There is no place quite like home. Too bad that, all too often, most of us get so wrapped up in our daily routines, work and social patterns that we forget to stop and smell the proverbial roses. And that is precisely the dilemma that staycation vacations are meant to resolve.
Having lived in Los Angeles for well over a decade, I certainly have my list of favorite hotspots, quiet spots and hoods. So for my staycation vacation, I set out to explore new things right in the world I inhabit on a daily basis. I wondered if it might be possible for me to experience closer to home the same feeling of newness I had found in Malibu. I certainly hoped that it would be.I began with an afternoon in Beverly Hills, where I finally spent some quality time at the Tom Ford store and the Maxfield outlet (oh yes, there is one if you didn't know—and it's fabulous), among other shops. Retail therapy complete, I caught up with a great new friend over lunch Austrian style at chef Bernhard Mairinger's Bier Biesl on little Santa Monica Boulevard. We noshed leisurely on the chef's artisinal sausages, pretzel bread and Char while sipping authentic Austrian libations. Twas a perfect Friday lunch, and I couldn't help but think how nice it was to experience my normal surroundings at a less harried pace. Not to sound trite, but it was a bit like being reintroduced to all the things I love about the City of Angels.
I capped off that first afternoon back in L.A. by checking into the Meridian Spa in West Hollywood for a little pampering. I had walked (or stumbled) past this discrete relaxation nook several times over the last year or so, but for one reason or another, I had never stopped in or made an appointment. But this being the week for all things new, I booked in advance and was pleasantly surprised to discover that though Meridian is small in comparison to larger chain spas, its services are not only comparable but outsized in terms of their quality. Not only that, but the spa is modern, stylish and very inviting. I had a traditional 50-minute massage that combined various techniques and resulted in me leaving the spa in absolute bliss.Continue reading Duane's latest blogpost here.
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