Happy wonderful New Year to you all.
I had a great Christmas. My mom and Jack my stepdad came to visit me again this year. They stayed at the Marriott in Burbank just minutes from me.
First, I found a perfectly intact Christmas tree that someone had set out in our alley. This was a real Christmas tree, obviously bought, as it was still bound with string. All the easier to carry into my apartment. It was put there for the taking, maybe by someone whose plans had changed quickly and had them going out of town. I took it inside, and since it was so close to the holiday, I was able to get a stand and lights for 50% off. My whole tree set up cost me about $20. I was thrilled since I'm on a very limited budget right now. It was the right size and everything for my apartment. And, it was a soft needled tree. I had a few ornaments around the house already, as well as Christmas decorations. I also turned a few things into ornaments that weren't originally meant for it, but were perfect. Such as, the Hogwarts graduation tassel that I got at the Deathly Hallows midnight release party, a dream catcher, some festive Starbucks card covers in the shape of a mitten and stocking, that indeed were intended to be ornaments, bows that I attached to wire and hung, and a large gold one for the top. It was just perfect. Last year, last minute, I'd made a tree out of collage, which was a big hit with mom and Jack. This real tree was a big hit with the cats.
It was my first real Christmas tree and I got it for free. I felt good about giving it a home and dressing it up to look pretty. It deserved that. They have a recycling program here so it will go back to nature where it came from.
We had Christmas dinner at the Four Seasons Los Angeles Hotel. If you haven't...I must recommend. It doesn't come cheap, but it's not over the top expensive when you consider what you might pay for a like dinner in Los Angeles. They offered several rooms of a fantastic smorgasbord of every kind of delicious food you can imagine with a desert section that looks like it came straight out of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. Simply divine and delicious, without being stuffy. The staff was incredibly nice, prompt and courteous, and the decorations were festive and unique. The clientele was a great mix of people as well. Well done Four Seasons. You made it a memorable night for us, all down to the free hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks on the way out.
On the other days, we went to the beach in Venice and also to Malibu where we ate at Taverna Tony and shopped around the great shops. My step dad bought scarves for my mom and me, which I'm wearing now. It's a pretty deep rose color with a metallic accents. Just gorgeous and so soft. We then went to a park on a cliff over the ocean and watched a spectacular sunset over the ocean. Everywhere we went, people were very nice and we had lots of nice "people encounters." In Venice, I even met a tea cup chihuahua named inky who was so very tiny but a big love.
My mom changed her plans and decided to stay on her own with me for a few days which was fun. For that, she stayed in my apartment. We went to Robertson Blvd. and she bought a pair of jeans which looked great on her. It was fun to watch her shop and the two of us cracked the sales staff up with our back and forth banter. Not many people do it like we do. We also hit the sales in Saks and she bought me a great leopard print Tory Burch shirt that was on sale for a fraction of the cost. And, in my size.
We also just spent a lot of time hanging out, which included my mom sitting in on a couple sessions of me doing my show recaps for the network that I'm working for. That was fun because she got to see what that entailed and it was good to bounce words off her. She's an English teacher, after all. She treated me to getting my laundry done professionally, which if you have the means and don't have a washer dryer, I highly recommend. Even better if you can find a Chinese Laundry. I can't afford it on my own, so it was a fantastic treat. For New Year, we had Prosecco and a nice cheese and chocolate plate that we'd put together after shopping at The Grove and Farmer's Market. Perfect.
It was just a nice relaxing time and I was glad that they were able to come visit me. It's the way the holidays should be.