Holla, La Jolla! 

This just might be the squintiest photo of me ever taken. It was quite dark in the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. What a special dinner with Mark, Cyndi and Summer! Thank you so much for a wonderful visit! You made it so memorable and perfect!  

The Midway lit up on Halloween night!
  

I was fascinated with these “brillo” plants. I don’t know what they are called, but they are DELIGHTFUL. Kind of like the super fuzzy caterpillars that you know you should never touch. 

  

Bird of Paradise plants and Hibiscus plants bloom all over the place. I even glimpsed a stunning ruby-throated hummingbird visit a flower briefly. 

  

Sunday, I left San Diego and trekked to Pasadena for the opening night of Breaking Through, the new play produced by our friend and music producer extraordinaire, Cliff Downs. This is the playhouse courtyard. 

  
    

I acted like a startstruck fool, jittery and apologetic, when I accosted Mickey Dolenz for a photo. He couldn’t have been any nicer. I LOVED the Monkees as a kid, watching the reruns on Nickelodeon. I don’t know his exact age, but I gotta say he looks MARVELOUS. Many thanks to Mickey for being so kind!
  

Uncle Mark, Aunt Cyndi, cousin Summer, and Dad (Dad and Mark are brothers, of course, if you couldn’t tell!) 

I love Summer’s vintage style, very classic and elegant. Mark and Cyndi are so sweet together. I loved seeing photos of them in younger days. They are still so in love and it shows. 

  
  

Such a cool place to have a premiere!

  

Breaking Through…see it now! 
    

Cyndi is such a warm-hearted person. Love you!
  

I might skip around chronologically now because I didn’t do a good job loading my photos and I’m too lazy to re-sort them. 

After the play, I was supposed to stay in a horrid motel (that I unwittingly booked without doing a thorough study or reviews and photos, and only chose it for the closed proximity to the play). Thankfully, Lynda and Dale invited me back to their exquisite home in Pacific Palisades (where my parents were also staying). More on that later. Like I said, hibiscus flowers bloom like crazy here. So pretty! Endless thanks to Dale and Lynda for hosting me and the pups for a night. I was so traumatized by the motel. This made it all better. 

  

The pool house overlooking the canyon…
  

Lynda has a great green thumb, among many other talents. 

  

Mmmm. Fruit.
    

Lynda also had some stunning roses…
  

Casa de Laurence

  

This rose makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, remembering Bam’s roses.

  

A sumptuous salmon pink ombre rose!

  

Yeah, nothing gorgeous grows out here. 
  

If I were a hummingbird, I’d live here. 

  

And, back to the play…

Dale, Lynda, Leslie, Cliff, Me, Mom and Dad
  

A closeup of us…

  

Movie stars? Or moguls? You decide. 
  

Everyone wears sunglasses, all the time, in Cali. 

  

Ok, so, after the play, Mom went back to the ant-infested motel with me to pack up and head to Dale and Lynda’s home. It was probably 11:30, well after a celebratory dinner for Cliff. If I thought the place was scary during the day, it was about to reach Netherworld-level terror at night. I had the car all packed up and was loading the dogs in the backseat, attaching their seatblet harnesses. I noticed a tall, dark figure lurking down the stairs toward the first floor and the parking lot I was in. He strolled closer, with a rolling suitcase dragging behind. I felt uneasy and my instincts went on high elert. Mom was inside using the bathroom and I no longer had a key to the room. He stopped in front of my hotel door and started speaking to me. He repeatedly said “Can I ax you something?”. He looked high as fuck (forgive the salty language but that’s the closest description). I pretended like I was continuing to sort stuff in the car and reached for Mom’s handgun. As Mom emerged from the room, she stopped when she saw the dude. I told her to hurry and get in the car. The guy could see me holding the gun, but I wasn’t pointing it at him. He has a weird, goofy grin on his face, despite me brandishing a weapon.  Mom rushed over to the car and hopped in. I got in, locked the doors and we sped off without even telling the front desk. I called the next morning and told them that I had to check out in the night and that the drugged-out guy had scared me terribly. I think they are refunding my pet fees. Whoop-dee-doo. They should really refund me for the entire terrifying experience. And close that place down. Or maybe I should stick to Marriotts, Hotel Indigo, and La Quintas. (So, avoid Hotel Le Reve in Pasadena. It is NOT a dream destination, or a cute boutique hotel. It’s a straight up NIGHTMARE. Lesson learned the hard way…always, always, always read the reviews and look at the photos carefully) I feel so upset with myself for putting Mom in danger, and myself. Never again. I’m still distraught that I put us in that situation. We headed for Dale and Lynda’s immediately after. So thankful for their kindness. 

When Mom and Dad left Pacific Palisades, I splurged a little and checked into the JW Marriott Le Merigot, in Santa Monica, on the beach. Feast your eyes on this breathtaking suite! 

  

Biscuit hit the mini-bar way too hard. He’s my lush puppy. (Just kidding. I would never allow him to drink alcohol. He did sneak some once upon a time when I put out beer to kill slugs on our patio.)

  

The boys enjoy the beach walk area near the pier. 
  

You can’t tell by this photo, but it was hella-windy that afternoon. 

  
    

Windblown Jo
  

From pauper to prince…I bet Skyler never thought he’d be sleeping in a fancy hotel. 

  

Biscuit did NOT want to go for a walk before bedtime. It took me 5 minutes of wrangling to get his harness on. He turns into jello.
  

Le Merigot was perfect, except for poor little Skyler being puppy kaboom all night long. 


  
  

This was the wallpaper in my room. It looks and feels like thin slices of wood delicately layered onto the wall. 

  

Biscuit on the patio…
    
    

I give Le Merigot tremendous props for a wonderful single night visit. Impeccable service in a stunning environment right on the beach! I promise to return one day! 

Next stop…Vegas! 

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One Response to Holla, La Jolla! 

  1. sunnybrooks53 says:

    Dearest Joey-what a fun time we had with you while you were visiting California! I’ve always loved you but getting to spend time with you and getting to know you was a gift we will appreciate forever! You are, without a doubt, a very special lady…and SO much fun! I will never be able to drive by “The Country Waffle” again without thinking about you and the mornings we would sit and visit over tea and breakfast. I read your blog and I admire you. Not many people would take on a cross country trip nearly alone. You are such an adventurous spirit! I look forward to following you and seeing what is next for you! I love you! ~Cyndi

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