This has, seriously, been the slowest week ever. We leave Friday evening to go down to Orange County to beach house it with the whole Tobler clan for a week and I am pumped! But Friday is taking for.ev.er to get here. While I wait, here are some fun finds:
A few days ago I was rummaging through old pictures taken while I was traveling through Europe in 2010. This was a time pre-David, pre-declaring my major, pre-responsibilities, and pre-real life. Which basically means it was (besides no David) a wonderful time of my life and a perfect time to gallivant through England, France, and Italy. I was trying to remember the things we did and places we went to make a few recommendations...
Yesterday I somehow stumbled upon friend's blog from college who now lives in Manhattan with her husband that is chronicling their time spent eastward. She reminded me how fun New York is. I also found myself spending a fair bit of time wondering through this pretty London vs. Paris blog...
These few things started me thinking about what it would be like to really live somewhere so metropolitan and different from my suburban ways.
Let it officially be known that I have a soft spot for my Californian suburban homes. They are familiar, and wonderful, and will always be home. And I love being able to always find a parking spot.
But...sometimes I'm up of a challenge.
Like how would grocery shopping in NYC be different without my car? No more buying in bulk. And walking most places/ using public transit on a daily basis? I lived in London for a few months and rode the Tube all over, but it surely wasn't really living in London and using the Tube to get to doctor's appointments, school, and work.
What would be different?
What would be the same?
What would I miss?
What would I love?
This week I've been hunkering down and trying to find another good swimsuit...it's always such a task. The hardest thing for me is that I can never find suits to actually go and try on in the store! Everything seems to be online now. It's really unfortunate paying for all the shipping and handling...and then praying it fits! Because, lets be honest, out of all pieces of clothing you really.need.your.swimsuit.to.fit. Really well. This was my last order, but I didn't love the pattern in person (in reality, those lavender flowers are hot, hot pink and neon yellow), so it went back. This is the next one in the works. Fingers crossed!
Here's a few web finds:
speaking of swimsuits, did you know Spanx has a swim line? Genius.
This past weekend we had a particularly fun date night. After a day of cleaning the house and preparing lessons for Sunday, Dave and I headed down into LA to eat at a cafe called The Pie Hole...and oh baby, we were two happy campers. First of all, I instantly loved this place per its name because it made me think of this beloved show, and secondly, David is an avid fan of all and any things pie. We were basically made for this place.
Dave got himself a cheeseburger pie (which was way better than it sounds, I promise), and I got a cornbread and chicken pot pie (melt in your mouth deliciousness with green chilies). And we, of course, shared a decadent dessert of maple custard pie, which basically tasted like creme brulee in pie form. We were so enthralled we almost bought their overly priced t-shirts.
Now when it comes to pie, Dave is pretty partial to those of the berry variety, which they had none of this past Saturday. Upon inquiry we found out that they were going to start rolling out their seasonal berry pies the very next day!! Blast you timing. I guess we'll have to go back. (oh darn)
After so much good food we strolled a little around LA's art district, which we quickly found out wasn't very strollable. So back in the car and off to Griffith Observatory we went.
The observatory is up on a hill that looks over the whole LA basin and the drive up is no mean feat. First we had to get past the crowd thronging to see Barry Manilo at the Greek Theatre, and then there were a million other cars looking for parking...what?? Seriously, when did so many people go hang out at the observatory? Turns out the LA Sidewalk Astronomers and Planetary Society were holding their monthly public Star Party that night and people were flocking in throngs up the hill.
The guy that took this last picture of us was kind of my favorite. I saw him and his wife struggling with the tricky conundrum of trying to take a good picture of yourselves without having to ask someone awkwardly to take it for you because no one is making eye contact and you will just be fine with this sub par photo of the two of you. It's a conundrum I often find myself in as well. So I offered to snap one for them if they'd do one for us. When I gave him my phone I told him I was sure he had mad photo skills and his wife laughed and said he's a professional photographer! He got all down in front of us all serious like and snapped three or four pictures which were all framed so nicely. And then I felt all self conscious about the few pictures I took for them...
It was a really fun date night, but I think I'll have to take Dave back when a) there are not so many people there and b) we weren't so pooped. Somehow right when we walked into the museum we both looked at each other and sighed in exhaustion. I didn't really read a single exhibit, but we did watch a presentation narrated by Lenard Nimoy, and if that doesn't make the trip up there worth it I don't know what does.
Please note: I've gone to the gym every morning this week. Yes, it's only been 3 days, but that's a new record for me. Be impressed.
In other news I'm starting to get really excited about my family's upcoming vacation to Balboa Island for the 4th of July! Like really excited...T minus 16 days til the beach house! Bathing suit shopping has commenced (thoughts on this one in black paisley anyone?) We also talked to David's family yesterday and it's been decided that we'll be spending a week up in Utah with them in August. I LOVE Utah summers so I'm getting pretty excited about that one too.
I. Love. Summer.
And now some fun posts to keep us busy while I wish I was in Newport Beach:
On Sunday afternoon my visiting teachers were kind enough to inform me that there is an ice cream & Italian ice joint in Santa Clarita that Dave and I have not tried... wait, what?? I make it a point to know about every good dessert place within 20 miles of our apartment - how had I missed Rita's?? Thank goodness for visiting teachers. That's all I have to say.
And double thank goodness that we ran into one of our friends there who could give us the lowdown on their unique menu. It turns out she grew up in Phili (where Rita's was born) and is pretty much an expert on all things delicious. We were advised to start out with their gelati, a concoction that has a plop of custard at the bottom, is filled with Italian ice, and has another plop of custard on top... and, it was, you know, okay...
It was amazing.
Turns out this is a beloved East Coast chain that is making its way westward, and now we've got one right in little ol' Santa Clarita. I can say on good authority that it will get put to good use (the line was out the door when we left).
It started out with a happy discovery in the kitchen. I found this new food blog the other day. Her recipes were well reviewed, pretty simple, and looked delicious - a triple threat. For dinner I decided to go out on a limb and try her grilled veggie and humus pizza...
It was SO good!!!
Honestly I had to stop us from eating the whole thing so I could take a few pictures. It was that delicious. I made homemade humus for the first time for this recipe and have already made it twice again over the weekend. It's a new favorite around here (and so stinkin' easy). Chickpeas have now become an overnight pantry staple.
After gorging ourselves it was 7:20ish and I had a hankering for a walk (and to burn a few pizza calories...). Dave was sceptical because it was a little late, but I've been watching the sun lately and it definitely doesn't get full dark til 8:30 or so around here.
I won. We walked :)
There is a darling little community sort of close to us that has a man-made lake in the middle of it and just a bunch of charming homes to wonder around that back up right next to the water. We chose to meander around there with the rest of Valencia and all their dogs. It was so fun to see everyone out walking and enjoying the summer night.
It was refreshing to get out of the house and take an evening stroll. And on our way home we stopped by RedBox and picked up Hitchcock (which I've been wanting to see since it came out) and ate fresh strawberries for dessert.
It was the loveliest, simplest night. I'm down for spending an evening like this anytime.
On Thursday I got out the door before David to fill the car with gas, swing by the church, grab 4 teenagers, and start out on a 2 1/2 hour drive to drop them off at Big Bear. Truth be told, we had a lot of fun rockin' out to their iPods and talking about summer plans (and trying really hard not to get queasy on those windy mountain roads!).
Our stake is having our Youth Conference this year up in the thin aired
mountains by Big Bear Lake, and I forgot how lovely it is up there. The last time I went to Big Bear was my senior year of high school, so it's been, you know, a while. I was only on the drop-off crew, so, sadly, I didn't get to stay for the Youth Conference festivities (and become a sleep deprived monster Laurel leader).
After getting the girls settled in and grabbing a quick lunch with them, I started back down the mountain...after I did a little exploring:
I wish I had thought bring my big camera with me so I could have taken some better pictures, but alas, it was just the little iPhone and me trying oh so hard to capture how pretty it was up there. Thank goodness for panorama pictures!
I'm not a big camper, but I'm thinking Dave and I should try to take a weekend trip up here sometime this summer and enjoy the scenery.
What does one do when there are beautiful flowers on the table and buttery morning light spilling through the window? Pull out the camera! Which was probably the first time since last November, sadly. Once I got my iPhone it's just so much more darn convenient. I can't help myself.
This week has been lots of cars, cars, and more cars. Oil change, new tires, new brake pads, smog test...you get the gist. It's never ending! Ok, it is. After the smog test I should be good to go (assuming I pass...). To be honest, they stand there and tell me things about my tire's alignment and I must look like a deer in headlights, so I just nod and smile. Oh yeah, that part, ok, let's, um, fix it? Let me call me husband, um, again...I'm sure it's all been very entertaining to the men at Big O Tires. You're welcome for the laughs gentlemen.
After spending Memorial Day weekend with my family, we rolled into our garage Monday night and David realized he had left his suit at my parent's house. Oops. I told my mom to which she replied, "Wonderful! We'll bring it up to you on Saturday!" Any excuse to get together right?
We took them out for burgers and all sorts of friend vegetables at Bricks for lunch and headed to our favorite shaved ice joint for dessert. It was a scorcher in the 100's, but we made do.
Turning 24 and 18...or 42 and 81...?
It's always a treat to hang with the fam. Never complaining about that.
Later that afternoon Dave and I decided to head down to the LA temple. We were very happily surprised by the coastal Santa Monica breeze that was MUCH cooler than up by our home.
We were finally able to finish up some family names we've been helping my cousin to complete (after like 10 months - sorry Christa!), and spent a good three hours in the temple just enjoying. We were in no hurry and that was nice for a change.
We topped off the night with chocolate chip cookies (ohmygosh this was a really good batch, ask Dave) and Inception...during which we fell asleep. Which feels appropriate somehow...and a good excuse to watch it again.
Now that it's officially June I've gotten the summer bug and can't wait to get out and about doing all the summery things southern California has to offer...let the fun begin!