February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day | The Grove | Hollywood Hike

With our Italy departure being set back a few weeks, Brandi and I have been doing our best to keep busy and focusing on anything other than the fact that we are still here in California. Long story short, the paperwork that's required for us to be there long term and renting an apartment is a bit more strict in Florence than most places. That said, we're still here and hoping to receive the news we've been waiting for this week...the green light to buy our plane tickets to Italy! [Fingers, toes, arms, and legs are crossed] 

Anyhow, moving on...

This past Valentine's Day happened to be the 10th that Brandi and I have celebrated together. Valentine's Day is somewhat comical because on that very day, it's mind boggling to see and hear about how many people love the day, hate the day, don't see the purpose in the day, don't want to buy into the hype of the day etc. To me, it's all about what you make of the day with that special person. The day can have great meaning and be full of romance, without buying into the hype of spending a ridiculous amount of money on gifts or dining off a pre set dinner menu. Sure I get it, you're supposed to love that person year round and shouldn't need a day to remind them. I fully agree but at the same time, what's wrong with putting a little emphasis on the love you have for that person for an extra day? It doesn't need to cost and arm and a leg like people think it does. It just requires a little planning, creativity and knowing how to make that person happy. 

To start the day, Brandi and I visited Handsome Coffe Roasters in Downtown LA. She'd never been and with it being literally around the corner from my office, I figured it would be a nice treat before dropping her back off at work. 

Since I have yet to luck out with a delivery company who can actually drop the flowers off to Brandi on Valentine's Day between the hours of 8-5pm, she receives them directly from me. Let's just say there have been one too many instances where the flower company has failed me. As soon as I dropped her off at work, I made a quick dash to pick up some flowers and go right back to her office to deliver them. It's safe to say that she was surprised. 

For the past 5 or 6 years, we've made it a tradition to make sushi at home with each other and this year would be no different. 

Ever since we began packing for our move, I know it had been eating away at Brandi that we couldn't bring all of our pictures with us. I decided to make a mosaic picture using all of our wedding pictures to help solve that problem. The tears streaming down her face were a pretty good indication that she loved it. I can't wait to have this framed and on the wall of our new house in Italy! 

Saturday night we decided to get dinner at The Grove since they have a good selection of restaurants and so Brandi could check out the new Top Shop that just opened. 

We ended up eating at Marmalae Cafe and I ordered the Chicken Meatloaf [Homemade chicken meatloaf served on a bed of mashed potatoes with sun-dried tomato gravy and sautéed green beans with slivered almonds]. Maybe I was just craving meatloaf and mashed potatoes but this meal just hit the spot. According to Brandi, mashed potatoes are a stress cure and I'd have to fully agree with her. 

After a heavy meal like that, Sunday was spent trying to work it all off. We hiked up behind the Hollywood sign which is something we'd never done together. Apparently, this was the shorter but much steeper way up the mountain. Between warm temperatures and a steep ass hill, we were covered in sweat and I'm sure anyone behind me was asking themselves...did this guy eat chicken meatloaf for dinner? I'll let you figure out why. 

All and all, it was great weekend and although I'm going to miss the gorgeous weather we've been having in So. Cal, I really hope we're told to book our plane tickets this week. 

Until next time...

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