Be Right Back

Be Right Back

Please pardon our absence — we thought it prudent to disconnect from the internet during our honeymoon. We promise we’ll be right back to answer all your comments, emails, and share our adventures! In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of our most adorable family member, Bagheera, caught indulging in some sweets.

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

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Gjusta Coffee

Gjusta Coffee

A little while ago, I received my first thank you present as a note of gratitude for my work. It was a touching moment. As I mentioned back then, I did not care what was inside that box. It could have been an empty box for all I cared. I was just thankful that someone appreciated my work enough to go out of their way to get me something — even if it was just an empty box. That said, it was not, an empty box.

The box was a Gjusta gift set that, among other things, contained some freshly roasted coffee beans that I was beyond excited to try! The only problem, I did not own a coffee grinder — until now.

Admittedly, for someone who loves coffee, I was surprised to realize that I did not own a coffee grinder. I have always purchased freshly ground coffee or used the grinders at the supermarket to grind my beans upon purchasing them. That said, and regardless of how I acquire my coffee beans, I do have high standards when it comes to how I brew my coffee.

I know that currently there is a fascination with Chemex’s pour-over coffee, but for me there will never be a cup quite as delectable as that which is brewed with a French Press — call me old fashioned, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So I ground my coffee, mixed it with some hot water in my French Press, and waited 4 minutes.

Review: Flavor. If I had to describe this cup with just one word, it would be flavor. Every note of dark chocolate, toasted almonds, and blackberries shines through each and every sip. This coffee is bright, crisp, and unbelievably mouthwatering. Sip after sip, this cup makes a presence, one that beckons your attention and commands authority. Suddenly, I realized something peculiar about this cup. It was effectively a cup of Blue Bottle’s New Orleans coffee — my absolute favorite commercially available coffee in the United States. Needless to say, I was impressed.

Unfortunately, I do not know how much this coffee costs — because, it was a present. However, after tasting this superior cup of what can only be described as the nectar of the gods, I will be sure to visit Gjusta’s store in Venice, CA. Perhaps upon learning it’s price I may reevaluate this coffee, but as of right now, it stands among the highest rated thus far. The Ramdolfi Score: 9/10.

Tell me, have you ever had Gjusta coffee? Do you grind your own coffee, or do you buy it ground? Are you a French Press person, or do you have a different method of choice?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Los Angeles Underground

Los Angeles Underground

One of my best friends, the best man at my wedding in fact, is himself getting married! As such, the same friend who organized my bachelor party (see exhibits A, B, C, D, and E) is about to have his own — in Vegas (insert .gif from The Hangover).

The only setback, it starts on a Friday morning. After making some calls and pulling some strings, I struck a deal to have Friday off and make up the time next week. One of the perks of working at a start up, flexibility.

Escalator descending to Universal City Metro station

While I could drive to Las Vegas, I am not sure I want to drive 4 hours at the crack of dawn, by myself, to catch up with the guys. That’s when it occured to me, I don’t necessarily have to drive. I looked at last minute flights, too expensive. I looked at trains, too long of a journey (twice as long actually). Finally, I looked at buses, bingo!

The coach bus would leave at 7:00 AM from Union Station, which means that I would still have to make my way to Downtown LA before sunrise. Sure, I could take an Uber or Lyft, but today is about public transportation, namely, the LA Metro.

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Friday: Day 1 of the Bachelor Party

My alarm goes off at 4:30 AM for me to get ready and make my way to the underground train station I used to take every day to go to work, and make my way to Union Station — Universal City station.

Universal City Metro station

Entering the station felt like muscle memory, I remember those public transportation days vividly. I still even had my old “tap card” to enter the station. Unfortunately, it had insufficient funds on it, which forced me to take a minute to reload my card, which in turn made me miss my train.

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The next train would not arrive for another 15 minutes. I would be cutting it really close — down to the last minute, if I made my bus at all. Still, I waited patiently for the next train knowing that there was nothing I could do to make the next train arrive faster. Before I knew it, a train full of half-asleep passenger was opening its doors before me.

Los Angeles Metro Red Line Passengers

Every stop along the way felt like a roll of the dice, like a game of craps, where at any given point we could roll a 7, say encounter a train delay, and lose it all — perhaps this could be foreshadowing for what is to come. Fortunately, the train arrived at Union Station with 5 minutes to spare, I hopped onto the bus, and was on my way to Vegas through the road less traveled.

It is always interesting taking the Metro in Los Angeles, mainly because very few people utilize it as their preferred method of transportation, but also because a number of people do not even know it exists. I certainly did not know we had a subway system until I returned from New York — where I would take the subway almost exclusively to go just about anywhere. On a related note, how weird is it to navigate cities several feet below the surface?

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Tell me, have you ever taken the subway? If so, what was your experience like? Do you prefer to drive your own vehicle or take public transportation?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Have A Lovely Weekend

Have A Lovely Weekend

Good morning caffeinated nation — it’s morning somewhere in the world. I hope your weekend is wonderful thus far! Today we wanted to share a dash of positivity by sharing our morning.

Full disclosure, I am not sure that I subscribe to karma (a concept that can be summarized with “what goes around comes around“). But I am a firm believer in treating others as you would like to be treated.

At the same time, I think it’s a good idea to add positivity into the world, without expecting anything in return. It’s just a better way of life. As such, this morning Wife was the recipient of this weekend’s first random act of kindness.

After a long week at work, we were happy to sleep in today. But our four-legged feline had other plans. She jumped ferociously across the bed waking us up to serve her breakfast, which wife generously took care of — that’s when inspiration struck.

It occurred to me to brighten Wife’s day with some flapjacks for breakfast! She loves it when I cook them for her, and today was not the exception. Kodiak Cakes’ 100% whole grain mix, milk, and an egg mixed and cooked in a buttered griddle, yielded the delicious breakfast above.

I was happy to see Wife happy. Now we venture into our weekend thankful for each other. Quick appreciation note, I love the “Hubby” coffee mug (pictured) that she surprised me with earlier this week. Thank you amazing, loving, thoughtful wife!

Tell me, what are your plans for the weekend? Do you like to sleep in, or wake up early to seize the day? What is your favorite topping on flapjacks?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

On the Road Less Traveled

On the Road Less Traveled

A stream of earth dashes right next to me, much too fast to even distinguish the dirt and plants that compose it. I raise my gaze and the ground begins to slow down, incrementally decelerating until I reach the mountains in the far distance that gently inch their way past me. I imagine them as old majestic creatures calmly walking on the road less traveled.

The sun caresses the right side of my face, while the rocking of the wind and the sound of speed entice me to close my eyes and go back to sleep. I even seem to notice a sign that reads “Zzyzx Rd.” If I did not know any better, I would think that I was being welcomed to sleepy town.

I blaze through the desert as fast as this behemoth and it’s conductor allow us to, but I remain stagnant, peaceful, only moving my fingers but to type these words. I find the comfort in the quiet, most of us aboard do. Silence. Then I hear someone yawn, perhaps they will join the half of the passengers who have elected to nap – I certainly considered it.

Mr. Ramdolfi typing these thoughts while on the road.

I look around me. I look through the windows at the vast nothingness around me, and I feel, inspired by nature. It’s incredible. To think that there was a time when this was it. I attempt to fathom life in the great outdoors before the invention of, well, doors. It sounds grand; daunting, harsh, and likely uncomfortable, but grand.

It is moments like this that allow me to step back and acknowledge that we are all one people with a single ancestry, divided only by our own constructs. We are just one of many species that has cohabited with the rest since we first set foot on this land. Most impressive of all, we have gone from nothingness to today. If only the hunter-gatherers of yesterday that roamed the same grounds where a McDonald’s is now open for business could see what securing food in today’s society looks like.

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I find it interesting how it takes stepping out of the known to see the bigger picture. The monotony of daily life combined with the city grind generally encapsulate me in a specific mindset, one that I openly enjoy, but one that occasionally restricts my ability to think beyond the parameters of my routine. This, this is different.

This is traveling, specifically, this is the journey within traveling. While I always look forward to the destination, there is something special about the journey. I believe it is the same reason why so many of us enjoy going for a drive without a set path. It’s delightful, almost therapeutic. For these reasons, I am happy to be on the road.

Tell me, do you enjoy road trips? Do you prefer the city or nature? For you, is traveling about the journey, or the destination?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Sebastian Palomino)

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

Story time! A few years ago I left my native Los Angeles to move to New York. Most people would probably love that opportunity; in fact, most people would likely jump on that boat in a heartbeat. I however, reluctantly accepted a job in Manhattan, took a one-way flight, and started a new life in the East Coast.

Upon arriving in the city that never sleeps, I quickly realized that I hated it. Not to sound ungrateful for the opportunity, but it is known that Angelinos tend to hate New York, and New Yorkers tend to hate Los Angeles. Having had lived long enough in both cities, I can absolutely understand why, the lifestyles are vastly different. But that’s a story for another time.

So there I was, a young urban professional in the city that people would kill to be in — and all I wanted to do was leave. Sure, I wanted to make things work, but I was also ready to move back to LA in an instant. With that in mind, I sat down to think, why do people want to move to New York?

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It was a serious question. I had never had any desire to even visit New York, let alone move there. So why then, are so many people obsessed with that city? I thought that if I could answer that question, I could take advantage of my stay for as long as it lasted. Google search after google search, I began to learn just how much New York had to offer. That’s when I realized how ignorant I really was. Museums, parks, landmarks, cuisine, and of course, Broadway. New York had it all — except for Walmart.

Equipped with a new mindset, I set out to make the most of my time in New York. It was challenging at first, specially given my socioeconomic status at the time — I did not know anyone and I could barely afford to eat. But with perseverance and some resourcefulness, I quickly turned things around. I could write a book about my years in New York, but for now I’ll just say that: I set myself the goal of going to Broadway once a month for as long as I lived in New York (after all, I thought I may only be there for a month or two); I saw over 40 Broadway musicals and plays.

I loved New York. I still do! I just don’t live there anymore. But that mentality of taking advantage of my stay because it may not last forever, truly enabled me to make the most of my time in New York.

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By contrast, at some point along the way I realized that prior to New York, I had missed out on all of the fun things to do in LA — because I took it for granted. At the time, I thought that since I was not a tourist, I would always have access to everything LA has to offer. But then suddenly, I didn’t.

Thankfully, the love of my life brought me back to the best coast, I mean, West Coast. Now, I intend to utilize the lesson I learned in New York here in Los Angeles, which effectively boils down to one thing — to live my best life. As such, I look forward to all of the touristy LA things that people come to the city of angels for and more.

Tell me, would you be interested in learning what are the best things to do in LA? Perhaps the best things to do in LA for couples? Or maybe even the best things to do in LA for locals?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Igorelick)

Sports Photography at the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival

Sports Photography at the Long Beach Dragon Boat Festival

After what was supposed to be a 45 minute drive, which turned into a 2 hour LA traffic experience (part of the not-so-unusual reality of living in Los Angeles), I arrived at Long Beach’s Dragon Boat Festival. Personally, I had never even heard of the sport until I joined my startup and my manager mentioned it. It turns out that not only does she practice it, she competes at an international level! As such, when she mentioned that she would be competing over the weekend, I felt privileged to attend the event and show my support!

As an added bonus, I was able to test my sports photography skills. Spoiler alert: I have a long road ahead of me before I can add these on my resume. That said, it was a good learning experience! A few of the things I learned: 1) Bring a telephoto zoom lens with you, 2) If possible, make use of a tripod, and 3) You have to be fast! I look forward to the next opportunity to fine-tune these skills. On the bright side, I made a friend (pictured above). I named him, Leslie.

Tell me, are you familiar with Dragon Boat racing? How are your sports photography skills? What do you think Leslie is thinking about?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)