Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 in Review

I felt like I haven't spent much of 2017 relaxing, taking things slow, or just simply enjoying things as they go. But, I still found it necessary to work, spend time with friends and family. I kept myself going through boba runs, my favorite foods, and trying to squeeze in moments with friends and family. I realized that although it's important to try to do as much as I can, it's also vital to make room for the little things, such as watching Netflix, learning a new hobby, or getting more than 4 hours of sleep a day.

What is some of the stuff that I been up to this year?

I wished I could remember more things that happened this year, but there's lots of things that are just a blur. But, here's a list of some of the major things.

I got myself a GoPro. I wanted a GoPro before, but this year I decided to get myself it. I used it for 2 of my trips so far and made videos. 

I went to Sly Park and Apple Hill on the same day.

I visited the California Auto Museum, which was really hot when I went. But, it was so nice seeing these cars I don't see everyday and enjoying some ice cream.

 I was given lots of makeup this year, which calls for me to really learn how to apply makeup.

I made a trip to Los Angeles (2x) and visited Universal Studios for the first time.

I went to Chicago for the first time ever. I've been wanting to go there for about 10 years now. I planned out just about everything I was going to do and how I was going to get around. My friends and family kept telling me to be careful and asked if I was scared. But, I wasn't scared at all. I was really eager to experience what Chicago was about. I was absolutely amazed by Chicago's museums. They were all huge and had impressive collections. I surprised myself by not only being able to navigate through Chicago through a map, but being able to walk it half the day. I really tried my best to do as much as I could in such a short amount of time. I'm really glad that I went to Chicago.

I went on a cruise with my siblings and had my first trip to Mexico and Catalina Island.

I went ice skating with my friends and family.

I tried to edit a music video for a contest. Going through editing all the footage taught me how hard it is to actually compile a music video and that it takes a lot of work and time.

I was able to see Ariana Grande, Chainsmokers, Nickelback and Ed Sheeran in concert.

I finally visited the California Railroad Museum, which was way more interesting than I imagined.

I finally visited the State Indian Museum and liked their collection, but really wished it was much bigger and had more things to show in the museum.

I visited the Powerhouse Science Center, which I didn't even know about it until this year.

I went to Disney on Ice with my mom and sisters. I felt I would have loved it more as a kid. But, I still enjoyed watching it.

I quit two jobs. That was a big deal for me. I was always afraid to leave my part time job because I was so scared that I would not find anything else. But, I decided it had to be done for different reasons and to my surprise, new doors opened up for me. That gave me hope that I don't need to hold on to anything. It gave me hope that an employer would want me for my determination, commitment, attention to detail, and willingness to learn anything to get the work done. What surprised me most was that the people in those jobs actually liked me and said I would be welcome back and I'm so very glad about that.

My 2017 Mix:

Something Just like This- Coldplay & Chainsmokers
Despacito- Luis Fonsi
Havana- Camila Cabello
Attention- Charlie Puth
Perfect- Ed Sheeran
Break up Every Night- Chainsmokers
River- Eminem ft. Ed Sheeran
Believer - Coldplay
Shape of You- Ed Sheeran

Memorable quotes:

Emily: "You'll know after you watch 7 seasons."
Eric: "You are the type of person who can't really just enjoy themselves at a party. You are the person who will ask if the dishes need to be done."

I waited until the end of this year to take things slow. But, my brain is still adjusting and trying to catch up to sleep. I know that it's only a matter of time until I finally pick up again and start making room for bigger and better things in life. I already have some plans in store. I'm just waiting for them to happen.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Los Angeles Trip with Friends

During Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, me and Chen went to Los Angeles from Sacramento. We both booked our flight together, so that we will have the same flight. We planned to depart from Sacramento on Saturday, January 14, 2017 around 10:40 am and arrive before 1pm. Unfortunately, for us, it was very foggy that day, which cause a terrible delay in our flight and we waited over 2 hours to board our flight. It also caused our friend, Lily who was waiting for us in Los Angeles after a flight from San Francisco to wait for us even longer. The plane ride was fine besides the fact that I was very sick and was having coughs here and there. When we finally arrived in Los Angeles, we took a shuttle to a rental station. From the rental station, Chen booked us a Uber to our hotel. It took about an hour to get to our hotel from the airport. I really did not expect it to take that long.

Lily decided to eat at the Korean restaurant across the street. Each of us ordered a dish. Chen suggested I order a soup because I was sick, so I did. We also ordered kimchi fried rice and pork belly with squid. When the food came we digged into mostly the kimchi fried rice and pork belly. I only tasted a little bit of the soup and didn't like it too much. It had too much of a garlicy taste, which I didn't like. I also didn't feel like eating much because I was very sick.

Afterwards, we headed to a very popular artwork, which was angel wings. Many people go to the angel wings to take nice pictures. Lily was very excited for it and took like what felt like a 100 pictures. Me and Chen didn't take too much pictures. One thing I realized when taking photos there was that I was very short. I wished I was taller, so the wings would look more like it was attached to me.

Our mid late night snack was at a doughnut shop called Dk Donut's. It has the popular Ube doughnut. I remembered Lily showed us a video of the place on FB and it looked very good. But, after trying the doughnut, I realized that the doughnut was just ok. I felt that I tried better donuts. Actually, I still think the do-nut place down the street from my house is the best tasting. Yes, even better tasting than Krispy Kreme donuts.

One of the places I really wanted to go to during the trip was the Griffin Observatory. I saw that it had so many good reviews on Yelp. I also really wanted to see a night view of LA. I love looking at night views. One day, I'll eventually go to that one in San Francisco too. When we arrived at the Griffin Observatory, we noticed so many cars and people. I just couldn't believe how many people were there. We also couldn't help, but notice the beautiful night view. I absolutely loved it! I would definitely go back there. Oh, and the Griffin observatory is a museum as well. I loved looking around there. One of my favorite parts of the museum was the weighing stations that allowed me to see how heavy I would be on Saturn or another planet.

We almost didn't go get dinner because Chen and Lily didn't feel too hungry. But, I felt that if I wanted to feel better soon I would need to keep eating and not skip any meals. Eventually, the two gained some appetite and we decided on a sushi place. We scheduled for  an uber to pick us up and that uber driver left us after only a few minutes of waiting! That was definitely a frustrating experience.

When we arrived at the sushi place, I decided to get a bento box. But, I immediately regret it after ordering because I wouldn't be able to finish everything. Gosh, I hate being sick. To our surprise, we each received a complimentary miso soup, which was also quite tasty! The sushi place was close enough for us to walk back and actually turned out to be a 10 minute walk.

On our second and only full day in Los Angeles, we headed to Universal Studios. I was excited for this because I've heard so many great things about it. I was also not excited about it because I really don't like going on roller coasters or any rides that causes motion sickness. Little did I know that the first thing that I would do is go on those very rides. We first headed towards the popular Harry Potter ride, which was waited in line for for over an hour. The 3D looked great, but I freaked out when it looked down sometimes because I was afraid of heights and I hated how the ride moved us. We also went on the Minion ride, which gave me a big headache afterwards.

When we had lunch, me and Chen decided to split our sandwich. We were both very shocked that the restaurant did not have mayonnaise. I mean... the restaurant had ketchup...but no mayonnaise? That sandwich wasn't even that great and was very plain. There was also no other sauces to enhance the flavor of the sandwich. I was disappointed in the meal since it was costly and didn't taste great, especially since we were at Universal Studios.

I would have to say that my favorite part of Universal Studios is the Universal Studio tour. Even though it might have caused me some motion sickness, I loved that it introduced us to buildings that were used in movies or shows. There was also some 3D stuff in between, which caused me the headaches, but I really have to say the King Kong one was very cool. I loved that we were able to see the Bates Motel. Although Bates Motel isn't my favorite movie, it's definitely a classic and one I'll still remember.
That night, I also finally visited LACMA. There was also many people there. The size of the place was how I would imagine it. We didn't stay too long since Chen and Lily already been there before. So, I took a few photos before heading back. 

Korean BBQ was the long awaited dinner that night. It was all you can eat, but we still had to make sure that we actually finished everything we ordered. It was good, but I wished they would give smaller portions.

On our final day, we packed up all of our belongings from the hotel to check out and left our stuff at the front while we headed to brunch at Blu Jam Cafe. When we arrived, we had to wait 45 minutes more because the restaurant is very popular. We decided to walk around and check out the shops. I found myself a shirt that says "Los Angeles" in it and has a city view. I thought it was so cute! I can't wait to show it off when it gets warmer. Although toast was the most popular item at the menu, I really didn't feel like eating toast for brunch. I ordered a Eggs Benedict instead.  I thought the food there was ok. I really expected more of the place because of the amount of yelp reviews it had. I was also surprised that the place allowed a dog to sit inside the restaurant.

The way back home was too fast. Going back home always feels rushed to me and I never feel ready to go back. I want to travel more. I want to go back to places I love and discover new places I'm amazed with.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Overview of 2016

Vancouver at night

The beginning of this year started out good. I had fun at karaoke and going to the snow with friends. I was able to visit one of my favorite places in California after doing some money saving. I was able to visit my relatives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I was also able to visit San Francisco a few times early on this year. I discovered a place in Sacramento that reminded me of Hearst Castle.

Escape room in Vancouver

The roughest part of the year was the middle of this year. My car got towed twice. My car got keyed badly, which I would have to say is one of the worst things that has ever happened to me. Not to mention, someone felt obliged to put a gum on the keyed part of my car later on that week to show his/her respect to me. That wasn't all as I ran into some more car issues afterwards. After all that, I found myself alone, locked in a parking garage after operating hours wondering how I was going to get out.  I didn't have to wait to long until I was able to get out, but it didn't worry me because it wasn't the worst issue I had this year.  While I was driving back home after the unfortunate garage event, I started laughing at what had happened. Due to the occurrence of those events, I believe that I didn't deserve much and found myself working more to cover costs and because of my schedule. I found myself being more selfish about how I spent my time. I didn't want to drive anywhere far or do a lot of things. I had to delay all the things I love to do because I couldn't afford it,  had the time for it, or simply didn't want to do it. I often had to chose work over everything else.

Sacramento bridge

During those rough times, I found friends, strengthened connections, and great memories. I'm still able to see my childhood friends just about every month. I found myself connecting more with museum volunteers and staff. I noticed that I've not been forgotten. I've noticed that people wanted to include me even though I can't make it to everything. I found that me and my dog have gotten closer. I love that although me and my dog don't talk to each other we still like being around each other. Also, I found myself still making time to do things I enjoy. I went to Apple Hill for the first time and had the best apple cider and best apple donuts. I celebrated my birthday with my family and it was just an amazing time. I went on a horse carriage ride, ice skating, had boiling crab, and then cake. I was still able to volunteer over 60 hours of service this year and was able to see George Takei and Harrison Ford in person. Not to forget, but Maria Shriver and Jerry Brown both said hi to me :). I found precious moments like my time at Avila Lighthouse.

Apple hill products

There's so much I always wanted to learn and do and I think I'm going to focus on learning. I want to learn how to apply more makeup on myself. A random thing I really want to learn is how to tie different kinds of pretty bows and do different hairstyles. Among one of the things I always wanted to learn was Adobe Photoshop and Indesign. Through my courses, I was finally able to learn both, but not at a expert level as it's something I have to continually work on. I'm so glad I was able to learn them because both of them are extremely useful and I'm planning to learn more of it. After working on several projects, I thought to myself I needed to take more pictures even if I don't still own a DSLR yet. That's something I want to do more of because I've already thought out of some fun projects.

Avila Lighthouse

Places I've been this year:
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Leland Stanford Mansion
Apple Hill
San Francisco, CA
Cameron Park
San Luis Obispo, CA
Morro Bay, CA
Avila Beach, CA
San Jose, CA
San Simeon, CA
Auburn, CA

Movies Watched:
Suicide Squad
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Kung Fu Panda 3

Words that are emphasized:
Bad habits die hard

I think one of the things I've learned this year is that no matter how many times I've tried, worked hard, or improve it doesn't guarantee anything. I've learned that I can't escape from situations and sometimes I just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Things will get tough and hard, but it's something I'll have to deal with.

I'm not going to ask much of other people because that's a burden I don't want to put on anyone. Instead, next year I'm going to focus more on myself and self improvement because that's something I can control and make better. Everything else, I'm going to say no expectations.