Cupcake & Me in front of $1.7 million dollar Bugatti on Rodeo Drive in front of Bijan

Beverly Hills, Dec. 31, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2011

When my friend Jane offered me her apartment to use while she was visiting relatives in New York City for New Years, I decided to take her up on that offer. Beverly Hills is one of my favorite places in the world, so why not celebrate New Years Eve and Day there?

As my Chihuahua puppy Cupcake and I strolled down Rodeo Drive, we  joined the small crowd of people ogling the late Bijan’s $1.7 million Bugatti parked outside his eponymous men’s clothing store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on the last day of 2011.  I have since learned that Bijon, a man of great style and remembered with a perpetual smile in all his photos, died this past year at the young age of 67 of a stroke.  But his store and car are still around and attracting fans.

Cupcake and I then headed to one of my favorite restaurants Villa Blanca, which is owned by Lisa Vanderpump of the reality TV show “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”, and her husband Ken Vanderpump.

And who should come right by my table where I was sitting with Cupcake, but Ken Vanderpump himself! I greeted him and asked him how was Giggy, his and Lisa’s now famous adorable Pomeranian dog.  He good-naturedly said that’s what so-and-so (someone just a couple tables down from me) just asked him, and he added that Giggy was fine, and I introduced him to Cupcake, whom he petted briefly. I told him I’m looking forward to the next episode of the show.  I had actually bumped into him a few weeks ago while checking out their other restaurant Sur on Robertson Boulevard, and asked him about Giggy then too. I’m sure he gets asked about their beloved Giggy all the time! After he moved on to attend to his duties of the day, all of a sudden I heard some people across the street singing “Happy Birthday” to someone at Villa Blanca.  Lo and behold, there is Lisa Vanderpump dressed in a demure gray and white outfit holding none other than Giggy himself, leading the song!  I should have taken a photo at that moment but I was too mesmerized.  It was a surreal moment to witness this and especially after talking to Ken Vanderpump.  Forget about Reality TV, this was Reality!

Of course, afterwards, I was thinking it would be fun to introduce Cupcake to Giggy, but I then I thought it would be better not to.  I’m sure Lisa was very busy attending to her guests there. I have been there for dinner a few times with friends, and it is a magical place.  You feel as if you could be on the French Riviera or Cabo San Lucas (I’ve been to both), or Ibiza or St. Barths (haven’t been to those two places yet).  All airy whites, silvers, crystal, enormous bouquets of white flowers, simple yet luxuriant country style. Wonderful ambiance.  After lunch, Cupcake and I walked around Rodeo Drive and surrounding streets, people-watching and window-shopping, perhaps the best in the world. When New Year’s Eve finally arrived, I dressed up in my favorite dress, from Nanette Lepore, and my favorite evening shoes, Louboutin look-alikes by Guess, and my new necklace, a Christmas gift from a good friend, and drove down Sunset Boulevard just for fun.  Drove by all the hotspots, the House of Blues, The Roxy, The Key Room, The Comedy Store, the Chateau Marmont.  There were people out but not huge crowds. Many people, even in Los Angeles, spend New Year’s Eve at private parties, apparently, or just play it safe and stay at home.  I went back to the apartment to park my car, and walked practically across the street and thru a passageway to one of my favorite hotspots in Beverly Hills, Cafe Roma. There I met new friends and had a ball.  It was a great way to spend New Year’s Eve.

The crowd there was eclectic and having fun.  There was a DJ and people were dancing. Including me!

Everyone got into the act!

It was a wonderful ambiance, and although the music was loud, one could still carry on conversations.

The spirit was upbeat, and balloons floated around.

In general, I had a total blast, and it was a New Year’s Eve I will always remember!

After the countdown to the New Year 2012, confetti was released from the ceiling and it fluttered down on us and into our drinks.

I didn’t indulge too much in drinking martinis thankfully, so the next morning, Cupcake and I headed out to have breakfast at one of my favorite spots for breakfast in Beverly Hills, Le Pain Quotidien, which is very dog-friendly with its outdoor tables.  It’s got a great French country chic ambiance as well.  You never know who you’ll see there.  Once I saw actor Michael York buying some bread there.  It’s a very pleasant place to read the morning papers (borrowed from someone else there usually), drink some fresh squeezed orange juice, nibble on the fresh baked bread and sample one of the delicious omelets.

After re-fueling, Cupcake and I embarked on a long hike throughout the tree-lined streets of the residential section of Beverly Hills, starting with the parks.

The residential streets are lined with mostly palatial homes that are simply gorgeous.  I’d love to list one or more of them, after all, I’m a realtor with Power Brokers International, and we have an office in Beverly Hills, as well as in Palm Desert. Let’s face it, I’d love to own one of these fabulous mansions!  Cupcake would love rolling around in the grass.

Bushy-tailed squirrels dashed about doing their business in the grass and in the luxurient leafy trees. This house looks comfy, eh? There were some teardowns, here and there, but I expect they won’t last long.  Most of the homes along the residential boulevards were beautifully kept mansions.  Some were reminiscent of homes in New England or in the Hamptons, while others were more Italian or French-inspired.

Many of the homes have gated driveways, and some with security cameras, and high walls of brick and mortar or of manicured bushes, but others are surprisingly “open”, as in no wall, no gates, just out in the open in plain view.

There are many beautiful parks around Beverly Hills for everyone to enjoy, whether walking, jogging or strolling with the dog.

With Cupcake, I’m never alone!

After our long stroll, Cupcake and I refuel at the Beverly Hills Deli, where they were kind to bring a little bowl of water for Cupcake. Then, for desert we headed to my favorite cupcake bakery Crumbs, on Santa Monica Boulevard.

On the way back to the apartment, we met a Chihuahua that was even smaller than Cupcake.  His name was Mario and he is a teacup Chihuahua who is seven years old!  His owners had just bought him the sweater he is wearing in the photo at the Ralph Lauren store on Rodeo Drive, which is where this photo was taken.

Soon, it was time for Cupcake and me to head back to the desert, although I was tempted to take him to the beach since it was so downright HOT!

Before we left, I indulged Cupcake in one of his favorite things to do in Beverly Hills: rolling around with delight in the green grass!

Cupcake LOVES to roll around in the cool, green grass of Beverly Hills