Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Where the Movie Stars Live

Yep, I'm at Malibu Colony and it's a gated community.  Lucky me, I had a private tour with Scott Halley.  He's a contractor and builds homes for the rich and famous.  Come on......follow along.....

And on the Beachside

This is the view inside the Malibu Colony gates looking north towards Santa Barbara.  It was mighty breezy and the sun was shining hard.  I'm on the deck of a new house in the middle of construction.
Whew, the owners spared no expensive.  One bedroom light fixture was $600!

Danger---Construction Zone Ahead

The beach looked pretty from my vantage point, but I think the water temperature would have been a little cooler than at my beach on the North Shore of Oahu.  I loved breathing that cool, salty air, though!  Felt like I was home!

Peeping into the Neighbor's Yard

Lots of hedges and trees for privacy in Malibu Colony.  It's the closest cool beach to Los Angeles proper and the movie studios.  These homes sell for millions and millions of dollars.  Hmmmmm.....
maybe when I'm rich and famous......wait, I already live at a cool beach!  Silly dog me!

And a Little Further up the Beach

The coast of southern California north of Los Angeles is very valuable.  I was fortunate to have a tour of a $45,000,000 property just north of Malibu.  Take a look through my eyes.........these orchids were very, very happy.  The cool ocean air suits them well.  That's the Pacific in the background.

Where are the Marshmallows?

Doesn't this look cosy?  I'm ready to make some S'Mores.  (Not really, dogs can's eat chocolate, I might get sick.)

Where's the Waiter?

This is a very fancy house and perfect for Fancy Nancy, don't you think?  I can just imagine having breakfast on this terrace with the scent of oceanspray in the air and the soft winds caressing my wet nose.  A perfect dog's life!!

Now, to Powder my Nose

This is the little half bath off the main entrance!!  I love the silhouette I made propped in this stainglass window.  What elegance!

Last Stop - Paradise Cove $$$$

Now, here is an interesting community------I'm next to this beautifully-landscaped yard in the most expensive trailer park in the world.  It's very exclusive and one of the mobile homes just sold for----are you ready?----$2,000,000!  Did you fall off your chair?  Out of your doggie bed?  Google Paradise Cove and take a look at this beachside community in Malibu.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Uh Oh, Better Keep my Eyes Peeled

I'm on a mountaintop in Latigo Canyon just north of Malibu, California.  And yes, this is rattlesnake country.  I'm staying in my own guesthouse at the Halley spread.  Scott and Aricia welcomed me with open arms to their 70% sustainable farm on a terraced landscape.  There was a foggy, cold mist most mornings.  The locals up and down the coast call it "June Gloom" and it goes on all summer.  I had to wear socks!  Nippy!

In Good Company

Aricia, on the left, is a former resident of my home, Sunset Beach, Hawaii.  She had a lunch wagon long ago called "Aricia's Beachin' Kitchen" and it was amazing.  The healthiest food you'd ever want to eat.  Now she has her own farm with her husband, Scott, with her own hen's eggs and kale and blueberries and lemons and....I could go on and on.  Those are her sweet daughters, Erin and Avaryl (holding me) all snuggled in with us pooches!  Did you notice the wood burning stove behind the sofa?

Happy Mother's Day

Aricia's daughter, Avaryl, has loved classic movies since she was a child.  Now she has made a career out of her passion.  This is her office.  She makes "mashups"!  They are clips of movies put to music with a theme.  Check out the Mother's Day Mash-up.  I love it!  Just google:  Happy Mother's Day Avaryl Halley Mashup

Peter Rabbit? I Hope Not!

I'm on my way to Aricia and Scott's garden.  Follow along............but, be careful, remember there are snakes in them thar California mountains!  Their biggest problems are the deer and gophers, though.

Leading the Charge

Scott Halley was a great host.  We talked and talked and he loved to share his knowledge.  I apppreciate someone who likes to communicate because I like to learn, and I learned a lot from Scott.  It was fun going up and down the mountainside to the garden on his four-wheeler.

Happy as Can Be

Loving to cook and eat "farm to table", Aricia was so delighted to show me her healthy organic garden------and I was so happy to see it.

Keeping the Garden Growing

This is the gardener at the Halley's ranch/farm.  He was doing a good job making sure all the veggies and fruit and herbs were happy as well as all the fruit trees.  Lots of great soil, water, and love.  It's was working.  Aricia made a breakfast of her organic free range hen's eggs with tumeric and other spices and sauteed kale.  Yum.  Yum.  I was in heaven!

Keepin' Out the Deer

These tall gates prevent the deer from leaping into the garden and eating all the organic produce.  It seems to be working.  Now if only they could make little gates to keep out the gophers.

A Short Hop into Ventura

While I was visiting the Halley's in Malibu, Queen Elizabeth had her Golden Jubilee.  To celebrate we traveled down from Latigo Canyon to hear Aricia's friend, Jeff, play some English tunes. His band is called The UK Beat. Oh my, did we have fun!  The venue was a quaint, little pub/restaurant in Ventura called the Fox and the Hounds, a perfect London setting.  Almost everyone had an English accent.  They played Beatles, Dave Clark Five, and other songs from a music era called the British Invasion.  About halfway through the second set, Mom just had to jump up and dance.  She couldn't sit still.  I think the song was BACK IN THE USSR.  That's Mom for you!  (But as soon as she was dancing, the whole place was on the floor rocking out!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

On the Lookout

Newport Beach in Southern California has surf and beautiful sandy beaches.  Bring your own board if you travel there and be careful crossing the street!  Also bring a sweatshirt.  It can get cool.

Movement Matters

I played and played at this elementary school playground at Newport Beach.  What a place------a sandy playground next to the Pacific Ocean.  Pretty deluxe, don't you think?  Did you know that when you swing, slide, climb, jump, run, and spin around, your brain gets smarter?  It's called neurogenesis--google that word and learn more.

If You Need a Lawyer

Kent Seton is my trademark attorney.  Did you know I'm official and legal with the USTPO?  I finally got to meet Kent on my California Road Trip.  We had many conversations over the phone from Hawaii before that.  He's very likable, athletic, and handsome. Good choice!

A Gardener in Venice

I met Brian, a grad student teaching philosophy at UCLA, as he was watering his vibrant, healthy garden on a back street in Venice Beach.  His girlfriend put the plants in and he was taking care of them.  Did you know that when you work in your garden, after 5 minutes, your blood pressure goes down?  Now, that's a good thing!  So.........get digging!

Just in Case

Here is Venice Beach,'s a scene and has been for many, many years.  There are characters all over the place-----and I was one of them!

Ready to Skate

Lynn and her friend, Amanda, showed me around Venice Beach.  There was a lot to see and I mean, a lot.  Vendors were set up along the boardwalk and their stands go on and on and on.

Making a Living

This is one way vendors along Venice Beach survive.  They sculpt.  There was a little tin can for donations to the artist who created this octopus and I put in a dollar.

Tweet, Tweet

Beth, who hails from Nashville, has been a vendor on the Venice Beach boardwalk for awhile.  The permits are free and it's on a first come, first served basis.  (The artists may only sell their own creations, also.)  She arrives around 7:30 and stakes out her territory and happily told me, "I make a pretty good living doing this and it's fun!"  See the little wire sculpture of the bird closest to us, it will be making its nest in my doghouse at Sunset Beach!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Welcome to the Hotel Del

I'm in front of one of the largest wooden structures in the United States. This is the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California.  I loved the architecture as it reminded me of the big beach hotels built at the turn of the century.  Step inside for a "cook's" tour of the 5 kitchens.

Pretty Fancy Lobby

Just look at this chandelier at the main entrance to the hotel-----Fancy Nancy would be really happy here!  Don't know Fancy Nancy?  She's a fancy young girl who teaches vocabulary through literature.  Author Jane O'Connor uses clever themes and fabulous illustrations to showcase new words in a fun way.  (FYI---Jane's sister is the editor in chief of the New York Times, Jill Abramson.)

The Tour Guide

Jessie was all smiles as she led about 40 seniors, who were on a field trip for a cooking class, and me down a back stairway to the kitchen innards of the Hotel Del Coronado.  Follow along.........

Soup's On!

I think I could fit myself and about a hundred more of me into these giant soup kettles!  They were huge and a good place to play "hide-n-seek".

Happy Birthday Day to YOU!

Now if you need to mix a special cake for a special day and you have a crowd of about 100, then these mixers would be just what you need!!  Running a big hotel kitchen is a big job!!  The Hotel Del has parties for hundreds at once.  Lots of weddings are held here, too.

Teamwork is What It's All About

Serving hundreds of meals a day takes many hours of planning, purchasing, preparing, and serving, plus cleaning up.  This prep chef is one of the members of the kitchen staff at the Hotel Del Coronado who makes it all happen.

Got Carrots?

Almost everything in this hotel kitchen was stainless steel.  It's light, sturdy, and easy to clean.  I wonder what's going to happen to all these vegetables.  What do you think?

And to the Back of the Hotel Del

What a fabulous setting---the beach and the herb garden.  Jessie, the chef, took us behind the hotel and showed us her rosemary, parsley, tarragon, sage, mint, and so many more herbs.  I like that so many restaurants and eateries are growing their own food----healthy and safe from pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and all sorts of other "cides".

Take in the View

Isn't this a great setting?  Just remember, keep your picnic on the beach, not on the Hotel Del property.

And for Those Cool California Nights

Can you just imagine yourself sitting here, wind brisk, moon rising and all snuggled up on this comfy  beach sofa with the fire pit spewing, keeping you toasty.  I can.  Maybe I'll see you at the Hotel Del Coronado some evening.  Make sure you come up and shake my paw!

Come See for Yourself

I advise you to visit this famous old beach hotel when you are in Southern California.
Just go to   to learn more and make your plans.  I know you will be happy you stopped in.