Thursday, May 22, 2008

Event planners' outing!

One of the nice things about being professionally connected to the arts, entertainment, and events business is that - you get invited to all kinds of parties!

Now,these are not really "parties" where you can let your hair down - they are Work Related - but you sure do get a chance to check out the latest in event planning trends.

I was recently invited to a "mixer" event by a salesperson working for one of the luxury hotels on the beach in Santa Monica. I went with my colleague from work.

We were a little hampered by the fact that we had met our host - the salesperson - several weeks ago and neither of us quite remembered what he looked like. It was one of those email and telephone relationships you have in business these days - we felt like total friends, weren't sure we'd recognize him in person.

We registered and were immediately presented with a drinks tray. Watermelon martini or something blue that I didn't quite catch its name. We both chose the watermelon martini. Tray-passed hors d'oeuvres were whisked past our noses. Yes, I'll try the skewers of lamb, feta, and roasted tomato, thankyouverymuch!

A bit empty at first, and then it filled up. We chatted with two ladies who were event clients of the hotel - she does weddings and parties, her friend does corporate meetings. Lovely! Our friend came along and said Hi - thank goodness I recognized his voice, because I didn't remember his face at all, but I was able to go, "Oh Hi, K___!" when he spoke.

A quick swap of the empty martini glass for a glass of sauvignon blanc and a visit to the Raw Bar set up overlooking the beach.

Is this not the absolute best thing you've ever seen? Oysters on the half-shell, Shrimp on the beach.

And please note: that's tuna tartare served on a coconut shell "dish", with a plantain chip spoon. Very nice presentation!

The cool thing about going to a business mixer is that the servers feel a little more uninhibited with guests who work with catering and kitchens and all that. So as we were offered mini crab cakes, we asked the servers how things were going, and whether the strange weather of today (tornadoes in eastern area, sudden rain squall) had put a damper on the event, and if they were experiencing the same business we were in our facilities. One of the tray-passing waiters danced and sang to us - I bet he doesn't do that for a typical wedding party.

We found another friend, someone who's really well connected in the local tourism business, and dished with her a while, and then we decided to take off. But before we did, we looked beyond the party, toward the beach - which is what draws everyone here in the first place.

Here is the beach at Santa Monica, in the setting sun. Isn't it beautiful? Isn't it a gift? I had a wonderful time, but in a funny way, I stood there on the pool deck of a luxury hotel, and envied what two random people out there on the sand were experiencing.

1 comment:

KathyR said...

TMotH and I used to go there for drinks all the time when we lived in the Palisades. Sadly, we do not get over there much any more.

One of the best weddings I've ever been to (in terms of amazing receptions) was there. Not THE best wedding reception I've ever been to, but definitely in the top three.

I think we're gonna have to take a drive over there again soon. Except then there's the lure of Casa del Mar...