Now that I am on a "special" diet I sometimes like to picture myself eating one of my favorite foods trying to remember how it tastes, like warm, gooey, chocolatey brownies, or cheesy savory paninis, or giant, juicy burgers.
That brings me to Umami. Yesterday, msn's delish.com had an article highlighting the top 25 best hamburgers in the U.S. Umami Burger was GROSSLY overlooked. For months, Erin and Emily had been telling me things like, "Oo...look! We're passing Umami Burger!" or "You haven't been to Umami yet!" "Sarah Arnstein is wrong. Umami is better than 8 oz. Burger Bar." I had gone to 8 oz. once and their burger was undoubtedly delectable. If anything I was leaning towards Sarah's side since I lived in ignorance.
Then, one day, Emily told me that we were going out to eat before going to Crystal's house. She refused to tell me where because it was just too exciting and she was going to make it a surprise. I started dreaming big. It was like my anticipation for the finale of "Lost". My imagination went far beyond reality. On the way I guessed that we were going to Umami and Emily confessed. She was disappointed at my lack of excitement. But really, how good can a burger be? My tastebuds were ready for intense euphoria.
When we arrived I was encouraged by the atmosphere. Atmosphere does a lot for me. This place was in a unique area, right next door to a Halloween store with a line out the door extending all the way to Grauman's Chinese Theater. Okay...not that long. We sat down and I received my menu. I'll admit, the choices were impressive. I had never seen that many different kinds of burgers listed before. Than my eyes rested on the words "Truffle Burger". I had never tasted truffle sauce before but I knew it's reputation. My mind was set. And let me tell you.... .... ............. ....... you haven't tasted a burger. Until. You've been to Umami. Words cannot describe not only how good MY burger tasted, but also the ones Erin and Emily ordered. This blog post's ending is slightly anticlimatic, because the real climax is awaiting you....at Umami. Trust me. Is their slogan "the fifth taste" not enough for you? Go. Now. Skip work or school if you have to. And thank me later. ;P
Camping! I have always loved camping. I don't know what it is exactly...maybe sleeping in a tent makes me feel like a kid again. Or maybe it's making smores, or playing games around a campfire. Of course...now that I'm older I can MAYBE understand why some people don't like it...getting dirty, listening to other campers yelling until 2 in the morning...but overall, its worth it for a few days of adventure. That's it! Adventure!
It's amazing what you can do without a kitchen!
Twins in flannel. :0)
Another reason why some don't like camping...
But pretty much EVERYONE loves hot chocolate!
Vacations are always nice for some extra reading time. The following is from "True Spirituality" by Francis Schaeffer.
Aunt Donna. She's so cute!
She and my mom are obsessed with Fresca, as you can see...
Some Five Crowns.
So, our plan was to camp in the Sequoias. Except no one thought to plan ahead and reserve a spot until the week before Labor Day. Not exactly enough time for the last big summer holiday. So we camped on the outskirts. As you can see, no big trees right around us, but there was a nice lake!
Camping is also a good time for Sister Time! :)
And family time in general.
My mom and aunt did most of the cooking, but Jeremy and I handled the pancake morning.
Jeremy's pancake dots.
And my attempt at animal pancakes. Can you guess what they are?
Jeremy's dog, Roxy. Roxy and I have a on again off again relationship. I may or may not have a scar on my finger. Thankfully the Labor Day trip was a peaceful time between us. You know...she's kind of a vain dog, so offering to take her picture helped ease the tension.
We did venture into the Sequioas one of the days we were there. We found these critters hanging out by one of the sharp turns.
While we were out and about we saw a sign for some hot springs. We were ready, we had our bathing suits and all. At Yellowstone once, we went swimming in some hot springs. Nice warm water flowing in the middle of an ice cold river. That's what we were expecting. We drove for a long time, so long that after awhile we thought we had gone the wrong way. Jeremy said he was going to turn around but we kept saying, one more minute. Right as he was about to finally make the turn, we saw the sign. By this time we were really excited until we came upon this.
And realized that what they meant by hot springs, was this...
Lame! And what's more, it wasn't cheap to swim in their special hot springs pool. At least they had ice cream, but even then, they wouldn't let you have a free sample taste of any of their flavors. Oh well. We had better things to do. Like check out the spectacular views.
And walk INSIDE giant trees!
And see more of God's beautiful creation!
Three trees growing together!
Check out those roots on this tree that fell over. Massive!
One of the rangers in the park gave me a sequoia seed. Can you believe that this...
turns into this???
Our God is so AMAZING!
Emily showed us Camp Nelson, where we went on High School staff retreat a month later. The student leadership from High School was there for their retreat a few weeks before. As you can see, the remnants of their stay weren't completely gone.
We got a little hungry. Thankfully there was sustenance in a store at Camp Nelson.
But root beer leads to something else. And when you're camping...sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do...
October, November and December are always packed with various events, parties and traditions, so they fly by. We didn't really do too much during Halloween this year. But we did still carve pumpkins! Em's is a nerdy pumpkin.
For some reason I chose to carve out Clark Gable's face. Random, I know. I don't even know where I got the idea.
We also went over to Crystal's house a few times in the fall for Farkle game nights and a crazy hiking documentary. I think Crystal is made up entirely of creative bones. (That sounded kinda weird.) She is an amazing cook, decorator, florist...you name it, she does it!
She lives in this really cool old house in Hollywood up on a hill.
I want to be like her! Not many single girls decorate with moose heads and bear rugs. At least I haven't met many that do.
In October we also hosted Dany's baby shower! It was animal themed.
Dany and her sister-in-law, Ruth. Ruth helped host and had lots of fun ideas.
Ruth and Aunt Donna both brought scrumptious desserts.
More food! Including Aunt Donna's deviled eggs. I LOVE her deviled eggs.
What a cute pregnant momma she was!
This little girl was so cute. A 15 year old in a 10 year old body.
And a month or so later...baby Joel! He's four days old here. I need some more recent ones.
I hope to wrap up the recent times tomorrow, so stay tuned...my three readers. ;)
"This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:24 Every day is a Red Letter Day for the believer because to be alive is more than we deserve. This blog chronicles the ways that God is faithful to me and the many blessings He has given me. Life is great when you know Him!