Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Hello everyone (Julie;))! How was the weekend?

I’m going to include Thursday in my weekend round up, because it was more exciting than the average Thursday and well, it’s my blog, so I DO WHAT I WANT. :P

Anyway, on Thursday—Preston’s longtime friend Bongard was in town. Bongard is his last name, obvi. :P We had a cocktail in our lovely side yard and headed down towards Ocean Blvd for tacos.

On the way, we were detained for a bit on the curb and not allowed to cross the street. Why you ask? Well, because Obama was in town! I heard in the morning that the President was visiting LA and would be around Santa Monica in the evening. The newscasters had warned of street closures.

It seemed to me that no one had any idea when he may actually be coming through, so after waiting a bit…we were allowed to go.

We got tacos at Blue Plate Taco on Ocean in Santa Monica. Blue Plate is sort of a Santa Monica Institution. There are a few variations on menus from this restaurant group serving three restaurants. I think the taco place is my favorite, but none of it is FABULOUS. I think more than anything, people rave about these places because they are all well located with great ocean views. The restaurants have a good ambiance and a bit of a hoity toity reputation. Residents of Santa Monica love ostentatious and anything that keeps them up with the ‘jones’, so to say.  However, my opinion is not the popular one---people love these places and their food. I do not understand.

ANYWAY. We got some average tasting tacos in a nice setting. I’m glad to get to know Ryan (real name) more. I think I’ve mentioned before that Preston has such a great and genuine group of friends that has survived since childhood. It’s pretty cool.

From there, we strolled down to Chez Jay for a drink. All of Ocean Blvd was closed at this point and there was a buzz in the air since Obama was due to pass through AT ANY MOMENT! We joined the small crowd outside of Chez Jay.

Eventually, Obama did go by…I think? Haha. There were about 30 cars in a long parade. Apparently he was in one of two limos that passed. He got a little cheer from the crowd. Two limos are used with one as a decoy, so that attacking homeless people (just kidding, but this is probably the greatest reality in Santa Monica) won’t know in which the president rides.

Even though I grew up in DC…I think this might have been the closest I’ve ever been to a president. Exciting.

We met a very friendly guy from Atlanta-now living in Seattle. He chatted us up for quite a while and said (much to Preston's delight) that I looked like Sloane Peterson (Ferris Bueller's girlfriend)! HA! I don't think so, but I'll take it ;) 

Maybe it was the earrings? :P
Ferris! Get off of the float!

I left the guys at the bar and headed home to bed since I had to be up early for work.

Friday night was uneventful. I was tired from work and Preston was tired from staying up late with his friend. Since Preston fell asleep early, I caught up on the Starz Miniseries, “The White Queen”.

This series is based off of three Philippa Greggory books and I’m obsessed. For one, I just LOVE History and am fascinated by historical fiction. And two, I’m crazy for the Plantagenets…the royal family that ruled England for over 300 years (I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this). They were an interesting bunch and their story is better than any fiction. Philippa Greggory takes this story and fills in (somewhat (ok, VERY) romantically) the unknown details of private conversations, etc. She also wrote about the House of Tudor (of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I fame), which is an equally interesting tale.

 “The White Queen” tells the story of Edward IV and his Queen Elizabeth Woodville. Edward IV was one of only two English Monarchs that married for love and it was quite controversial. The story tells of their love affair, the ensuing troubles it caused, Edward IV’s struggle to keep the crown in the War of the Roses, the time of peace in England that followed, the death of Edward IV, the murder of his young sons, the rise and fall of Richard III (brother of Edward IV), and the eventual crowning of Henry Tudor, who would be Henry VII -marking the end of the Plantagenet Dynasty. So, yeah...#nerdalert. That was my Friday night and I LOVED it. :P

On Saturday, I was supposed to go south to see my Bali friend Leilani, but an overwhelming headache and need to make a pie consumed me and I didn't make it. I spent the afternoon madly cleaning and baking, since cleaning is something I do when I'm already consumed with stress to stress myself out more :P I don't know why I do this...but I do and then I feel better. #alsoIamcrazy.

Saturday evening, pie in hand (I made a Vegan Shepherd's Pie with sweet potatoes and lentils), I headed to Gavin and Gianna's for a Pi Day Party! It was epic pi day with 3.1415 in the date. Preston was, unfortunately, attending another party, so we divided and conquered our time.

Gianna and Gavin always throw great parties, so it's not even necessary to say it was a good time. :) Their house is awesome and perfect for parties, to boot! 

'Gianna's Kitchen' in action :D
There were lots of pies (sorry about all the random picture sizes. I stole them from Facebook and I'm not talented enough (yet) to fix this.):

My Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno in Cornbread Pie

Raw Vegan Banana Pie with Coconut Whipped Cream

Indian Gravy Curry Pie

Brie, Pear, and Caramelized Onion Pizza Pie

and a bunch more-of which I took no pictures!
Thai Pie
Frito Pie
Boston Creme Pie
Key Lime Pie
Apple Pie
Brownie Cookie Pie
Salami Pizza Pie

and probably more that I'm forgetting. It was an epic pi day and an epic feast. :D

Preston was still out when I got home, but showed up soon after. Thank goodness too, because some crazy homeless man was SCREAMING repeated obscenities and sounded like he was circling the block. Life in Santa Monica is 2 parts posh, 1 part homeless people. :P

On Sunday morning, Preston was sleeping off the previous day's festivities, when someone started yelling his name from outside. Thinking it was our neighbor (who is a bit...hrmm. annoying?), I initially ignored the yelling. Since it persisted, I eventually went outside to find Preston's friend Tom at the gate inviting us to brunch.

Preston roused himself and we followed shortly behind Tom up into the canyons for what Tom promised to be a fantastic meal.

We went to The Old Place, which is an ADORABLE western themed restaurant tucked into the hills near Malibu. 

Tom, his girlfriend Athena, and friend Brad were treated to the private back room and we joined them there. Since we were a bit behind, we'd ordered from the car and arrived just as the food was being served. 

Oh. my. Gosh. The food at this place is INCREDIBLE. The flavors were just right and it was all cooked home style...many things in a skillet. The guys got steak and eggs, Athena and I got skillet frittatas, and we shared blue corn meal flapjacks, and a cinnamon roll. I honestly couldn't choose which meal was best. It was all incredible. If you are anywhere near LA...go here IMMEDIATELY.

As if it wasn't all completely amazing already, we got serenaded by the musicians playing at the restaurant. It was fantastic. :) :) 

We wound through the twisting canyon roads to spend the afternoon at "Staircase", the beach where Preston and I were engaged. Preston and Tom surfed while the three of us not brave enough to enter the frigid ocean lounged on our (world traveling) tapestry talking and reading. It was a great afternoon.

Seriously...this blue sheet has been everywhere. Preston like to call it a tapestry :D

This guy was taking selfies. :P
Somehow, we were all hungry for dinner and stopped at Duke's in Malibu to watch the sunset. Dukes was just typical bar food, but the setting was nice. Everyone but me ordered DELICIOUS (but oh man would it make me sick) 'lava flows', which were rum filled smoothies. Yum.

Despite the inch along traffic on the way back into Santa Monica, it was a great day. There are a lot worse things than being forced to travel 10mph along the Pacific Coast. 

I hope that everyone has a great week! :D 

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