Heaven on a Plate

Have you ever had one of those meals that was so delicious that you literally thought you were in love at first bite? Well, I hope you’ve had the pleasure because this “falling in love with my food” situation recently happened to me and, holy cow, I thought I was in food heaven.

I recently planned a day trip to Miami with a couple of my girlfriends and one of them, who happened to know the area quite well, said she had to take us to this chic espresso bar for lunch. She said it was called Aroma. I almost stopped dead in my tracks. (I have to put in this small tidbit: Most of my friends would call me enthusiastic and quite excitable.) This tidbit applies here because when I heard that we were going to the Aroma Espresso Bar I thought I might just keel over with excitement. I had been to Aroma a few times when I had spent some time in Israel, but I thought that Aroma was only located in Israel. I had no idea that they had any locations in America (I’ve now learned they have four American locations- three in New York and the one I went to in Miami.).

This was the best meal. Ever. I had a combo meal. Half of my lunch was a goat cheese, tomato, and basil sandwich on a thick piece of whole wheat bread. The other half of my meal was a sweet potato and lentil salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Seriously, this meal was heaven on a plate. Alongside that hefty meal, I ordered an Ice Aroma. An Ice Aroma is kind of like a coffee smoothie, but it has such a rich taste and creamy texture. They serve it with a little chocolate on the lid and truly, this drink was I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E! Best. Meal. Ever.

When I went to Aroma in Israel, I loved the food, but I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to have it again for such a long time because my trips to Israel are few and far between. Eating at Aroma was great in more ways than one. I, of course, loved the food, but eating there also brought back a flood of memories from my time in Israel- memories I hold very dear. As soon as I stepped into the beautiful, large, chic, minimalistic and familiar espresso bar, I was greeted with so many memories and the anticipation of biting into the food I loved while I was overseas.

This meal was the start to an awesome day in Miami. My girlfriends and I ate, shopped, and sunbathed! What a perfect day. It really couldn’t have gotten much better than that!

What’s your perfect meal? Does it bring back memories for you?

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A Photo Journal of my Israeli Adventure

 I love to travel. The world is big and beautiful and my dream has always been to see everything there is to see in it! Besides taking the title as a religious and cultural epicenter, Israel is beautiful, eclectic, and historical, offering delectable foods, vivid colors, and remarkable people.  Here are just of the few of the many, many, MANY pictures I took on my INCREDIBLE trip through Israel!

A busy Tel-Aviv market

Fresh foods of a street vendor in the ancient city of Tzfat (Safed)

Yemenite food, luchuhe, consisting of tomatoes, cheese, zataar (mix of spices), baby greens, in a wrap made from egg bread

Yemenite street vendor in Tzfat (Safed)

Rosh Hanikra Grottoes on the Mediterranean Sea

Etrog (citrus fruit) growing field

Jilabun Waterfall

Gazing into the final resting place of our forefathers in the holy city of Hebron (c) Chabad.org

Friends, Food, Shopping, Family… Perfection!

I went to visit my friend, Shira, and her mom, Debora, in Atlanta this past weekend! We had an AMAZING time catching up and I was reminded of how lucky I am to have such great friends!

I arrived in Atlanta with my sister, Jessie, on Thursday, but we arrived relatively late after an embarrassing airport fiasco so we ate dinner and went home.

We woke up early the next morning to head to downtown Atlanta to see the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola.  I have always been a big fan of aquariums, so being in the Georgia Aquarium was such a treat! I especially loved a few exhibits: the albino alligators, the penguins, and the whale sharks! The whale sharks are massive. I was in disbelief of the sheer size of these fish. I think Jessie and Shira got tired of hearing me say, “Wow! Look how huge those fish are!”

Albino Alligator

The Gentle Giants... Whale Shark

Penguin

The World of Coca-Cola was also a really interesting place. I never really thought about how food and drinks (in this specific instance, Coke) are really such a huge part of our society and really can bring people together. My favorite part of the World of Coca-Cola was being able to taste sodas from all over the world. My favorite sodas were from Africa!  I also wreaked havoc in the gift shop… oops! (It’s so touristy, I know!)

World of Coca-Cola

As much fun as I had touring around the big Atlnata attractions, nothing was as much fun as heading back to Shira’s house on Friday night for a family dinner! Shira’s mom, Debora, is a great cook and she treated us to many DELICIOUS dinners while we visited them! It was such a treat to sit down, eat, and laugh together!

Friday was a long touristy day, but Saturday was very special. We spent most of the day visiting with Shira’s grandma, Nana. Nana took us out for breakfast and we went back to her apartment afterward. She showed us pictures and told us stories! Nana is really a very special woman and I loved getting to spend time with her!

After we spent time with Nana, we drove over to Virginia Highlands and did what girls do best… we shopped! This shopping trip was only one of many while we were away… oops, again!

Sunday was yet another great day in Georgia! Once again we woke up early so that we could enjoy more time together! Shira, Jessie, and I set out for Cleveland, Georgia to visit Babyland General, site of the creation of Cabbage Patch Dolls. We’re all young adults so it probably seems funny that we were interested in dolls, but we had a blast! Babyland General is so adorable and we had a great time looking for dolls with our names or our birthdays!

This doll shares my name!

After we finished up at Babyland General, Shira, Jessie, and I drove to a nearby outlet mall (after a lunch mishap that turned out to be a slightly creepy experience) and shopped… again! (For anybody who’s lost count, this is shopping spree number three.)

Unfortunately, we had to leave Atlanta to head home on Monday, but not until after we completed shopping spree number four (I wish I was kidding!)! Saying goodbye was not easy- I definitely didn’t want to leave yet, but I had the very best time with Shira and Debora and leaving only means that I’m getting closer and closer to getting to go back to visiting them again! I’m already looking forward to it!

Me, Shira, and Jessie

At Least I Burned a lot of Calories…

The Atlanta airport is enormous, but for someone with some common sense, it shouldn’t be that hard to navigate. Unfortunately, my twin sister, Jessie, and I are apparently lacking in the common sense department.

For those of you that have visited the Atlanta airport, you probably know that it’s one of the largest airports in the world with many concourses. There are trams that help move people around the massive airport so that everyone can get around in a timely manner. Jessie and I, even though we’ve been to this airport before (it’s embarrassing to admit), were unaware of this system and followed the signs that pointed toward baggage claim… ON FOOT.  We were huffing and puffing, walking for what seems like eternity when Jessie says, “We must be doing something wrong. It shouldn’t take this long to get to baggage claim.”

“Well all of the signs are pointing this way so we better keep following them,” I said.

Jessie and I keep on trucking when we were stopped by a young girl. She says she’s trying to get to baggage claim to find her Mom. While I’m flattered that this young girl seemed to think Jessie and I are older and so we must know what we’re doing, this made our situation much more embarrassing. Jessie and I were clearly lost and now we were supposed to help this young girl find her Mom? Oh man…

Jessie and I kept walking (it’s as fun as it sounds :p) when the friend we were visiting called. We had called her when our plane landed so she was expecting us to have been at baggage claim already… she was waiting for us. Mind you, we had been walking for about thirty minutes at this point, and our new friend was still in tow. Great.

Jessie is on the phone with our friend so I can only hear one side of the conversation…

“We’re following the signs that point to baggage claim. This airport is huge.”

I imagine that this is when our friend informs Jessie that we should have taken the tram.

“That would have been a nice thing to know before we walked the whole airport. Lovely. Well, we’re at baggage claim now.”

We got to the carousel that was carrying our luggage and I said, “Look, Jessie! Our bags are the first ones out on the carousel.” She politely reminds me that it’s taken us about thirty minutes to get to baggage claim and that ours are the only ones left on it, and, in fact, that’s why they came out so seemingly fast…

While I would have preferred NOT to have walked 700 miles (exaggeration) around the Atlanta airport, at least I burned some calories in doing so! Our friend was sure to remind us to take the tram when we were catching our flight home!