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This was the view from my private balcony. My friend Anthony calls it my $300 view. From my $150 Hotwire booking. Room 3807 in the Ramada New Yorker. I spent twenty minutes out on my private balcony snapping shots.
My room was nicely decorated and perfect for 1-2 people. The bed was comfy and I slept well. For the 4.5 hours I actually slept.
The wet bar was a delight. Providing me with a Keurig coffee/tea maker and mini-fridge.
The bathroom was small, but clean.
Then off to tapas and white sangria at El Cid to celebrate the playwright’s success! We found out the next morning he made the semifinals in the Strawberry One Act Festival. Congrats Anthony! Well deserved.
My view at night circa 1:30 a.m.
5 hours later, I awoke to this splendor. Realized you can rent the greatest experiences and own the memories for life.
Bye bye, New Yorker. Thanks for the memories.
Chrysler, it was nice to see you again. Hey Grand Central, I’m ready to go home.
The potato pancake with apple sauce and sour cream. The highlight of my Sunday.
Lunch fried tofu appetizer at the Pad Thai Noodle Lounge on 8th Ave.
Chrysler Building from Midtown on way to Yama.
Yama’s for sushi.
Fried green tea ice cream.
Wall Street X-Mas tree.
Grand Central Station.
A few hours into our roadtrip from LA to Napa, we reach The Harris Ranch Restaurant. Located in the middle of America’s breadbasket, which produces a large portion of our food source.
It’s not just a lunch spot but a resort destination. We loved the decorations in the main building, including this gorgeous chandelier.
I wish we were going home and could bring the fresh cut meat. Alas, we were enroute to Napa. Their country store was adorable. Only drawback, they had jams you could get at any country store. I prefer when destinations have things only specific to that region.
I love me some country music and some country decor. This chair is awesome.
The restaurant had comfy booths and kitchy decor.
I got the pot roast with mashed potatoes and fresh sweet corn. OMG. The food was sooooo fresh. I wish I lived on a farm and could eat like this everyday. The corn didn’t need butter–it was so tasty and sweet on its own. The carrots were yummie. The meat so tender. The potatoes dear God the potatoes.
And the cheddar biscuits. Sigh. I long for them.
This is what the resort looked like from the parking lot. There were several other building off to the side and behind the main building.
After we left Napa, J announces that we are going to the Dynasty house. You know where they filmed Dynasty in the 80s. I’m stoked. I loved Dynasty almost as much as Dallas! I’m mildly surprised that the mansion wasn’t in Colorado after all but CA.
The stove was from the galley of a cruise ship. The family that owned the house made their fortunes in cruise ships and named the house Filoli. I prefer to call it the Dynasty house.
I think this dining room was in the first season of Dynasty.
It was such a cool kitchen I had to include another shot. Man the meals I could make at that stove!
This hallway looked really familiar to me too…
Loved the main room.
This library was cool, but not enough book shelves and books for me.
These are the famous Dynasty stairs. I can remember Fallon coming down them.
The ballroom was gorgeous and enormous. Stunning wall murals on each wall.
Then we went outside to explore the gardens.
The owners of Filoli loved their garden. It stretches beyond the eye can see.
My only twinge of disappointment was the lack of Dynasty related stuff in the giftshop. I’d pay $5-10 for a cast photo in front of the mansion. Or a Dynasty house mug.
Jenny, this last pic is for you. I think this is the driveway you were mentioning in your comment.
We checked in at the Intercontinental’s Clement Monterey on Cannery Row at 3pm. Our room had two luxurious beds and a fire place.
I ended up buying a sea otter from the hotel gift shop to bring back to LA with me.
The bathroom was enormous in our room. To the right is a huge section for the stand up shower and toilet.
View from the boardwalk around Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Sea anemones at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Jelly fish and sea horses at the aquarium.
The aquarium was a tad expensive ($35) for the experience. Granted I’ve been to Seaworld and the New York Aquarium and Mystic Seaport. So it wasn’t my first time seeing underwater creatures. The experience was pretty horrible because of screaming and semi-crazed children running around and causing general pandemonium.
Honestly, I felt like I was at Chuck-E Cheese on steroids. After an hour, I had to leave. It was that loud and intense.
Cannery Row is uber touristy. So we sought shelter inside our hotel. Hanging out at the C Bar for drinks and having dinner at the C restaurant. Best part of the day for me. Relaxing and fun. We spent a few hours at the bar and lingered over dinner. Terrific view of the water from our booth. If you prefer a quiet meal on Cannery Row, this is the place to go.
The walkway separating our hotel into two buildings. We crossed it to get into the main building.
View from the patio in back of our hotel.
Boardwalk behind our hotel.
View from the hotel onto Cannery Row.
Best happy hour ever. 4 glasses of champagne.
Yummie Caesar salad at hotel restaurant, The C restaurant.
Tasty chicken dish at hotel restaurant.
Hearty and delicious breakfast before we checked out for coastal drive.
The Lone Cypress
Pebble Beach Golf Course
Me at my dream home in Carmel.
The road traveled.
Car shot of the iconic Bixby bridge
While at the SCBWI Conference in LA, we were in walking distance of the Century City Westfield Mall. We saw the Pink Taco restaurant and were intrigued. Kat and I promised to check it out before we left LA.
On our last night in the city, we got a roomy corner booth and dug into some of the tastiest Mexican food I’ve had since leaving San Diego in 2004. I had to have my guacamole and chips and margarita. So worth the calories. The chips were warm and crispy with the right amount of salt. The salsas rocked!
The restaurant is super fun inside. Reminds me of a festival of quirkiness.
But the carne asada. Dear Lord the carne asada. I’d been craving it the entire two weeks I’d been in California. It was Fan-Freaking-Tastic!
For dessert, Kat and I split churros with chocolate and caramel dipping sauce. So decadent.
This was what our booth looked like. We sunk into those cushions and didn’t move for almost 2 hours.
And as is typical of LA, our waiter was smoking hot. And flirted with us just enough to add to the dining experience.
Such a wonderful way to wrap up a conference!
Before we started our Napa/Coastal Drive trip, J and I had an afternoon in LA. Mind you I was up at 5:30 am for a 9 am flight and didn’t sleep on the flight so I was a tad cranky. Anyway, he took me to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) to see the much touted “Levitated Mass” exhibit.
This is it. A rock, a ginormous rock, bolted over a sidewalk and supported by cement walls. This is one of those occasions where the artist clearly did not have a Webster dictionary on hand. Or they were too arrogant to look the word up. Levitate means “to rise or float in or as if in the air especially in seeming defiance of gravitation.”
An emperor-has-no-clothes sort of art installation. If you tell me mass is levitated, I expect that’s what it will be. Resting on cement walls and bolted in is in no way a defiance of gravity. This installation cost $20 million dollars. And according to the articles, the big draw is how often do you get to look at the bottom of a statue? Um not often, but I can go in my yard and pick up a rock and look at the bottom of it anytime.
In a time where schools are cutting art programs and libraries are being closed because of scarcity of funds, this is an abomination in excess.
We walked onward to the La Brea Tar Pits. This is what it looks like when they are working around the pit.
These pits are enclosed by huge fences (you can see it on the edge of the picture below) because people have a propensity to litter into the tar. It smelled sulphuricious and in some spots bubbled.
Urban Lights was an interesting sight. I think of it as lamposts at full attention at LACMA.