Thursday, November 16, 2006

I wish they all could be California girls

Rather, I wish my life were a permanent vacation (albeit pretty damn close already...) like Marcus and Meredith. So I'm back in NYC now but spent a fantastic weekend with Deanna out in Southern California hanging with my nieces and seeing some friends. Fantastic trip!

Hopped on Delta from JFK and was delayed a few hours, and of course was sitting next to Fatty McGee. But the flight was redeemed when Deanna discovered the interactive trivia game we could play against other passengers. I set the plane record high score and life was good. We landed pretty late, got our rental car and drove to Venice to Bobby D's place. Hung there for a few hours with Laney, Sabrina and Dan Hadl--had a few beers and crashed. Woke up super early the next morning and got on the road driving northwest to Santa Barbara.

A few hours later, we arrived at the Sunrise RV Park in Santa Barbara and met up with Marcus and Meredith. We got the grand tour of their Air Stream and hopped in the Suburban to grab a bite to eat. We stumbled on a fantastic brunch spot called D'Angelo's and ate like kings. A 45-minute drive into the mountains led to a quick stop at Lake Cachuma to enjoy the scenery.

We arrived in Los Olivos and went to the Blackjack Ranch Winery for a wine tasting, which was really yummy. Then to the town for another one. A few bottles were purchased and we were off to Solvang, a very cute little Danish town. Walked around for a while and drove on back to Santa Barbara. Played some Guitar Hero II (Wheeee!!) and went into town to watch the sunset over the water. Had a top notch dinner at Chad's (with an amazing Ahi Martini--which was food, not a drink).

Drove back to LA and checked into our hotel (Park Hyatt in Century City, uber swank) and crashed that night. Woke up with a very lazy Sunday morning--breakfast in bed, crossword puzzle on the balcony, football (why do my Redskins suck so much?!?) and then drove down to Torrance (with a quick stop at In N Out Burger) to hang with my nieces. Dalia didn't really know who I was (but is walking and talking now, and is precious). Aliza was so excited to see me and we celebrated her birhday in style. Dora the Explora stories, Blues Clues stories and plenty of Berenstain Bears books (I bought her the four she was missing).

Took the girls to the beach (the water was warmer than the air) and played there for a while. Went back home, read some more books. Put them to sleep and went to pick up Sarah at the airport. Drove her home and went to Hollywood for a great sushi dinner and then to the Knitting Factory to see The Slip, who were awesome. Went back home and crashed out.

Monday was a lazy day for me. Met Deanna for lunch in between her meetings (and realized how much we hate LA--the strip mall with only 5 restaurants was valley parking ONLY. So annoying). Did some work and hung out. Drove to Malibu for a spectacular dinner at Geoffery's overlooking the water. Very yummy. Crashed hard that night, then drove to the airport on Tuesday morning to fly back home.

And so it goes... perfect weekend.

Quote of the day:
Courtesy of Dan Greenhaus: "I may not have the type of voice you like, but I can sing. You can't take that away from me, 'cause singing is a gift from God, and when people say I can't sing, it's kind of like insulting God." -Fergie

Music notes:
Going to Webster Hall tonight to see Brett Dennen, Easy Star All Stars (performing Radiodread) and Xavier Rudd. Can't wait!

Travel notes:
Off to CT tomorrow night for Russ's 30th birthday. Get to see Bethy's cousin in a Rush cover band, then hopefully RUBULAD afterwards, back in the BK.


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