California, Here I Come!

Yes, fellow travelers, it’s time to hit the road again. After a 2½ hour delay on the ground, AAC CPA and I are midway between the right and left coasts, winging our way via American Airlines to sunny Los Angeles.

There was no real explanation about why we were so delayed at JFK this morning. There was, apparently, a huge buildup of planes that were unable to take off. Yes, it was raining, just a bit, but is that any excuse? Geez, Louise.

AAC
AAC CPA settles into AA #1 bound for Los Angeles

So, we finally took off, libations were served (Bloody Mary’s, Tito’s on the side, please) which, for some inexplicable reason, were accompanied by biscotti. Where are my warm nuts??

Then there was a bruschetta omelet, accompanied by sausage, fresh melon and a biscuit. I was hungry, and it was tasty (enough).

Now I want to tell you about our itinerary for the next 11 days. We’ll be in Los Angeles – a much maligned town, if you ask me – for the next 4 days. Then we’re flying up to San Francisco and motoring to the wine country – Yountville (in the Napa valley), to be precise. After a few days in that paradise, we’re spending a long weekend in San Francisco. We’ve made this trip many times – it’s our annual west coast swing – and we couldn’t enjoy it more.

So what will we do for fun? There will certainly be a lot of eating; in fact, our dance card is filled every night with some very interesting dining establishments. I’ll tell you about them as we go along, but I’ll give you a little preview of our dinner tomorrow night:

We’re going to a place called Maude (“and then there’s Maude!”), which is this very hot restaurant in Beverly Hills. Helmed by chef Curtis Stone (“Top Chef” and “Around the World in 80 Plates”), the restaurant features a set multi-course menu that changes monthly. Each menu features one “star” ingredient: for June, it’s cherries. From what I’ve heard, we’re going to have a pretty fine experience.

Curtis Stone
Curtis Stone

DINING TIP: Maude

There will also be some culture on this trip. For instance, tomorrow morning, we’re going to LACMA (the Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to see one of two Mapplethorpe exhibitions which are currently on view in the Los Angeles area. (The other is at the Getty.) As Mapplethorpe’s art was somewhat divided into two camps – as I imagine the exhibitions will likewise be – it’ll be interesting to find out which one we’re going to get. Stay tuned.

Mapplethorpe-01
Mapplethorpe by Mapplethorpe

CULTURE TIP: Mapplethorpe at LACMA

We’ll be staying at our favorite local hotel, L’Ermitage, located on Burton Way in Beverly Hills – just a few short blocks from Rodeo Drive, in fact. When we were last there – almost exactly a year ago – the place was in the midst of a major renovation, which was completed some months ago. At that time, we were shown a model of the new guest rooms, and the hotel has stepped up its game in providing a luxe experience for its lodgers.

L'Ermitage

TRAVEL TIP: L’Ermitage

We’ve also made a pretty dramatic decision regarding our LA sojourn: for the 1st time ever, we’re not renting a car but, rather “Ubering” our way around town. We’ve had friends who say it’s the only way to go. Between car rental fees, valet parking and hotel parking charges, this has got to be a good deal, right?

So that’s our little trip in a nutshell. Now it’s time to watch a flick, so I’ll stop here. I’ll be back soon with reports on our travels. Keep an eye on this space and have a lovely day.

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6 thoughts on “California, Here I Come!

  1. Wonderful to read your blog after so long. Have a great time. We have just set sail from Bruges. Tomorrow Antwerp. It is all of 58 nautical miles. We’ll be there in an hour. Heaven knows what this ship will be doing all night as we don’t dock till morning. Xx

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