Connie Delamora's glamorous weekend in Los Angeles was almost spoiled by an ugly incident at the airport.
Delamora, a hair stylist and makeup artist at Studio One in Kennewick, and Kathy Nunez, the salon's owner, visited Los Angeles with colleagues last weekend for a salon workshop. It didn't take long for the trip to go awry.
Just off the plane, the foursome stood at the baggage claim, waiting for their luggage.
"We waited patiently and (Connie's) bag never dropped," Nunez said.
Nerves began to fray.
"And then this couple came up to us and said, 'Are you guys missing a bag?' " Nunez said. "And we were like, 'Yeah, we are.'"
The missing bag -- a black and white Victoria Secret duffle -- and its contents of professional hair and beauty care products, clothes, accessories and styling equipment was valued at $3,460.
"By then, I was basically freaking out because I thought it was gone," Delamora said.
It was. The couple told Delamora and Nunez that "a crazy guy" took it and made for the baggage claim's exit.
The theft was reported to police, who doubted much could be done, Nunez said.
Delamora and Nunez spent the rest of Friday replacing the most necessary contents of the stolen bag, dropping about $300 for a professional hair dryer, combs, brushes and clips -- all the gear Delamora would need for Sunday's workshop at Nine Zero One salon.
Hoping to put the bad experience behind them, the pair visited the Santa Monica Pier on Saturday. And then, somewhere in between the urban anglers and boardwalk vendors, Delamora spotted it.
"Connie looks over and she's like, 'That's my bag!'" Nunez said, adding, "We were all yelling and screaming like we won the lottery."
A security guard was standing next to the black and white duffle bag -- keeping a watchful eye on the piece of luggage that a man had asked him to look after.
Afraid of what may or may not be inside, Delamora asked the security guard to open it. Her toothbrush was missing; a wet towel and smelly blanket were added -- but the other original contents were intact.
Delamora and Nunez were back in business and ready for Sunday's class in West Hollywood.
"It was like a p-----d off moment to a really happy moment," Delamora said.
"We will be running to the baggage claim to beat people," Nunez said. "And we'll pack everything that's valuable into our carry-on."
Delamora said the thief hasn't been caught.