Fran & Joel Out West, 2014 Edition

We had a great time this past weekend with Fran and Joel visiting us from back east.  It was a really brief trip, at least the Southern California leg, as when they left us on Monday morning, they were driving up the coast to Hearst Castle, followed by Carmel, then a few days in Napa, and finally a few days in San Francisco.  It’ll be one heckuva itinerary!  But let’s jump back in time to talk about their time in wonderful LA!

So, first, it was a much better time to visit than when they both visited us last, which was in 2011 right after our first Mediterranean cruise and when we still lived in Santa Monica.  Then, the weather got gloomy and dreary, not surprising for the coast.  But this time?  It was spectacularly nice, with moderate temps and gorgeous skies.

They arrived from Newark on Friday the 25th, and managed to survive driving across LA from LAX.  That’s a good omen!  After arriving, Larry took them up to Griffith Park while I was at work, so I don’t have pictures from that, but I do know that he came back stressing that we definitely had to go back there to visit the planetarium section.  I am good with this.  But when I got back, it was time for dinner and so we went to Cliff’s Edge, that magical little restaurant hidden on Sunset.  Very good and very nice atmosphere.  Oh yeah, Larry introduced them to our 3D TV and I think that we have converted them to wanting one too -especially after showing them Hugo, which is a spectacular film in its own right but also for the 3D.  It’s miles ahead in quality of other 3D films.

April 25, 2014 – Cliff’s Edge with Fran & Joel

On Saturday, we went to Pasadena so we could have lunch at Green Street Restaurant with my Mom.  That was a good time for them to all see each other – they’re effectively in-laws at this point!  After walking around a little in that immediate area, we drove over to the Old Town part of Pasadena.  Gotta say, it’s not all that great.  I’m a fan more of places like 3rd Street Promenade, The Grove, Americana – a bit better of an experience.  But we still had an enjoyable afternoon there.  Once back at home, after having some Larry-made mojitos using mint from our planter, I started thinking about French restaurants (probably spurred on by Hugo) and we ended up choosing a nearby place called Taix, which was new to Larry & me as well.  Very good, and very old school.  A good Steak Frites meal is always a winner, as is good bottles of beaujolais.  This night, we also introduced Fran & Joel to Uber, and I think they’re still blown away by the service.  To be fair, it is an awesome and convenient thing to have at your beck and call.

April 26, 2014 – Pasadena Lunch, Afternoon Mojitos, Me Modeling my Warby Parker frames

Finally on Sunday, we had a nice relaxing morning, first having brunch at Barbrix.  It was a really nice day again, continuing the theme of the weekend’s good weather.   After that, our next stop was LACMA, always a crowd-pleaser.  This time, we revisited the Calder exhibit (alas, the Turrell exhibit had already closed at the beginning of April) but also checked out an exhibit Larry & I had somehow missed, a restrospective of Diane von Furstenburg’s fashion legacy, the wrap dress.  It was hosted in the May Company building that will eventually become the Academy of Motion Pictures museum, so it was neat to see something there.  The exhibit itself was pretty spectacular, having been staged in a very dramatic and sensational manner.  Hopefully the pictures capture it.  You could tell a lot of the crowd were really getting into it.  We also checked out favorites like the Metropolis II exhibit which Joel and Fran were definite fans of, as well as some other parts of the Broad museum.  To cap it all off, we went to Luna Park for much-needed dinner and drinks.

April 27, 2014 – Barbrix brunch, LACMA, Luna Park

So it was a fun, food- and drink-filled visit and I can’t wait till when they come back or we go back and visit them in NJ.  I know Fran & Joel are likely having a blast as they visit the rest of California!  The weather is stellar.  And Napa?  Le sigh.

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