Category: L.A.


Long Weekend in LA: Part Two

July 10th, 2013 — 8:33pm

Saturday, my wonderful long weekend in L.A. continued with an afternoon at Malibu Wines.

Nestled in the foothills of Malibu on Mulholland Parkway, this winery is one of the most delightful I’ve ever visited. Umbrella-covered tables compliment two wine tasting taverns, set against a backdrops of mountains and vineyards.

The picturesque setting of Malibu Wines

The picturesque setting of Malibu Wines

The occasion for my visit — joining dear friend A, his wife Leslie and their friends for a performance by talented daughter Ren and her partner Mimo.

I had the pleasure of hearing Ren sing during my last L.A. visit in November as well and she was just as dazzling this time around. With a depth and conviction far beyond her 19 years, she has the kind of voice and stage presence that reminds you of Adele or Joss Stone.

 

Ren and Mimo delighted the crowd at Malibu Wines

Ren and Mimo delighted the crowd at Malibu Wines

In addition to performing her own original music — “That’s The Truth” is one I can’t wait to download — Ren nimbly delivered soulful renditions of classics by Bob Dylan, Melissa Etheridge and Adele too — infusing each song with emotion and taking you on a journey with every note. Mimo’s skilled guitar melodies harmonize perfectly with her. A star is born.

Head on over to her for music downloads and info about Ren and Mimo’s upcoming shows.

After the performance, the weekend’s theme of reconnecting continued. First, over a delicious dinner a Wilshire Restaurant in Santa Monica with longtime family friends Jane and Doron. Then, yesterday, brunch with high school buddy Allison at the W Westwood‘s poolside venue, The Backyard.

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Allison and me

Allison and I talked a lot about getting older and the heavy contemplation it brings. She said she’s decided to make the next decade her “fearless forties.”  I love the sound of that, of embracing the upcoming big 4-0 with fortitude and adventure.

Catching up with Allison was the perfect ending to a fantastic weekend. My visit to L.A. did everything a vacation is supposed to do, not the least of which is feel rejuvenated and ready to tackle life back home.

Here’s to a fearless second half of 2013!

| catching up with old friends, L.A., travel, turning 40

Long Weekend In L.A.: Part One

July 7th, 2013 — 1:15am

Nothing says summer like a getaway to the West Coast — and that’s exactly what I’m enjoying this weekend in L.A. Since arriving Wednesday night, I’ve been having the time of my life.

I couldn’t have planned it any better, which is ironic given that this trip was originally supposed to be a girlfriends getaway. When my galpal ended up having to work, I opted to make the trip anyway and I’m so happy that I did.

SaraMel

Sara and me celebrating the 4th

Thursday, I celebrated the 4th with college buddy Sara and her sister’s family in Palos Verdes Estates. A delightful cul de sac block party featured homemade salads, barbecue, an array of desserts and adorable kids decked out in red, white and blue gear. Capping it all off: a dazzling fireworks display on the beach set to a soundtrack of patriotic music. God bless America.

Fireworks

We had a perfect beachside view of the fireworks

Yesterday, I ventured over to my favorite part of L.A, Santa Monica, for lunch with my dear friend A. Over a light, lingering lunch at Café Crepe on the Third Street Promenade, we enjoyed a soul soothing conversation about family milestones, career crossroads and making time to nourish the creative process.

A and me at Cafe Crepe in Santa Monica

A and me at Cafe Crepe in Santa Monica

A is currently appearing on A&E’s compelling homicide drama set in the Southwest, . This show is truly in a class by itself, don’t miss it.

After lunch, I strolled around Santa Monica before returning to the W Westwood for some poolside lounging time. Then, it was off to dinner in Beverly Hills with my surrogate mom Gwen.

Gwen introduced me to the inviting elegance and charm of The Peninsula Hotel’s rooftop restaurant. In a word….wow. I won’t soon forget the perfectly prepared scallops or heavenly caramel tree dessert — though the most memorable part of the evening was spending quality time with someone I love dearly.

I am truly blessed in my friends.

Up next…a magical afternoon in Malibu.

| catching up with old friends, L.A., travel

By The Numbers: Take Seven

August 25th, 2008 — 1:18am

The other night, I Opened The Vault to the beginnings of my relationship with Mark, a.k.a. Sparky. A California native, Sparky acquainted me with the up’s and down’s of a long-distance relationship — and what it means to have a love that’s worth such a roller coaster ride.

When you’re in a bicoastal romance, numbers become very important. The number of times you call each other daily, the number of hours, and minutes even, until you’re together again and so on. Here’s some more about my East-West Coast love affair, By The Numbers:

Number of miles collectively traveled by Sparky and I to see each other: 64,012
Number of dates before he presented me with a diamond ring: 3
Number of trips to visit Sparky in L.A. without my parents’ knowledge: 3
Number of trips to L.A. they never found out about: 1
Number of earthquakes experienced while in L.A.: 1

I still remember how unnerving it was to feel the ground shake — and to learn that Sparky lived just a few blocks from the quake’s epicenter. He slept right through the aftershocks, as I awakened to a new appreciation for residing far from any major fault lines.

It’s fitting that my one and only experience of earthquakes happened with Sparky. As many friends and diary entries can attest, he shook up my world in a big way. One of the happy aftershocks of spending so much time in California with him — discovering all over again that there’s no place I’d rather be than right here in the Big Apple.

| earthquakes, L.A., long-distance relationships

By The Numbers: Take Seven

August 24th, 2008 — 8:18pm

The other night, I Opened The Vault to the beginnings of my relationship with Mark, a.k.a. Sparky. A California native, Sparky acquainted me with the up’s and down’s of a long-distance relationship — and what it means to have a love that’s worth such a roller coaster ride.

When you’re in a bicoastal romance, numbers become very important. The number of times you call each other daily, the number of hours, and minutes even, until you’re together again and so on. Here’s some more about my East-West Coast love affair, By The Numbers:

Number of miles collectively traveled by Sparky and I to see each other: 64,012
Number of dates before he presented me with a diamond ring: 3
Number of trips to visit Sparky in L.A. without my parents’ knowledge: 3
Number of trips to L.A. they never found out about: 1
Number of earthquakes experienced while in L.A.: 1

I still remember how unnerving it was to feel the ground shake — and to learn that Sparky lived just a few blocks from the quake’s epicenter. He slept right through the aftershocks, as I awakened to a new appreciation for residing far from any major fault lines.

It’s fitting that my one and only experience of earthquakes happened with Sparky. As many friends and diary entries can attest, he shook up my world in a big way. One of the happy aftershocks of spending so much time in California with him — discovering all over again that there’s no place I’d rather be than right here in the Big Apple.

| earthquakes, L.A., long-distance relationships

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