west coast leaning…

Went to my home state of California last Thursday-Sunday for a little bit of business and even more fun/vacation time. I spent time in Los Angeles & Santa Monica. I had really been looking forward to the trip. I had been needing a change of scenery and also, I wanted to see what the hell all the LA buzz was all about as I know of 3 different sets of people who have moved there within the last year. What gives? The only time I had ever spent in that area was very brief back in 1996,  so i was curious to see what I would find.

It definitely did not disappoint. My first night I stayed at a hotel in W. Hollywood called THE STANDARD. Overall, pretty cool. Cool room, lobby, pool….but it was also nothing very fancy. Great neighborhood for me to be in…Peets coffee less than 1/2 mile away. i was a HAPPY girl!! Met up with some clients and took them to dinner at The PALM. Great restaurant/great service. There is actually one of these restaurants in Atlanta, but I have never been.

Friday woke up, enjoyed some Peets while delighting in the cool temps and overcast skies to start the day. Soon, I was out the door and running a zig zag type route through W. Hollywood and into Beverly Hills and back. 5 good miles. Can i tell you how FREAKING EASIER IT WAS TO RUN in that kind of weather in the middle of summer! YAY!

After getting cleaned up, I asked the helpful valet guys for a breakfast recommendation in Los Feliz neighborhood. They gave me a name which i promptly forgot, but then found a place called FIGARO. And man, am i glad I went there. AWESOME. INCREDIBLE. One of the best breakfast meals I’ve ever had. French Toast on some small pieces of bread w/ wonderful flavors mixed on top w/ cinnamon & real whipped cream on the side. Strawberries. Scrambled eggs w/ some sort of spicy potatoes. And a double cappuccino in a BOWL. ALL TO DIE FOR. Adding to the food was the ambience; very french…all the decor was actually brought in from Paris(was told this by waiter). Wonderful, beautiful establishment and a place often frequented by Katherine Heigl (damnit! i missed her!)
I was in some true la la land by the time I finished! Afterwards, I made my second driving jaunt up on Mulholland Drive and Laurel Canyon. Awesome! Great views of the city. Reminded me a lot of the Oakland Hills with all the windy streets and cool homes. I got out of the car several times just to look around and take it all in.
Soon enough, I made my way to Santa Monica. Stayed at a fancy place called THE VICEROY about 1 block from the beach. I would highly recommend. Great service. Very nice accommodations. Early evening, some friends came by and we had happy hour and then went to dinner nearby. A wonderful evening topped off by dessert back at the hotel; cookies and ice milk. not sure what kind of cookies they were, but we only had 3…one each and i savored every last crumb of mine. WOW! It was great to see & visit with friends again and it would continue the next night.
Saturday woke up and found another Peets nearby. YAY! I could move there for PEETS alone! (maybe) Same drill; came back to hotel, changed and went running. Ran a solid 6 on Ocean Ave and then up into some neighborhoods and back to hotel. It was about 730-8am when i started and there were tons of people out already. Walking, rollerblading, running…i loved it! I noticed how much easier it was to run in this locale…flat, cool temperatures…ocean breeze….AHHHH.
After breakfast, I went down to the beach to check it out. I was wearing jeans & a t-shirt. All I had with me was some water and a newspaper. I sat down and just stayed there a while…very different for me! I was feeling really relaxed and wanted to recline and since all i had was my newspaper, that’s what i used to lay on. Hilarious! It did the trick! The warm sun felt healing, the breeze was refreshing, the sounds of children playing and of faint conversations was comforting. What a great way to spend a couple of hours!
Later I stopped by Peets for an early evening coffee and then headed to friends house for the evening. It was neat to see where they lived and be in their space instead of out at a restaurant. Lots of time to just chill and visit and hang. L made a very tasty dinner w/ fish tacos(grilled halibut) with yummy guacamole, mango salsa, & cabbage. Dessert was a refreshing homemade sundae. YUM!
Sunday – I settled for coffee from a cafe across the street from hotel. Went for another run. 6.25 miles from hotel and zig zag route over to Venice Beach and back. On the return, ran much closer to the water and loved looking out at it the entire way north.
Met up with same friends for breakfast and then a final stop at Peets before I made my reluctant drive to LAX!
I needed the change of scenery. Needed the time away. Needed the balance. I’m thankful for it all.
Long post! Thx for reading. Cheers!

me & my love

me & my love

6 Responses to “west coast leaning…”

  1. What a great trip!
    As my love of good coffee has grown exponentially over the last months, I am wishing more and more I was near a Peets. Someday, hopefully!

  2. afuntanilla Says:

    hey you! there is one in Cherry Creek! next time u are in that area…

  3. sounds like you had a great time out here. The weather is pretty nice – the radio was saying it felt uncomfortable today because it was 56% humidity. I figured you’d get a kick out of that! Sounds like you saw some great stuff and I’m looking forward to having brunch at Figaro!

  4. afuntanilla Says:

    josh – definitely! go to Figaro! The only thing missing from the trip was chance to see YOU! 🙂

  5. Man that picture says it all- ‘you and your love…’ Glad you came on by!

  6. afuntanilla Says:

    yep. yep!

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