Valley Line: Visions of the Big Apple and Sugarplums

Christmas day has come and gone. What a busy and fun time I had this year in making sure that the Santa gifts from me were wrapped and ready for my five grandchildren — Aidan, Lucan, Morgan, Catherine and Ryan.

This year I had some special shopping time in New York City. I arrived in the Big Apple, along with my daughter Heather, in a flurry of snow and bone-chilling cold. By the time we flew back home the city was setting heat records — it was 70 degrees and humid when our plane took off.

I love being in New York for the Christmas season because it is the most dressed-up town I have ever visited during the holidays. This was not my first Christmas adventure in there and hopefully it won't be my last, because I am always dazzled.

This year we chose the Kimberly Hotel to be our home-away-from home and it was a great choice. With the hotel located on East 50th just off Lexington Avenue, we couldn't have been more beautifully situated as we cruised 5th Avenue and its beautiful shops, viewed the Rockefeller tree, and walked to Radio City Music Hall. There we attended the Christmas Spectacular that included several performances by the Rockettes and ended with a lovely nativity scene that has live animals, including a camel.

We began and ended each day at the Kimberly with a visit to the hotel's 30th floor penthouse level lounge and bar. In the morning we would partake of an extensive breakfast buffet and designed our own omelets while we savored incredible views across Midtown Manhattan and the iconic Chrysler Building — my favorite building in the entire city. In the evening we would return to the lounge for cocktails and watch the lights come on in the city.

We had a "close encounter" at breakfast one morning when we bumped into my granddaughter Catherine's best friend and her family. I don't know who was more surprised!

I had a wonderful time during my Big Apple escape. I'm a confirmed believer. I love New York!


The Stardusters and Alaromas dance groups joined together to dance into the holidays. Live music and fine dining brought people to a venerable Pasadena private club for the event that was themed "Visions, Sugarplums, Let's Dance."

Everyone was dressed in holiday finery for the event. Greeting guests were Virginia and Michael Karsch, presidents of Stardusters. Dance committee members included Barbara and John Stocky, Fred Vacquer and Roberta Green, Geraldine Saunders and Jeffrey Kohes, and Marlene and Robert Evans.

The décor was holiday festive with several decorated Christmas trees and lighted swags. Susie MacMillan created the floral centerpieces of red roses, mixed white flowers and fresh pine greens.

The Jack Lantz Band provided the dance tunes that encouraged the dances to come join in the fun.

Attending the dinner dance were Polly and Brent Allen, Martha and Bob Brumfield, Fran and Terry Buchanan, Grace and David Cashion, Liz and Bob Craven, Jerry and Francie Crichton, Easy and Ed Delany, Margaret Ann and Tom Dunn, Heather and Carl Emge, Geraldine and Carson English, Corky and Eddy Field, Jody and Robert Fischer, Sue and Barry Franzen, and Judy and Robert Fischer.

More revelers were Judy and Kent Frewing, Janis and Ricardo Gallo, Kitty and Jack Gurash, Barbara and Jim Hester, Pat and Dennis Hetherington, Shirley and David Hickman, Susan and Jim Holland, Karen and Robert Kobus, Jeanne and Bob Jenkins, Stefi and Kent Kuster, Diane and John Landrum, Paulette Lantz, Penny and Jay Lusche, Jim Mramor and Edie Askew, Bob Newhoff and Betty Bollier, Ginger and Ed O'Hara, Linda and Dennis O'Leary, Lillian and Roy Olafson, Frank Osmon and Joanne Stebenne, Cathy and Pete Palermo, Barbara and Tony Phillips, Gigi and Jim Schlueter, Margaret and John Schock, Judy and Bob Snyder, Carolyn and Craig Watson, Michelle and Keith Wien, and Maria and Ted Wierseman.


JANE NAPIER NEELY covers the La Cañada social scene. Email her at with news of your special event.

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