You guuuuyyyyyyssss....I'm back!!
I was back in LA last weekend for the engagement party of my friends DJ and Sam...or as we were calling it 'engaygement' party. Get it...see what we did there?! More on that in a jiffy.
It was a really brief trip because I had other things to attend to right after...but what a joyous time to be home in my lovely Los Angeles. I stayed at Mr. C Hotel in Beverly Hills, which is a beautiful mix of modern and old Hollywood...I'm such a fan. Plus, you're greeted with their signature Bellini, and you can't go wrong with that, right? One of my favorite thing to do whenever I stay somewhere is go downstairs in the morning, read the newspaper, drink my tea, and write. In fact, this routine was actually born years ago at Mr. C Beverly Hills. I would curl up on the tufted leather couch, sip my tea, and just write whatever came to mind. Trust me, airports and hotels...you'll never be at a shortage of inspiration. Mind you, when this began I didn't have a blog yet, I didn't have anything but an idea and fear! I knew what I wanted to do but was terrified to put myself out there. So there was something really special about being back at Mr. C Beverly Hills, where this whole thing was all kind of born...but actually putting it this time! Trust me, the fear is still there...but it no longer overshadows the desire.
Back to mornings at the hotel. One of the things I love most about Mr.C Beverly Hills is the entire vibe of their whole lobby area. They have all these big tufted leather couches which feel very Hollywood. It's the perfect place to sit while someone plays the piano or to listen to the jazz band they frequently have. They also have a bar straight back after you walk in. It sits low and doesn't have the feeling of a traditional bar area. It just feels intimate and nice. You can get your tea here in the morning and enjoy their delicious croissants. I just love that feeling of getting up in the morning, chit-chatting with whomever is working, getting to know other guests (or Stella, the Yorkie, named after Stella McCartney, of course) while sipping my tea in the morning. Can't I just be Eloise and live in the top floor of a chic hotel with Mojito? Le Sigh. Wouldn't that just be the life?! In case I haven't been really clear...I have a mild obsession with hotel living! The Hotel Chelsea sparked it all. I think it would have been everything to live there back in the day with all those amazing artists. If only those walls could talk! Or Chateau Marmont...remember when Lindsay Lohan was banned for her crazy outstanding debt?! God, those were the days! Anyway, this reminds me to add 'Live in a Hotel' to the Life Goals list. But only if it has a good bathtub. That's a necessity. I could have sworn the last time I stayed at Mr. C Beverly Hills it had a more fabulous bathtub, that was the only thing missing!
Quick Stats on Mr. C Beverly Hills
Vibe: Old Hollywood meets modern meets simplistically glamorous.
Rooms & suites: 138--it's kind of perfect...not too big, not too small.
View: Killer views! You can choose between views of downtown or the hills...always choose the hills.
Amenities: A pool with cabanas, a gym, a spa, a restaurant, a bar, and a fabulous lounge to [for me] sip my tea and write in the morning and then sip my cocktail and entertain in the evening--plus on the weekends a jazz band plays and it's fabulous. Oh, did I mention Bellinis at checkin? Also, a house car that will take you anywhere within 3 miles, which pretty much included all of Beverly Hills or Century City. Plus, my acupuncturist is right around the corner and she's life changing.
So let's start with the engagement party. It was held at Malibu Wines, a beautiful space tucked away in the hills in Malibu. People in Los Angeles love going to Malibu Wines so it can get pretty packed. They have a bunch of their own wines you can taste and it's bring your own food (which is amazing). People pack a picnic, bring some blankets (unless you're lucky enough or get their early enough to grab one of the tables) and listen to the live music all afternoon. Malibu Wines is one of my favorite places to take out-of-town guest. The views are beautiful and there's just nothing like it. It's very casual and even on a warm day can get pretty cool into the evening. You will see a lot of boho attire.
The engagement party was held in a separate, private area which is wonderful to be able to do if you're coming for a birthday or any other occasion you're expecting a large crowd. It was derby themed, and--as expected--exceptionally done. The food, games, ambiance, wine, and of course the couple all made for such a special affair. There's nothing like seeing two people you love celebrate their love. It's always incredibly touching and such a fun day. I mean seriously, the only thing that could ever make a day of wine in Malibu more fun are fascinators and bow ties! I highly recommend spending a day at Malibu Wines.
Catalina Island Day Trip
The following day we all got up bright and early to head to Long Beach to take the ferry to Catalina Island. Oh my gosh! If you haven't been to Catalina, you must go...you feel like you're in another land even though it's only an hour away. I had not been since I was a teenager. My dad is big into sailing so during the summers we'd sail from Santa Barbara, which is one of my fondest memories. I used to get incredibly seasick so could only sleep on the deck of the boat...I just loved it. Anyway, so here I'm going to answer so most frequently asked questions about Catalina Island.
How to Get to Catalina Island
Traveling to Catalina Island is actually pretty easy. There are a number of different ways you can do it, but I highly recommend taking the Catalina Express out of Long Beach into Avalon. The ride is about an hour long and really pretty. There are a number of different ferries that run throughout the day so it's really quite possible to do a Catalina Island day trip. For me, the idea of a day trip to Catalina Island felt daunting. In my mind I kept thinking I have to get to Long Beach, take a ferry, take a ferry back, get back from Long Beach...but really it's not bad at all. In fact, I highly suggest a Catalina Island day trip. So few people in LA do this trip yet it's such a beautiful way to spend a day.
Things to Do in Catalina Island
There are so many different things to do in Catalina Island. There's hiking, zip lining, golfing, safari tours, dolphin tours, snorkeling/scuba diving, fishing, botanic gardens, a museum, and casino. For us, we didn't really plan specific things to do in Catalina Island. We just wanted to take it easy after a few really busy days. We puttered around in all the shops, played in the arcade, and ate and drank our way across the island...in fact, we made a rule anytime someone needed to use the restroom we had to get shots. Great plan. We gave a whole new meaning to 'The Fucking Catalina Wine Mixer.' If you haven't seen Step Brothers and have no idea what I'm talking about, get on it! There's another thing you can do in Catalina Island...the Catalina Wine Mixer! Of course, you could do a weekend in Catalina Island and there's so much more you could fit in. Grab get a hotel and golf cart and go!
I flew the red-eye back east that evening which spawned the idea for my next post...so stay tuned for that doozy! xo.