Well, I returned from Hawaii to a veritable onslaught of work. It's been a crazy 2 weeks! But, for anyone interested, I uploaded our Hawaii photos. It was such a great trip, even though we only had 3 days of sightseeing. Still, since we're going back again in August, we were able to scout out some of the spots we definitely want to go back to. I can't wait!
Weekend before last I went down to Felt Club XL to somehow help Teresa of Sewing Stars fame. Of course, she needs no help at all because her incredible stuff just flies. But, it was great to hang out and catch up. Despite the fact that there were 3 of us behind the table (Teresa was sharing the table with sweet Maria of moo's toys), we still had loads of room compared to the shoppers. The show was a huge success, with lines out the door long before it opened!
Amidst the crazy work schedule, we fit in more fun this past weekend. My in-laws flew in for a quick weekend in Pasadena to see Brynne. We made a quick stop in Beverly Hills on the way down on Saturday to get my father-in-law a birthday gift at Le Palais des Thes (so glad there is one in the US!). And, you can't be that close to Sprinkles without making a quick stop, right?!? The chocolate peanut butter cupcake that Brynne ordered is my favorite of their flavors thus far - gooey and chocolatey! We had a fantastic lunch at El Portal (Yucatecan food - yum!) before heading to the Huntington Library. Wow! If any of you SoCal folks haven't been there yet, it's a must-see. The gardens are incredible, and there is a really fun Children's Garden full of opportunities for splashing, getting misted, tunnels and playhouses. The Chinese Garden is currently under construction, but it looks like it will be a true gem. We spent a lot of time in the Japanese Garden, which was quite spectacular.
We feasted for dinner at Sushi Roku. The non-sushi menu was quite interesting and innovative, but Jerry thinks the sushi menu is not necessarily better than what we can get at much less expensive spots right here in Ventura or Santa Barbara. But, we're pretty lucky in that regard, I suppose! But, the ambience was fun, and they had some cool Japanese inspired cocktails that I've never seen before (Calpico mojito?!? Yum!). We had a leisurely morning on Sunday, including a very nice brunch at the Ritz Carlton. I wasn't expecting much more than standard fare when I looked at the online menu, but we were all pleasantly surprised to find the actual brunch to be much more unusual and fun than what was listed on the menu. I'd say that their brunch is right up there with the Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara.
After stuffing ourselves at brunch, we drove to the Gamble House for a quick tour before my in-laws had to get to the airport. I had been wanting to do this tour for so long, but it's just one of those things we were never able to fit in. I'm so glad we finally made it! It's an incredible example of California Arts & Crafts architecture by the Greene brothers, and now I'm looking forward to going back to walk through some of the incredible Craftsman neighborhoods and seeing the Blacker House. All in all, a perfect weekend with family, good food, and beautiful sites! It's amazing when I remind myself how much there is to see and do within an hour or two of our home - we are so lucky!