Blog posts tagged with 'Travel'

Independence Day gives us a moment to pause and appreciate what our freedoms are both universally and personally. It's a time to see all that we have, rather than all that we don't.

In the summers as a young girl, my mother would ask me what I wanted to do as a special treat. My answer was always the same; go to the international terminal arrivals at the Los Angeles International Airport to people watch and then have lunch in the sky at the airport restaurant. (Besides the great view, they shaped butter into rosettes and served it on ice!) We studied the arrivals board and proceeded to the chosen gate to watch the passengers arrive. At that time, we were free to go all the way to the gate to get a close-up view... When you are small, the world seems so big but this trip to the airport brought it all much closer to me. This big world seemed friendly and beautiful and above all, full of possibilities. Freedom is an exercise in courage and I felt that all these people from all these different countries were brave to travel so far and arrive someplace new. I marvelled at the freedom to move about the world like this-- It made me dream.

While travel in today's world is more complicated-- that freedom has only become more precious. I will continue to exercise it! In the words of Coco Chanel: " The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud!"

Happy 4th of July-- Let freedom ring!

XX Carla


You might not think of going to a puppet show when you are in Paris, but if you find yourself strolling in the Luxembourg Gardens (and you should!), consider attending one of the famous Guignol shows in the charming  theatre.  

When our daughter Camille was little, we took her to the garden to sail boats in the small lake there and to attend these puppet shows. When the theatre bell rings in the park, all the children (with their parents not far behind) come running to get a seat on the little wood benches in front of the stage. The parents get seated along the wall or in the back rows.  There is so much excitement in the air all of which gets boosted during intermission by the old-fashioned bon-bon sales ladies with their big trays of candies strapped in front of them.  The candy is wrapped so beautifully that it is impossible to resist!  Watching the children pay with their own carefully saved coins and then seeing their faces light up with delight when receiving their bon bons is part of the show! The whole experience is truly precious and I still make time to see Les Guignols once a year.  While there, I close my eyes and can still hear Camille's laughter and feel her delight.  

While visiting the Luxembourg Gardens, don't miss the beauty of the Medici Fountain or the opportunity to sit in one of the semi-reclined French garden chairs and take in some sun and people watching. There is an Angelina cafe at one end of the garden -- known for their famous hot chocolate and, just recently opened, La Table du Luxembourg-- a gastronomique restaurant in the upper garden by Michelin star Chef Philippe Renard (Lutétia).

Les Guignols puppet shows:

Sundays: 11:00AM and 3:30PM
Wednesday: 3:30PM
Thursday: 10:30AM and 3:30PM
Friday: 10:30AM and 3:30 PM
Saturday: 11:00AM and 3:30PM
Arrive 30 minutes early for a good seat. The show lasts 40 minutes.

Angelina in the Luxembourg:

19 rue de Vaugirard 
Open every day 10-6

La Table du Luxembourg: 

Jardin du Luxembourg
7 rue Guynemer, porte Fleurus
01 42 38 64 88 for reservations


xx Carla

In 1977, I lived in Madrid, Spain and studied at the Instituto de Cultura Hispanica for my college year abroad.  I wanted to be in a language immersion program and I wanted to live with a Spanish family. As an enthusiastic  20 year old, I wanted to speak, eat and dance my way through this special moment in my life.  I lived on the Calle Flor Baja, across the street from Bar Raul.  My roommate and I played Carole King, Carly Simon, and James Taylor music loud while we hung out our bedroom window flirting tirelessly with Raul! What a time it was...  My Señora's name was Carmen Fernández Lobo-- she had long black hair that she mostly secured in a bun, wore high-luster pearl earrings (my fascination with pearls started here!) and had many friends in high government places.  We developed a friendship over time and she taught me a lot about Spanish men, dry sherry, and making the famous tortilla Española!  I have made many versions of her tortilla over the years and  to add to the nostalgia of it all, I listen to "You're So Vain" dedicated to Raul or Paco de Lucía dedicated to Carmen.  




1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced thinly
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper 
8 large organic eggs


        Preheat the broiler. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Add the potato and onion slices, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the potatoes and onion are tender but not browned, about 15 minutes. Add a cover for faster cooking. When cooked, remove from heat.

        In a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs and season with salt and pepper.  

        Return the skillet to the heat. Add the egg mixture, spreading it out in an even layer to cover the potatoes. Cover and cook over low heat until the tortilla is set on the bottom and the edges, about 10 minutes.  Periodically, life the sides of the tortilla and let the runny egg fold under to cook.Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil 8 inches from the heat just until the top is set, about 1 minute longer. Set a large plate over the skillet and carefully invert the tortilla onto the plate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature (can stand at room temp. for 3 hours).
Serve on top of sauteed spinach, kale and poblano peppers or serve just as it is and be sure to enjoy a glass of dry sherry!

xx Carla