The Beach House, Exquisite Waterfront Hotel in Hermosa Beach, CA

I have a special love for this hotel where I’ve stayed many times. I actually never knew there was a beach front hotel in the Manhattan / Hermosa Beach area until my Mom and I happened upon it about 20 years ago. We were out for a walk along the Strand and there it was.

Since then, it’s my go-to place when I want to escape since it’s a 5-6 hour drive along the coast from where I live in Northern California. About two weeks ago, I was heading to Long Beach to meet my Mom and sister to visit Catalina Island. On my way home I pulled over and stayed the night at the Beach House Hotel in Hermosa Beach. Let me tell you a little bit about this special hotel and the area that surrounds it.

I lived in Manhattan Beach years ago and loved it. There are a bunch of small ocean-front towns that string along the cost…Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Long Beach and on and on. The coolest part of a lot of these beaches is that they have a walkway that allows you to easily walk or ride your bike – listening to the waves, dodging the seagulls, viewing elegant yards of the massive homes and of course stopping at top notch restaurants and bar. Voyeurism at it’s greatest! Before we get to the strand, let’s visit the hotel, The Beach House in Hermosa Beach.

This is a view from my room so you can see that you are right on the water. There are no roads with crazy traffic that you have to look over to see the ocean. No, you’re just there with only The Strand to cross before you can put your feet in the sand. When you enter the hotel you’ll find a beautiful lobby. I can remember my sister waiting on one of the couches on one visit and that was so special. And my Mom and even my childhood friend Anne. At night you’ll find the fireplace burning which is always nice on chilly coastal evenings.

The rooms are wonderful and are actually small suites with kitchenettes, a fireplace (gas now, but I can remember when you could burn a duraflame log!) Not all rooms face the ocean but some have partial views. If you’re in a full ocean front you can open the sliding doors, pour yourself a glass of champagne and watch the volleyball players, bike riders and people strolling along the strand while relaxing on your deck.

Here are some of the images of the hotel room. I always ask for a corner room if possible so you get a window in the bathroom. They can’t guarantee it but they always try.

Once you’ve dropped your luggage off and put on your walking shoes, you’re ready to explore! Let’s take a walk along The Strand…

Manhattan Beach Home along The Strand

If you go, make sure to take good walking shoes. Once you park you can get everywhere on foot or by bike. Let me know if you go! If you’d like to see more of my blogs on that area they are listed below. Cheers! Photogirl

Taking Flight: Manhattan/Hermosa Beach CA:

Try Something Different for Breakfast

I keep buying fish to grill at night and then end up not cooking it because I’m just too, well I hate to say lazy, but sometimes it just feels like a lot of work at the end of the day. Yesterday I went to Whole Foods and scanned the fresh fish section. I never thought about buying a “whole” fish, but it’s the way to go if you want fresh.

The first time I did this I took the whole fish home and it was a bit challenging to weed through everything to the meat. The next time I asked the guys at Whole Foods if they would butterfly it and remove the head and tail and they did. It opened a new world to me. Hopefully this will inspire you to try this too! I grill it with olive oil, fresh ground pepper, coarse salt, lemon juice and herbs from my garden.

Put it on the grill and you’re done! I added shiitake mushrooms on the side with butter and seasonings if you’re wondering what those are 😉 I had this for breakfast and will have it cold on a salad later. Let me know if you try it and especially if you have it for breakfast. Serve it with a poached egg and bacon. PS this was trout but there are many others to try.

The final breakfast plated: Grilled trout with poached egg, grilled tomatoes, spinach, avocado and Burrata cheese.



Are Oysters Male or Female?

Are oysters male or female? Before you slurp another one down, you might want to take a quick peek:

Oysters on the Half Shell

Oysters on the Half Shell

Are oysters male or female? And if an oyster is male, can it change into a female?  Questions which may have caused you toss and turn at night. Well toss and turn no more.  This blog is going to give you a whole new attitude…

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Are Oysters Male or Female?

Oysters on the Half Shell
Oysters on the Half Shell

Are oysters male or female? And if an oyster is male, can it change into a female?  Questions which may have caused you toss and turn at night. Well toss and turn no more.  This blog is going to give you a whole new attitude toward these fruits of the sea.

First, if an oyster is fixed with a lot of “stuff” piled up on it, I will eat it. Not a many, but definitely a few. I was at happy hour with my girlfriends and took this photo. Here’s what I like about these particular oysters. First, they are basking on a bed of salt. (Does anyone know if it’s ok to eat a rock or two off the plate? Because I’d almost rather eat the salt.) I also like that there is lemon and the bowl with some mixture (I can’t remember what was in it, but it was pretty good). But here’s what was missing – horseradish and tabasco sauce. If there is anything else I should try on an oyster, please let me know.

So there are a few facts about these slippery little morsels that you can share on a date or, at a party. I must warn you. If you’ve never eaten an oyster, this information may make you NEVER eat one, ever. And if you love them…well maybe you should know a little bit more about what you’re getting yourself into.

1. Is It a Male or Female Oyster? Here’s a fact that surprised me – oysters have both eggs, as well as sperm, so oysters have the ability to change their sexes, which they do, at least once. (Which makes me once again think twice before eating one.) Not something I’d bring up on a hot date as a topic of discussion, but interesting.

2. What’s that about an R? Probably most people have heard about the relationship oysters and “R’s” have been having over the years. If you’re in a month with an “R”, the oysters you’re going to eat will be tastier. These months include May-August, which are of course the hottest months during the year. It makes a lot of sense – way back when, people were advised against eating oysters during these months because of the lack of proper refrigeration.  I knew someone who got sick on an oyster once and it was quite a while before I ate another one. So start slurping them down now because May is just a month away.

3. How do you know if an oyster is alive? There’s one sure way to tell if an oyster is alive. If its shell is open, just tap on it with your fingers, and it snaps shut, then it’s alive. (Sorry, sorry! Are we eating them alive???)

4. Oysters breathe like fish: Oysters contain both gills and mantle which allows them to breathe.  Here’s something that will make you charge over to the nearest bar and place an order: Oysters also have stomachs, intestines, and they have hearts that pump a clear blood (we’re eating raw blood???), along with the oxygen, through their bodies. And if that’s not enough, their kidneys clean impurities from their blood. (Yummmm….)

5. Let’s get to something I can really relate to – Pearls…..Oysters produce very few pearls naturally. (Probably because they are too busy switching back and forth between being a male and female.) Most pearls begin with human intervention. Pieces of shells or beads are inserted inside an oyster. The oyster then covers the foreign substance with layers of protein and calcium and voilà! A pearl is produced. Too bad I couldn’t place a rock in a canvas bag, place it in my dryer and voila, a Gucci bag is produced.

6. And can oysters enhance your love life? If you click FOLLOW I might answer that question in a follow up blog…and you’ll be the first to hear. 😉