn’t want to deal with the fall out of me being a mess for the next thirty days.

Fittings, Style Studio client appointments, last minute training sessions for our girls competing at Miss Teen USA (California, New York, and New Hampshire), travel details to work out and of course all of my self maintenance that had to be squeezed in before I left; hair cut and color, nails, wax, facial, brows, lashes, spray tan not to mention packing and last minute shopping- oh and the gym!

The car picked me up bright and early on a Monday morning and I was off to the Bahamas. It was a work trip but I had zero complaints.   Seven days later, after the new queen was crowned and all meetings had been wrapped up I was back on a plane to Cancun to meet up with some friends for my birthday week.   I had been looking forward to this trip for months.  Sun, sand, cocktails, food, friends… I needed this.

Once I landed in Mexico I made a simple rule, no one was allowed to use the following words: divorce, x husbands name, or lawyer. I  was ready to totally unplug and not have to worry about things! One thing I was not prepared for was text messages from Jaxton.

We hadn’t seen each other in awhile, he did not like the fact that I was still technically married to a man that may or may not be a little coo coo.   He had asked that we back off until I got things sorted out. Actually, I think he said it would be best for me if we backed off, I 100% disagreed but I knew him well enough to just leave it alone.

Since we hadn’t talked in a couple of weeks he, of course, had no idea I had met Andrew.

“How are you doing kid?” He texts me.

“Laying on a beach in Cancun, doing fabulous!” I replied.

“Oh nice, I thought you were going to the Bahamas for Miss Teen USA.” He answered back.

“Yep, did that and now in Cancun for my birthday.” I text.

I knew he had no idea who I was with and wouldn’t ask so I didn’t volunteer the info- he needed to wonder.

Before I would go back to LA I had a quick stop in Aspen to see friends and attend my favorite party of the year there. Luckily Billy had shipped my Aspen bag directly there and a friend took my suitcase full of beach clothes back to LA.

Finally, it was time to return to reality and since my tan lines were sufficient and my liver couldn’t take anymore, I didn’t mind.   Plus, I knew once I was back in LA I had only one week until Portugal! YAY! I had planned the trip with great timing since I had to be in New York for a press conference and meetings two days before, I could then fly from the east coast and a sixteen-hour trip turned into an eight-hour trip because I could fly direct from Newark to Lisbon.

Again, my one week in town and at the office was packed with playing catch up, doing laundry, a repeat of beauty appointments, and packing again. I had zero ideas on what to pack for Portugal. From what Andrew had told me it would all be very casual. We would spend most of our time on his farm or be doing things that would be relaxed, but I still needed to look cute. I also decided to pack every piece of lingerie I had, you know just to be prepared.

The Thursday before I left I got another text from Jaxton, “Plans this weekend? I owe you a birthday dinner!” Before I could even think about it I had replied, “Yes you do, Saturday?” “Great, I will pick you up at 7!” He quickly replied back.   I thought to myself how sweet it was.


Saturday at 7 sharp Jaxton was outside my place with a cab (this was before Uber I remind you). He had made a reservation at my favorite restaurant and after a drink, at the bar, we were seated and he was ordering, what seemed like, everything on the menu including a fabulous bottle of wine. When I asked him what he was doing he smiled and told me that we were celebrating… I wasn’t going to argue with that.

Jaxton didn’t know I was going to Portugal or anything about Andrew, and in the moment I decided it was best to not mention it. I had started to get a feeling in my gut that maybe going to Portugal was a dumb idea, where could this relationship go really anyway? What, was I going to move to a village outside of Lisbon? Andrews business was based there and his daughter was there…. I had already moved and made huge compromises for one man and look at how that turned out.

After a martini, a bottle of wine and more food than I am proud to admit I consumed Jaxton and I were crawling into a cab once more. Before I knew it we had made one stop, in front of his place. “This isn’t where I live,” I said with a smile on my face. “No, it isn’t but it is where you are staying for tonight.” He said as he grabbed my hand.   I didn’t disagree.

“This isn’t where I live,” I said with a smile on my face. “No, it isn’t but it is where you are staying for tonight.” He said as he grabbed my hand.   I didn’t disagree.

“No, it isn’t but it is where you are staying for tonight.” He said as he grabbed my hand.   I didn’t disagree.

Twenty-four hours later I was on a plane to New York and I couldn’t stop thinking about Jaxton and how nervous I was to see Andrew. I didn’t feel guilty about Jaxton, Andrew and I had never discussed be ‘exclusive’ and I didn’t even know how that would work with the distance- plus it was Jaxton, not just a random guy I decided to go out with.

My work in New York was hectic so time literally flew by. I asked the hotel to FedEx my NY bag back to LA and I headed to Newark airport for my transatlantic flight. As I waited in the airport I was texting with Andrew, he was going to meet me outside customs. I had dressed in yoga clothes for the flight, since it was an overnight, and put a cute maxi dress and sandals in my carry on so that I could change, brush my teeth, and put on a touch of makeup once I landed and before he saw me.

I had traveled internationally plenty of times but never to Portugal, I had no idea what to really expect. Billy had put a file together for me with all sorts of history and shopping info but I knew that wasn’t the whole picture.

Once on the plane, I took my Xanax, had a glass, and tried to calm my nerves/ excitement.  I couldn’t believe I was going to wake up in Portugal, one more glass of wine and was out like a light.

Before I knew it the flight attendants were serving breakfast and we would be landing soon. My stomach was in knots and suddenly my mothers’ voice was running through my head. What if he didn’t pick me up? What if he was crazy and was taking me to his farm to torture me? What if he lived in a dump and I had to use an outdoor bathroom? All of these totally “rational” thoughts kept flooding my mind. I shut them up with the same thing I always say to myself, “If it isn’t what I thought then I will figure out how to get myself out of it!”

The plane landed, I got my luggage, ran to the ladies room to change and primp. Of course, my phone wasn’t working and so I timidly walked through customs with about 100 other people, frantically searching the crowd for a familiar face and there he was. Standing in a crowd of people with a huge smile on his handsome face. I knew at that moment I had made the right decision.  He grabbed me around the waist, picked me up and planted a huge kiss on my lips while swinging me around.  It was the best airport greeting I had ever received!


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