A Year’s End Gift to Ourselves

It was a last minute six day visit to Hollywood and Beverly Hills. This choice ¬†was fueled by a desire to visit family recently relocated there, entertainment industry friends not seen in many years.. and to just do something different. Plus, we figured we’d be enjoying warmer weather.. and we did, but not by much… LA temps were in the 40 to 60 degree range.. colder than usual for the area.. but sunny, no precipitation. Here are the highlights of what turned out to be a VERY memorable trip:

Downtown Los Angeles on a clear day... as viewed from our Runyon Canyon hike.

Downtown Los Angeles on a clear day… as viewed from our Runyon Canyon hike.

Palatial homes with views of downtown dot the hillsides of Hollywood Hills

Palatial homes with views of downtown dot the hillsides of Hollywood Hills

Celebrity Spotting in Runyon Canyon

Celebrity Spotting in Runyon Canyon: Jack Daniels Cathey & his celebrity escort (in sun glasses- I think it was Susan Sarandon??) She accused me of stalking and refused all autographs. How rude!

Shopping & Dining to Die For!

Shopping on Rodeo Drive

Shopping on Rodeo Drive

Tiffany on Rodeo Drive

Shops on Rodeo Drive give new meaning to “upscale”.

Enjoying fabulous seafood at Connie & Ted's on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood

Enjoy fabulous seafood at Connie & Ted’s on Santa Monica Blvd

Superb dining is to be found everywhere in the West Hollywood / Beverly Hills area, even in the most unexpected places. Example: the iconic, original Trader Vic’s Lounge & Restaurant is just downstairs from the main lobby of the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

Trader Vic's Lounge & Restaurant

Trader Vic’s Lounge & Restaurant

 

The Beverly Hilton – A Classic Hotel with a History

Beverly Hilton entrance & lobby

Beverly Hilton entrance & lobby

Lobby of the Beverly Hilton Hotel

Lobby of the Beverly Hilton Hotel

The hallway of the restaurant & pool level of the Beverly Hilton is lined with photos of rich & famous guests, as well as historic events held there.

The hallway of the restaurant & pool level of the Beverly Hilton is lined with photos of rich & famous guests, as well as historic events held there.

Marilyn Monroe slept... and swam... here!

Marilyn Monroe slept… and swam… at the Beverly Hilton!

President Dwight D. & Mamie Eisenhower were guests.

President Dwight D. & Mamie Eisenhower were guests.

Senator Kennedy, Governor Brown, Senator Johnson & Senator Symington at the Beverly Hilton

Senator Kennedy, Governor Brown, Senator Johnson & Senator Symington at the Beverly Hilton

 

The Magic Castle is MAGIC!

The Magic Castle of Hollywood

The Magic Castle of Hollywood

We’d heard that the Magic Castle was a big deal… after all, a much sought after magician and good friend of ours – Doc Eason – is featured at the castle four times a year… but we had no idea just how big of a deal.. until witnessed for ourselves.

Lyn & Dale Penn, Magician & Castle Member

Dale Penn, Magician & Castle Member was our host for the evening.

Back Story: Prior to this trip to Los Angeles, I had contacted Dale Penn, an old friend whom I had not seen in over 25 years. (Dale and I met while entertaining passengers on Carnival Cruise Lines in the late seventies.) Dale is a a charter member of the Castle and graciously invited us to be his guests.

In the space of five hours we were dazzled and mystified by six world class magicians in four different venues within the Castle. (And we were told that there were four more show rooms that we could have attended had we had the time.) We also enjoyed a fabulous dinner in the “members only” upstairs dining room. Thank you, Dale!

Bottomline: Folks, if you are ever in the LA area, make time for the Magic Castle. And make your reservations well in advance. They sell out early.

Judy & Savannah await our host for the evening.

Judy & Savannah await our host for the evening at the Magic Castle entrance.

 

Ready to Go?

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