Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Martinis and cupcakes

A couple of months back, I won a generous amount of credit towards babysitting from UrbanSitter - courtesy of Mommy Shorts. This left me gobsmacked for two reasons. The first being that I've never won a prize in my life (and trust me, I've entered my fair share of competitions over the years). The second reason was the timing. Since moving to LA, we've only ever used the same two babysitters - and in May, they both moved away. I'm not talking a different part of LA. I'm talking thousands of miles away - DC and Hawaii. We had to start over with finding a reliable sitter we liked. It's safe to say I was punching the air when Mommy Shorts contacted me.

Although J and I were both desperate for a night out, other things kept taking priority... like packing up, moving apartments, unpacking, children's birthday parties. We decided to save date night until we knew had a weekend without other events, so we could properly relax and enjoy ourselves.

Last Saturday was the chosen night. The sitter I'd selected from the UrbanSitter site arrived, and both girls instantly warmed to her. Always a good start for a night out.

Our main destination was West Hollywood, so we hopped in the car and went for a cruise. We had half an hour to spare before our reservation at Lola's Bar & Lounge, so after leaving the car with a valet (how LA, baby) we went for a stroll to catch the last bit of sunlight. Back at Lola's, we drooled over the martini menu and I drank several - all scrumptious, but one in particular which - I swear - was the best martini I've ever had. Red Caramel Apple Martini... you had me at hello.

The food surpassed all expectations, and with full bellies, we jumped back in the car and headed to Beverly Hills. Despite having just stuffed ourselves silly with dessert, J insisted that I witness in action the genius of the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM. Apparently, half of LA had the same idea. Okay... maybe a slight exaggeration, but we did spend a good half hour in the queue. No problem, because we both love nothing more than a spot of good ol' people-watching, and this was the perfect opportunity.

So... cupcake ATM. Not a bad idea, but it's essentially a glorified vending machine. It's a hole-in-the-wall machine that's attached to the Sprinkles bakery and store, and cupcakes can only be purchased with the swipe of a credit card. The German tourists in front of us had trouble with their card being accepted, so after an efficient exchange of cash, we handed our card over to help them out. A camera within the machine allows you to watch - on the screen - the robotic arm as it selects the boxed-up cupcake and deposits it into a revolving area for you to collect.

Totally gimmicky, and only capable of selling one cupcake per transaction. When there are large groups of people, each wanting their own, you can imagine how long this takes. Once upon a time, I spent my Saturday nights queuing up for clubs. Now, I queue for cupcakes.

Afterwards, we had a quick stroll down Rodeo Drive to perve at the shop windows. I saved my cupcake for the next day, but I'm happy to report that it was worth the wait.

It was my kind of night, and I'm already thinking of excuses to go back to Lola's.


  1. I was thinking about that cupcake vending machine when I was lining up at the station last night to put some money on my travel card. Nowhere NEAR as much fun and nothing yummy at the end of it.

    I love these pics and your night out sounds great. Awesome prize from Mommy Shorts!

    1. Ah, travel cards... those were the days! Doesn't seem that long ago I was having to line up each week to get one for my commute to work. I'm actually looking forward to taking the girls on some public transport when we're back visiting. Sydney's system is one I know well and is easy to use, and P's experience with buses is limited. She's never even been on a real train! Had we stayed in Sydney, she'd be pretty well-versed in them by now.