A West Los Angeles Day

Every Saturday I do a long run with the LA Roadrunners Marathon Training group. Yesterday, I took a day off from the group to sleep in a little bit and run in a different part of Los Angeles. My friend agreed to come with me and we decided to try Beverly Hills.

Excellent choice. The first part of the run is a slight uphill. That was no problem since the weather was perfect, about 50 when we started. Not so good was that I forgot my asthma inhaler and we had to run back a half mile to get it. We started over and ended up running up Canon to Sunset. The leaves are finally changing and it was a beautiful sight.

We went back via Rodeo Drive and stopped a few times along the way.

It was so quiet and almost none of the stores were open, even the restaurants. At the end of our run, we stopped at Peet’s Coffee and then went our separate ways.

The day only got better. The family and I went to Home Depot in Marina Del Rey and bought our Christmas Tree. Then I had an idea. I’m part of Yahoo! Motherboard and they are giving us $100 to give away to spark acts of kindness. It’s called How Good Grows and I used part of my money to buy a family a Christmas Tree. I thought the tween daughter was really sweet. She was looking after her 2 younger siblings while her parents stood in the long line at the tree lot. The family looked pretty confused when I bought the tree, but I told them that I was doing it in the hopes that they would turn around and do something nice for someone else. I was so choked up that it was hard to get the words out.

After that, we went home and put up the tree. We don’t have a big house so we had to move furniture around to get the tree in the living room. It’s very festive now.

We worked up a big appetite so we went over to the Westside Pavilion for dinner and to see Santa. He was by far the best Santa I’ve ever seen. We didn’t go until 6 pm and there was no one else there. Santa chatted up my boys, 5 and 6, and told them that Santa really likes gingerbread cookies and hot chocolate.

My older son asked how he manages to be so quiet when he delivers presents and Santa said it was magic. He said that Mrs. Claus looked an awful lot like me and he pulled out a framed vintage picture of a woman, who bizarrely, did sort of look like me.

After the boys took the world’s cutest Santa picture we went to dinner at the Westside Tavern. It was very good. I had butternut squash risotto with sage, brussels sprouts and green beans and my husband had lamb with polenta and brussel sprouts. I think it was the best lamb I’ve ever had. And one of the nicest  family days we’ve had in a while.