Saturday, March 19, 2011

Still keeping it "NEW" in March...China Town, Live Mice, Fireworks, and a Great Cup of Coffee

ANOTHER WEEK OF NEW!!!!  Can you believe I have officially stuck to my New Year's resolution to try one new thing a day for over two months now??!!!   Well, I have, much to my own surprise, and I am still going strong.  This 'new' stuff kinda grows on ya.  It is fun.  It is exciting.  And...believe it or's kinda easy once ya get started.

Some more new things I have tried in March...

-First of all, I have lived in Los Angeles for 12 years now and I have NEVER been to China Town.  I know, I know, this falls under the category of WTF???  But, so many of us do this.  There are great things to see, or do, or experience, that are just an one or two hour car drive away from our home, but we don't go do it. We tell ourselves, "I would love to do that.  I'll do it next pay check. Next month. Next year."  All of a sudden it is 12 years later and you're sitting around thinking to yourself, "Gee, wish I could think of something fun to do this weekend."  At least that has been my experience with a few things.  I can't help it.  My couch is so comfy and I love my HBO nights.  But, neither my couch or HBO are at all new to me. HA
                                                         The entrance to Old China Town

So, off to China Town I went.  I gotta say that China Town is probably one of my favorite new things so far.    Old China Town plaza was built in 1938.  As you enter the plaza through beautiful Chinese arches, you step into a traditional Chinese environment.  Lots of authentic food, beautiful jade jewelry, wonderful clothing, herb stores (the real with live mice), and music that puts an elegant glide in your step. Many movies were filmed here including 'Rush Hour', 'Lethal Weapon 4', and of course, 'Chinatown'. I must have been grinning ear to ear the whole day. I was very excited to try Dim Sum for the first time.  My Dim Sum was a warm steamed dough wrapped around different meats like chicken and BBQ pork.  I liked it so much, I ordered three more to take home with me.
                                                           My first bite of Dim Sum

  I also got to try 'homemade' mochi, which is a traditional Chinese dessert.  There certainly is something to be said for home made food served at an authentic restaurant.  I enjoyed my first Chinese beer, Tsingtao.  I explored many interesting shops and purchased two pieces of jewelery made from agate.  I couldn't leave China Town without having a fortune cookie.  My fortune read...."Experience life fully".  Talk about an ironic reminder.

-Anyone who knows me, knows that I have to have three things everyday...a glass of red wine, a cup of coffee, and chocolate.  My dream came true when I found two of my favorite tastes in one.  Coffee-a-Cocoa!!  Can you believe it??!!  I found a can of medium dark Brazilian coffee blended with unsweetened cocoa.  I almost didn't buy it, because it cost twice has much as my usual coffee.  However, in the spirit of 'new' I just had to treat myself.  I am so glad I did.  Little did I know, that with every purchase of Coffee-a-Cocoa, you get a complimentary can of Peppermint coffee.  Ok, even I gotta admit that Peppermint coffee sounds weird.  But, it was new and FREE!!!  The Coffee-a-Cocoa is amazing.  It is rich and full of flavor.  One of the best coffees I have ever brewed at home.  The Peppermint coffee was neat to try...a bit odd...but neat to try.  I don't think Peppermint coffee will be something I will brew every morning.  I do think it will be a fun coffee to serve at one of my dinner parties.

 -This week I decided to throw a new twist into my usual workout.  A personal trainer once told me that it is a very good idea to mix up your workout routine every three weeks.  Adding something new to my workout, not only keeps me from getting bored, but it is great for my physical health.  I recently met a woman who runs marathons.  She told me that she uses interval running to train for her marathons.  She runs for three minutes and walks for one minute.  She repeats this pattern over and over through out her run.  I am NOT training for a marathon, but I do try to run for 20 minutes at least three times a week.  This week instead of running for 20 minutes straight.  I tried the interval run for 20 minutes.  I rather enjoyed it.  I definitely didn't get bored.  I also felt like my body got a better workout by running in a new way.  I also got to use my stop watch again.  That made me feel so official.

-I LOVE LOVE LOVE Disneyland!!  I love it so much that last year I got an annual pass.  This allows me to go as often as I want to... and I do.  I swear I have explored every square inch of that magical happy place over and over again.  I could visit Disneyland a thousand times and never get sick of it.  But, I wasn't quite sure that I could find something new to do in a place that I have visited so many times.  HA...wrong again.  With the help of a dear friend, I found a few new experiences in my old favorite theme park.  My friend wanted to picnic in Disneyland.  I picnic in Disneyland almost every time that I go.  My friend suggested we picnic on Tom Sawyer's island...ding-ding-ding...NEW idea!!!  I couldn't believe it?!  I have never even thought of picnicking on Tom Sawyer's island.  We took the raft over to the island, found a bench near the water, and ate our picnic lunch.  As we enjoyed our lunch we watched the Mark Twain Steamboat and a Viking Ship sail by over and over.  It was so neat.  I felt like Becky Thatcher.  Later that evening I got to see the fireworks display.  I have seen the fireworks in Disneyland many times, but they are always just above the castle.  This time they were being sent off from every corner around the park.  I was literally surrounded by fireworks every where I looked.  Everywhere I the north, to the south, to the east, to the west...there was fireworks.   It was surreal and NEW!   Of course, I had to stop and visit my old buddy Pluto.  I gave him a big hug and told him thank you for always putting a fresh new smile on my face every time I come to visit the 'Happiest Place on Earth'.

-Last, but not least, I received a 'new' homework assignment this week.  A friend of mine back home in Illinois, has a daughter who is in elementary school.  She sent me a paper doll named, 'Flat Stanley'.  I am suppose to take several pictures of Flat Stanley visiting different places around Los Angeles.  I then send Flat Stanley and his photos back home to Illinois.  I will be sure to blog about all "The New Adventures of Flat Stanley" next week.  I think Stanley and I are going to have a grand time.  :)

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