On Changes

We can’t be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don’t have something better. – C. JoyBell C.

The past year has been a time of change for me. Physically, mentally, emotionally.

I kicked off the year by continuing my pursuit of becoming fit and living a more healthy lifestyle. I achieved this through…

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endless tucking at Pure Barre

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my new-found obsession with inversions (and love for yoga)

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Getting back into shape wasn’t the biggest change of the year. It was moving down to San Diego for work.

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Despite the positives of living in San Diego, I’ve had a hard time adjusting. It’s been four months and I still don’t feel connected to my new home. Every chance I get, I go back to LA to see my family, friends and Henry. There is nothing that keeps me in SD. Nothing. It could have been an easier transition if I had a friend here who had an established social circle that he/she could introduce me to. Or maybe if I lived in the same area as most of my coworkers.

Before I made the move, I thought I would love living alone. I envisioned Bruce Willis screaming out “Freedom” in Braveheart. Um, negatory. Living alone SUCKS, especially after living with someone for the past 7 years. Living alone doesn’t lessen responsibilities, it increases them tenfold.

Who is going to move a 100 lb box of furniture into the living room and build it? Me.
Who is lugging 10 bags of groceries from the car to the 3rd floor? Me.
Who is lugging trash from the 3rd floor to the garage? Me.
Who is doing all the household chores? Me.

And while this whole experience has been mostly a pain, I owed it to myself to live alone at least once in my life. I needed to understand what it was like to not rely on anyone, to do things myself and for myself. Because only then would I be able to truly appreciate cohabitation with Henry. It’s kind of like how you need to learn to love yourself before loving others 🙂

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Whistler 12/26/2013

Speaking of Henry, we got past the “seven year itch”. Barely. We were broken up for a bit. Our relationship had been on cruise control for the past few years and as a result we got too comfortable. We mistook living with each other as spending quality time together. It’s not. We also mistook talking to each other because we lived together as communication. It’s not. So as painful as it was, having that short time apart was a good thing for us because we learned these important lessons.

As if making a big move, transitioning to a new job, and going through relationship issues weren’t enough to deal with, I had a health scare about a month ago. I found 3 enlarged nodes in my neck. After an ultrasound and 11 vials of blood (9 in one day!), my Dr. said that it’s likely not cancer or anything serious. I’ll continue to monitor the nodes and decide in a month or so whether I should go forward and get a biopsy… just in case.

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2013 has been rough, especially the last half of the year. So on this last day of 2013, I am happy to say, good riddance!

Hello, 2014!

I eat: Napa Rose [1], [2]

I opened a Disney credit card in 2007. I can’t tell you why because I honestly don’t remember myself; I was never a Disney fanatic. Over the years, I accumulated more than 400 Disney Dollars. It wasn’t until I researched the redemption policy that I find out I could use my Disney Dollars at Disney restaurants. I chose Napa Rose.

Inside Napa Rose, there is a lounge, main dining area, Dessert Counter and Chef’s Counter. The Dessert Counter seats about 4 to 5 people and is off to the right of the kitchen overlooking the preparation of desserts. The Chef’s Counter is split by the service counter (see picture below); each side seating 4. Diners sitting on the left facing the kitchen have a view of appetizers being made while diners on the right get to see the main course action unfold. Because of the extended experience, there are only two seatings per night at the Chef’s Counter/Dessert Counter, 5:30PM and 8:30PM.

IMAG0459Executive Chef Andrew Sutton

To snag seats at the Chef’s Counter, I made a reservation a month in advance for a 5:30PM seating. Henry and I were excited to celebrate our 5 year anniversary with a “free” dinner (thank you Disney Dollars)!!

The night of our reservation, we arrived early only to find out that whoever took our reservation FUCKED UP because they had no record of it.

I. WAS. LIVID.
THANKS FOR RUINING OUR ANNIVERSARY ASSHOLE!!!!

The Chef’s Counter was completely booked that night so the only thing the manager could do was offer us seats in the main dining area. I contemplated just walking out and going home, but I remembered that I had expiring Disney Dollars to use so I reluctantly accepted.

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After being seated, we placed our order fairly quickly since we agreed beforehand that we would order the “Vintner’s Table” (Chef’s Four Course Tasting Menu). I didn’t have a chance to be my usual indecisive self!

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Amuse Bouche

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Halibut

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Pork Belly & Loin

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Steak

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Goat Cheese Doughnuts

My anger began to subside as we finished our first course and it all but disappeared by the time dessert was served. Instead of sulking the whole night, I actually enjoyed my meal. Every dish was well executed and delicious. I especially loved the pairing of goat cheese doughnuts and “pear soup” (I told you I love hot + cold).

At the beginning of the night, given the reservation drama, I was sure we would never, ever, ever come back to Napa Rose… EVER. At the end of the night, I was willing to come back and pay for our meal!

…And come back we did. Less than a month later! Yes, mostly for the food, but also because Napa Rose comped our first meal in attempt to make things right – we only paid for Henry’s wine pairing, tax, and tip (based on full dinner amount, of course). That meant I still had expiring Disney Dollars to use.

For our second visit, I was only able to reserve seats at the Dessert Counter.

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View from the Dessert Counter

See the empty seats on left? That’s the Chef’s Counter. Since all 4 of those seats were empty and it was well past 6PM, I asked Sous Chef Gloria what the deal was. After speaking with the manager, she explained that the party cancelled and offered us the seats. HELL YEA! Not only did our view get upgraded, Sous Chef Gloria also told us about another tasting menu, one in which you relinquish control of your meal over to the chefs; we had no idea what our next course would be. This option had more, smaller portion courses and costs the same as the “Vintner’s Table”. I highly recommend it if you are able to sit at the Chef’s Counter.

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View from the Chef’s Counter

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We LOVED every dish, but the highlight of our meal had to be the mushroom soup. AMAZING. The “Best Hot Chocolate” was a close second 🙂 I can’t wait to return for another meal.

Verdict [1] & [2]: 4.5/5
Napa Rose (@ Grand Californian)
1600 S Disneyland Dr
Anaheim, CA 92802