Thursday, June 30, 2011

Reagan Library, July 4 Celebration, Southern California Tourism

Some guests of AVI went last weekend to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and ended up having an amazing experience! They were placed in a private tour with President Reagan's son, Michael, his wife and some of her family members.  Of course, the guests could not believe their luck in being paired with Michael Reagan on his third visit to the presidential museum.  The guests reported Michael was kind, jovial and inclusive of them when he told stories abut his father.  

As the AVI guests approached the museum room which shows a film of the shooting of President Reagan, Michael noted his father smiling, expressed distressed about being shot in a brand new, beautiful blue pin striped suit.  The President greatly lamented being shot in his new (and then favorite) suit.  President Reagan told Michael, "If you have to get shot, at least wear an old suit."

Michael told two other tales on his father, all in a kindly and warm manner.  When the group toured the mock Oval Office, Michael reported it looked identical to  the original.  He also reported that the President had jelly beans on his desk because the jelly beans helped the President in his effort to stop smoking.  Michael reported that the President wanted red, white and blue jelly beans on the Oval Office desk.  At the start of Reagan's presidential term, the candy manufacturer did not make blue jelly beans.  The manufacturer changed that for the President and began making blue beans.

Finally, Michael told an inside story while the group toured President Reagan's version of Air Force One.  Michael revealed that President Reagan was always reluctant about flying.  Ronald Reagan  stated on many occasions to his son that flying was pushing one's luck and that luck could only last so long.  Michael revealed that during all the years of Ron Reagan's advertising for GE and others, President Reagan traveled to his business locations by train or bus, never by plane, due to his fear of flying.  

At some point after Reagan was Governor of California and before he started his campaign for President, Ronald Reagan's brother called the soon-to-be-presidential-candidate and told the former Governor that his "kitchen cabinet" was formulating a plan to make him President.  The first meeting of the 'kitchen cabinet" would be the next morning at 9:00 a.m. in Los Angeles.  Since President Reagan was in Northern California when he received the call, he responded to his brother by saying, "Well, I'm in Northern California.  How can I be there by 9:00 am?  You know I don't fly."  President Reagan's brother responded, "I guess if you want to be President some day, you'll be here."  With that, Reagan's brother hung up.  Needless to say, Ronald Reagan got over his fear of flying and made the flight. Thus began the road to the Presidency.

The Reagan Library is open  seven days  a week.  It is located at 40 Presidential Drive in Simi Valley, about a one hour drive from Arroyo Vista Inn.  For Visitor Information go to:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Current Exhibits, American History, Japanese Culture, Democracy

Arroyo Vista Inn guests have reported this is one of the most compelling and thought provoking history exhibits they have seen in a long time! Original barracks of the Japanese internment camps of World War II are on display.

369 E. First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tu.,W, F, S, S 11-5 p.m.
Thursday 12-8 p.m.
This provocative exhibit makes one consider the evolution of "We" in "we the people" to include women and minorities.  The exhibit examines conditions before, during and after World War II and how fear and prejudice can influence societal thinking and behavior.  This timely exhibit causes one to examine the roots and foundations of democracy in this country and others.

Closes August 28, 2011. Plan to stay a few days at Arroyo Vista Inn to absorb the history, culture, and natural setting of the San Gabriel Valley as well as that of downtown Los Angeles (easily accessible by Metro Rail.)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Descanso Gardens Summer Programs, Camellia Lounge

What could be more zen than enjoying libations at the Japanese Tea House in Descanso Gardens?  Relax among the trees above the brook to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature while you sip an amazing cocktail!  The Camellia Lounge opens tomorrow, June 21, 2011.  It will be open for the summer 2011 serving a new drink menu and snacks from 3-8 pm.,Tuesday through Thursday, until August 25, 2011.
The entrance to the blue tiled Full Moon Tea House is depicted above.  The Camellia Lounge seating area is partially depicted to the left.  The Japanese Tea House area is a beautiful, quiet contemplative area. Stroll the paths and traditional bridge crossing the koi-filled stream filled.  Don't miss this mesmerizing experience!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Vacation Activities, Los Angeles, Pasadena CA

Summer activities our guests are talking about:

Malibu Wine Tasting Tour- Learn the history of Malibu, see spectacular natural scenery, and taste local wines while traveling in comfort.  Open seven days a week. Arrangements may be made to be picked up at Arroyo Vista Inn.
Reserve by calling 310-393-6555. Checkout the website at

The Carnegie Institute for Science - Serious Astronomy in Pasadena!
 The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization is a nonprofit corporation based in Pasadena, California. The GMTO manages the GMT Project on behalf of its international partners. Those partners include Astronomy Australia Ltd., the Australian National University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Harvard University, the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute, the Smithsonian Institution, Texas A&M University, the University of Arizona, The University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Chicago. For more information, visit  Carnegie Observatory sponsors colloquial gatherings where lay people may interact with the scientists regarding the telescopes and astronomy.  Schedules for these events may be found at and
Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, California, 91101
Get a calendar of 2011 summer events in the Los Angeles area at LA Times Summer calendar. This will give you plenty of ideas on summer activities while you vacation in Pasadena or Los Angeles.

Hollywood Bowl- an amazing schedule, as always!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Organic Foods Farm to Table

New Orange Tree

Arroyo Vista Inn's 2011 planting season was successful and the rewards are already being reaped.  Farmer Russ planted new zucchini, strawberries, tomatoes, swiss chard, butternut squash, onions and six new fruit trees (three orange, grapefruit, and apple).  Huge artichokes and zucchini are plentiful.  

Our goal is to serve guests only organic orange juice freshly squeezed from oranges grown on our property.  Additionally, we incorporate our organically grown vegetables into breakfast as much as possible to give our guests the freshest and most healthy meals we can.

Come back to Arroyo Vista Inn to taste our home grown fruits and vegetables!

Here is our favorite AVI kitchen developed recipe for zucchini: 

Zucchini Quiche

3 cups finely sliced zucchini (Use your mandolin to slice; sprinkle with salt; set 15 minutes and drain.) Combine drained zucchini with:
6 eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
2 T. flour
1 cup grated jarlesburg cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 chopped scallions
1/2 t. chopped basil
1/2 t. oregano
1/4 t. white pepper
Mix all in a large bowl.  Pour into a greased 8-9 inch pie plate.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.  Serves six.

Lemon tree

Baby tomatoes

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Special Dinner, Innovative Tasting, Pasadena CA

Chef Akira's Special Wednesday Tapas Dinner

Acclaimed Chef Hirose Akira presents an innovative tasting experience of Omakase Tapas each Wednesday evening at Maison Akira in Pasadena. There is one table of 10 people, no more or less.  The total price is $450, excluding wine and beverages. Advanced reservation required.

The Sample Menu (brought to us by recent guests who dined at Maison Akira) is incredible, containing dishes such as Duck Pate with Cornichon and Black Nicoise Olives, House Smoked Salmon with Capers, Sashimi du Jour, Sauteed Mexican Shrimp with Shimeji Mushrooms, Miso Marinated Sea bass, Rack of Lamb in Rosemary Sauce, Lavender Creme Brulee.

For one week, June 21-26, 2011, Chef Akira also has an excellent prix fixe menu for $70 (food plus tax and gratuity), 21% of the cost will be donated to Japanese Earthquake Relief, i.e., the Japanese Red Cross. Please support Earthquake Relief while enjoying a unique dining experience. While doing that, treat yourself to a night away from the children at Arroyo Vista Inn in South Pasadena.