October 23rd, 2013

I don’t like Pinot Noir.  Give me a Cab, Shiraz, Merlot, Cab Franc and keep the Pinot Noir or Zinfandel.  How I have so many bottles of Pinot Noir in my wine closet escapes me!   But I do and, unless I gift a lot of wine for the holidays, I need to drink them.

I reluctantly pulled out a bottle of Sequana Pinot Noir and opened it.  I even let it air, working myself up to taste it.

Pinot Noir

2009 Sequana Pinot Noir

It’s hard to admit I was wrong — horribly wrong.  But I was.  This wine was delicious!  It was delicious on 1st sip and still delicious 1 1/2 glasses later. (Sadly I donated 3-4 bottles of this wine to a dog rescue fundraiser 3 weeks ago.   I hope the  guests enjoyed them!)

This wine tasted of gentle dark fruit — cranberry and raspberry — with a hint of cola.  It poured thin with a large brown band circling the medium purple.  My first thought was the wine had turned.

Thrilled to be wrong.   This isn’t a strong or powerful wine.  Gentle or subtle are the words that come to mind.  It embraced me in a tender cuddle, not a hard bear hug.

I’m not sure I like Pinot Noir still but I do like Sequana Pinot Noir.

Pinot Noir

2009 Sequana Pinot Noir


LONDON on British Airways New A380

October 18th, 2013

I am, without question, a plane freak.  I love them, loving being in them long-haul, and if I’m fortunate, loving being upgraded to business or first.  It was a no brainer that I needed a weekend in London when British Airways announced it was launching the A380 from LAX to London.  The A380 is superjumbo double decker that, from the outside, looks like a fat dolphin.

British Airways A380

Nose of British Airways A380

Since I have fond memories of Flipper, I don’t mind the resemblance. Flight booked and upgraded to Business, I headed to LAX under the brilliant light of a full moon.  Unfortunately the only British Airways flight with a A380 is the 9:30pm flight.  Oh the sacrifices I make.  Imagine my surprise when I realized I checked in and made it through security in under 20 min.  I guess one good thing about late night flights is the number of people is greatly reduced.  More time in the lounge.  Not complaining. IMG_1688

OneWorld Lounge including British Airways

OneWorld Lounge including British Airways

Yes, I know – I’m full-fledged plane geek mode!  But I haven’t been to LAX International Terminal since April and suddenly I was giddy at being ‘home.’  I used to love the British Airways lounge, especially when I entered the First Class lounge.  It seemed to have a sense of serenity that relaxed me in advance of a flight.

British Airways First

OneWorld First Class Lounge

Oh, times have changed.  First Class Lounge was Standing Room Only!  Circling around looking for a spot to sit isn’t relaxing;  thankfully, it was only 2 circles before a seat opened up. The lounge didn’t have Champagne but did have a nice sparkling wine from Bordeaux.  Ah, I feel “relax” coming on.

British Airways Lounge

Glass of Sparkling Wine with Cheese and Crackers.

I was glad I had 2 glasses of wine because I was unprepared for the NEW TERMINAL.    The only words that came to mind as I exited the up escalators:  STUNNING, GORGEOUS.   As I got my bearings,  I realized this is a Rodeo Ave/Beverly Hills shopping experience in an airport.  All of the high end designer labels seemed to be represented. IMG_1693 IMG_1694 IMG_1695

Shopping Area - International Terminal LAX

Shopping Area – International Terminal LAX

I hadn’t realized that the NEW terminal opened in mid-September along with the inaugural British Airways A380.  If I wasn’t awestruck by the sight, I might have felt clueless! Surprises still abound — boarding the A380 was different experience.   Depending on your seat, you enter through 1 of 3 doors for main level or you go up a flight of stairs for upper level.  WOW, just WOW.


British Airways A380

Boarding – British Airways A380

And then ….. it all fell flat.  The interior of the A380 is not spectacular.  The one well-thought change is the bathrooms is at the back of the cabin, away from the galley.  Brilliant.  I was seated across from the bathroom — a godsend for me.


British Airways A380

British Airways A380 Bathroom – Club World


Take off was AMAZING as was flying.  During takeoff, the wings flex up and you can see the air curving up and over.  SO COOL!

The plane was so smooth and quiet.  We were aboard a cloud.

Meh. The food was mediocre and the portion sizes ridiculously small.   The champagne was delicious and the entertainment options were fantastic.   I was thrilled to watch all episodes of Broadchurch and 2 episodes of Doctor Who.  British drama at its best and well worth viewing.

London England

Welcome to London!

I’ve forgotten how much I love London — its energy and diversity.  And it’s Fall.  Crisp, breezy and the trees are dropping their leaves.

Would I make an effort to fly the British Airways A380 in the future?  Probably not.    Heck, I’m not sure I’ll remain loyal to British Airways after this year.  Overall, I’m not impressed with the plane or the reductions in service.

Onto the shopping and museums!

Chanel #15

October 10th, 2013

I’m still photographing my Chanel collection.  I should photograph my YSL MUSE collection too.  They are my favorite but I never carry them.  Odd.  Granted the straps are not shoulder straps and that’s make them a pain in the arse to carry.

Chanel Alligator

Chanel Alligator


I love this bag.  I love the look of quality construction, the pebbly yet smooth feel of the alligator and it’s size.  So sad that Chanel alligator jumbos are over $30,000 today.

This is one of the “never gonna give you up” purses …. well, I suppose if someone offered 5 figures to sell it, I’d have to consider it.  Next time i’ll post a pic of my black alligator.  Another keeper.  I need to buy matching cowboy boots!    How expensive are alligator boots?

Simple Kale Salad

October 6th, 2013

Day 4 of my cleanse led to a craving for kale and/or brussel sprouts.  My oven was already enlisted seasoning cast iron so kale salad it was!  I love kale — seems like everyone does now, right?  Except I thought I only liked Italian kale also known as lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, Tuscan kale and palm tree kale until I had the kale salad at Carson House this past week.  It was the curly kale with pomegranate seeds and very light lemon dressing.  It was be far the best item we ate.

I couldn’t understand how this raw kale was soft and chewy but assumed it had been marinated and the recipes I researched suggesting marinating or massaging the kale.


Simple Kale Salad

Simple Kale Salad


Simple Kale Salad
Simple combination kale, carrots and red cabbage
Cuisine: American
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • 4 c kale, chopped into shreds
  • ½ c shredded red cabbage
  • ½ c shredded carrots
  • ¼ c olive oil
  • ¼ c rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp honey (or 1½ tsp sugar)
  • 2 tbsp slivered almond or
  • 1 tbsp flax or sesame seeds
  1. Put kale, red cabbage, carrots, cabbage into a large bowl.
  2. Whisk olive oil, rice vinegar and sesame oil together.
  3. Add honey and whisk again.
  4. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well.
  6. Allow the salad to sit for a minimum of 30 minutes. This salad will last 2 days.

IFBC 2013 – Day 3

September 21st, 2013

I’m sore.  The hills and 6.43 miles I walked yesterday won the debate with my butt and thighs.    No matter, I managed to drag myself out of bed and to breakfast for one of the highlights of the conference — breakfast by Pastry Smart @PastrySmart! Was it delicious? Fantastic? Filling?  A resounding yes to all 3.  For Francophile, it was heaven, charcuterie, freshly made biscuits, yogurt and fruit (who cares?  it was about the biscuits) and other deliciousness.  I stopped at 3 biscuits filled with black forest ham!  Oh my.IFBC 2013 Breakfast

Let’s see this from a different angle. 🙂

IFBC 2013

The breakfast topic was “What Matters Most: Conversations on Humane, Organic & Sustainable Food Production Practices in a Millenial World”  Choosing the food we eat is no longer about going out in the yard and selecting what’s available — it’s a trip to the market to pick from thousands of choices of good-looking food-type products.  But most of us don’t consider where it comes from or, in the cast of protein sources, how it was raised.  I enjoyed hearing about the Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) and its certified program.

The special part of the evening was dinner.  Urbanspoon Dine-Around Dinner ! Urbanspoon sponsored over a dozen tables at some of Seattle’s best restaurantsQuite a feat on a Saturday night at prime dinner time.  Somehow I was grouped with a Gluten Free table but it didn’t matter.  IFBC 2013

The meal and wine pairings were delicious.


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