Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crystal Hermitage at Ananda Village

I like research. I like pinterest, yelp, and facebook. I also like festival, city events, and beautiful sights. I believe it was due to my interest in festivals and special events that I started looking up events that I could attend. I was aware that there were a lot of things going around me that I didn't know about. As I was looking through events in Northern California, I stumbled upon an event called "Springtime in Ananda Village". I browsed through their website and noticed a very pretty garden filled will mostly tulips. I, then, looked up the location of the place and noticed that it was about 2 hours away past Auburn. I thought that it was a place I could possibly go. At that day that I discovered the event, I was also approached by my Xeng to attend an event. I wasn't sure if I was going to go to that event, but I asked her if she wanted to check out the event and she said yes.

We went on Sunday. It was a nice sunny day and the drive there wasn't all too bad. I'm glad that there's not much cars around there, especially on the mountains.

When we got there, we paid the admittance fee of $5.00. I believe the garden is called Crystal Hermitage.

I wasn't all too sure what to expect really since no one I knew had came there before and I didn't see much pictures.

I was amazed by the different colored tulips they had. I also liked their ponds and pools. I liked that they had some tables there. It would have been a great place to just have a picnic.

My favorite tulips there are the red ones. I also like the red and white tulips.

I'm glad that I went to Crystal Hermitage. I almost decided not to go, but I convinced myself to go because I wanted to check it out. I'd say it's worth it. I wished the arboretum had that many flowers. But, I have to say check this place out if you love flowers or nature. It's so beautiful.

I really liked Crystal Hermitage, despite the fact that I knew very little about it before. There's so many popular attractions or events I would go to and I would be all excited, but when I actually go there it doesn't provide the same excitement. Not knowing the beauty I would experience made it a good experience for me.  I like the element of surprise. Then again, each person looks at the world differently and are surprised by the littlest things, which makes everyone unique. Also, nothing beats seeing something in real life. So, I guess I also have to say sorry if you looked at the pictures and or exposed to part of what Crystal Hermitage looks like. But, I have to write about this place because it would be cruel if I kept it to myself and it would support Ananda Village if it had more tourists or business.

A Day in San Francisco

On Friday evening, I went to stay over night in San Francisco. This time around I wasn't doing the driving, which I was grateful for. I really don't like driving in San Francisco, especially up and down the hills since I'm afraid of heights. We took a different route there, which was pretty cool. I got to see a new side of California I never seen before.

When we arrived at our hotel, we had to find parking. It wasn't easy. All of the parking spots were taken on most of the streets and we had to drive around a few times just to find one.

Our first stop the next day was Japantown. Japantown had it's Cherry Blossom Festival going on. This year the hello kitty cafe came. There was a long line for it, which was why I didn't go to it.

We were there pretty early, so we walked around to check out all the booths and in the plaza. Some of them were open, but a lot of them were not. We ended up getting takoyaki and karrage from one of the food booths and it was good.

I had my friend, Eric try the crepes there because I liked them and believe Eric would enjoy them as well.

At 12pm, we dined in Benihana's. Patrick really wanted to go to a place that cooked in front of you, so that's why we went. It was a cool experience. I ordered the hibachi steak with chicken fried rice. I liked the hibachi steak, but I didn't like the chicken fried rice because it included onions.

After Japantown, we were going to head to Fishermen's Wharf, but it was too packed for parking. But, my friends just really wanted to go to the beach, so I suggested Crissy Fields.

Crissy fields has a view of the Golden Gate bridge and Alcatraz Island. There were lots of dogs there. It was cool seeing the dogs playing around.

When we left, we passed the golden gate bridge.  The gate doesn't really look golden to me.
It was a fun experience going to San Francisco and hanging with my friends. There's still so much of San Francisco I haven't explored, but I guess that's why I keep going back.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Trip to San Luis Obispo

After my stay at Morro Bay, I headed to San Luis Obispo (SLO) the next day. The whole reason I made the trip to Central Coast was to go to San Luis Obispo. I been wanting to go to SLO because I went during for a field trip in high school. For the field trip, I participated in a Poultry Judging contest at the SLO high school and we went to Pismo Beach the night before. All of that was fun. I didn't forget about SLO and wanted to go back ever since and that's what I did.

The first thing we did was head to Bishop Peak. The drive up to Bishop Peak was kind of scary since I was driving up.

We didn't know where the trail was at first. But, we eventually found it after asking some people.

The trail itself was kind of difficult, especially since I did not work out as often.

We actually didn't finish the trail, so we didn't make it all the way up. But, we still got a great view. Everyone else that I saw on the hike was pretty quick. I felt slow and so out of shape.

After hiking, we went to eat at Firestone Grill. Firestone Grill was pretty busy, but I got my order pretty quickly. I ordered their tri-tip sandwich. I couldn't finish since it was so much meat. Afterwards, we walked around Downtown. Emily and Vincent checked out their Abercrombie & Fitch, then we went to get something to cool us down.

Next, I took us to the Botanical Garden. It was a small garden, but it was rather nice and thought it was pretty relaxing. I love how gardens are near packed and that its just a great place to rest with good views.

I headed to Cal Poly SLO afterwards. But, I decided not to take the tour around campus that time. I realized that we wouldn't have time to do other stuff. I will definitely check out the school next time I'm at SLO. After leaving Cal Poly, I went to check in to the hotel, which was pretty nice. Emily and Vincent went swimming for a bit, which was fun for them. Also, the hotel provided cookies for some guests, which was delicious :).

My last stop in Downtown was Bubblegum Alley. It looked pretty old and moldy. There was lots of gum on the walls. I wondered to myself how some people managed to put gum so high.

We had to be at Pismo Beach by 7ish to watch the sunset. Luckily, we made it on time. We ended up watching the sunset from the pier and it looked so nice.

I was able to collect some shells before leaving like I did last time I was there.

After the beach, we checked out some shops. I really wanted to get a shirt like I did last time. This time around, I ended up buying 3 apparel.

When we finished shopping, we wanted to go eat. I wanted to go to Splash Cafe, but the line was way too long. Instead, we decided to go to Splash Cafe the next day before leaving. That night, ate at Pizmo Pizza. The pizza was good, but the service was slow and not that attentive.

The next day, we woke up early to be at the beach. It was a different view since I hadn't remember seeing the beach so blue and with a moon.

I ordered the clam chowder at Splash Cafe because after reading reviews I learned that the clam chowder was famous there. I really like their clam chowder. It was delicious.

The trip back home was better than the drive to Hearst Castle. I think it was probably because I had more sleep and ate a good meal. Not to mention I knew more of what to expect for the drive.

The trip to Central Coast was fun. I got to do almost everything I planned out. I love the food, beaches, parks, and scenery. I will miss it and I hope to be back soon!

Trip to Morro Bay

After we were done with Hearst Castle, we went to Morro Bay to check in to the hotel. It was about an hour drive, which was not that bad. When we arrived, I noticed that the town was pretty small, just about every other person had a dog, and that we were close to Morro Rock.

I never would have known about Morro Bay if it hadn't been for the web. I think I first heard about it when I was searching up hotels near San Luis Obispo and there were hotels that were cheap and described as being next to Morro Rock. I thought it was cool and that it would be nice to check out one day.

I didn't have a meal that whole day, so we went to eat. I originally thought of eating in San Luis Obispo, but didn't feel like driving that far at the moment. Instead, I found a BBQ place called Brickhouse BBQ that I wanted to check out, so we ended up walking there from the hotel. It was about a 10-15 minute walk.

When we arrived, I helped Emily ordered the grilled chicken sandwich and I ordered two meats- grilled chicken and ribs along with green beans and garlic bread. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed their food. Emily and Vincent loved that place and had to ask if they had any other locations.

Later, I thought that we would be able to walk to Morro Rock from the hotel. But, as we kept walking I realized that it would be better if I drove there, so when we were back at the hotel I drove there and ended up at their beach.

This painting is a map of Morro Bay. Morro Bay is actually pretty small, but looks nice.

I have to admit that the sunset at Morro Beach looked amazing. I loved it. Sunset and beach together just works. There's no denying that.

It was fun playing with the tides and running around the beach. I always love spending time at the beach.

Until next time, I will be thinking about you Morro Bay. Thanks for a great experience.

Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA

A week ago, I made my trip to Central Coast to visit San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay. Along the way, I wanted to make a stop to Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. The drive to Hearst Castle from my place took about 6 hours with one trip to the gas station. I brought along Emily and my cousin. It was my first trip with them and found myself annoyed by them sometimes.

When we first arrived, we entered the Visitor Center. The visitor center has a shop, Starbucks, theater, and a few restaurants. There is also seating outside to view the area. There were bathrooms inside, but we couldn't use them due to a problem. I think it was due to chemical problems?

The process to get my tickets was pretty efficient. But, there was still a line to get them although I already made a reservation. The bus ride up to the hill was nice. It was informative and offered a great view.

When we arrived at Hearst Castle, we immediately began our Cottages and Kitchen tour. There were other tours to choose from, but I decided on this tour. I figured that I'm bound to go to Hearst Castle again sometime in my life.

The first thing that our tour guide showed us was a Roman sarcophagus. When she described it to us, I can't believe that William Randolph Hearst had 7 of them. I, then, wondered what else Mr. Hearst had in the castle and cottages. Later, I was surprised to learn that he still had a warehouse full of priceless, old, and historic items.

The wine cellar was one of two places that we saw inside the castle. It looked pretty cool. There was so many different kinds of beers, wines, and other drinks. However, there was only one drink in there that was still edible since temperature was not controlled.

As we walked through the cottages, I thought about how nice it would have been to stay in one of those cottages as a guest. I also thought about how nice and expensive the place and items were at the place. We didn't get to go to all the cottages. We didn't get to go the cottage that was blown up in the 70s around the time when Patricia Hearst was kidnapped.

Our last stop on the tour was the kitchen inside the castle. It was a huge kitchen. I imagine the many different kinds of desserts, bakery, and dishes that were created for guests. It's definitely a nice kitchen meant to feed masses.

After our tour, we were allowed to walk around the area and take photos.

On our way to the bus stop, we were able to view the Roman pool, which was absolutely stunning. I would have loved to take a dip there.

I really enjoyed my time at Hearst Castle and I would recommend it. A good learning experience and you get a good view, as well as the opportunity to look at historic items!!