Sunday, January 18, 2009

Flip flops in January

Now that the holidays have come and gone, I'm already starting to get antsy for spring. At this time last year, my toes were bare and my skin was slightly less pale. But this year, I've traded in my sunglasses for a fleece hat, my flip flops for winter boots and my sunblock for over-sized mittens. As the days get colder and snowier, I'm starting to miss beautiful, sunny Southern California. I especially miss:

: Before I moved to California, everyone said I'd take the beautiful weather for granted. After all, you can't appreciate the sweet without the sour. But it couldn't have been farther from the truth. I was thankful for every single cloudless, perfect day. Even though I knew was going to show a week of golden sun globes, I still checked it every day and smiled in amazement.

But maybe if I had grown up in Southern California and knew nothing else, I wouldn't have thought twice about the beautiful weather. Maybe all the cold, snowy winters and stormy, sunless springs I'd endured growing up was enough sour to let me enjoy the sweet.

: The ultimate fish tacos. I recommend fish tacos (blackened), ahi rice, black beans and a side of extra guacamole. Mmmmm.

Pinkberry: Sweet, sour, simple and delicious. With just three flavors (original, green tea and pomegranate), I don't feel overwhelmed trying to make a decision...that is until I see all of the fresh fruits and fun toppings. My favorite: original frozen yogurt with coconut and strawberries.

Christmas lights on palm trees: I'll admit, the first time I saw a palm tree glowing with Christmas lights, I rolled my eyes. It seemed like an abomination of the classic pine trees I grew up with. But as I enjoyed my first Christmas on the porch in sandals and short sleeves, I quickly came to appreciate this new tradition.

Happy hour: As you can see, good food and drinks are a high priority in my life. So, it should be no surprise that I'm very disappointed with the no-happy-hour rules in Massachusetts.

Forever 21: I didn't fully appreciate the awesomeness of this store until I moved to California, the home of the very first Forever 21. In New England, this store is organized like a giant tag sale -- with all of the clothing strewn about randomly. The layout is so cluttered in such a limited space that you can barely maneuver your way to the fitting room. But in Pasadena, the two-floor store is like a mini shopping center. Everything is arranged by style (casual, dressy, outerwear, etc.), then color, then size. Thank goodness they have a fabulous Web site for online shopping.