20th Anniversary Contest Winners

Thank you to everyone who contributed stories, pictures, poems and shared your memories with us for out 20th Anniversary Contest.  We laughed, we cried,  and we reminisced as we received each and every one.  We would not be here after 20 years withouth all of you choosing to share your time with us.  It was extremely hard to choose one winner so we chose 10!  And even that was a difficult task. 

Congratulations to the following entries:

was hard to choose my favorite moment/photo of the Inn, but this has to be it.
The moment my parents helped put my veil on before heading to my wedding last
Inn was the perfect setting to get ready for our wedding, from the delicious
breakfast and cookies to the beautiful setting for all the photos to the extra
friendly staff! The Inn at Playa Del Rey will always be a special place for me
and my family!

What a wonderful visit we had. My Husband and I
enjoyed the location with nearby restaurants and a beautiful view. The Inn was
charming with wonderful accommodations. We look forward to returning soon.
Our fondest memory of being at the Inn at Playa del Rey was when
our daughter, Strahlia, met Santa for the first time! (This was at the Inn’s
holiday tea party, hosted as a fundraiser for AMCS. (Airport Marina Counseling

Here’s my photo. It shows Danny and Julianne enjoying life in a brief lovely
moment here at our LA home.

In February 2015, the
Inn at Playa del Rey became a respite for the recovery of my daughter after a
spinal injury. They made room for us for 3 weeks and provided all the support,
comfort, warmth and friendship anyone could ever ask for 3000 miles from home
at such a scary time. I loved this inn before Mairead’s accident having stayed
there on business several times, but can never extend enough thanks and
gratitude for their kindness during such a difficult time. Everywhere we looked
we found peace and rest – from the sweet breakfast room each morning to the
wine, cheese and inspiring sunsets each night. We met wonderful people from
around the country and world who encouraged us with prayers and love. The Inn
at Playa del Rey will forever hold a special place in our hearts as our LA home
away from home. Their staff is extraordinary and the inn truly is the little
gem of the region.  Thank you again for all the love, support and cookies
when we left! You are the best and we hope to be back soon!

arrived at the inn after a long cross country flight. As we started to unpack
the front desk called to report that something had arrived  for us 
. I went downstairs to the desk and was told that it was left on the
deck off the living room . Upon opening the French doors I found our grinning 4
year old grandson and our son waiting to surprise us… the ballona wetlands in
the background.It was a great surprise.


were visiting our daughter, who lives in a small apartment just 5 minutes
inland from the Inn.  We invited our newlywed niece and her husband to
come and “hang” with us at the Inn while we were waiting for our
daughter to get off work and come meet us.  The staff brought us a carafe
of crisp, cold California Chardonnay and a beautiful plate of cheese and fruit.
  What a glorious afternoon we had, watching the sun set over the
bird sanctuary and sharing funny stories and poignant moments from 40 years of
marriage with this bright young couple so new to the marriage game.  One
of many lovely memories from our stays at the Inn at Playa del Rey!


Our family has been staying here several times a year for the past
seven years.
It really is our “home away from home”.
My favorite tradition is my visit every Halloween to trick or
treat with my grand sons.  I get ready at the Inn before leaving for the
festivities.  I love that the staff dresses up too!
This year we took a quick photo in the breakfast room.
For the last few years I have
celebrated my wife’s birthday, in October, by hosting a small weekend beach
party with four of our friends at your lovely inn (or should I say Lovely
( It’s always easy to decide what to
give Bonnie for her birthday, I should add,  because she tells me,
explicitly, what she wants. “I want the boys, I want the Inn . . “,
she’ll say, big surprise. “Also, you need to buy yourself some new
underwear”.  Always thinking of me, she is.)
So: we take three rooms, one for Steve
and Jon, one for Bruce and Kevin, one for me and the missus.  While I pick
up the inn tab (or should I say the Inn Tab), the boys are expected to stand
for dinners.  In point of fact my wife invariably nabs the dinner check,
too, usually by distracting everybody when the the bill lands on the table.
 “OMG! Is that CHER? Who’s that she’s with?!”, she’ll say, as
she surreptitiously slips our bemused waiter her Visa.   I see the
credit card statement a month later,  and I’m always surprised . . .
really it’s a pricey weekend, all told . . . you can omit this part if you want
to . . . ).  
We usually arrive on Friday afternoon
and meet in the lobby for complimentary wine and cheese.  By then I’ve eaten
either one or both of the chocolate chip cookies found in our room (depending
on whether my wife has foolishly asked me to set hers aside for later:
 just because it’s her birthday doesn’t mean I’m going to start spoiling
her).    Kevin can’t eat his cookie, because he’s diabetic, and Bruce
is a Vegan, so he can’t eat his cookie, either, and so I ask for ’em, but the
boys usually end up giving them to homeless people we meet on our
peregrinations, and how can I bitch about that?     (What Steve and
Jon do with their cookies has always been a mystery to me, they won’t
speak of it . . .  )
So: we pass an hour or so on the
premises.  I will pretend to see interesting birds, like the
Flabchested  Smokewarbler,  through your telescope;  Kevin and
Bruce will make fun of Steve and Jon for their ridiculous beach attire;
 Bonnie will pretty much take care of a case of chardonnay and a wheel of
brie.    Then we will head off to dinner (it’s Steve’s job to make
the reservations, and we wander as far afield as Manhattan Beach to the South,
or Malibu to the North, or Culver City to the East.  All super convenient,
as you know).  The only stipulation is that we go to a restaurant
that has a bar with a tv,  ‘cuz  – this being October – the
baseball playoffs are in full swing, and Steve and I like to jump up from our
meal, every 7 or 8 minutes or so, to see precisely how the Dodgers are going to
break our hearts this year . . . If the game isn’t over by the time we’re
through eating then we will race home, i.e, back to the Inn (never breaking any
of the posted rules of the road, of course . . lest the constabulary be
reading this . . . ),  and we’ll pile into Steve and Jon’s room (it’s the
neatest: Bonnie and I like to mess things up right away, so as to feel more at
home, and Kevin’s just a slob, there’s no nice way to say it),  and finish
the ball game, and sip bourbon (thank you, Bruce) and maybe eat more cookies.
Oh, and Bruce always makes a Red Velvet
Cake.  Which I’m too full to eat, but am forced to, so as to not hurt
Bruce’s feelings.  God, I hope he never reads this.  
Then we’ll play a game of some kind.
 Once we played The Magic Colander, which is a version of Botticelli
that incorporates mime and funny noises, and Bonnie guessed “U-wore-a
Delty” instead of “Eudora Welty” and we laughed for a good
quarter of an hour, which might have been the bourbon talking, but represents
my ‘favorite inn memory’, if I’m only allowed to have one ‘favorite inn’
 memory, whoops I mean ‘Favorite Inn Memory’, of course.    
 This is Bonnie’s least favorite
part of the trip, and my favorite part of the trip. She hates games, because
she was brought up by a hyper competitive father who’d overturn the Chutes and
Ladders board if he lost, but alas, Bonnie, you must be punished for making us
all believe you spotted Cher on the arm of some young stud.
 Then Bonnie opens presents.
 Last year Kevin gave her a book called Farts: A Spotter’s Guide, which
allows you to push a variety of buttons and hear a different kind of fart, i.e,
The Seismic Blast, The Sleeping Dog, etc. 
 Again, much laughter.
We probably don’t sound like the kind
of people you really want at your inn (Inn), do we?   But, really, nobody
has ever complained about us – I’m pretty sure – and Jon has to be up by 5 to
run on the beach (RIDICULOUS!) so we actually make a pretty early night of it .
. .
In the morning, I have a leisurely
breakfast, always a highlight.  (In spite of my annual vow not to have
three helpings of that delicious eggy-thing you make, I always have three
helpings, anyway).  I get to read the paper without having to share it
with my wife, cuz  Bonnie, in spite of her sleepy 7AM promise to make
 it downstairs before breakfast is over,  never makes it downstairs
before breakfast is over.  (All she really wants to do is eat cookies all
weekend, and catch up on the sleep that she is denied by our cranky 21 year old
cat with the preposterous basso meow.  And your beds are so comfy. . . .)
The boys do their athletic morning
things – they are made to  promise not to speak of it  –  and
then we gather, at around noon, for “THE DAY’S ACTIVITIES”.  
This could, theoretically, consist of a number of things . . .  
If there’s an afternoon ball game
– depending on how the baseball schedule has laid itself out – Steve and I
have to watch it, at least until the Dodgers start losing badly,
which doesn’t usually take too long . . . .(do I sound bitter?)   There’ll
be some novel reading, some napping on the verandah, maybe a little Bloody
Mary-imbibing at one of your many friendly neighborhood taverns; occasionally
we’ll have a little Mexican lunch at the nice joint down the street; we’ve been
known to stroll around the Venice canals, or go kayaking (well, paddling:
kayaking sounds a little grand for what we do) . . .  The deal is
that anybody can do anything they’re interested in: we don’t have to stick
together, cuz we’re going to see each other for dinner anyway and besides (!!)
ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.  Or so my wife tells me.  
We rendezvous, again, for wine and
cheese, and we mingle with the other guests, unless they’ve already been
mingled with by us, and are now avoiding us by hiding out on the back porch
– eventually they must come in for cheese. . .  –  and then we
head off to dinner again.  Steve and I jump up from the table too much,
perhaps,  to try and catch the Dodger’s invariable meltdown (ARGGHHHH!
be more inventive with her ruse tonight (Super-Ugly Baby! Giant Hairy Insect on
somebody’s back!  Whoops: an ‘inadvertently’ spilled glass of champagne on
her husband’s lap! . . . There are no lengths this woman won’t go to . . .
);  Kevin and Bruce make up rococo, and not infrequently obscene,
 birthday songs for Bonnie; we try to come up with new nicknames for Jon
(who’s never been nicknamed by us as well as he needs to be, although I liked
“Moose”, also “Ethel Mormon”, cuz he’s a lapsed Mormon),
and depending on the year,  we decry the current crop of political
candidates but then admit we’d all suck at running anything, too, if put to it
 . . . then home for more bourbon and a different game (Wise and
Otherwise!  Check it out . . . !)  Finally, and all too soon,
 bed time. 
On Sunday there’s A.M. lounging and
then, at ll or so, we realize we’re all desperately sick of each other – just
in time for CHECKOUT.  Miraculous how these things work out.   
Occasionally I’ll splurge and make
Bonnie stay behind, with me, for one more quiet Sunday night, just the two of
us, so we can do canoodle-y type things that I should probably just gloss
over here . . . . 
Anyway, not sure if there’s a ‘memory’,
per se, to be extracted from all of this, but I know we all treasure the times
we’ve been to your wonderful Inn and we can’t wait for Bonnie to get older (uh,
that didn’t come out right) so we can return — how ’bout this,  if I win
the contest we’ll take photos this next go round (Delicious Eggy Thing!
 Flabchested Smokewarbler!) and you can post them on Snapchat or OpCit or
BricBrac or whatever  . .  or maybe I’ll make Bonnie bring a
sketch pad and she can spend the whole weekend drawing that damnable smoke
warbler: that’ll teach to her to be so obstreperous . . . 


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