What a great week! My mom just spent the last ten days with me and Rachel, and we had a fabulous time. Highlights included fireworks & BBQ on the Malibu pier, homemade pierogies, happy hour at Bodega, watching Crazy Heart while eating Indian takeout, Mom’s first raw vegan restaurant experience, a big family dinner at Fritto Misto, and lots of self-serve froyo!

We kicked off with two forms of coastal transportation; first, a bike ride and then a convertible trip down the ocean. It was gorgeous!

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Unfortunately, the clouds kicked in for every single day after this one. While its hot everywhere else in the country, all we’ve been seeing in Santa Monica is gray skies and RAIN. Luckily, the sun peeked out enough yesterday for lunch at Duke’s in Malibu. We sat right alongside the ocean and enjoyed the appropriate vacation-style cocktails!

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I haven’t had fresh fish in ages, and this sea bass definitely didn’t disappoint. Mine was prepared Roasted Firecracker-style, with spicy tomato, chili and cumin aioli with black bean, onion and avocado relish. Plus crisscross fries on the side. It was delicious!

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Later that night, we headed out to experience a little Los Angeles gem – movies at the Hollywood Forever cemetery! Everyone brings blankets and food (we brought sandwiches from Bay Cities deli) and wine & chills out before the movie. See all the mausoleums in the back??

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We played games of gin and snapped photos until the movie started. Some people went all out, with little tables, tea lights, pillows – the works!

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The films are aired at 9 when its completely dark, but they show old movie posters and have a DJ playing music while you wait. Last night’s film was Arsenic and Old Lace, which I’d never seen and was fabulously funny. There’s something great about a movie that doesn’t rely on technology, you know?

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Peter Lorre is in the film and actually buried in this cemetery, in this very building where they played the movie. Only in Hollywood is that a fitting tribute!

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I got some great twilight shots too.

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Now my mom is back in Jersey – I miss her so much already! I’m planning on eating some leftover pierogies in her honor. The recipe is from her Ukrainian grandmother and one of my all-time favorite foods. I can eat two dozen…easily. I’ll just have to make do with the six I have left 🙂

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