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Friday, September 10, 2004

Los Angeles Insight - Dog Days of Summer Edition

1. What is your favorite beach to cool off on? When do you go to beat the crowds?

Leo Carillo beach in Ventura County, beyond Malibu on PCH. It has a smaller sand beach, but I love the tide pools and neat rock formations. Long, wide beaches, like Zuma, tend to bore me. I like watching the waves break on the rocks in chaotic patterns. Very interesting.

Even on the busiest beach days there is still space and free parking available. We were just out that way on Labor Day weekend and while it was busy, it was stilla accessible.

2. If not the beach, where is your favorite cooling-off spot outdoors? indoors?

We tend to just run over to Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks if we need to get out of the house and move around a little bit without suffering from the heat. We are not heavy shoppers, but the people watching and a cup of coffee give you a sense that you did something other than sit in the home office at the computer all day.

3. Where is your favorite spot for ice cream/sorbet/gelato?

Aromi Café in Sherman Oaks, near the corner of Ventura and Van Nuys Blvd. The original owner was very nice and spoke Italian, so we could practice a bit whenever we went. It is under new ownership now, but the gelato (made right in the store) still has the excellent Italian consistency and flavor. We have tasted gelato in Italy and Sicily and think this is very close to what we remember.

4. What is your favorite flavor?

Stracciatella. What chocolate chip ice cream SHOULD be! They drop the chocolate in strings as they stir the gelato, making the chips small and flat so they literally melt in your mouth. Yum!

5. Stuck at home? What are you making in your blender?

We often throw together a smoothie of watermelon, banana, strawberry and more. We usually cut up watermelon into squares and freeze it so that we can put together a nice smoothie without using too much ice.

6. Got any original concoctions you want to share?

Can’t think of any right now (SMILE)

7. Favorite winter-themed video or book?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.

8. What was your favorite water-themed activity as a kid?

We lived near a state park in Ohio that had a swimming beach on a small lake. I couldn’t swim very well at the time, but I remember going out as far as I could and still touch bottom, everything submerged but my head.

I can still remember the smell of the warm, brown water, the sun tan lotions and the hot asphalt that would stick to the bottom of your shoes as you walked across the parking lot. We often camped at this park, as well, throughout the years in our small pickup camper.


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