Not that I'm complaining, mind you, I like eventful.
As we speak, I'm (finally) updating my blog from my hotel room in Beverly Hills. I'm making what's basically a glorified cameo in California for a press junket for The Lucky One.
Since I got here today at 10:00 a.m. PST and am leaving tomorrow at 4:00 p.m., I've been packing in as much fun as I can in the meantime.
After making my way from the airport down the perpetual parking lot that is the 405 and checking into my room, I ventured over to Robertson Blvd. in search of sustenance. And since I'm a creature of tradition and wasn't dressed nearly fancy enough for a power lunch at the Ivy, I couldn't wait to eat the chicken quesadillas w/jalapeño pesto and charred corn salsa that I always order from the Newsroom.
Now if you haven't been to the Newsroom before, lemme tell you, it's an absolute treat. Not only are the bulk of menu selections a lot healthier than your average restaurant fare (but still incredibly tasty, which is a total bonus), but the people-watching is absolutely priceless. To wit, I've seen burger eaters and wheatgrass smoothie lovers peacefully co-exist, and unlike most places with a decidedly free-spirited vibe, it doesn't smell like hummus or patchouli.
But as I walked closer to the Newsroom, I discovered something thoroughly unsettling—no lights, no people and a typewritten sign taped on the door. Yep, they were CLOSED today. For renovation.
So with a grumbly tummy and no quesadillas or mindless magazine reading in my immediate future (yet another perk of eating at the Newsroom), I was forced to try some place new.
And when you're trying some place new, it's never, ever a bad thing if the restaurant specializes in Italian food, right?
As it turns out, Cuvee was a fantastic find. While it took a gargantuan amount of self control to resist the specials that included penne with a pink peppercorn mascarpone sauce and pappardelle with lobster and cream, I opted for something light and delicious.
First off, was an Italian chopped salad with a light and zesty vinaigrette. In addition to the usual salad accompaniments like tomatoes, cucumbers and homemade garlic croutons were a sprinkling of exotic olives and oooey gooey boccaccini, which are basically the cheese equivalent of heaven.
Since I was so responsible in ordering a salad rather than the pasta I really wanted, I decided to order a half panini to round out the meal. Filled with juicy grilled chicken, basil pesto and the admittedly un-Italian avocado which took it waaaay over the top, it was pretty much the perfect sandwich.
Aside from my passionate love of any sort of pasta, what I've always loved about Italian cuisine is how the simplest, freshest ingredients are elevated to new heights. For the record, the food at Cuvee totally fit the bill, and I'll definitely be eating there again.
As for what else has been going on, just a few days before making my way to La La Land, I was visiting this adorable girl, her parents and my Mom in Colorado.
Yeah, me too.
Like always, we crammed a lot of fun into just a few days, and I continue to marvel at how fast little Miss Adelyn Grace is growing up.
We played hide and seek, we read her new favorite story "Curious George Goes Camping" and per usual, I was wowed by how much she's been learning.
She's quite the smartie, that Adelyn and total sweetness to boot.
And when I wasn't trying to find the perfect hiding place to keep Adelyn on her toes, I was playing Scrabble with her grandma, shopping with her Mama and during one very special day, Lindsey, her best friend Erica and I made our way to Littleton to meet the Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.
Little did we know, however, that the meet & greet would involve me standing in line for five (!!!) hours.
Yeah, Lindsey and Erica both deserve a medal of honor in the category of patience...
Apparently, I'm not the only one who loves Ree—and those comfort food recipes of hers. While I'm about the last person in the world who'd love living on a ranch in the middle of nowhere, I've been a fan of her blog—and Food Network show for a while now. Not only is she a major proponent of using butter and cream in her cooking (and really, who doesn't love those?) and loves romantic comedies as much as I do, but she's got a great voice which makes her blog thoroughly entertaining and informative.
Like the best people, that warmth and wit that makes her prose so much fun to read totally translates in public, too. Not only was her presentation a lot of fun, pitchy rendition of "Endless Love" and all, but she never stopped smiling, even after signing books for five hours.
Yes, FIVE hours and a genuine smile through all of 'em...
While I was convinced my feet were going to fail me (yes, I was wearing impractical shoes, naturally) by the time I finally made it to Ree's table, she was totally sweet and made time to chat with each and every person.
Gotta love it when people you admire turn out to be cool in real life, too.
In addition to flying the friendly skies and hanging with family, I've been writing like a madwoman, watching a slew of good and not-so-good movies, reading a fantastic travelogue titled Paris My Sweet and reminiscing about Will and I's time in Europe since it's been a (gasp!) year ago now.
All that to say, life's been good...and I'm incredibly thankful.