Road trip: Orange County

Believe it or not, in all this time I’ve lived here I’ve never actually been to LA. And since my sister lives in Orange County, I decided it was time to head to SoCal and visit her. My mom flew out for the weekend so we could have our girl time.

Vlad-y cat.

Megan and her boyfriend Matt have the sweetest orange cat named Vladmir. I’m allergic to cats and don’t usually like them very much, but he charmed me and snuggled with me at night.

We actually ended up saving LA adventures for another trip and mostly stayed in Orange County. One of our favorite pastimes is shopping, and man were we in the right place for that. I haven’t seen such a sea of shopping since I was in Las Vegas!

But first we actually headed to Pasadena for a little thrifting. My mom did some research and found out that the Rose Bowl flea market was going on during our trip.

It is absolutely huge, so we braved some intense traffic and finally made it there. We knew it was going to be good when we saw about a million hipsters streaming out of there carrying tables, chairs, and all sorts of cool stuff.

My mom got a nice hat and (my favorite!) blue dots Pyrex bowl. She also got the green mixing bowl to complete her Pyrex set.

Post-shopping we filled up on yummy Chinese food at Sam Woo’s. It was the first time I’ve actually gotten to have the full experience of sharing a bunch of dishes at a table with the lazy Susan in the middle. We were even able to polish off a four-pound lobster!

Later on Megan showed me how to make the yummiest cookies, which I will share with you soon.

After some more shopping at one of the most epic malls I’ve ever seen, I had to head home. I missed my puppies, and I wanted to have a little Valentine’s Day dinner with Mike.

I had a blast though, and can’t wait to go back and put on my tourist hat. I also have a loooong list of LA restaurants to explore. Recommendations are appreciated!

Remembering my Nana

Last weekend my nana, Helene Hall, passed away. Her health had been declining for a while, but I did not realize that our visit with her over Christmas would be our last. I’m grateful for that visit, and for the last few phone calls we were able to have.

Nana was the kind of person that did exactly what she wanted to do with her life, all the way up until the end. I never imagined someone could be so at peace with their own death. But she simply wanted to be with her husband (we called him Poppie), who died when I was 12.

Apparently I had a thing for combing Poppie’s hair when I was little.

I think because I was the first grandchild on that side of my family I had a special bond with Nana. I remember she kept a makeup kit for me at her house and I would spend hours smearing it all over my face and admiring my handiwork in one of those vanity mirrors. Nana was a true woman of the Mad Men era. You never saw her without her hair perfectly coiffed and her nails freshly painted. One of my friends called her ‘sparkly grandma’ because she always wore a glittering jacket at the holidays.

I was lucky to get 31 years of memories with her, and I’ll treasure those always.