“believing takes practice” ~ Madeleine L’Engle

On Friday night we randomly stumbled upon one of the most authentic Italian dining experiences outside of New York City.

I told our very entertaining server, who has been working there for 14 years, that he reminded me of a character in a book. We laughed and then he mentioned A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle.  I had just mentioned her a few days ago! Paul, our server, said he used to read to his children from it.


No “Yelp” or “Urban Spoon,” just a foggy night on Pico Street in Santa Monica led us to this wonderful restaurant.  It has been around for 40 years yet many don’t go this far up on Pico Street and don’t know about it. Those who do know about it, visit regularly, and spread the word too. Of course, you can read more about the actual restaurant, Valentino, on your own.  However, had I read about it, I probably wouldn’t have gone in because as is so often the case now, websites and reviews seldom provide for reality; pricey doesn’t mean authentic; and if the crowd is pretentious, it soaks up any authenticity.


Paul made this evening very magical for us. The last time I had such a genuine Italian experience was at a friend’s parents’ house in Treviso, Italy. The meal just didn’t end.

As Mrs. Whatsit said in A Wrinkle in Time, “Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”

A very happy birthday today to my father for practicing new songs and singing old ones—both literally and figuratively—and teaching us to listen to the music within our hearts. We are so grateful to him for giving us the infinite gift of believing. This Sunday I am grateful that I am here to celebrate his birthday with my entire family and family friends.

Here is to making new songs.