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.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Apple Hill Trip

I finally got around to going to Apple Hill. I been wanting to go there for years. I've heard people talk about it, but was not always sure what it was about. The only thing I knew about it when I first heard of it was that people can pick their own apples from trees. As the years passed, I kept hearing more about it. It wasn't until this year that I finally decided to go and actually did it. The reason why I finally went this year was because I kept seeing posts on Facebook about Apple Hill. It made me feel quite excited for it and I had never been there before.

I didn't do too much research about Apple Hill before I went. But, I'm so glad that I printed out a map to help me navigate my way around the area and to help me decide where to go next. When I looked at the map I was surprised to learn that there are Christmas tree farms in Apple Hill. It's not like a fair where you can walk around to different booths or stations. You really can't make it to most of the destinations on the map unless you have a car or you don't mind running/speed walking through narrow roads with cars passing by. But even then, it would be hard holding a pumpkin and running and/or speed walking.

My first stop was Rainbow Orchards. I decided to go there because I read online that they have the best Apple Cider donuts because they come right out of the fryer. When I was there I was surprised to learn that the donuts were $1 or $12 dozen. The donuts were really delicious. Those are the donuts I like to think of when people say apple donuts instead of those with apple slices in them. While I was at Rainbow Orchards, I also sampled there apple cider. I've got to say that it was one of the best apple ciders that I've ever had. I really do regret not buying it from there, so I can taste more of it. Another thing I regret not getting is the pumpkins. Their pumpkins were beautiful and they had so many to choose from. I've seen pumpkins at grocery stores and they look kind of destroyed or old.

The next stop I made was Larsen Apple Barn since it was very close to Rainbow Orchards. When I was there, I first checked out the apple barn. It was had so many apples that were already in a box ready to be purchased. All of the apples looked very fresh and nice. There's also sampling of apples in the barn. Larsen Apple Barn also had a bakery/restaurant in a separate building. Me and my friend grabbed some bakery items to try. Afterwards, we checked out the little museum they had there. Despite the fact that there was a lot of old items there, I found myself taking pictures of them and thinking that I can use the pictures for a project one day.

It might sound silly, but I like looking at old vehicles as much as I do old houses. I especially love looking at haunted houses or abandoned buildings. That's probably why I decided to do a project that was abandoned theme for one of my courses.

Our next stop was Boa Vista. Boa Vista was one of the places that I noticed posts from on Facebook. It had a pretty nice pumpkin patch and nice store in the barn. Too bad the restaurants there weren't open that day. I think those restaurants might open up during the weekends or when it's a busier time.

After Boa Vista, we headed to the fudge shop. I looked around to see all the goodies there, but only left with 2 items. I believe I got a tiger peanut cup and a white chocolate cup. It was good, but didn't taste too impressive.

My last stop was to actually take pictures where my car passed while on the way to certain farms. I just couldn't miss the opportunity to take a picture of a place I thought was beautiful. I also found the Love Shack bar around that same area.

For those people who love doing wine tours, I highly suggest Apple Hill. You can even purchase apple wine here, as well as other goodies. Apple hill is also great for families or friends. I just love the fresh fruit, foods, and cider there. I'll come back someday. Next time I want to try the apple pie and apple picking.