Sunday, June 29, 2014

San Francisco with High School Friends

Last Saturday I went on a trip to San Francisco with a few high school friends. I dont see them often, so it was nice to get together and go somewhere that's a bit farther.

This drive to San Francisco was different for me. This time, I went through the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn't really gold. It looked rusty and it didn't seem as long as I expected. There were a lot of cars and tourists on the bridge. I know it's not my first time seeing the Golden Gate Bridge since I saw it when I was younger, but I know that it was a fun field trip for me.

I decided to park around the Palace of Fine Arts since there is more street parking around the area. I actually found parking right away. As we walked towards Palace of Fine Arts, we noticed that Crissy Fields was right across the street and we were going to head there, but it was too cold and windy.

I only been to Palace of Fine Arts once before and that time there was barely any one there, but that day there was more people.

I think it was Palace of Fine Arts that was built for the World's Fair just like the Eiffel Tower.

Our next stop was Fishermen's Wharf and Pier 39. We took the bus to Fishermen's Wharf and walked down to Pier 39. This time around, I noticed that all the American usual dining spots or whatnot was on one side and more seafood places was on the other side.

We ended up eating at Boudini's. I got the clam chowder, but my friends didn't. I would have chosen a different place if I knew they didn't want clam chowder. My friends said that there bread was hard for their sandwiches. I loved my clam chowder though. It was delicious.

We took some photos and one with Alcatraz Island. But, some boats got in the way.

Next, we headed towards Japantown by bus. It took us longer since we had to walk for about 20 minutes after the bus.

 At Japantown, I noticed this Pikachu, which I hadn't noticed during the other times I was there. I think there was a Ramen festival a few days before we came, but there will be another Ramen festival coming up, so I'm debating on whether to attend to that or not.

It's been a while since I had crepes in Japantown and I forgot how delicious they can be. I love every single bite of my crepe. I got my crepe at Belly Good Cafe & Crepes. Some other people get their crepes from Sophie's.

After Japantown, we headed back to Sacramento and decided to have dinner at Pine Tree House. It was a nice dinner and a good time to catch up with friends. I can't wait for our next gathering.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

BBQ Picnic with Friends

On Saturday, June 14th, I had a picnic with friends and coworkers at Elk Grove Regional Park. Before the event, I wanted to plan as much as possible to ensure that there will be less to worry about during the event. I made sure to get all the supplies ready beforehand. My main concern was not running out of food, but I assume it wouldn't since its a potluck.

For the picnic, I wanted to do as much as possible. I wanted to have a BBQ, smores, and potluck. We also ended up playing some cards games, such as Cards Against Humanity and Apples to Apples. In addition, we also played soccer, frisbee, and football.

My friend Eric helped me out with the BBQ part of the picnic. He helped grilled the hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as doing a bit of setting up. Also, my friend Ricardo was there to help out as well.

The event started at 2pm, but I wanted to ensure that we not only had a spot, but a good spot, so I arrived at 12pm. We barely got a spot. Most of the spots were reserved. I originally wanted to reserved a spot, but I found out that they not only do you have to pay for a spot, but they are a minimum of $85!

Most of my friends didn't start arriving until after the event start time. But, it was nice that not everyone showed up at the same time, which makes it easier to spend some time with friends.

Not everyone felt like eating right away, so I decided to play some card games. We started off playing Apples to Apples. Then, my friend let us play his game, Cards Against Humanity.

My friend Lydia and Paduacee also helped with grilling. Lydia brought chicken, so she also grilled that. In addition, my friend Macy also brought chicken skewers.

It was nice playing Apples to Apples in a big group. I think its always interesting to see how other people think.

One of the parts of the picnic that I was really looking forward to was the smores. It was nice. I included Reese's as a subsitute instead of Hershey's, which I found out about on Pinterest.

I liked that almost everybody tried to get involved in a sport or card game. So, some of us were playing soccer, while others were playing frisbee and football.

The guys were surprised that I was able to throw a football and said that I can throw it better than them. Totally made my day :).

I think the only downside of the day was when my friend, Moua ran into a grill while trying to catch a football. I felt kind of bad about that.

While I was trying to take this picture, the ball was headed towards me, but it only hit my leg.

Towards, the end I was able to have a group picture of those who stayed until the end. I'm very happy with the turnout. I'm glad that all seemed to have a good time. I was surprised people didn't eat that much, but at least we didn't run out of food. This BBQ picnic is one of the best parts of my summer and I can't wait for the next picnic!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Big Sur + San Francisco with a NY Friend

A few weeks ago, I went to Big Sur and San Francisco since Lily was visiting from New York for a few days.

I met up Lily and Chen in Sacramento and we began our road trip to Big Sur. Since it was me and Chen's second time to Big Sur, we knew the area a little more and wanted to make more spots to see more of Big Sur.

One of the stops that we made on our way to Big Sur was the Monastery Beach. It's a very nice beach. It's that beach you can see when you drive by. When we got to this beach, there will a few others just sitting down and enjoying the view. I like this beach and I loved hearing its waves. I didn't go touch the water though since I don't really know to swim and the waves were pretty strong.

As I drove along Highway 1, there was another spot that I really wanted a photo of that I didnt get last time, which was the Point Sur Lighthouse. Actually, I didn't get a get good photo of the lighthouse itself, but I did get a photo of where the lighthouse is located. I found out that the Point Sur Lighthouse is actually haunted or considered one of the most haunted lighthouses in America. Also, there are tours for the lighthouse, but I'm not sure when. Also, I didnt see the road that takes us to the lighthouse, so I'm not sure how to get there, but it looks like people would have to drive up a narrow road to get to the lighthouse.

When I first saw the lighthouse location, I just thought it was some wealthy person secluded home. I didn't know it was a lighthouse because the lighthouse isn't noticeable unless you are much closer.

I'm so glad that we made more stops along the way. There were many spots that were simply stunning and offered great views.

I like this view with water, the mountain, and some green in it. It's just nice.

One of the destinations that my friend heard of at Big Sur was Pfieffer Beach and she wanted to go there. So, when we were on the way to Pfieffer Beach and passed the narrow road we were first glad that there were no cars around until we hit traffic. The traffic was so bad, especially since you are on a mountain with a very narrow road. I think the worst part of the whole traffic was that there were some cars parked on the side and that made it difficult for traffic to cross on both sides. I did not like the traffic at all.

When we got to Pfieffer Beach, there were lots of people there, which was why the parking lot was full. The parking lot had a 1 in 1 out policy since it was full.

The beach was very windy and the sand looked dirty since it was muddy and dark. It was also very windy, so there ended up being sand in my ears, neck, and hair, etc.

The last spot we made before leaving Big Sur is McWay Falls. McWay Falls is that spot everyone has to see if they go to Big Sur. The view is beautiful and you get a nice view from every angle. Even if you walk further along the trail, you will still get a great view. I love the color of the water and that its pretty clean.

When we got back, we were unsure of what to have for dinner. Then, I thought the idea of going to BJ's. Lily never been to BJ's before and there's none in New York, so it was a good choice. Lily also said that she thought the ribs were really good. I liked the ribs too and it was my first time trying them at BJ's.

The next day, my friends and I had breakfast at the hotel and then made our way towards 85 degrees bakery in Newark. I only got egg tarts since I knew I would be able to finish them. Next, we headed for Purple Kow in San Francisco. It was just great to get a good drink, especially since it was a long day yesterday. On our way to Purple Kow, a bee flew in the window and stayed there. Chen started freaking out, so I had to stop the car and get rid of the bee.

After Purple Kow, we headed towards Japantown. We checked out a few stores and the market and left to bring Lily to Oakland by 3:00pm. It was great seeing Lily again and maybe I can go to New York to visit here sometime soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Backstreet Boys Concert with Special Guest Avril Lavigne

On Saturday, May 24th, I went to the Backstreet Boys concert with a friend. It was my 2nd Backstreet Boys concert and definitely the better one out of the two.

The tickets for the show was much cheaper than the ones we got at the other concert. The other concert was in the smallest I ever been for a concert.

The concert began right on time. Avril Lavigne came out right at 7:30 pm. She was so tiny at my point of view. I was all the way in back where the lawn was, so I didn't get the best view of her. She did sound awesome though and sounded like herself. She played all the songs that I wanted her to play: "Girlfriend," "Complicated," "Happy Ending," and "Cheers to Never Growing up."

Since I was in the lawn area, there was space to bring lawn chairs or blankets. I think that was cool to just lay down on a map or sit on a lawn chair and enjoy music :).

It's funny that although everyone brought mats or blankets, everyone was up by the time the Backstreet Boys were performing.

I definitely liked the graphics and whatnot from this show. I actually think that their graphics and special effects was one of the best from all the other concerts I been to so far. For their song, "Show me the meaning of being lonely," they had the moon come down or the sunset, which was very fitting with the song.

For this concert, they played way more songs and I enjoyed it more. Throughout most of the time, I was recording videos of their performances. I loved that in the middle of the show they stopped to do an acoustic version of some of their songs. I also liked that throughout the show they would talk to the audience, which really does make the audience feel more connected to them. I'm definitely glad I went to this concert. It was a good one :).