How The Vegan Gals of Sedona Do Dinner and a Movie …
One of my greatest joys is creating community and gathering people together for connection, fun, and great vegan food.
What better way to do that than to gather a bunch of amazing women for a Girls Vegan Night Out , including both dinner and a movie? Well, that’s exactly what I did.
Since I started seeing the trailers for the movie, “The Book Club” , I knew it was going to be a gathering. I immediately sent out an email to my friends and set the date for the Sunday after the movie was released.
With excited anticipation, ten of us gathered in the parking lot of the Harkins Theater in West Sedona at 3:30pm on Sunday, May 20, for the 3:50pm showing. By the time the movie started, it was pretty much a full house.
With the female lead cast consisting of Jane Fonda. Candace Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, and Diane Keaton and a supporting cast featuring fellow vegans Alicia Silverstone and Ed Begley, Jr. as well as Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Craig T. Nelson, and Wallace Shaw, we knew we were all in for a real treat!
And we were not disappointed, to say the least!
It’s not often that we see the film leads focusing on women who have entered the tent of the white hairs (whether we have white hair or not). This movie honestly and earnestly took on the real issues that we women grapple with in our Social Security-eligible years regarding our intimate relationships with humor, dignity, and grace beneath the guise of the impact that reading the salacious “Shades of Grey” series has on our glorious four women whose Book Club is more like a wine and maybe-some-food-tidbits gossip slash catch-up session with each other.
And for those of us from the Sedona area, we were treated with the unexpected pleasure of seeing the beautiful scenery from our community in an aerial view, courtesy of Andy Garcia. Now, how can that be bad?
I don’t want to ruin the movie by telling all in case you haven’t seen it; but if you haven’t, oh, you must! Take it from me. It’s a winner and a keeper.
I’ll be purchasing it on DVD (yes, I still have a DVD player for my favorites). It will be joining my other favorites that I can and do watch over and over again—such as “Under The Tuscan Sun” featuring Diane Lane; “Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding” starring Jane Fonda again in a wonderful role of being a Woodstock hippie still stuck in the time warp of 1969-ish opposite a straight-laced Catherine Keener; “Phantom of the Opera” – I can’t help but root for the Phantom when it’s Gerard Butler behind the mask; and “Must Love Dogs”, another Diane Lane movie.
Post Movie Dining at Picazzo’s
After the movie, which we all thoroughly enjoyed, off we went to Picazzo’s Healthy Italian Kitchen, a mostly organic restaurant that recently incorporated a two-page vegan menu to their offerings. It has everything you could possible desire, from starters, to soups and small plates, to organic salads, to pizza (with a regular crust, a whole wheat crust, or gluten-free crust), pastas, pizzas, gluten-free, quinoa bowls, hot comfort dishes, and vegan lunch specials.
I worked with their new manager, John Michels, who was more than agreeable to reserving a table for ten locals at prime dinner hour on a Sunday evening during the height of tourist season while also being willing to issue separate checks for each of us. Our server was extraordinary. She greeted us with a smile and was amazingly pleasant throughout our evening…and you know how many questions us vegans pose when we order at a restaurant. Multiply that by ten hungry women, and I think you get the picture!
Every order came out at the same time, exactly correct, perfectly prepared. We all delighted in our marvelous meals as we engaged in, what you can imagine, was quite lively conversation about the movie. It ranged from details about the Book Club’s choice of reading books and what they were about to the actual movie itself. But mostly, we all agreed that probably our favorite aspect of the movie was how the movie dealt with the issues that we women of golden ages face every day regarding our body images, how we show up in relationships, what we want/expect from them today, and all interspersed with light-hearted laughter and jovial conversation….in other words, a gathering of friends, not too unlike the way the women gathered in “The Book Club”.
While the women in the movie were lifelong friends, most of us who gathered on that lovely Sunday have all pretty much met from as recently as only months to maybe several years ago. However, there is already a very strong bond, a connection amongst friends that feels far deeper in quality than in time.
All in all, such a wonderful evening. One that we all agreed must be repeated soon and on a regular basis.
Here’s Picazzo’s Vegan Menu and a glimpse at some of the amazing meals that Picazzo’s served us: