Monday, October 29, 2012

A Chateau Marmont Moment

In early celebration of our 13th wedding anniversary, Gene and I unplugged from an extraordinarily insane October and spent the day in L.A.  I can't even remember the last time we spent time up there. When we first moved to Southern California, we were there on nearly a weekly basis.

As we drove the Sunset Strip, we reminisced on past adventures. The Key Club. The Roxy. How Washington, the bouncer at the Rainbow Room, knew our names. The rumor I inadvertently started regarding the demise of the band Cypress Hill. Or was it Rage Against the Machine? (This is exactly how it started. I still can't keep them straight.) The Viper Room and the "Pants" incident. The Hyatt.  The Coach and Horses and lessons learned regarding homeless men and their pitbulls. And then we discussed how our daughters will never be allowed to go hang out in L.A...

One place I had never visited, however, was Chateau Marmont. A Hollywood institution. The stars and starlets who had been guests are the Who's Who of all-time celebrity. Even today, I can't count the number of times I read an interview of a movie star that takes place in the Chateau Marmont restaurant.

We intended on going and having lunch, then walking around for a couple of hours before heading for the Pantages Theater. Seated at our little table in the middle of the outdoor courtyard, shaded by crisp white awnings and square cabana-like umbrellas, I felt truly transported. It was another world, far from the work demands and pressures, away from parental responsibility, away from all things familiar.

And we talked. The kind of conversation that we normally don't get to until Day 2 or 3 of a leisurely vacation. And what we had planned on being a leisurely lunch turned into a leisurely afternoon. There was no other place I wanted to be than right there. With my husband.

So, he ordered me some tea. It was the perfect moment, of course, and an opportunity that could not be missed.

I was curious what would be served at such an iconic place. Tea Leaves, based out of Vancouver, and a supplier to some of the premiere hotels around the world. Although it was late afternoon, I went with my default English Breakfast request. I was pleasantly surprised that the tea was served loose leaf, with a brewing basket in the small tea pot. Truly a perfect moment.

While only there for an afternoon, it felt like a weekend getaway. The perfect day with the best of company.  I look forward to the next 13 years. And the 13 after that. And the 13 after that...

Happy anniversary!