Monday, August 20, 2012

Playboy Bunnies and Fast Cars

I think the guy in the middle was from Playboy
It's not just guys who want to attend a Playboy party.  It's been on my bucket list for years.  The problem is these things always seem to be reserved for celebrities and VIPs.  But it turns out, getting on the VIP list can happen for every day people -- like me.


The invite arrived in my email and I almost deleted it without opening as I didn't recognize the name of the sender, but I'm glad I kept it -- because it was my opportunity to attend the  Jaguar and Playboy party at Pebble Beach.

It only took me 30 seconds to rearrange my schedule and call them up with my "Yes, yes, yes, yes!!! I'll be there. What do I wear?" response.

So how did I score this amazing invite? By fluke really (and maybe good karma).

Earlier this year, I had bought an expensive luxury car tour through World Class Drivers that I didn't get to go on as the person I bought it for decided to go with someone else.  But because I spent so much money on this gift, I'm on the World Class Drivers VIP list.  Bonus.

I admit, that while I would have loved to drive a Bentley and Lamborghini for a day, hanging out at a Playboy party is a one-of-kind experience that I would never be able to duplicate.  So totally worth it.


As mentioned, the party wasn't at the Playboy mansion.  Instead, it was at this gorgeous house overlooking the water at Pebble Beach, and it was incredible.

Imagine 500 well-dressed people, amazing cars, celebrities like Adrien Brody, Christina Hendericks and Wyclef Jean, and a bunch of Playboy bunnies dressed up in scrimpy black bunny costumes and white tails.

Me with the Playboy Bunnies at the Jaguar VIP party
I pulled up to the mansion in my car behind a couple Mercedes and Porsches and handed my keys to valet. I bet my car was the only Honda Fit they parked that night - LOL!

As I walked up the steps to the outside patio, I was handed a glass of champagne and from there the night was magic. The food was great, the music was wonderful and the people were friendly and fun to talk to.  I even made a couple new girlfriends who will be me calling the next time they are in Phoenix.

Naturally, I had to get my photo taken with the Playboy girls....and with the star attraction: the Jaguar XJL


That's my champagne on the tray - LOL
If a Ferrari is sex on wheels, then this car is the g-spot of luxury vehicles.

The XJL Ultimate is a special edition Jaguar. Only 30 will be sold in the US, all finished in Black Amethyst.  

No, I didn't sign up and buy one, but I did get up close and personal.  I sat in it and touched everything. My fingerprints are on the steering wheel, the radio controls, the sunroof, and the champagne chiller in the back seat -- yes, there really was one.

And here's a tip...if you ever want to be mistaken for someone famous, come to a party dressed to kill, sit in an expensive car and have someone take your photo.  Apparently, people thought I was some Hollywood actress because I had done this.  In fact, a bunch of other people also took my photo. Too funny.

The party was fantastic, but just like Cinderella's coach turning into a pumpkin, my night ended with my jaguar turning back into a Honda.  

PS: I do love my Honda. It's suffered through cross country trips, extreme heat, icy snow storms while going over the mountains  and accidental off-roading experiences. It's the little car that could, but the jag was nice.  Really nice.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Enjoying my last weekend in California

The view at Paradise Ridge
It's my last weekend in California...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...not even a mouse...

 Just kidding. I didn't spend my last weekend in California before moving to Arizona with mice.  I spent it taking advantage of what California has to offer – which is breathtaking vineyards and great wine!

So before I go on, I guess I should fill you in in case you haven't read all my blog posts. I've accepted a new job. This time it's in Phoenix, and the job itself is a little different.  Instead of working for local news, I'll be working for a national entertainment news show called "The List."

Not only is it a new genre for me, but the show is also new. In fact, it's still in the concept phrase. How exciting is that?

Of course, if the show gets cancelled, I'll be out of job -- but I'll worry about that later. Right now I'm celebrating -- and I'm celebrating with Wine.
One of the bonuses of living in Sacramento is that Napa is only 45 minutes to an hour away, and the Santa Rosa wine area is only 1.5 hours. Both are amazing, but because this weekend was so gorgeous, I knew Napa would be packed with tourists and I wanted something a little more relaxing – and less expensive. Plus, I hadn’t been to Santa Rosa, yet.
It turned out to be worth the drive. The winery I checked out was Paradise Ridge, mainly because when I went on their website, I noticed they did a wine and cheese pairing for $20. That’s five tastings of wine and 5 different cheeses – yum!
Sitting on their patio, I sipped, tasted and relaxed while staring out over the vineyard. It was the perfect way to spend my last weekend in the state.

Wine and Cheese tasting at Paradise Ridge
Here’s what I got:

-- Sparkling Brut Cuvee paired with Parmigiana Reggiano topped with a fresh raspberry and a cilantro lime almond.

-- 2011 Chardonnay paired with Toma Italian Cheese served with chardonnay onion and a rosemary cashew. 

-- 2009 Estate Zinfandel paired with Valley Ford Old Style Fonina Cheese served with fig preserve and topped with a chipotle pecan nut.

-- 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon paired with Valley Ford Estero Gold Cheese served with Cabernet Sauvignon onion topped with dry Italian Salami

I also tried a red wine made in 2009 called The Posse which was incredible. If it wasn’t $54 a bottle and I wasn’t going to driving in 100 degree heat to Phoenix, I would have got it.

I’m still dreaming about it.

Obviously, it's not the the wine in the photo to the left. That's the brut which I did buy.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Packing, packing, packing....again

Packing, packing, packing…Yes, I’m moving again.  I’m leaving tree-filled Sacramento for the land of cacti and mountains.  I’ve just accepted a position in Phoenix.
This one is a little different than my other positions.  First of all it’s not in local news, but for a national entertainment/pop culture show called “The List.” And secondly, it’s not just that the content area will be new for me, but that the entire show is new.  In fact, when I went for the interview they were still in the concept phase.  Yup, I’m coming in on the start-up team.

Of course, if the show bombs, I’ll be out of a job, but let’s not think about that.
The show is set to premiere on September 17.  I start on August 20 – so that gives me a month to get the website and social media platforms up and running – and create enough momentum to get people to watch.  Very exciting. I can’t wait!!

So in honor of my new job on The List, here’s a list of my favorite things in Sacramento:
1. Running laps around McKinley Park
  1. 2. Cycling the American River Trail
  2. 3. Living so close to Napa and San Francisco. I heart both of you
  3. 4. The Alexan Midtown and the freshly baked cookies they make every day for tenants
  4. 5. My amazing web team at News10, Mark G – who gets my digital mind, and the fabulous friends I met at the station

And because I’m a foodie, I can’t forget my top 5 food places
1)      Pancakes at Orphan

2)      Chocolates from Ginger Elizabeth

3)      Cocktails from The Porch and Red Rabbit

4)      Dinner at Tuli’s Bistro

5)      Sellands and their amazing wine guy

Of course, I’m going to miss all my friends, but I’m sure they’ll be visiting.