Aroma Cafe

I can’t think of a more eclectic Southern California Cafe than Aroma Cafe

20160324_164939.jpg in Studio City, California.

Once more, we were meeting up with a friend and there was a line out the door waiting to order.  Linda, went for the the wild rice/tofu bowl.


She wished I had remembered to ask for them to delete the red peers from the dish.  It was spicier than she last remembered it from a the last time she ate there in 2010.

The eclectic cafe ambiance is highly pleasing.  weather you choose to dine inside or out, there is note a bad seat. We took advantage of the lovely spring weather and sat beneath the canopy of umbrella out back.



South Rim


We arrived at the South Rim late afternoon.

Our first stop was the watchtower.—Indian-Watchtower.htm




View from Watchtower



We climbed the interior circular steps.

Before turning into bed, we tried out hand at night photography.  We are pretty pleased with the results Rob was able to get with his LG G4 cell phone.


Grand Canyon @ Night



DAY 2: We rose, with a handful of other guest, who braved the chilly subfreezing temps to watch the sun rise.



Afterwards we warmed up with breakfast inside the lodge where we continued to watch the canyons views.  You can read about that here;

We had been wisely, advised to not give up our parking spot, as parking is at a minimum and we would likely have difficulty finding another parking spot.  Having already spent nearly 2,000 miles driving, we were all to glad to not have to step back into The ‘Silver Streak’.  There are shuttle busses, but we found plenty to entertain and amuse ourselves on foot,all within a 2 mile walk of El Tovar.

After breakfast , our first stop was to visit the Hopi House.



Hopi Center



Our morning rim – side hike took us along the  Bright Angel Rim – side Trail.

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El Tovar (peak) &  Kolb Studio (foreground)

You can read about our guest experience at El Tovar here;



Mary Colter”s Building – Lookout Studio

After stopping in the Verkamp’s Visitor Center

we nibbled granola bars and trail mix prior to our afternoon hike to the

Yavapai Geology Museum


“The really wonderful moments of joy in this world are not the moments of self-satisfaction, but self-forgetfulness. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon and contemplating your own greatness is pathological. At such moments we are made for a magnificent joy that comes from outside ourselves.”

-John Piper




“Both the grand and the intimate aspects of nature can be revealed in the expressive photograph. Both can stir enduring affirmations and discoveries, and can surely help the spectator in his search for identification with the vast world of natural beauty and wonder surrounding him.”

― Ansel Adams

We boarded a shuttle bus at the Visitor Center back to El Tovar, in time to enjoy a stunning evening sunset.


Sunset @ the South Rim

“The glories and the beauties of form, color, and sound unite in the Grand Canyon – forms unrivaled even by the mountains, colors that vie with sunsets, and sounds that span the diapason from tempest to tinkling raindrop, from cataract to bubbling fountain.”
― John Wesley Powell





L.A. was where we were first introduced to this frozen treat.   A trip to the west coast is incomplete without at least on stop at Pinkberrys   Linda is a fan of the tart original.   However Rob tried the grapefruit flavor it left Linda enviable that she didn’t order grapefruit. It was tremendous! For those who keep track, we had frequented Pinkberry’s a total of four times during our west coast stay.   Sadly, the grapefruit flavor  is not offered at all  locations.

Painted Desert- Petrified Forest


The expansive pink hues of the panorama of The Painted Desert is truly a sight that leaves an indelible impression.


Painted Desert Inn

Painted Desert Inn

The Painted Desert Inn,  closed to patrons in 1963.  It reopened to the public as a historic museum in 2006.  It now holds displays about Route 66 and the Civilian Conservation Corps and shows Kabotie’s restored murals.




The Petrified Forest,, adjacent local to The Painted Desert,  made it possible to visit two national parks on the same day.





Dinner and a Show

As the valet was parking our vehicle, at Iroha Sushi of Tokyo we were greeted us with this whimsical wall art as we approached the entrance to restaurant.


Shortly after being seated, we prepared for dinner with a ceremonial hand cleansing with steaming hot cloths.


First this


Followed by this


And then some of this


Although Linda agreed it looked grand if you like sushi, she is not a fan of most seafood so she went with her old stand by of teriyaki chicken.


And that’s when things got exciting.  A man carrying a palm size snake in his hand began to parade around the restaurant, forcefully showing the patrons and employees his snake.  When asked to leave, he became argumentative, obstinate an confrontational.  When he approached our table, Rob, firmly told him to “get that snake away from our food” with similar dramatic intensity as this scene from planet of the apes,  Well maybe not quite as much drama, but he was clear and firm and the man with the snake did back away.

We were joined by many patrons, quickly departing the restaraunt.  While waiting on the valet, we witnessed the agitated man return into the restaraunt, this time with a 13 foot boa constrictor.

The authorities arrived promptly.


Who knew we would have front row seats for a news report that went viral.

p.s. no sushi was harmed in this incident

That’s Hollyweird for ya!

Tender Greens

If you like trendy, fresh & fast, then you’ll want to visit Tender Greens.

Although there are several locations, we dined at the Santa Monica location.

The line, that was out the door, moved swiftly enough.  Since this was our first time, it gave us time to chat with our friend Wendy, a local who highly recommended that we meet here.  It also gave us a chance to peruse the menu.  The dilemma here: so many delicious sounding choices.  Although Linda has a weak spot for macaroni and cheese, and was highly tempted to order this comfort food, we also have a personal manifesto to try something that we can’t normaly order  when we are at home.  So Linda stayed with toasted pearl pasta with spring peas and a side of roasted asparagus.

After placing the order,  It is difficult to not second guess  the choices as you parade past all the other possible options.


The atmosphere is comfortable and casual.  The decor is playful and the wall art reminds me of our grown children’s current favorite animated show, Bob’s Burgers

Although we ate inside, there is also very appealing courtyard dining as well. In our personal opinion, the background music made it a little challanging to have a quiet conversation and didn’t really ad to the vibe of the space.

Linda was pleased with the roasted pearl pasta garnished with tender snow peas and mushrooms with a side of roasted asparagus.20160319_164533.jpg

Each of the several locations menu varies depending on avaiability.