Author: Jill Weinlein

Legendary Film Director Francis Ford Coppola

Share: Sitting next to one of Hollywood’s greatest film directors–Francis Ford Coppola–was a thrill for me. Both of us graduated from UCLA Theater and Film School. The night I met Coppola, he was receiving a special honor and award at the 25th annual UCLA TFT Film Festival Directors Spotlight along with a talented group of film students. Sitting in a large theater at the Director’s Guild of America on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, I watched UCLA Dean Teri Scwartz honor Francis Ford Coppola with the Distinguished Vanguard Director Award Presentation. She enlightened guests with the history of Coppola’s career and...

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Sotheby’s Ornellaia Wine Auction

Share: Parking in the Hammer Museum UCLA in Los Angeles, I noticed an array of expensive luxury cars that included a Rolls Royce, two Bentleys and a few Jaguars lined up in a row. They belonged to affluent winemakers, oenophiles, wine buyers and culinary aficionados for a gala evening and dinner by James Beard award winning chef Suzann Goin. Michael Mondavi Founder, Folio Fine Wine Partners and Michael Mondavi Family Estate attended the event. He helped establish the Napa Valley wine industry to what it is today, while working with his grandfather Casare Mondavi and learning about natural farming and winemaking. Goin and her team prepared over 150 exquisite meals for the benefit dinner during the live auction of rare Ornellaia bottles conducted by Sotherby’s in support of the Hammer Museum. Tenuta dell’Ornellaia is an Italian wine producer in the DOC Bolgheri in Toscana, known as a producer of “Super Tuscan” wine. Every year since the release of Ornellaia 2006, the winery chooses a contemporary artist to create a work of art and series of limited edition labels. The inspiration is from a single word chosen by the winemaker to describe the character of the vintage. This year, the winemaker selected contemporary artist Yutaka Sone. Sone works in various media, primarily marble sculpture and crystal carving. His large blocks of marble are displayed around the world. The winemaker’s word...

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American Bison Thrive on Catalina Island

Share: President Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act into law on May 9, 2016.  Both houses of Congress agreed unanimously with the approved bill sponsored by Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo. Recognized for its historical, and cultural significance in Northern America, the bison is the national mammal of the United States. Where do bison roam naturally? National Parks, including Yellowstone, on buffalo reserves, and happily on Catalina Island for almost 100 years. The first to arrive on the island came by boat in the 1920s. Some Islanders will tell you these furry mammals starred in Zane Grey’s silent film,...

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Magnificent Montage Laguna Beach

Share: Once you pull up to the Montage Laguna Beach, your mind relaxes as the friendly valets welcome you and escort you to the registration counter. The staff happily leads you to the  Lobby Lounge balcony to proudly show off their signature mosaic sunburst pool with over 500,000 colorful tiles. Beyond are rocky cliffs and the dazzling Pacific Ocean. Checking into room 526, we had marvelous views of the walkway leading down to the beach and the Pacific Ocean. The feather-top king size bed was dressed with 400-thread count bed linens. In the closet, two 100% Fila Casa Egyptian Combed...

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Hollywood’s Wizarding World

Share: Universal Studios Hollywood is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in California. Now with the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening before the summer, it will draw even more families and Harry Potter fans to Los Angeles. First there was a Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida. Next, the attraction opened in Osaka, Japan, and now Hollywood, California officially opened a Scottish Hogsmeade Village on April 7, 2016. Inspired by the best selling author J.K. Rowling’s compelling stories and characters and Warner Brothers films, it’s an ideal multi-generation activity that...

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