Monthly Archives: December 2013


Another Year, Done.

Having cycled more than 5700 miles in 2013, you’d think I were in top physical shape.  Let’s just say that for as much as I love food, a smaller number on the scale is in order for early 2014.  It happened last January:  Patrick and I both lost TEN pounds in 30 days!  Then throughout the year we put it back on and then some.

2013 brought us our seemingly well-planned move out of San Francisco to the sandy outskirts of Los Angeles, a big lifestyle change that we welcomed at the time while viewing as a relatively short-term stepping stone.  As such we’re already plotting our next move into the new year, likely within Southern California– but perhaps not.

For better or worse this was our year of change, challenge and consideration.  As ’13 becomes ’14 we’re braced for more of the same while welcoming our longer-term home.  Along this path of course will come my much-anticipated life milestone, about which many of you will soon be hearing in advance!

Another year, done.  Here’s to a prosperous, rewarding and all-around fabulous 2014 to come!

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Posted by on December 31, 2013 in Current Events, Videos


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Fine Dining: Savor It All for Yourself

Large cooked scallops tend to cool quickly.  Mindful of this culinary reality, you won’t want to devour such a decadent creation right away; rather, the robust combination of flavors and textures deserves to be steadily enjoyed throughout its inevitable temperature descent.  As creamed spinach, butter croutons and “citrus foam” team up with succulent sea meat on a spacious plate, in the company of thick crispy blocks of bacon, subtle oven-dried tomatoes and delightful dabs of salmon caviar, how could you possibly go wrong?

Maravilla's "Scallop BLT"

I myself am about to go wrong if I say more, because the reciting of these stunningly compatible ingredients seems to be compromising my writing concentration, leaving me yearning for another go at this exceptional entree.  As such I shan’t go on but to recommend your own selection of this curiously named “Scallop BLT” upon your visit.  The title proves deceiving, as what arrives before you is anything but a sandwich!

Maravilla's House Cured Salmon

First you need a starter course, of course.  Dare I suggest the above presentation of house-cured salmon adorned with olives, hearts of palm, breaded goat cheese and sea urchin vinaigrette– creatively unveiled on a “slab” fit for any fashionable kitchen– or is this just too much for you to contemplate from such a distance?  Skip to dessert shall I, to the lavender creme brulee, fireside even?  You’ll certainly want to top it off with some of the strongest and most satisfying coffee I’ve tasted in recent memory.

A Fireside Creme Brûlée

Anyone who says fine dining is dead has not experienced Maravilla at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.  To dine here is to experience an evening of sincere yet simple elegance.  The retelling of my pre-Christmas dinner reaches no quick end, as my numerous positive impressions abound– from selection, to service, to overall atmosphere, not to mention the welcoming bar to start off!  Altogether, Maravilla leaves me with a glow on my face, a growl in my stomach and a tighter button on my pants.  But why take my word for it?  Savor it all for yourself.

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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in And That's My Opinion, Food, Restaurants, Reviews, Travel


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Evolution, Nicely Stacked.

History proves especially attractive when nicely stacked together.

The Mercedes-Benz SL:  Evolution proves especially attractive when all generations are nicely stacked together.

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Posted by on December 18, 2013 in Cars, Mercedes-Benz, Transportation


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Oh, to dream…

This gorgeous machine tops my Christmas list, in my favorite color no less.

Dreaming. Wishing.  Hoping.

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Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Daily Activities, Motorcycle, Transportation


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2013: The Year in 365 Pictures

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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in Daily Activities


The End of an Age

The DC-10

In case you need one more reason to feel older, here it is:  The DC-10 made its last passenger flight today.  The three-engine wide-body workhorse of the 1970s and 80s has now been retired from commercial service throughout the entire world, after having finally bid adieu to U.S. air travelers six years ago.  I fondly recall the many flights of my youth aboard a DC-10, leaving me now with this personal reminder of time’s passage.  And to think, I also remember when DC-8s were still lugging us here and there– but really, why show my age?


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Posted by on December 7, 2013 in History, News


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My Christmas Favorite, Again!

Well into December, with the 25th fast upon us, it’s time once again for the annual playing of my very favorite Christmas song performance of all time.  They sure don’t make them like this anymore!

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Posted by on December 5, 2013 in Famous People, History, Humor, Videos


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A Timeless Collection

As the 2013 L.A. Auto Show closes shop, I’m thinking of a handful of classic and not-so-classic models that were not there on display, including more than a couple I’ve always liked.  For all that TIME Magazine told us back in 2007– via some clever and humorous writing to boot– the continued passage of, well– time– might change a few hearts but will never rewrite history.  TIME’s collection of models can simply be called timeless.

1971 Ford Pinto1976 Aston Martin Lagonda2001 Jaguar X-Type

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Posted by on December 1, 2013 in And That's My Opinion, Cars, History


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