Friday, April 29, 2011

One Word....

And I know I'm probably going to get some heat for this one, but word is:


Sorry, but I DON'T like it! It's just my opinion. I just am NOT impressed with this dress at all. I DO like the lace and the top half of the dress. What I DON'T like is the bottom, how it comes together with the rest of the dress, and the overall dated look the dress has. It's being said all over the Internet that the dress channeled the one Grace Kelly wore...and HELLO! that was in the 50's. Blah! I get it that a princess should have classic elegance and I know that's probably what Kate wanted, but still, find a way to do that in a modern way. This dress reminded me of so many dresses I've seen in pictures from back in my grandmother's day when she got married. It's 2011 people, not 1953! Kate has a great sense of style. I wish she would have chosen a dress that seemed to suit her better, because I just feel that she missed the boat with this one. :(

* The wedding itself seemed flawless and very sweet. There's no denying Kate is beautiful and that she seems to be extremely happy. I'm excited for Kate and her Prince!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Fashion Island, Newport Beach

We rounded out our time in Newport with a trip to Fashion Island. This place is SO pretty and so relaxing. There's a good mix of shops and several nice restaurants. I could easily spend at least half a day here. I think I need to go Christmas shopping at Fashion Island! I'd love to see what it looks like all decked out in holiday decor.

* The pics I've posted don't even do it proper justice. The place is beautiful!!

Chronic Tacos

What trip to Orange County is complete without eating at Chronic Taco, I ask you?! Ever been? It's delicioso!

* I ordered 2 crispy chicken tacos, Jenna ordered a fish taco and a chicken taco with soft corn tortillas and my hubby had the carne asada tacos with soft corn tortillas.

Friday, April 22, 2011


After our delicious dinner Friday night at Mama D's in Newport Beach, we traveled just a few minutes down the road to Memphis Cafe & Bar in Costa Mesa to meet up with Steph for drinks to celebrate her 30th. (This was her pre b-day celebration. She headed to L.A. the next day to REALLY celebrate @ Drai's.) We had SO much fun here. Memphis has a really relaxed atmosphere with a dj spinning a combo of hip hop and house music, a mellow bar scene, and a good mix of patrons. (Reminds me a lot of the Blue Cue here in Sacramento, which used to be one of my favorite bars in Sactown when I was a single lady.) Bottom line, Memphis is a cool place! (Obviously, because we were having such a good time that I forgot to get any pics w/Steph. Insert sad face!)

* Memphis is a cafe that serves southern inspired food and later turns down to a bar. (They remove all the tables and chairs to clear out space for people to dance and mingle.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Word:


Mama D's Italian Kitchen in Newport Beach - it's to die for! We ate here on Friday night after we got settled in at the Fairmont and headed to a cabana poolside for a couple of hours to watch the moon come up. While getting ready for dinner, I suggested pizza. Bizarre, considering the fact that I'm not normally a pizza person. And, being near the ocean, you'd think I would have suggested sea food, which is much more up my alley. Alas, for some reason, pizza sounded good to me that night. (I get the real craving for it maybe once or twice a year.) So, my husband whipped out his handy dandy iPhone and yelped local Italian restaurants. Mama D's and another were two that struck his fancy. I decisively said, "No, Let's go to Mama D's. It's closer and the name sounds cooler." So, we headed to Newport Blvd. and found the infamous Mama D's.

My husband let Jenna and I out to go in and get a table while he parked the car. We were quickly greeted by a very nice hostess who immediately offered us a piece of bread and sat us. Jenna declined the bread. I indulged! Delicious!! My hubby came in just seconds after we sat down. He was greeted by one of the owners who guided him to our table. Then our super sweet server, Lauren, greeted us, showed us the menu, asked if we had ever been to Mama D's before, and told us she'd be back with our drinks and a surprise. We all wondered if we'd heard her correctly and what surprise she could be bringing us. She brought us our drinks and then took our order. We ordered a create your own 4 topping pizza: pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, and eggplant. (Kinda weird combo, right? It was heavenly...I assure you!!) We also added a salad consisting of simply cucumber, fresh tomatoes (like melt-in-your-mouth delicious tomatoes), celery, and olive oil & vinegar. Lauren brought us our salad first and a few minutes later she brought us our surprise. It was a plate of homemade cheese raviolis. Holy moly! I think those were the best raviolis I have ever had!! Finally our pizza came out and my hubby told Miss Lauren that it was Miss Jenna's b-day. There was no way we could eat all of our food, so we asked for a box. Lauren came back with a box and a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies. I was SO full, but we each tried a little of the cookies. Yummy! So, then, out of the corner of our eyes we see Lauren coming back with a group of people. She rounded up her fellow co-workers and a group of patrons and they sang Happy Birthday to Jenna as Lauren plopped a bowl of spumoni ice cream (one of my favorites!) in front of her and another waiter had Jenna pick a prize out of a miniature treasure chest. (She got a card personally signed with messages from every employee and a redeemable card for a free appetizer on her next visit.) Can you say PHENOMENAL CUSTOMER SERVICE?!?

Holy Cow!! Mama D's knocked our socks off! I couldn't find a single bad thing to say about this place. It's wonderful! As we walked out of the restaurant, Jenna, my husband, and I discussed what an enjoyable time we had just had - and good food to boot. I said, "If Disneyland is known as the Happiest Place on Earth, then this quite possibly may be the FRIENDLIEST place on Earth!"

Vacay Continued....

We started off Friday morning in Orange County by "sleeping" in late. (Try more like just trying to rest due to the LOUD traffic noise of the freeway by Hotel Menage!) We left the hotel and headed to Huntington Beach for lunch at Hurricane's Bar & Grill. We sat on the patio that overlooks Main Street and also has a view of the ocean. The weather, food, and service was great! After lunch we walked down Main Street and did some shopping, including making a pit stop at the street fair that was across the street near the beginning of Huntington Beach Pier. I definitely felt myself starting to relax and fall in to vacation mode. Ahh.....

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Oh Fairmont How I Love Thee....

This Is NO Fairmont!!

My trip to Newport Beach was prompted by two very special birthdays: My best friend Jenna's 28th and my other dear friend, Steph's 30th. My husband and I decided we would love to accompany Miss Jenna for her first trip ever to Newport Beach and show her around one of our favorite places in CA for her b-day. And, since Miss Steph lives in Costa Mesa and happened to be celebrating a milestone in her life that I wanted to be part of, this all worked out perfectly. I got to be with both of my girls for their special days in one of my most favorite places!!

My trip started out on Thursday night with a stay at Hotel Menage in Anaheim:

Yes, it's aesthetically pleasing. We were impressed with the pool area and how pretty this place looked all lit up at night. However....

See that freeway there? See how closely it runs along the side of Hotel Menage? Yes, that freeway looks ok (mellow), right?....But let me tell you....that picture is's ridiculously loud and busy and it was all I could hear while trying to get some sleep in my hotel room that sat right next to it. We were shocked, in fact, with a) how close our room was to the freeway AND b) how NOISY it was!! We were all SO tired when we got to our room and all we wanted to do was get a good night's sleep. It was quickly becoming apparent that was NOT going to happen. *Side note: Upon entering our room and realizing how close we were to the freeway (No Joke!!), I said, "Well, if there's an earthquake, I'm pretty sure we're ending up right in the middle of that freeway if the hotel collapses."

I did try to see if we could be moved to another room, upon which I was told by the hotel clerk, simply, "No!" The guy, who by the way, was a TOTAL jerk (from the get go - even while checking us in) didn't even look anything up in the computer or try to be polite in any way. His sentiment was, "No! But you can upgrade to a room with one king bed." Uh...yeah, and charge me for the upgrade? And leave someone sleeping on the floor or the couch since there were three of us staying there? No thanks!

I can't even go into what ensued. Let's just say it was utter insanity! The customer service at Hotel Meanage is AWFUL with a capital A-W-F-U-L!! We were completely blown away by how rude and crazy the guy at the front desk, who claimed to be the night manger, was to us. Even the security guard who worked for the hotel, was like, "Just walk away...[because this guy is flippin out!]"

My advice: If you are ever considering staying at Hotel Menage...DON'T!! You'll get horrible service, a terrible night's sleep, and pay way too much for a hotel that is pretty but lacks in so many ways.


Left My Heart In Newport

I have lots to post/talk about. I just got back in town. I've been here (Newport Beach/Fairmont Hotel)....

And enjoying this....

Stay tuned for more....