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Tickled in Pink

Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo is an experience in gaudy wonderfulness. Something I’d never want to live in, not even for an overnight stay. But if you need to be transported to another era, actually several eras, this is a one-stop wonder. Better than Universal Studios.

As soon as you step inside, you’re enveloped in pink. Look down at your feet and pink roses stare back up from the carpet. Pink upholstery on the seats. The always popular pink champagne cakes sit very pink in the cabinets. The tablecloths and napkins in the steak house are pink too. Bubblegum pink with your medium rare rib-eye? Those are competing colors. Apparently it’s been working for 60 years. The doors leading to the kitchens have stained glass windows. The one in the steak house has a red rose. Now that’s more like it.

“I feel I’m inside a flock of flamingos, “Alf said. IMG_4214

Why pink, I asked myself. Turns out Alex Madonna liked the red upholstery in fancy restaurants of the day and he wanted the same look without copying it. So pink it was.

I’ve never liked the color pink. In my opinion it’s a faded red, a poor excuse for crimson, a blush of berry.

To decorate an entire restaurant with it is madness. But 60 years ago it was the destination for everyone driving to and from LA. Except truck drivers wouldn’t get caught dead in there.

It became a destination hot spot.

Shows you that taste isn’t everything.

Calvin says, “Slow down the judgment dearie, you’ve got some funky colors going on in our house.” beagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go Giants & Eat a Macaron!

Fall is Giants season.

After the trouncing they got in Kansas City, which humbled them, and that’s a good thing, I’m hoping they emerge with renewed pumpkin spirit and go on to win the World Series.

In honor of the orange and black team, here are some pictures for the occasion: (those special macarons can be bought at Tout Sweet Patisserie here: http://www.toutsweetsf.com/)

Giants

 

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(C) 2003 Gateway,Inc.

 

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These are my pictures which I hope will inspire you to wear orange, root for the team, and look for ways to share the fall season with others.

Calvin says, “I’m in Giants wear all year – orange, black and white – go Beagles!” beagle

 

 

 

Heaps of Thanks It’s Over

Thanksgiving is over. I’m relieved.

It was a meal that didn’t live up to expectations.

The turkey tasted gamey. It should have lived.

The dressing was flat. It never made the leap from blah to wow.

The apple pie was limp and fell into a heap when on the plate.

I cancelled the mashed potatoes this year. It was already a carb fest without them, why did we need more? was my line of thinking.

Big mistake.

Never mess with tradition.

The kids complained, my husband frowned, and the dog howled.

“There’s no place for the gravy,” my son, the traditionalist said.

“The turkey is naked without it,” Alf said.

“I came for the gravy, now where do I put it?” said my friend.

“The Pilgrims didn’t make gravy,” I said.

“They didn’t make cranberry and orange relish either, and I see that on the table,” said Alf.

I was skewered. In my own kitchen.

Calvin says, “You should have consulted me. I would have told you to skip the green food and make a mountain of smashed spuds.”

A Vicious Review

My friend, Sabrina and I were nibbling on a canoli. We had finished a pasta lunch at a new Italian restaurant that opened up along the pier. It prided itself on authentic Italian fare. I always judge the authenticity of an Italian restaurant by its canolis. This one wasn’t getting past me. It was soggy.

I put my fork down and took a sip of my espresso.

“Not a four star by any means,” I said.

Sabrina had smeared her side of the plate with the cream cheese filling. She wasn’t a dessert gal.

“Paul and I are communicating better these days,” she said. “I suggested yesterday that he should pursue me more.”

“Oh,” I said.

“Do you know what he said?”

“No, tell me.”

He said, “‘Why?'”

“Oh dear,” I said.

“So I said I thought it would be good for our marriage.”

“How did he respond?” I said.

“‘You don’t like my ideas,'” he said.

“Oh dear,” I said. I had learned not to be wordy when Sabrina was telling one of her stories.

“Then I said to him, ‘What does pursuing me have to do with ideas?'”

“‘Everything,'” he said. “‘I don’t plan. You want to know where we’re going. I like to try new restaurants, you need to know what the food will be like. I like new things, you stick to what you know.'”

“I hate to admit it, but I had to agree with him. I am an idea-buster,” she said to me.

“That’s not true. We’re here, aren’t we, trying out a new restaurant,” I said.

“That’s different,” she said.

“How?” I asked finishing my espresso.

“It was my idea, not yours, so I didn’t bust it,” she said.

“So it’s really a control issue,” I said. As soon I said it, I regretted it.

“What are you saying, that I like to be in charge?”

“Er…yes?” I said.

“Well some friend you are.” She threw her napkin on the table, stood up and stormed out.

I was left paying for lunch and the soggy canoli.

I went home and wrote a review on Yelp. I gave the restaurant minus zero stars. For busting up a friendship.

Calvin says, “What a mess. Never try a new restaurant with an old date.”

In a Box

I feel like this cupcake. All dressed up, eager to step out, only to be closed up and placed on the shelf in the back of the restaurant where I await my debut. Then the dinner service starts and I am moved to the dessert station of the kitchen. From there I’m bounced to the rack where the garlic and onion odors seep into my box and I begin to lose my sweetness. Finally I’m moved to the walk-in refrigerator where I take up residence alongside the slabs of aged beef. If that were not humiliation enough, the sous chef, in his urgency to get at the meat, bumps me and I topple to the ground. He picks me up, opens me up, and discovers me upside down with my face in the frosting. And my eggs? They rolled out of the box, onto the floor, and down the drain. There went my grandchildren.

Calvin says, “If I had known, I would have waited at the bottom of the drain with my mouth open.”