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Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Close-by Getaway

For Valentine's Day, 2009, Jeff and I had an amazingly interesting 24 hour getaway, and it was all within 5 miles of our home in Palo Alto! I had been saving a gift of one night's accommodation, from The Stanford Park Hotel a wonderful venue where I have coordinated several weddings; Christine Escobar offered this generous gift, just so I could experience-first hand the comfort and service my clients enjoy while staying there.... Saturday, February 14th, Valentine's Day, seemed the perfect timing for a Close by Getaway!

On the way to the Stanford Park Hotel, we stopped by my friend BethAnn Goldberg's shop, Studio Cake, just across the creek from us in Menlo Park. I knew she was spending the whole day designing the mock up of her Fiona cake for the Food Network Cake Challenge, so I had to go by and offer support!

The theme for this Food Network Challenge, is to design a 3 foot cake, to promote "Shreck, The Musical"; BethAnn was one of 4 Bakers chosen from across the country to compete, and her character assignment is Fiona...of course this will be Fiona as a bride, since BethAnn does so many wedding cakes! I will have more photos later of the finished Fiona, which my clients, Haidee and Wilson are sending me; they were there for the completion of the cake, and eating the product!

After leaving Studio Cake, Jeff and I drove the 1.5 miles to Stanford Park Hotel, and checked into the lovely suite Christine, and her staff at the Stanford Park Hotel had selected for us...what a treat to have a fireplace suite, overlooking the pool and hot tub. Now I can personally recommend these comfortable, well decorated rooms, with excellent service at all levels, to my wedding clients, for their guests from out of town.

Since there was a break in the storms rumbling through Palo Alto this weekend, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood near the hotel. Jeff happened to notice the Tesla showroom, so we made that our first stop, since he has been eyeing these for months.

Jeff particularly liked the 0-60 mph, in 3.9 seconds...but the $109,000. sticker price was a bit daunting...thanks, we're just looking!
Crossing the street, and walking through the quiet neighborhood streets of Menlo Park, we made our way to Allied Arts Guild, one of my favorite spots to visit and photograph. I have coordinated a few weddings here, and would love to do more! The gardens, fountains, the Spanish arches and the quiet ambiance make you feel you have stepped back into time. Even though Jeff and I were supposed to be on vacation, I had to introduce myself to the event manager, Tiana Wong, in hopes that we can work together on some weddings in the year ahead.

Wedding Ceremonies can be held around the fountain, or on the bricked terrace, with dinner and dancing inside the central building where the restaurant is located.
I love all these amazing photo opportunities...arches, wrought iron detail, and long vistas, through rose bordered paths...I will return in Spring for more photos.
Following our walk, Jeff and I returned to our cozy hotel room, to rest and change for dinner; that was when I decided to put away my camera, and just enjoy, moment by moment, the rest our Valentine Getaway!

I just received these photos from Haidee and Wilson, who arrived at Studio Cake later in the day, to witness the completion of BethAnn's Fiona as a Bride. Studio Cake fans were still lined up in front, to support BethAnn, and enjoy a major cake cutting moment! I will let you know when the Food Network Food Challenge will be televised. BethAnn and her assistant fly out next week to recreate Fiona in 8 hours, timed and evaluated by very exacting judges. I vote for Fiona!

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