Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wandering hither and yon

Two days after Christmas and I am in Denver for the re franchise of this market. Nice thing about travel during the holidays is that the hotel rates are dirt cheap between Christmas and New Years. Scored a sweet deal at the Hotel Monaco in Denver. HMMMM....200 ct sheets. free cheese and wine in the lobby... Located down a few blocks off of the 16th Street Mall. Downtown Denver has really stepped up it's game since I last spent time here in the late '90s.

Back on my trudge towards fitness so I had a nice brisk walk each morning and evening. The downtown had really gotten into the holiday spirit and everything was lit up each night. Very colorful.

Union Station was beautiful. Shot this one night after we had finished inventories for the day.

Charles, one of my co-workers had an idea for the second day. "How about a light hike Sue?" hard can that be?


6000 ft above sea level on the trails above Boulder. About half way through the "light" hike from Hell, I seriously saw my life pass before my eyes. I think I had a "light heart attack."
Epiphany: I don't want to die fat. Back on the treadmill and running. I am going to get back in shape if it kills me, or if I don't make an attempt, this current lifestyle will kill me anyway so I don't really have a choice.

Adios omelet with panchetta, turkey sausage and fontina cheese, smothered in roasted rosemary potatoes and red pepper. Hello Special K and oatmeal.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

One of my favorite places

Beautiful weekend in LA. Warm weather, clear skies, almost perfect except for the mass of people out shopping. Felt like a rugby scrum at times in some places. Next year, gift cards for all!
Had a dinner date at AOC last night so I went to the Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax before dinner to get some shopping done before I leave town this week.

Spoiler alert: I made a major purchase at Little John's Toffee House. Nothing better as a gift and the candy was made that day. Growing up here, my older sister and I loved coming to the farmer's market whenever we were in town or with my Grandparents. I was always fascinated by the candy making process that went on behind the glass windows.
Asked the counter girl and she said that this was one of many batches that were made today. The scotch kisses pictured above are might nice as well. Marshmallows smothered in caramel. The fudge here is pretty good as well although I prefer John Kelly off of Sunset for that. Bought some boxes as gifts as well.

Met Karen for dinner at AOC on 3rd. Very good dinner. We had a cheese plate, bacon wrapped dates, grilled pear salad, sea bass with mint shell beans and preserved lemons, roasted cauliflower with paprika, red vinegar and a very nice chocolate dessert. I actually had a couple of glasses of a crisp white wine as well. A very enjoyable evening.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The weather and other topics

This week is the kind of week that makes me realize why everyone moved to California. It is December and 80 degrees outside. The Santa Anas are blowing as well so it is perfect weather and clear as a bell. You can see from Downtown LA to the Ocean. I had to visit two University sites yesterday. First to review the upcoming Winter launch at Pepperdine and the opening process at Cal Lutheran. I finished up at Pepperdine around 3 pm and decided to take the alternate route home. The 1o1 south after 3 pm is parking lot back to Hollywood in my opinion so I thought the Pacific Coast Highway to Sunset Blvd route would be less time and a lot more scenic. Its a lot more scenic, less time..... no. I completely forgot that the overpass at the 405 is under construction so from the Pacific Palisades to Bel Air was bumper to bumper. Still, while I was stuck in traffic, the view along the way with the top down was pretty nice.

Traffic was bumper to bumper until I got past the Sunset overpass at the 405. Once I got past that and the gates at Bel Air, it was a pretty quick trip. Zoomed through Beverly Hills and then got stuck in a little traffic on the Sunset trip. Kind of nice to move slowly through and be able to take some quick shots from the car.

This was actually before the Whiskey a Go Go. I loved the color of the sky and the buildings just as dusk changed to night.
Got home in time to meet Dana and Bill for dinner downtown at Pete's. We all ordered the hanger steak with fries. Mixed it up this time and ordered the Chipotle Fries with the steak. I still had to have the blue cheese fries so we did that as the app. My arteries are now 95% clogged.

Outside of the restaurant, these lights were strung along the street as far as the eye could see. I don't think my photo does it justice. Really beautiful.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Spending the weekend in Sacramento with my mom and sisters before heading back to Los Angeles this next week. I had to go downtown today to meet with Sabina, a GM that is helping me with the Safeway accounts in Northern California. Her home store is on the K street mall so I met with her and then walked around. Back in the day, the K street mall was the hub of downtown Sacramento. The capital is just a block over from the mall. The whole area has gone through some booms and busts and the city is now trying to revitalize the mall with some success. There were three movie theaters on the Mall that my friends and I went to all through my high school years. The Showcase Theater is gone now but back in the '80s it showed the Rocky Horror picture show every Friday night at midnight. It also showed foreign films and independents that didn't normally make it to the theaters in the suburbs. My friend Andrea Forsyth's dad, took us the summer of my junior year to see a double bill of Five Easy Pieces and Carnal Knowledge. Not what you'd expect your friends dad to do but he was way cool. He was the political editor of the Sacramento Bee and David Roberti's Chief of Staff when Roberti ran the Senate. My mom was not too happy when I told her what we saw that night.
The Crest theater is on the mall and has been restored to all it's art deco glory. My sophomore English teacher brought our class here as a field trip to see the 1968 version of Romeo and Juliet.

The Box office is completely restored as well and I love the detail on the back. Buildings had so much more interesting details then.

The Esquire is down the Mall near the convention center and has also been redone. At night it is very striking.

Crossed the street and walked in the capital park to try and continue my trudge towards fitness. The leaves on the trees are still striking in the fall colors. I was mesmerized by this tree. I don't think I quite caught how gold the leaves were. There was a whole row of these trees together and the colors were spectacular.

As I was walking back to my car , this group caught my eye. It looked like a quincenera party that was having photos taken for the occasion. The young lady in red was the birthday girl and she was carrying a wand and had a tiera on. I missed the opportunity to take their photo as they approached and I didn't have enough courage to stop them to try and take a photo.