Monthly Archives: April, 2015

Yes We Have No Bananas!

“Welcome to The Fancy Banana B&B and here is our menu, sir,” said Troy handing over a hand-written sheet of paper with their breakfast offerings.

Eager to take our orders, Miss A moved closer to our bed with pad and pencil in hand while Mr. X asked how we were doing this fine Sunday morning. About to be served breakfast in bed, we’d have to say very well, we replied. With the entire family’s interest in things culinary, playing restaurant with real food came as no surprise.

A few minutes after running our ticket back to the kitchen, Miss A appeared with some regretful news: “I’m so sorry, we don’t seem to have any bananas but we do have Cuties so will that be okay?”

(Note to kiddies: before picking the name of your restaurant, be sure you are fully stocked with the namesake item).

No worries, I told her, suggesting a restaurant name change to The Crazy Clementine. Smiling, she headed back to the kitchen to check on our food. Moments later, Xander appeared with our Nespressos and Troy set down this appetizing tray:


Toasted flatbread & butter, mandarin wedges and havarti for me and a fruit salad for Irene



Daycation x 2


Redondo Pier

Holy wildlife photography by me!


Two recent road trips – one a hop, skip and a jump from home and the other to San Jose for a friend’s wedding – proved yet again that we have three little Magellans on our hands. How into our mini vacation adventures are T, A & X? Is Gru fond of his minions?

Since Irene and I would be celebrating our 17th anniversary with dinner and a hotel night at a local boutique property on the first Saturday of this month, we thought we’d start the weekend off by booking a room at the Ayres Hotel in Hawthorne the night before (and simultaneously capping off their Spring Break week ). Once checked in, it was right to the pool for a pre-dinner swim while Irene and I researched our dinner spot – a short drive to the Redondo Beach Pier.

The Ayres

A little bit of Europe in Hawthorne, brought to you by The Ayres Hotel

Old Timey Arcade

Old-timey arcade

Our little jetsetters (well, in this case, daytrippers) really know how to maximize their itinerary, fitting in a stroll on the pier and a visit to its old-timey arcade before a seafood dinner at Captain Kidd’s Fish Market & Restaurant, followed by a Yogurtland dessert and Jacuzzi nightcap back at the very European-like Ayres.

Overall, this short respite felt like we were many miles away in Orange County when we were actually just minutes from our own backyard.

Next stop the following weekend was Northern California for Chris and Rebecca’s wedding (the daughter of our former condo neighbor/close friend Sheba). The Odyssey loaded up with the necessary essentials, we popped Kung Fu Panda into the DVD player and set out for the land of Apple, where the ultra-hip Aloft Cupertino awaited our 3 p.m. check-in. This particular location is literally adjacent to the Apple campus, thus the tech-savvy amenities (the loft-inspired guest rooms all feature Apple TV). Then there’s the “Re:” themed spaces: Re:charge gym (where Irene worked out Saturday morning), Re:fuel, a 24/7 gourmet snack station, and Re:mix Lounge, where the boys quickly took to the pool table while Irene and I grabbed a Happy Hour cocktail (redubbed as “Sassy Hour”).

Re:mix pool sharks

Re:mix pool sharks

Miss A loved her complimentary “Camp Aloft” Disney Princess-themed air mattress/bedding that was set up in our sizeable room on the night of the wedding (Congratulations Rebecca and Chris – as first-time wedding guests, the formal-clad kiddies enjoyed an event they will never forget!).



Dining P.S.: on Friday night, we had dinner at a place called Aqui, a fast casual healthy Cal-Mex place where you order, choose a table and pick up your order when it’s ready. We chose the patio and dug into our respective meals, including Cuban pork enchiladas (me) and a grilled salmon salad on grilled whole wheat tortilla chips (Irene). Oh, and l should mention the excellent “Industrial Swirls.” How can you not try one when the menu suggests a limit of two per person; my Sangria Swirl (blended “industrial strength margarita” swirled with sangria) definitely “hit” the spot…

Wedding Couple