Every time I think of Pasadena, California, I'm reminded of a scene from the movie Blast from the Past, starring Brendan Fraser and Alicia Silverstone.

I came to learn, the hard way, that LA is one of those metropolitan areas where you really need a car to get around. The public transit will get you where you need to go for the most part, but it won't necessarily get you where you want to go. If I'm near any coast, I'm gonna wanna go to the beach. Period. No questions asked. Give me a towel, a bottle of water, and my sunglasses; I'll be good to go all day. 

After having walked all around Hollywood and Downtown LA the day before, my heels were burning with blisters and my heart was still longing for some sandy satisfaction. Thankfully, it was the weekend, and I had my friend (& her car) all to myself, which I thought meant a few hours laying on the beach. She, insanely unfortunately, does not like the beach. How does one live in Southern California & not like the beach is beyond me, but a little no judgement. 

And so, off to Santa Monica we went, without so much as a towel or a bottle of water. The views made up for it.

Like any good promenade, there were shops, restaurants and street performers all along the avenue.

And the most clever converse display window I've ever seen...

After a bunch of walking around (read: a little), we worked up an appetite, and my friend lit up when I asked about a spot called Umami Burger.

I soon found out why.

As an appetizer, we split an arugula & baby spinach Truffled Beet salad, and then I got my life right with the Hatch Burger (complete with green chiles, roasted garlic aioli & house American cheese). I dipped it in a side of spicy diablo sauce, and this was easily the best burger I've ever had in my entire life. 

Organic hard cider & fries on the side. Don't mind if I do. 


We left Umami just in time to catch the sunset. The combination of the sun falling over the mountains, just as they meet the ocean... If I could've paused that moment in time, I might (read: would) still be there right now.

Until next time, Santa Monica! I'll definitely be back.


Well hey there blog, I was just thinking about you. Seriously. I was standing in line to pick up my lunch and thinking about how I wanted to write something here today, but I wasn't sure what to write about. The sad thing is, I've got at least 10 posts started in my drafts folder, but my thoughts get so jumbled that they take me forever to finish. Then, on top of that, I have to worry about finding a picture to go with the post, so everything looks all dope and thoughtfully arranged.

© the active spirit. +