What living in California sounds like…

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So Spring happened and driving in the sunshine with my pink earbuds brought me to Collective Soul’s 2007 album, Afterwords: the epitome of what living in California sounds like.  Call me crazy but every song just sings of palm-tree, care-free, California-days and I’m not just referring to Hollywood‘s reference to that “sunshine, bright-eyed, California, cotton-candy taste”…

Track 1  New Vibration: beach volleyball.  Confession: I’ve yet to participate in a Cali v-ball game, but when I do, New Vibration will be playing, along with Kenny Loggins’ Playing with the Boys (we can’t forget Top Gun)

Track 2  What Can I Give You: Ice cream, always ice cream; and it doesn’t have to be Gunther’s.  It could be frozen yogurt too…or sorbet.  Oh, and rolling down a grassy hill.

Track 3  Never Here Alone: being in traffic on I-80.  You’re driving to the Arden Mall with a group of friends, (just because you can) during rush-hour.

Track 4  Bearing Witness: Stargazing in Placerville.  Have you ever seen Saturn?  I mean really seen Saturn?  Rings and all?  Get a telescope, it’ll blow your mind.

Track 5  All that I Know: falling in love (in California of course).  Like walking down J street on a Second Saturday, taking in an evening of live music and free art –while holding hands (this is a must)

Track 6  I Don’t Need Anymore Friends: Clearly this is an emotional low point of Afterwords, but I’d say this track is still relatable to California because the summers are HOT.  Sure it gets hot in other places, but one afternoon Rayla and I walked all over downtown Sac and seriously got soaked in our own sweat.  Gross, but truth.

Track 7  Good Morning After All: Riding my bike on a Saturday morning.  The early cool air is just warming up, my fingers are chilled and the daily joggers give a nod as I pass by.

Track 8  Hollywood: Bubble-gum.  Bright pink, sticky, bubble-tape, bubble-gum.  Put that with wayfarer sunglasses and driving with the top down and you’re set.  Of course, you better be driving down a major California highway…

Track 9  Persuasion of You: Browsing that record store in downtown Sacramento, the Beat right?  Yeah, it’s totally the Beat.  Talk about legit.

Track 10  Georgia Girl: Not-from-around-here.  I’m quietly settling in to living the California way, the culture shock is silently fading, and although Seattle is no Jersey Shore, I think I can relate to Georgia Girl, at least a little bit.

Track 11  Adored: dancing in the moonlight.  You can do that here, almost any time of the year, because winter almost doesn’t exist.  *sigh*

Track 12  An Evening With: Going dancing with friends.  I never really got into hip-hop and rap until I moved to California.  While Collective Soul is far from either genre, I’d have to say this track totally brings me to dancing the night away every other weekend last summer.  My friend, Diane, once said, “I go dancing for me”.

Track 13  Ain’t That Enough: Life’s never perfect and sometimes you just gotta go for a drive.  I’d pick the back river road up through Freeport.  The vineyards are amazing and the setting sun on the water, even more so.

Track 14  Give: Just looking ahead to all of the good things that await a California soul.  Whether you’re visiting, born and raised, or just moved in:

                   “all these days of sunshine, will never end;                                                                        now my eyes have opened, to all the love that you give”


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How to Celebrate your Valentine in Sacramento

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Peace Out Chocolates

Happy Valentine’s Day.  The sun is shinning, the sky is blue and my mom gave me these chocolates to celebrate.  I have no plans in particular, but I am eager to see what lovebirds will be wandering Old Sacramento this evening.  Did I tell you I work in a sock store now?  That’s right guys, Sock City in Old Sacramento!  But what I’m even more curious about is how Ammon and Rayla will be celebrating Valentine’s Day?  I’m positive we’re all curious so I promise to get and post that story by tonight.  In the mean time, I took the liberty of googling “Valentine’s Day Sacramento 2012” and here’s what I found:

Sacramento365.com is featuring at least 8 events this evening from Vivian Lee at Harlow’s to Laugh’s Unlimited’s  Sacramento Love Ball and Punchline Comedy Club’s Cupid’s Comedy Allstars.  Courtyard Marriott and Hyatt Regency in Sactown are even hosting formal dinners just for you and your sweetheart.  Sigh “Ah love”.

The Legal Services of California had their 9th Annual Valentine Run this morning.

CBS Sacramento lists your Best Bets for Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts and Open Table makes dinner-for-two reservations easy with a list of top restaurants and reservation options.

So whether you’re in the mood for flowers & chocolate, dinner & music, running, or just laughing like crazy, Good Morning Susan’s got you covered.  If you don’t want to spend any money, I suggest snuggling up with a good chick flick or action film -if it’s your man’s turn to pick.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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The delicious Blood Orange

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First off –I don’t like oranges.  At least I thought I didn’t.

As posted before, I think it’s pretty neat that Californians can grow citrus trees in their front yards.  Lemons, grapefruit, oranges, not to mention: the Blood Orange.  I first discovered this creation one February afternoon with my friend, Cassidy.  He had a handful of oranges and offered me one.  I politely accepted the fruit –even though oranges really aren’t my favorite treat.  He told me that it was a blood orange and I was suddenly curious.  I had remembered reading about blood oranges for a school project and always wondered how they tasted.  I began to peel the fruit and was surprised when red juice started to dribble down the rind.  I soon made it to the deep red, fleshy  fruit and took a bite.  Talk about delicious: (Blood Oranges are exceptionally juicy with a sweet-tart kick).  I quickly gobbled up the fruit and couldn’t stop thinking about how good it tasted even the next day.

Now this very whole time, there had been a bowl of oranges on the table at home; but because I was so used to detesting oranges, of course I hadn’t tried one.  I later heard my brother, Kennedy, talking about how we had blood oranges and my ears perked up right away.

“We have blood oranges?!” I exclaimed.

Kennedy: “Yeah”

Me: “Alllll of these are blood oranges?”

Kennedy: “Yeah…”

Haha, and I ate about 2 or 3 of them that very afternoon.

They’re smaller than regular oranges.  I’m going to post a youtube clip of peeling a blood orange.

The funniest thing is how now, I actually like oranges.  They’ll be another comforting reminder of home to me when I’m back at the “Y”.  Back at the “Y”, Good Morning Susan: Back at the “Y”  ~Coming soon in just 7 months from now!

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Why I love In-N-Out Burger

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Animal Fries with Camille

To begin with I actually don’t really care for In-N-Out Burger.  The grilled onions give me heartburn, the fries are too dry and they never have any Sprite; but in spite of the imperfections, I still love going there.  I remember when In-N-Out came to Orem, Utah.  Everyone raved about it and waited hours in line for a Double-Double sandwich, Animal fries and Neapolitan shake.  Playing along, I decided it was cool too, until one day I realized, I always felt gross after eating there.  So “Why?” you may ask, do I claim loving In-N-Out at all?  Because of the atmosphere.

The place is always open and it’s rarely as sketch as Mickey D’s.  My favorite part would have to be that it’s squeaky clean!  Now, don’t get me wrong, McDonald’s and all the other places are generally clean too, but I don’t know, it’s something about the shiny red and white tiles and sunny palm trees that make In-N-Out shine.  When midnight rolls around and we’re all in the mood for a last-minute hangout, we don’t think Taco Bell, we say In-N-Out all the way!  We’ll crowd into a row of tables and chairs and wait for our meal numbers to be called.  I admit that besides the heartburn and dry fries, I’ve come to like 7-UP, and ordering a #1 without onions usually does the trick, while animal style solves the grainy potato problem.  If there’s one thing I do love to eat at In-N-Out it’s the chocolate shakes. So all in all, that’s why I love In-N-Out Burger: it’s clean.  Oh and next time I go, I’m totally trying Beka’s recipe for Mormon Jungle Juice:

1/3 pink lemonade

2/3 sprite or 7-UP

1 juiced lemon

1 lemon dropped in the juice


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San Francisco Roller Coaster Ride!

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As promised: a ride through San Francisco.  This city is seriously like an amusement park; and the people who dare to ride their bikes to work, rock my world.

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A day in San Francisco

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It’s always been a childhood dream of mine to visit San Francisco, and now, living just hours away, I can!  A group of us were itching to do anything exciting before the next Sac City College semester, so yesterday morning, we all piled into Paul’s suburban and drove to San Fran.  We had no plans, just spontaneity; and spent the day wandering the city from Little Italy to Chinatown to Ghirardelli Square.  I’m currently editing a few youtube clips so you too can take a ride on the roller coaster of hills.  –They’re seriously unbelievable.

For now, I invite you to take a photographic look at A day in San Francisco:

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