Tag Archives: california

When is a hipster not a hipster?

While I was in San Francisco recently, my friend Carolyn invited me to tag along to her friends’ party in Napa.

Napa

I was a tiny bit nervous about fitting in. Surely people who live in Napa must be way cooler than me, right? At a minimum, they would know lots more about wine. Continue reading

Greetings from Montecito

This is all you need to know:

But in case you do want to know more, keep reading. Continue reading

Twitter Spotlight: Beth Lyden

Beth and I met eons ago thanks to the Village Voice. Yes, the Village Voice. At that point, CraigsList was nothing but a listserv so some of us used the Voice to find apartment shares.

Beth and her roommate Kristen were looking for someone to replace their third roommate who was moving out of NYC. Fortunately for me, Beth and Kristen picked me out of the people who paraded through their apartment at The Wellesley on the Upper East Side.

We have been friends ever since!

Beth

OneChicklette: Your favorite qualities in a love interest

@Beaker4369: The ability to make me laugh. Make me feel comfortable in my own skin so that I show them all of me, from the inside out. 

OneChicklette: Your chief characteristic (one word) Continue reading

The beauty in business travel

“Don’t you get lonely?”

“No, Mom. Not at all,” I paused.

“Actually there was one solo trip that was awful but it was a four-day conference in Las Vegas and my hotel wasn’t very nice. Vegas is a terrible place to be alone.”

I quickly regretted telling the truth. My mother–who I adore–would surely remember the vulnerability I just exposed every time I boarded a plane in the future, peppering me with questions about loneliness.

Sigh. Mom was still the master. Would I ever learn?

*   *   *

The trip had been a long one. Two days started when the alarm sounded at 5:30 am. I am not a morning person.

On this trip, I spent one day in particular feeling out of sorts. I didn’t know what constituted appropriate attire for this work event and ultimately, I chose wrong. Worse, my clothes seemed too tight. I didn’t like what I saw each time I caught sight of my reflection.

I felt old. And I was in fact older than some of the colleagues in attendance. Some of them were of the smug married variety in spite of being younger than me.

Self doubt had me squirming for a good five hours straight. I couldn’t wait to be alone with no one looking at my dumb outfit or my bad hair day.

When the event ended, I was free to head back to my hotel. But soon after I got in my rental car, I took a detour.

SF 20130923_163052

I drove due west until I arrived at cliffs overlooking the Pacific coast.

SF

 

Continue reading

Business travel isn’t always glamorous

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I enjoy my trips to Los Angeles. I have favorite hotels, restaurants and people to see.

Sometimes the trips don’t go quite as planned though. Case in point: this most recent trip.

The weather was mostly terrible. The exception was Saturday. I flew out a day early to see a college friend and her family.

MB

My favorite hotel, Andaz WeHo was priced above my daily limit for LA so I  stayed at a new-to-me hotel, a Kimpton property.

I checked into the Hotel Wilshire Sunday afternoon. Continue reading

I fell in love (with a hotel)

How hotels can make guests want to return over and over again.

  • When a guest checks in and implies that they’re having a bad day, upgrade their room.
  • Be popular with celebrities so other guests get a star sighting or two during their stay. But greet every guest – celebrity and civilian – with the same warmth and professionalism.
  • Don’t charge for wireless.
  • Offer good hair dryers.
  • Have a cute little cafe on a terrace near a sun-splashed pool.
  • …and a gym with a pool view offering beverages, headphones and working equipment.
  • When you hear that a guest [politely] logged a noise complaint in the middle of the night, comp the $45 room service breakfast when she checks out even though she didn’t bring it up. Tell her you picked the suite you gave her for its quiet and that you’re sorry for what happened.

The Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills did all of things and more. A front desk employee named Kris bowled me over with his kindness. Thanks, Kris!

After the awful experience I had at my original LA hotel this trip, the Four Seasons made my trip end on a happy note–all for only $30 per night more than the Ant Hotel.*

Enjoy a few pics I took during my too brief stay at the gorgeous Four Seasons.

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*I get a corporate rate through my company. 

Related posts:

My first business trip

“What would we do without these?” the man in the elevator asked me, pointing to the smart phones in both of our hands.

I smiled politely. But instead of feeling grateful, as I usually do for my various devices, I was thinking back to my first business trip quite a few years ago. Continue reading

Bottega wine

Bottega, I love you

While in Northern California, my friend C and I went to Bottega in Yountville for dinner. It had been on her ‘to try’ list for a while and I was happy to play along. C likes good food. I trust her implicitly.

Bottega didn’t disappoint.

Generous wine samples from a charming bartender. A very delicious condiment of olive oil, garlic, red pepper and parmesan for bread.

Burrata and heirloom tomato salad Continue reading