Now I become myself. It's taken time, many years and places...

 - May Sarton

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I celebrated turning 40 at the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood as I have a real fondness for old hotels steeped in history. This one was built in 1927. It has welcomed F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and Hunter Thompson, among numerous others. The song Hotel California by the Eagles is rumored to be about the Chateau and the hotel's motto is, "If you must get in trouble, do it at the Chateau Marmont." More recently it was the setting for Sophia Coppola's movie, Somewhere. (I haven't seen it, anyone else?)

Our time here was more cozy than crazy. We stayed in an ivy covered garden cottage on the second story filled with sunlight. In the tiled kitchen there was a 1940's stove and refrigerator and french doors opening to a small terrace with a bistro table and chairs. Behind a 30 foot wall of bamboo, chlorine blue sounds of laughter cascaded through the open windows mixed with the scent of recent rain. I was over the moon to discover a clawfoot cast iron tub and took my share of tangerine-eucalyptus infused soaks. Rave was equally enthusiastic to come upon two sunning cats in the garden and maintained an orange level of alert on each outdoor excursion thereafter.

The birthday cake above was a surprise from Bud that delighted me to no end. It was a gluten free chocolate cake with alternate layers of chocolate ganache and raspberry fillings. It was accompanied by vanilla bean ice cream and a glass of pink champagne on ice.

Thank you so much for all the thoughtful birthday wishes!

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Reader Comments (4)

this sounds like such a wonderful place to celebrate such a special day ! I have to be honest and tell you that I so jealous and I know that you realize how wonderful this time in your life is and I know you are grateful for the beauty - it comes through in your words and in your photos . I am happy to know that you had such a wonderful birthday you , Martha

March 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMartha

i have always wanted to stay there.
your photos are so!!!!!!!

March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermccabe

What perfection! You deserve every atom of it. :)

( champagne)

March 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbrooke

That cake is quite possibly the prettiest cake I have ever seen. It would be hard to cut into it. (Hard, but not impossible. ;)

I remember that song; fun to see glimpses of the place it might be about. Definitely a perfect way (and place) to spend a birthday. I am happy to think of you enjoying it.

Orange level of alert! That is totally Atlas. In most moments. Best way to describe it ever. (I tend to say obsessed which, while true, is not the most accurate description.)

April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

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