California.

We just got back from Los Angeles yesterday and it was honestly one of the most relaxing, joyful, wonderful trips in recent memory. We absolutely love LA, and every trip is a little different. But this is our 3rd time celebrating the New Year there and it is the best way to unwind from the intensity of the Holiday Season and start the New Year feeling refreshed.

A few of the many highlights from our trip:

1. The View from our terrace at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills. It, and the hotel, were absolutely heavenly. Our first morning, we had breakfast set up with the french doors open and it was unbelievable.

 

2. The pool at the hotel, which we frequented every day while the weather was gorgeous, ordering up Diet Cokes and quinoa salads and feeling like a million bucks. There was an open air gym to the right as well that was so lovely, working out with the breeze coming through was as close to amazing as any workout could possibly be.

3.  Christmas decorations at the hotel, which were absolutely gorgeous. Lots of white hydrangeas, gold ornaments, and lights as far as the eye could see. It was really unique and so gorgeous.

4. Afternoon walks around Beverly Hills (after we had our fill of the pool), which is absurdly beautiful and pristine and basically felt like Little Arabia given how few Americans and how very many Arabs were there. I’ll take it.

5. The greatest photography gallery, La Mouche, on Beverly Drive. It made me want a house with tons of big white walls to fill with their incredible photographs.

6. The best Bat Mitzvah gift I’v ever seen, for the special little lady in your life. Spotted at Kitross on Robertson Boulevard.

7. The most incredible interiors store I’ve ever seen in my life; I wanted to spend hours here and it took me straight back to the Amalfi coast. And other promising interiors in Venice.

 

 

8. Returning to the scene of our engagement exactly 1 year later, on the Palisades Park. We will never, ever, forget how incredible that day was.

9. Spending the weekend with our dear friends in Santa Monica, ringing in the New Year with a massive feast that we made from scratch. We started the night with a variety of cheeses, moved onto caviar and blinis with creme freche and shrimp cocktail, followed by fresh pasta with homemade tomato sauce, grilled steak with smashed potatoes and lemony dijon salad, and the piece de resistance: flourless chocolate cake. It was the most epic dinner of all time, and we enjoyed every bite of it over the course of the 4 hours we spent ingesting it, alternately warming up around the fire place and returning to the table for our next course.

10. Returning to Venice to walk the canals and our pleasant surprise at how much they had refilled since the drought; this time last year they were almost completely dried up. A great reminder of how precarious our environment is and how important it is to conserve the resources we have. Also a reminder of how much we want one of those insane houses.

 

11. The beaches of Santa Monica (1) and Malibu (2- Westward Beach). New Years day at Westward Beach was a particular treat; we took a beautiful hike up the cliffs and then came back down to the most beautiful day on the beach. My husband and friend Z from business school also did a polar bear’s swim in the icy pacific, while Z’s wife and I looked on from our sunny and warm blankets. It was the perfect way to kick off the new year. Stopping at the Reel Inn for fish tacos on the way back was icing on the cake.

     

And with those wonderful memories and our quickly diminishing tans- we bid farewell to 2016 and California, and bid hello to 2017 and all of you in this New Year! I hope you all had an incredible final few weeks of the New Year, and a great start to what is sure to be- at the least- a very interesting one.

With love,

N

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