Marla A. White
As the youngest of six kids, I’ve been living with hand-me-downs my whole life. When I was really young, my oldest sister gave me her old, broken watch. I thought it was the coolest thing ever, even if it didn’t work.
You’d think that would have turned me off to the concept of hand-me-downs, but I came to accept them as part of life. In fact, after I left home and moved to LA, I started to love them. At first, a friend with much better taste than mine gave me clothes she’d gotten tired of or grew out of. Score! My boss/mentor/friend gave me some cocktail dresses, knowing I’d never buy them. It came in really handy when I was riding as that stuff gets really expensive. Sweaters with old company logos, ski jackets that were out of style…in fact, I’m wearing a t-shirt I got from a friend who it doesn’t fit anymore.
Because I have no problems with hand-me-downs, I cheerfully accepted. And I LOVE rhubarb in anything, so how could I go wrong?
Per the label, it’s made of organic rhubarb, beets, carrots, lemon, spices including cardamom and vanilla, among other things. Not being fond of beets and so-so on carrots, I was skeptical that my beloved rhubarb would still carry the day. The bottle came with a little pamphlet of recipes, but it seemed like Root as pretty much interchangeable with gin or vodka.
I opted for a classic Gimlet, substituting Rhubarb (tea) for gin. The rhubarb and other veggies blended nicely with the lime and a bit of simple syrup. If a cocktail has beets in it, does that make it a health drink?
I rate this 5 out of 5 yums.
Trying to find a spot for this and the other orphan bottles in my liquor cabinet made me take a bit of inventory and discovered other gifted bottles. It’s like my house is the Island of Misfit Alcohol. Stay tuned while I try out the other mystery drinks!
Like almost every other human being on the planet, I’m all in on the “new year, new habits” mantra, starting with actually writing a blog. I’ve talked about it for years, I’ve written three books since I started thinking about it so it’s not like I couldn’t write the words. You know what it was? I don’t think I’m that interesting!
And it’s so confusing—a good length for a post is either 300, 600, or 1,200 words depending on who you ask. I spent months trying to figure out the perfect post before I finally said the heck with it. As Wayne Gretzky (probably) said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” #GoKingsGo.
So bear with me while I allow myself to be imperfect and attempt to grow this blog, get guest bloggers, maybe even review books and such. Time will tell. I thought I’d start off this blogging journey writing about the things that interest me the most; small and/or quirky inns, wine, whiskey, and books. Let’s start with one of my favorite places to go for a long weekend or fall getaway…
Silver Pines Lodge, Idyllwild CA
I originally stayed at the Silver Pines a few years ago (in the Before Times) as part of CineStory’s* television writers’ retreat where I was a mentor. I’d been to Idyllwild before to partake in the same retreat but that was the first year I stayed at Silver Pines and I fell in love. The rooms all have names rather than numbers and each is unique into itself. All woodsy, all the time. Fireplaces in most rooms and lots of bear motifs that prove the lodge doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s not posh, there are no bathrobes or winery views, but it maxes out on the cozy coefficient.
The lodge has a long history, first built in 1923 according to the lodge website. Then in the 30s it became the Rustic Tavern Restaurante and then the Rustic Theater movie house in 1944. (That extra “e” at the end of restaurant is the only pretentious thing about the place :D) There’s also a main lodge room with books and games for the whole family. There’s a fantastic koi pond right behind the main building that makes a delightful burbling sound and Strawberry Creek that, because of our drought, rarely makes a splash but is pretty all the same.
Plus a totem pole. Well, it used to have a totem pole, but due to wear and tear it was replaced by a statue that's still pretty cool. Even if I wasn’t coming from smoggy LA, Idyllwild has fresh mountain air and the bluest sky I’ve ever seen.
Is there an inn, lodge, or tee-pee you love to stay at? Let me know in the comments below!
*CineStory is a fantastic non-profit foundation that supports the careers of television and feature writers from all over the country and indeed the planet. If you are working on a script or even just thinking about it, visit their website for more details.