Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ocean Trails by the Trump National Golf Course

On Sunday, the Merry Dog asked if we could go for a walk, so we drove to the scenic Trump National Golf Course in Rancho Palos Verdes. A golf course might seem a strange place to hike, but Mr. Trump was kind enough to build a large visitor lot and public park on prime real estate on the course. Several trails lead from the course, going to the Terranea resort to the west and the city of San Pedro to the east. The fog rolled in and out during the afternoon. Sometimes we had beautiful vistas. Sometimes we could barely see the ocean at all.

View from Palos Verdes Drive East

Santa Catalina Island hidden in fog

Trump National in the distance

Abandoned camp

Park at Trump National Golf Course

Putting Green

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Spa at Windemere

Wouldn't you like to get away?
At Windemere, we know that it just isn't possible to run off to a spa resort every weekend. So, our staff has designed the perfect at-home rejuvenation regimen. Now you can turn any weekend into a spa-ah weekend.

Sample Schedule

Friday Evening

8:00 PM - Check-in. After coming home late from work for the last 2 weeks, you'll be relieved to find that, for your convenience, the staff at Windemere has piled two loads of clean towels in a hamper in the hallway. Open your fridge to find it thoughtfully stocked with essential provisions such as expired buttermilk, week-old samosas, and cocktail olives.

8:15 PM - Healthy Burger Night. Veggie Grill to the rescue! Order a vegan cheeseburger with a side of kale.

9:30 PM - Lights Out.


5:30 AM - Morning Wake-up Call. Gently transition from sleep as the Merry Dog sticks her cold, wet nose into your armpit.

7:00 AM - Nutrition Class. Actually attend Weight Watchers meeting instead of fleeing immediately after weigh-in. Learn about portion sizes. Comfort your classmate when, upon realizing what 2 oz. of pasta looks like, she declares, "There is no God."

9:00 AM - Spa Treatment. Combine all the left-over balances on those widow & orphan spa gift certificates you have laying around the house for a down-payment on a facial.

Best Spa in the South Bay, Burke Williams, Torrance

10:30 AM - Breakfast.
Mahalo Mango smoothie

11:00 AM - Excursion - Healthy Shopping. Learn to buy produce at Whole Foods Market while not also "accidentally" purchasing two bags of gluten-free cookies, five pounds of artisan cheeses, and a six-pack of microbrew.

12:00 PM - Hands-On Cooking Class. Wipe dust off of Canyon Ranch Cooking. Make low-fat bouillabaisse.

2:00 PM - Arts & Crafts - Introduction to Sticker Theory. Join 4-year-old sticker expert the Merry Niece as she expounds on the life-enhancing properties of Hello Kitty stickers. Leave with a work of art you can display on your fridge.

3:00 PM - Exercise Class - Advanced Tug-of-War. The Merry Dog will lead the class through an intense 5 minute tug-of-war routine with one of your socks. Not for the faint-of-heart! She suggests that beginners try her Introduction to Doggie Treats.

3:05 PM - Exericse Class - Cool-Down. - Join the Merry Dog for a one-hour cool-down and quiet meditation session on the couch. Learn her techniques for napping in the now. The staff at Windemere regrets that this popular class is given at the same time as our other favorite, Organization 101 - Folding Those Towels in the Hamper in the Hallway.

4:00 PM - Spiritual Reading. Discuss People Magazine's inspirational account of St. Paula Deen's fight against butter with resident guru, the Merry Husband.

6:00 PM - Night Run.  45 minutes. Look up and admire the 3 stars that are visible through the L.A. smog. Breathtaking, isn't it? No, really - do you need an asthma inhaler?

8:30 PM - Asian Cuisine Night. Pick one of the hundreds of sushi joints within a 1 mile radius of the Windemere. Contemplate the mystery ingredient in the Ridgeline Roll. Remember to rehydrate with a bottle of Okinawan beer.

Honda Sushi, Torrance

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Lydia, Oh Lydia, Oh Have You Seen Lydia?

Lydia the nude tattooed ankle sock lady?

Rodarte RTW Fall 2013
Photo By Lexie Morelan
At least they don't have to be lasered off.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chinese New Year 2010

Shortly after I published my last post, the Merry Husband and I found out that our flight to JFK on Friday morning had been cancelled. We were, of course, disappointed not to be able to celebrate Chinese New Year with his family in Brooklyn. But that's how the fortune cookie crumbles.

We spent a lazy weekend at home. So lazy, in fact, that I didn't even bother to get out of bed until an unprecedented 11:00 AM! I thought I'd cheat a bit, and show you some photos from our visit in 2010. That year, we arrived after the big blizzard and found the city completely blanketed in snow.

View from the Egyptian Gallery,
Metropolitan Museum of Art

French Embassy

Central Park
On New Year's Day, we ate dim sum at the East Harbor Seafood Palace in Brooklyn. Guests "fed" red envelopes of money to the hungry Dragon dancers snaking through the push-carts and tables.

After breakfast, we visited several Buddhist temples in Manhattan's Chinatown.

CNY happened to fall on Valentine's Day, so in the evening, we broke away from the family for a bit and took in the sights in Times Square.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

What to Pack for a Nor'Easter

Sunday ushers in the Year of the Snake, so Happy New Year (again)! The Merry Husband and I plan to fly to New York tomorrow to celebrate with his family. I say "plan" because this is apparently what will hit the city just as we are scheduled to land.

John Moore/Getty Images
Fighting Nemo!

Biggest Storm Since 2010!!

Historic Blizzard Threatens Outages!!!

A friend called to warn us that we should pack food for the trip, lest we be stuck in airport limbo. On the way home from work tonight, I stopped by our local Japanese supermarket to pick up essential provisions.
Rice Crackers with Seaweed

Strawberry Pocky Sticks

Sakura Mochi
We shall be prepared like Boy Scouts. But wish us luck anyway.

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