LUSH is a place I adore. I first entered the doors of this homemade bath, body and beauty goods shop more than a decade ago when it was just launching in the USA. It was their first CA store in Pasadena. We were staying there with the kids for a weekend to visit the Huntington Gardens and the city of Pasadena. It was just a short, family trip. After a delicious meal (Pasadena is home to a CIA), we strolled the sidewalks and window shopped in the pleasantly warm spring evening. The allure of the scents coming out of LUSH hypnotized me. They only carried a few items then; soaps, one perfume named Karma (which they still sell and I still buy), some creams, a few bath bombs, some body gels and not much else. They now sell an enormous amount of items, too many to list here (in fact, they have a gigantic catalog that reads like a newspaper called LUSH Times in color). They opened a place at Universal Walk in LA, The Garden Walk in Anaheim, by Disneyland and I recently ran into one at Fashion Island in Newport Beach. When we visited Vancouver, my daughters tried to distract me but I got a whiff from the sidewalk and realized, here was another location. I couldn’t resist the ambiance and simplicity; I spent at least an hour and a few Canadian dollars there. I highly promote and use certain products daily. They are ecologically and vegan friendly. They give their products the cutest names. My latest find (because they are always inventing and creating more stuff – YES!!) and passion is Happy Happy Joy Joy Hair Conditioner. The orange blossom fragrance lingers for two days; I sniff and tell my husband to smell my hair! They went from selling one interesting, hippie perfume to over a dozen exotic, complex or sensual scents, now. Their packaging has changed at least three times. But they always include a face, a name and the date of creation and expiration. For a birthday gift, J and M bought me a special decorated box with bath bombs, creams and soap. Everyone knows I am cuckoo for LUSH. I totally should have bought stocks in that company or gotten in on the franchise.
And speaking of stocks, today is the last day Mr. Stox in Anaheim will be open for business. Mr. Stox was a treasured, traditional and celebratory restaurant that our family and friends and many people in OC have dined at with pizzazz. We had a Mother’s Day Brunch there a few years ago in their private room and a barbershop quartet sang for us. We used their banquet to go menu to cater one Christmas when I wasn’t up to cooking. I took my BFF and her new son there when my oldest daughter turned three – right by the fireplace. I enjoyed a lovely Christmastime dinner there with two friends, one since passed on. The place was decked in evergreen and twinkly lights and red bows. Carolers came to all the tables. I remember having a romantic lunch with my husband there, midweek, when I was pregnant with our first child. We made merry there plenty of occasions; leaving with a Polaroid they would give us of our visit. Most recently, six of us sat around a round table, our two daughters and their beaus by the piano player. And a romantic dinner about a month ago, in the bar area, pictures taken by the outdoor patio in front of the fountain. And last night, the place was packed; loyal customers looking a little older (ok, a lot older) but we were all dressed up and our cars were all valeted like always.
The end of an era.