- V-day gift - massage from Chuck at the Pacific Waters Spa. Chuck has a unique style, blended from all sorts of massage styles - Thai, accupressure, his own techniques. My only regret? That I didn't see the sign for the Waterfall Shower before my massage - it takes 20 minutes to set up.
- Move hotels to Redondo Beach
- Relaxed old skool lunch on the Redondo Pier
- Fight traffic to show H Wilshire Blvd, Rodeo Drive on our way to family friends' place for dinner. Subsequently late for dinner.
- After dinner, show H Sunset Blvd.
- Drive to Irvine for H's lunch meeting. While away time in the standard but pleasant outdoor shopping center. Find cool shoe store, the name of which I can't remember.
- Play tourist and hit Laguna Beach. Lunch overlooking the Pacific. See MTV-show-like teenagers.
- Fight traffic for an hour. Go 11 miles. H decides that the PCH is actually the better route, so take the scenic trip up the coast, through Long Beach (Snoop wasn't home) and Palos Verdes, to Redondo.
- Dinner with a D.C. friend in Manhattan Beach. Desired restaurant has an hour + wait, so take in the scene at Shade's blissfully open Skydeck. Other than the the barkeep not knowing how to make an actual martini (I kid you not - a vodka martini was vodka shaken with ice with olives, and a gin martini, dirty, was gin shaken with ice, a squirt of olive juice, and olives), great views and a decent vibe. Dinner at Petros surpassed all previously eaten Greek food. Apparently we'd just missed Mama Petros the Sunday before...but her aura was still there. Great modern comfort vibe (a little reminiscent of our own Zaytinya), and brilliant food.
- Fight traffic (H loves the 405) to the Valley to meet newfound friends for lunch. Long story, but H met a scarily similar guy on the plane, and he and his wife are fantastic. Wierdness? Her due date (first child) is the same as mine. Lunch at his dad's restaurant, La Fogata, on Van Nuys. Best freakin' Mexican food you've ever had.
- Skirt traffic to hit the Getty faster than you can get from Wilshire to Beverly...oh wait, that's not very fast in rush hour...it's really such an amazing place. Here we have our only celeb sighting - and it's a D.C.-style: Bill Bradley and wife. Gracious when we approached to say hello. See the Icons of Sinai exhibit. Wish we lived here. At the top of the world.
- Skirt more traffic to meet The Liquid Muse in Santa Monica. Hit Tengu for dinner. Apart from H and The Muse torturing me with the lovely sushi this knocked up gal can't eat, had an asbolutely lovely time. Vote for best booze-free cocktail: Dry soda's Lavender. I'll let The Muse rave about it. In the meantime, try it on your own.
- Pleasantly stuffed from dinner, wander down Ocean Drive in search of a dessert place. Everything was packed. Checked out the 3rd Street Promenade, then hit a great bar at the top of a hotel (Muse? help? Do we know the name?). Watched the beautiful people circle around us.
- Breakfast at Uncle Bill's Pancake House. No, it's not the one in Jersey. Not related, either. We asked.
- Flight home. Hate Delta.
State of mind: Sad.
First prize goes to the person who notices what's conspicously absent from this report.