Tag Archives: Forty before 40

Find the holidays in the golden state

29 Dec

fortybefore40No one thinks of the spending the holiday season in shorts, but when you are visiting a place like Los Angeles, it’s hard to have the Christmas blues when it’s 70 degrees and sunny outside.

Fly: Getting to Southern California via Long Beach Airport is a favorite among those who appreciate art deco architecture and old Hollywood. Three miles northeast of downtown Long Beach, it’s also historic for its convenience. Feel like Grace Kelly as your de-board the plane on the tarmac and enjoy a pre-flight provision on your way out, at the oval shaped bar that overlooks the runways.

Eat: Many residents of Long Beach are transplants from across the country. Those who do not return home often host “orphan” dinners. Friends and co-workers gather for a meal at someone’s home and then head to Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach or the Broadway Corridor for light barhopping.

A current popular eatery is the Federal Bar. Originally a bank from the early 1900s, patrons enjoy its “swanky” atmosphere, excellent cuisine (try the Fried Chicken & Biscuit) and the handcrafted cocktails created by friendly mixologists. Located on Pine Avenue, lined with palm trees decorated with Christmas lights, it would be hard not to be in a festive mood.

For a more upscale dining experience, climb aboard the legendary Queen Mary, where she is permanently docked in the Port of Long Beach; or brunch at the scenic Schooner or Later for their Crabs Benedicts and a wine-based Bloody Mary that will cure a holiday hangover.

 

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Courtesy of 4thstreetlongbeach.com blog

Shop: For a unique shopping experience, head to retro row where eclectic small business owners will help you navigate their shops for you or anyone on your nice list, while bargain hunters can head to the Fashion District in Downtown Los Angeles. A flea market that stretches several city blocks, discover great bargains on high-end designers like Dior and Gucci, but be prepared to haggle with vendors! While downtown, it’s always great to visit the Standard Hotel’s Rooftop Lounge or Perch. Both venues feature fresh so-cal cuisine and sweeping views of the Los Angeles skyline. Make sure you depart by 9 p.m. if you’re over 30 and want to avoid the millennial crowd.

 

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Courtesy of perch la

Catch a glimpse of the “Real Housewives of Orange County” being filmed in Newport Beach, while perusing retail favorites like Nordstrom, Neiman’s and Bloomingdales. A quick drive down the Pacific Coast Highway is worth the view of surfers catching waves in Huntington and Sunset Beaches.

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Fashion Island, Newport Beach

Explore: A visit to Southern California would not be complete without being at an event at the Staples Center or photographing the Hollywood Sign. The world famous landmark on Mt. Lee may be visible from all over the city, but it is possible to hike to the sign (but illegal to get too close). The best viewpoints are Hollywood and Highland, The Griffith Observatory and Mulholland Drive.

 

Michael Blackley contributed to this post.

Last contiguous state but not least

17 Nov

fortybefore40Arizona is made for taking in the desert landscape and embracing the hot and dry climate in the winter, but it can also be appreciated for more than it’s natural beauty.

Years ago, after one bitterly cold winter in the Northeast, a hectic work schedule winding down, and recently ended relationship, Phoenix welcomed me with open arms.

Wear: Spring in Phoenix can offer a hot sun, so lather on the SPF. Both long pants and shorts work in almost all resorts, and the former is fine if traveling for work. A light sweater or sweatshirt should be enough to layer. Flip-flops are a must for poolside activity, as are sneakers – even if your schedule permits just a walk among the cul-de-sacs, you’ll be protected against the cacti and burn off the margaritas with a powerful stride.

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The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort

Shop: If you’re lucky enough to be staying in one of the 80 stylish casitas at The Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort, be sure to visit the gift shoppe where you’ll find fashion forward apparel, including perfect-for-the-weather tunics, authentic Native American art and a variety of Southwest-themed souvenirs.

Explore: Discover the jewel of the desert at the historic Arizona Biltmore, A Waldorf Astoria Resort. This grand space has been hosting vibrant social events since 1929 and 87 years later, charming architecture still greets its guests. If you’re lucky enough to stay here, experience world-class golf and dining; but if you are just passing by, it is still possible to see this majestic site. Schedule a tour with the concierge.

Eat: On the property at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort is the Hole-in-the-Wall, a favorite of guests and locals. The iconic eatery is housed in an original 1940s era ranch house and dishes up mouthwatering smokehouse. Open seasonally for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the latter menu includes grill and BBQ including baby-back ribs, smoky mesquite-broiled steaks, and kettle-smoked brisket. End the night with cocktails on the sunken bar, at the adjacent Saloon.

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Bring the savory, southwestern goodness home with you in the form of a rub. This BBQ spice is mild enough to use on just about any meat, especially before grilling. Dry rub gives chicken breasts a nice flavor boost and no sauce is needed when using on ribs or other meat.