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Memorial Day Weekend

3 Jun

Over this past Memorial Day weekend, my husband and I did our best to Get Out There.  On Saturday we began our long weekend by doing some Thrift Store shopping, one of our favorite weekend activities.  We don’t have to be looking for anything in particular; sometimes cool stuff just finds us. I found a few cute tops and a beautiful silk blouse… tags still on it!  Set me back a whopping $3, it was the tag color of the week so it was half off.  Certainly the find of the day.

On Sunday afternoon, we drove down to Huntington Beach for lunch at our favorite Himalayan Restaurant, the Himalayan Grill.  If you’re a fan of Nepali, Indian or Tibetan cuisine, this place is for you.  We absolutely love it.  The decor is simple but certainly puts you in the mood for the meal that will soon follow.  Think incredible photography, fountains, Tibetan prayer flags… you get the idea.

We start off with the Vegetable Pakormas and dip them in both of the yummy sauces they bring to the table.  Greg got his usual Tandoori Chicken and I got my usual mixed vegetable Korma.  Both dishes come with Basmati rice and a bowl of Saag Paneer (spinach with Indian cheese).  The meal also comes with a small salad which is a good palette cleanser when you’re looking for one.  Of course the dinner wouldn’t be complete without the garlic Naan bread.  Dipping it in the Korma and Paneer really is the icing on an already sweet cake.

Once our appetites were completely satisfied, we drove down to the pier and found a parking place in a nearby neighborhood.  We walked around for a bit, checking out the booths at the craft fair.  It was small and we didn’t really see much we were interested in, so we headed back for the car.  Saturdays they host a farmers market… probably more my style.  We’ll have to make a point to check that out sometime soon.

On the way home, we stopped at Nordstrom Café in Brea Mall to sit and relax with an ice cold glass of lemonade.  So tart and refreshing, the perfect elixir.  We walked the mall a bit, again, not really looking for anything in particular, but just enjoying being out.

Dinner time brought us to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Mauricio’s.  A relaxed, family atmosphere with great chips and salsa and real authentic Mexican fare.  And pizza.  I know that sounds funny, but the restaurant used to be a pizza place.  When Mauricio bought it, he figured it a waste to get rid of the pizza oven, so he just incorporated the Italian pies into his otherwise south of the border menu.  And people love it.

Monday found us heading west into Los Angeles.  Our first stop?  Chinatown.  I haven’t been in 25 years or more and Greg had never been.

 

 

Did you see the movie Rush Hour with Jackie Chan?  Here’s where part of it was filmed…

 

 

We were getting hungry for lunch and I asked Greg where he’d like to go.  Jokingly he said, “You think they have a good Italian restaurant around?” We walked one more block and I stopped dead in my tracks and told him to look up.  We both cracked up.  Apparently, the area that today encompasses New Chinatown was originally Los Angeles’ Little Italy.

We hopped back in the car and drove a few blocks to Little Tokyo (in J-Town) where we walked around a bit and then decided on a sushi bar for lunch.  It was good, not great. Certainly not as good as our hometown sushi bar, Dai Shogun.  But we’re spoiled and we know it.  Every other sushi bar we try has a big rice bowl to fill.  We love that the best is right in our own neighborhood.  We enjoyed our lunch and walked around some more.  The day was just too beautiful to not be outside walking and exploring.

We finally climbed back into the car and drove to Beverly Hills.  One of my favorite things to do is what we call “Star Tours”.  We drive into L.A. and use our Map to the Stars’ Homes to cruise around and appreciate the architecture, landscapes, cars, etc.  And if we should glimpse a celebrity, all the better.  On Sunday the only house I really wanted a picture of was Lucille Ball’s.  I’m a HUGE Lucy fan.  Huge.  She really was/is the Queen of Comedy and nobody before or since has been able to match her comic timing and physical humor.  She didn’t need to resort to offensive material or bathroom humor to get a laugh.  She just did what she did and she did it best.  This wasn’t the first time I’ve been to her house (not that I’m a stalker) but considering I’ve lived in So. Cal my whole life, I’ve been in these neighborhoods countless times.

A few months ago we made a trip into L.A. to do some suit shopping… I came across her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  I couldn’t resist.

Finally around 6:00, we left L.A. and headed home.  It had been a pretty full day and weekend and I really didn’t want it to end, but it was time to start preparing for my work week.

Looking back, it’s clear we took full advantage of living in California.  But the truth is, it doesn’t matter where you live.  What matters is that you find the beauty in any direction you look and then take steps toward it.  It may mean putting on your hiking boots, tennies, flip flops or swim fins ~ either way, Get Out There.

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Walk at Home

6 May

Sometimes it isn’t practical to exercise outdoors, and sometimes you’re strapped for time and staying in is what works the best.   My husband likes to lift weights, do push-ups, sit-ups, etc.  Me?  I’m a huge fan of walking DVDs.  Not just any walking DVD though, Leslie Sansone’s in particular.  I try to work out several times each week, about an hour or so each time.  It doesn’t take a whole lot of space and I work out in the privacy of my bedroom.  I never thought I’d find an exercise DVD that would encourage me to work out and I’d actually see a difference.  Most are so intimidating and frankly the commitment just seems too much.  I like these.  But don’t let the walking titles fool you.  They’ll give you a “run” for your money.  They’re high energy and when you’re done I hope you’ll feel the same sense of accomplishment I do.  If not, step it up!

I love the way the DVDs are structured.  In this DVD in particular Walk Your Belly Flat, you’re able to choose how long you’re interested in walking, 1, 2, or 3 miles.  Mile-markers allow you to decide which work out is right for you each time. Leslie’s compound exercises give you a multi-muscle workout and bigger calorie burn.

This second DVD I use really is 5 Really Big Miles.  Again, you have the flexibility to walk any combination of the miles you choose.  Unlike the Walk Your Belly Flat DVD, Leslie is joined by a studio full of walkers this time.  This DVD includes a toning band and during the two miles you use them, you’re going to feel it.  You may not feel it on day one, but you will the next day.  I recommend alternating the days you do those miles.  At least in the beginning.

Leslie has several other DVDs but for now I’m sticking with these two.  They’re giving me the variety and motivation I need to Get Out There, even when I’m staying inside.

 

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