Eat Like it’s 1957

Stepping through the doors of Rod’s Grill in Arcadia, California is like stepping into a time machine. It’s on historic Route 66 and hasn’t changed a bit since it opened in 1957. The turquoise vinyl booths, brick walls, and original light fixtures transport you back to that simpler time.

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The Drapers’ and Whitneys’ booth

Having lived in the suburbs of Los Angeles for my first 34 years, sometimes it feels like I’ve seen and done everything there. Of course, that’s not true, and when we go back to visit I try to make a point of doing something new. Flying into LAX, and arriving very early, I looked into historic diners for breakfast and happened across many reviews of Rod’s. It was exactly what I was looking for; a place with lots of history and character. Read More

St. Paul’s and the Amazing Nappers

My time at Westminster Abbey had been a hot mess, and I was looking forward to a mortification/apology free time attending Choral Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral. We had some time to explore before going inside and it was quite a treat to happen across a statue of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, in the courtyard of St. Paul’s. Being a Methodist, and having a grandfather named John Wesley who was a Methodist minister, it was a special moment.

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John Wesley, the founder of Methodism

Just like W.A., there are no permanent pews. At St. Paul’s, folding chairs are set up under the dome in a half circle. We got there early enough to score seats in the front row.

I didn’t see any “No Photography” signs, but I was feeling skittish after my run in at W.A., so I clandestinely took a photo of the dome from my purse. It’s not my best work.

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Purse photo of St. Paul’s dome

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Biting the Hand that Feeds and Other Church Misadventures

We were going to be in London on a Sunday, and I was very excited. That meant we could attend service at both Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. They each have many services a day, with different themes, so to speak. Some are music orientated, and some offer communion, for example. We opted for the Sung Eucharist at Westminster Abbey, which was a combo: music and Holy Communion. At St. Paul’s we would be attending Choral Evensong.

We had spent our morning up at Abbey Road getting one of my most favorite vacation photos ever, and the day was off to a great start. We knew we needed to get to the Abbey early, because I had heard that it fills quickly and late comers are turned away.

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Off to a great start!

We got there in plenty of time and were enjoying people watching and having the time to just stand next to the Abbey and contemplate all of the historical events that have happened there, and the historical people buried there. It’s quite mind boggling.  It was also nice to have a moment to relax. We had been on the go non-stop.

 

It was time to go in and here is where things took a turn. I was overwhelmed at being inside and took my phone out to take some photos. I got one shot, when Gray said, “Mom, there’s a guy coming.” I looked up and saw a very stern, unhappy priest barreling down on me. “You cannot take photos! Can’t you see the signs?!” I was mortified!! “I’m so sorry”, I stammered. “I promise not to do it again.” My heart was pounding and I was crushed at the thought that my first interaction with an Anglican priest was one in which he thought I was a total jerk.

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The infamous photo

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Three New Awards – Thank you!

Liebster-Award-1Thank you so much to Richa and Gracie, for each nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award and to Megha for my second Leibster Award. I appreciate it so much!

You can find Richa at iScriblr, where she writes about a wide variety of topics and takes stunning photos. She keeps me very entertained! And she likes Dubstep and EDM, which is the genre of my favorite artist, graymattr, so we’ve connected on multiple levels. Be sure to stop by and say hello to her!

Gracie over at lif3slittlethings is quite a phenomenon! She is 14 years old and writes an amazing blog with heart. As she says, it’s a “blog about everything for everyone.”

Megha is a super talented chef. I love her recipes and she has taught me some Hindi food words. She also does book reviews, which is a sure way to my heart. You can find Megha at Delightful Discoveries. Check out her recipes and reviews! You won’t regret it.

About the Awards

The Versatile Blogger Award was created to feature and recognize blogs that have unique content, high quality of writing, and fantastic photos. As the web-page about the Versatile Blogger Award says – “Honor those bloggers who bring something special to your life whether every day or only now and then.”

The Liebster Award was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere. It has German origins – the word “liebster” has several definitions: dearest, sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, lovely, kind, you get the picture. Read More

Going Rogue on St. Paddy Day

St. Patrick’s Day 2017 is going to be hard to beat. We were in Oxford, England on a walking tour of the city and we were bored out of our minds. Our guide was a very sweet, elderly English woman who had lived in Japan for many years. As we walked along she gave us lots of information about what we were seeing, and then would repeat the whole thing in Japanese. It was quite time consuming to hear the spiel in two languages and we felt our precious time in Oxford slipping away, especially because we knew we would probably never remember any of this information anyway.

Drastic measures needed to be taken. I’m not sure which of the four of us suggested ditching the tour, but agreement was unanimous. In reality, this act of rebellion wasn’t a big deal. The tour walked one way and we walked the other, but in our minds we were undertaking a secret mission and we high fived as we gave the tour the slip. Sometimes being naughty can be so fun! Read More

Making Cousin Amelia Proud

My great-grandmother was an Ehrhart. She would refer to Amelia as “Cousin Amelia”, although they had never met. Their last names were spelled differently, Amelia’s being Earhart, but she is my 10th cousin and I think she would be really proud of what happened this past week.

I was invited to take part in the worldwide event, Women of Aviation Week, or WOAW. Its goal is to expose women and girls to aviation careers. Currently, women represent just over 6% of pilots worldwide, a huge disparity. Read More

A Tale of Two Dicks

Reading classic books is something I really enjoy. I love the thought that I’m reading a story millions of people over generations and sometimes hundreds of years have read. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, it makes me feel connected to something much bigger.

The time had come to tackle Moby Dick, the story of a whaling ship captain seeking revenge on a giant sperm whale that had bitten off his leg in a previous whaling expedition. Things were going swimmingly 🙂 and I was about three quarters through, when Chapter 95 stopped me cold. Wtf did I just read? Read More

Iceland in Poems, Part Two

Waterfall #2: Skogafoss 

The path to Skogafoss was dry as a bone

With a staircase that went to the top

We climbed all 370 steps

And the view almost made our hearts stop

 

The day was so clear, the sun shone off the sea

And gratitude filled our hearts

We took it all in, then headed back down

Glacier hiking was going to start Read More

Iceland in Poems, Part One

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Stefán and his beast

Stefán and the Land Rover

In Reykjavík there lives a man

Who shows visitors all that he can

His Land Rover’s a beast

With no cares in the least

About snow or ice or black sand

 

The Land Rover held three

Brett, Stefán and me

The things we saw did amaze

Volcano, glacier and waterfalls

We’ll remember for all of our days

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Hot Springs, Northern Lights and a Neurotic Brit

Our dead of winter Iceland trip was kind of a spur of the moment decision. Travelzoo had a smokin’ deal that included non-stop flights from Denver, five nights’ hotel, and an excursion to Laugarvatn Fontana, a geothermal bath with a buffet dinner and northern lights hunt.

Normally big group tours aren’t our thing. We prefer small or private tours where we aren’t bound to a tight schedule, so we didn’t know how we’d feel about the group excursion that came with our trip.

Packing for the evening was interesting. We needed bathing suits and toiletries for the hot springs and our warmest gear for (hopefully!!) seeing the aurora borealis.

We had had a lovely day attending service at Hallgrímskirkja and exploring the town, and this would cap off Brett’s birthday.

A gigantic deluxe coach picked us up at our hotel and it was filled with people. We had a darling guide who told us stories of Iceland while we drove out to Laugarvatn Fontana. The only trouble was that so many people on the bus were talking while she was talking, which was very frustrating. I wanted to hear every word she said, but it was difficult. And unfortunately, we were sitting in front of an especially active, loud talker, who also happened to be neurotic. He was a Brit who was afraid of everything (except of boring strangers to death) and had settled on Iceland because his wife really wanted to take a trip and after extensive research he agreed to Iceland because terrorism was unknown there. The poor Japanese man next to him was trapped. It was quite telling that Mr. Neurotic’s wife was sitting elsewhere on the bus. I wished we were with her. Read More

Hallgrimskirkja – Say That Three Times Fast

The second tallest building in Iceland is the Lutheran church, Hallgrimskirkja. It sits in the center of Reykjavík and has become one of the city’s best known symbols. Brett’s birthday happened to fall on a Sunday and he was raised Lutheran, so what better way to end his 47th year, than attending service there.

The church is a tourist magnet. Going to the top of the bell tower and looking over the colorful roofs of downtown Reykjavík is quite a special experience. The narthex was crammed with people waiting to ascend the tower, which I found out, is very annoying to some of the church’s local members on a Sunday morning. As we were trying to enter the sanctuary, we were blocked by multitudes. Suddenly, I was firmly pushed from behind, and turned to see a tiny woman, easily in her 70s, making her way through the crowd in a very forceful way. I found it amusing, although it was clear that she did not. Read More

The Land of Fire and Ice

Winter in Iceland might seem like a really bad idea. And when I planned a trip to Reykjavik in January, I was a little concerned I was making a huge mistake. But we got a smokin’ deal through Travel Zoo and being winter people, we figured we’d have a good attitude no matter what happened. The only thing I really had my heart set on was seeing the Aurora Borealis. I knew I was setting myself up for disappointment, but I couldn’t help it.

A week before our trip we got an email from Icelandair saying we could make an offer on upgraded seats and they would let us know if our offer was accepted. I put in a pretty low amount for the next class up not expecting that it would be accepted, so I was ecstatic when it was! When we got our boarding passes, I noticed that we were in Row 2. What??? The First Class seats hadn’t sold, so they bumped us from Economy Comfort (which I had won in the bid) to First Class. Icelandair is awesome! Brett traveled First Class as a kid, but it was the first time I had ever turned left in the plane and not right. I felt like an impostor. Read More