cali vacay top five

So I’m back from a week in southern California (LA, San Diego, Malibu, La Jolla) and man. Was it butt fricking cold in New York while I was gone or what? I mean, snow? That’s harsh.

But! I am holding onto palm tree memories and warm sand memories and surfer memories and would like to share my Cali Vacay Top Five with all of you friendly neighbors. Since I am kickin’ it old-school with the disposable camera / convert to CD thing, I don’t have photos yet. Look forward to those, though. I even have a palm tree montage all planned out for your viewing enjoyment. Big, fluffy ones and small, sprigly ones.

Until then, here’s the best of what happened on the West Coast (and, yes, I saw the Hollywood sign. Icon viewed, check.).

1. Skee-Ball on the Santa Monica Pier! And vintage Pac-Man! It’s hard to find one of those nowadays with a working joystick (sadly, down was nonexistent. And Skee-Ball! I haven’t played that in years and it’s definitely on my Top Five Games list. It took a while for me to get into the groove and by then SP was over it, so I didn’t accumulate the 73 meters of tickets I usually do, but hey. I traded them in for foil heart stickers, a Super Ball, and one of those things where you blow into it and it makes a siren sound. Oh! And we went on the Pacific Wheel! Which I get is a lot like going on the ferris wheel on Coney Island, but it is much more exciting to ride the ferris wheel after you’ve traveled 3,000 miles to do so.

2. Huge waves on December 5! Swells forecasted up to 25 feet! It was crazy. Usually La Jolla is quiet this time of year, but everyone came out to see the surfers. This is the best video of Big Wednesday.

3. Crumbs of Beverly Hills! I am not even making this up. As we all know by now, the best cupcakes in New York come from Crumbs, my newly discovered cupcake obsession. So imagine how thrilled I was when I just happened to see a Crumbs among the palm trees of Santa Monica Boulevard. They had a lot of the same flavors as here, but with added treats like key lime, cotton candy, and fluffernutter. It’s the first ever Crumbs outside of New York. Breaking news, people.

4. The W Hotel in San Diego! Not only was the Cool Corner Room a place where I could easily live for a month while I finish the second draft of book three, but they have a rooftop beach with heated sand. I know. In other hotel news, the decadence of the Beverly Hilton was dazzling. They have an amazing aquarium and the Christmas tree was unreal. Photos of both forthcoming.  The Cool Corner Room was this:

W Hotel San Diego Cool Corner Room

5. Discovering this quote at the Morrison Hotel Gallery (not another hotel, but an actual gallery), a cool place with rad Jackson Browne and James Taylor photos: “I still believe in love and peace and positive thinking.” Who said that? John Lennon. When? December 8, 1980. The day he died.