First, let me tell you that I am ectstatic that I don't have to leave LA for 3 1/2 weeks. This summer & fall were non-stop travel (SF, San Jose, Lake Tahoe, San Jose, Seattle, Camp, Dallas, Bike Tour, New Mexico, San Jose, Salt Lake City, New York, Kingsburg, Paso Robles). My cats were ready to sue for neglect (not true, we have pet sitters, but they still aren't happy with us). But now, I'm parking myself in LA and not leaving until Christmas.
New York was fabulous. Cold (highs in the mid-40s), but fab. Good food (Les Halles, Kitchen 82 and Thalia all were yummy) helped. I did go to the Museum at FIT and it was very cool to see some of the fantastic pieces from FIT's permanent collection. This museum will always be at the top of my list of places to visit when in NYC.
We also hit the Met and spent all day there, but of course only saw a fraction of the exhibits. We spent a lot of time downstairs in the Costume Institute and their exhibit: Rara Avis: Selections from the Iris Barrel Apfel Collection. This exhibit was a fascinating look at how a woman with real... hutpah, let's call it, has collected pieces from couture fashion, primitive art, flea market finds, and puts it together to become truly a fashion trailblazer. She is more than Jackie O. or Audrey Hepburn or another famous rich woman who served as mannequin for a designer to display their collection. It was amazingly inspiring.
We also visited the Museum of Natural History, mostly to see the dinosaurs. I always feel weird in natural history museums, mostly because they are collections of taxidermied animals that I could see alive at a good zoo or aquarium. But we did see the Darwin exhibit, which was fascinating, especially in light of the ridiculous intelligent design "debate." While finishing the exhibit, we saw Dr. Ruth! She was getting a special walk-through with a museum staffer, so we hung back and listened.
Got back from New York and it was Thanksgiving all of a sudden. We spend it with Rich's family up in Kingsburg, CA, a tiny burg about 20 minutes south of Fresno. My dad joined us and we had a huge spread of turkey, ham, tri-tip, stuffing, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, asparagus, homemade tangerine-cranberry sauce (the asparagus & cranberry sauce were my contributions to the dinner), chocolate cake, chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie, pecan pie and apple pie. It was overwhelming. And fantastic.
On Saturday, Rich & I drove out to Paso Robles to meet my friend Carrie, whose parent retired there last year. She needed to escape the extended family, so we went wine tasting. We might have tasted a *few* wines. Here's the rundown:
Peachy Canyon Winery
Hunt Cellars -- our favorite of Saturday. Every wine was amazingly tasty.
Caparone Winery -- our favorite of Sunday. Unusual grapes made for rich tasting wines.
Pretty-Smith Vineyards -- another favorite. Really small (the woman pouring our wines was the owner/winemaker/label artist!) but tasty.
We left with 13(!) bottles, some appropriate for intimate fancy dinners, while others I'd break out for WeHo SnB (get ready for some smooth drinkin' wine, ladies!).
And now, I can enjoy the next 3 1/2 weeks in LA. Stitch n Bitch, Yarn Lady sale (depending on finances), Bazaar Bizarre, parties, and most importantly, time at home on the couch!