The Real Housewife of Santa Monica

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia Spain with Kids – US Embassy in Madrid —> Barcelona Spain with Kids – Madrid Part 1 Free the People Immigration March (Los Angeles) Week 1 – South Street & Smith Memorial Park Found Sticks Christmas Tree Leaving Oz Homebody Mostly NOT Potato Salad

This trip to Barcelona wasn’t my first. I had spent a few days there just after college when I was working in London. However, I only spent two nights and...

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The morning after losing the passports we packed up our stuff in a jiffy and took a cab to the US Embassy where we were soon engaged in a 4...

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We just spent a month in Spain and I want to write down as much as I can before I forget it. It’s been over 10 years since I’ve travelled...

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My friend and I attended this event on February 18th. We missed the march and joined the rally at City Hall in downtown LA. It was a much smaller crowd...

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We started out at my sister’s house. My niece had a day off of work so we grabbed her and headed to South Street. The last time I’d been there...

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This is so cute. There are many variations on Pinterest. I think the original idea came from the Free People blog which is worth looking at. I had these animals...

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Last fall when I heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge I claimed to have felt bullied into donating since I didn’t want to make a spectacle of myself on Facebook....

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After 20 years in the Castro, my dad decided to leave for a flatter, easier life. St. Allison met me in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago to help...

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We braced ourselves for the start of kinder this year. After all, we knew how pre-school had gone two years prior. She only cried every day for 1.5 years of...

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It’s getting HOT and making pasta every night is killing me. I’ve been trying to branch out to more salads now that it’s summer. This is a really tasty dish...

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Leaving Oz

After 20 years in the Castro, my dad decided to leave for a flatter, easier life. St. Allison met me in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago to help get the show on the road. I guess she and my brother knew if I went alone many hours would be spent looking through old pictures and packing broken frames, plastic tape rolls with 1/4 cm of tape left on them and a lonely thumbtack.

The first morning there we did a lot of stuff like this:
I love that shade of pink. That was his dining room and I never got tired of looking up out the window seeing the pink interior wall against the white exterior wall and deep blue sky.

We also gave away all kinds of things on Craig’s List. I totally recommend that versus the dump as it involves nothing more than hauling junk to the curb and then posting pix with descriptions to the free section of Craig’s List. Saves things from the landfill too.

That said, I think we could’ve sold this rug my dad bought a million years ago in Portugal:

I got so many emails about this rug. But we didn’t dare tarry. Alli and I just couldn’t stop ourselves from hurling things down the staircases and out the door!

By Friday afternoon we were in pretty good shape so Allie and I took a walk down Castro.

I hadn’t been there in a while. These were new:

As usual I got sentimental and felt something wet well up in the corners of my eyes thinking I still haven’t had a drink at the Twin Peaks bar (aka The Glass Coffin) and things of that nature.

When I later lamented to my sister in law about never having seen a movie at the Castro Theater my dad quickly reminded me that we had. I already forget what we saw despite this conversation occurring last week.

The Castro is a beautiful, magical neighborhood! I was in my mid 20′s when my dad moved there and every visit was exciting not only due to being in a city but also because of the soft light, view of the bay bridge from his living room, hills and coffee. Yes, the coffee was GOOD. The coffee was STRONG. I was drinking double lattes with every meal because I lived in Naples, FL where the coffee and cuisine was nothing to write about particularly if you have trouble getting over the “e” at the end of “Grill” in 50% of the restaurant’s names. Olde Naples Grille and Buena Vista Grille. There is nothing quaint about a peach colored strip mall on the side of US 41, no matter how many “e’s” you tag on the end of a name.

That night my dad took us to Alice’s for dinner. No matter what you order at Alice’s, it comes smothered in the same brown sauce.

Shortly after reading this fortune I got a job casting (non-violent) criminals for a documentary series. These things never lie.

The next day Ali and I felt we were in good shape so we took a long walk down Mission Street to the Embarcadero. We explored many precious shops inside.

That night my dad had reservations at Zuni Cafe. I hadn’t been here in over 15 years because of 2223 (now closed.)

I couldn’t help but feel sentimental and a bit sad walking there that night.

Something magical about the lighting and the hills, the people etc.

We had a wonderful dinner at Zuni! We ordered:

  • chicken for two roasted in the brick oven; warm bread salad with scallions, garlic, dried currants, and pine nuts
  • wild arugula salad
  • frisee salad
  • oysters

Waiting for our chicken at Zuni Cafe

Chicken must be ordered 1 hour ahead.

Chicken almost here!

Dad post gins/pre rose at Zuni

In packing we found this coaster Andrew made as a child.

Andrew ended up leaning towards the sciences and away from the arts

On Sunday we were doing so well we decided to take a drive down the coast, one last time.

Mini Road trip CA coast

Ali

Of course we had to eat first!

Finally we had to admit we were done and leave.

View of Castro from the apartment

View from Dad's apartment. It used to be possible to see the Bay Bridge until all the development.

One last look.

Good bye, Castro! Thank you for the memories.

 

Bob Baker Marionettes

A month or so ago we met Lyn in Chinatown (Los Angeles that is) for some dim sum.

Afterwards we descended the steep staircase

to head over to The Bob Baker Marionette Theater to see “The Nutcracker.”

There goes Lyn in the industrial elevator.

We met at the Theater. Founded in 1963 it’s the oldest children’ theater in LA and several years ago was designated a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (Wikipedia). G had taken the girls a year or two ago and last November, after Bob died at age 90, suggested we go in case it shut down for some reason.

There are some chairs lining the outside of the seating area but most of the kids sit on the ground as close to the “stage” as they can.

Here comes the Sugar Plum Fairy!

Lyn got each girl a marionette after the show. Thank you, Lyn!

It was fun to see the old pix of the theater’s film work.

We had yet another fun day with Lyn!

I highly recommend this experience. You can buy tickets online from their website. They are so totally helpful and friendly – when G wasn’t able to show up they offered to refund his ticket money! We didn’t even ask (or take them up on it.)

Bob Baker Marionette Theater
1345 W 1st Street
LA, CA 90026

(213)250-9995
http://www.bobbakermarionettes.com/

 

Valentines & Beyonce

Bea gave me this card after daycare on Valentine’s Day.

Bea: “I made this for you.”

Me: “Thank you!” (opening it)

Me: “Which person is you and which is me?”

Bea: (Laughing) “Actually, one is Olivia (her friend) and the other’s Beyonce!” (Laughing uproariously now.)

 

Jazz on the Lawn

This Sunday and next are the last two Jazz on the Lawn’s in Stewart Park!

You can take a picnic, lawn chairs and drinks to Stewart Park from 5-7 to hear live music. It’s REALLY fun and takes care of Sunday dinner/entertainment if you have little ones. This year they have added food trucks too in case you want to take it easy re: shopping, cooking & lugging dinner that inevitably no one will eat anyway.

WHERE: Stewart Park (where 28th turns into Stewart by 10 FWY in Santa Monica.
WHEN: Sundays in August 5-7PM
WHAT: Live music (This week: Cats with Class) & food trucks (This week: Dogtown Dogs & Sweet Lucie’s Organic Ice Cream.)
BRING: Picnic blanket, chairs & beverages (Both discrete & non-discrete types…)

There is a play structure just next to the stage so kids will be doubly or triply entertained!

 

Homebody

We braced ourselves for the start of kinder this year. After all, we knew how pre-school had gone two years prior. She only cried every day for 1.5 years of pre-school.

M likes to stay home. She likes to stay inside and play, color and read books. But with M turning six in late Sept. it really seems it’s time to get moving!

The day before school M, B and I made identical rainbow loom bracelets.

The school counselor gave me this strategy to help M adjust. Whenever she got sad she could look at the bracelet and think of Bea and me wearing them. (Big thanks to our neighbors who taught Maddie how to make them!)

M was in high spirits on the walk over.

Still smiling outside her classroom.

We stepped out quietly after she sat on the rug. I thought about her all day. All the kindergarteners looked shell-shocked at pickup.

I took M to get her toenails painted and for a hotdog.

When we got home there was a huge package awaiting us from Valerie!

Blurry but you get the idea…

Talk about timing.

We all survived the first week.

Day 2 – walking home

Day 3 – walking home

Day 4 – pickup

If you ask her if she likes school the answer is, “No.”



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