Friday, April 26, 2013

Celebrations

I know my birthday was two weeks ago but that didn't stop me from continually celebrating it the past couple of weeks. Last Monday, like I mentioned before, I went to The Magic Castle. This actually had nothing to do with my birthday but I like to think that it was timed this way for me :P Yelp Elite Nelson F. was kind enough to bring another group of Elites to the Castle, so I was there with Nelson and 7 other Elites/SOs. We got to see a rising young magician from Taiwan, the host of Cupcake Wars, and four other talented magicians. And to end the magical night, we even got a picture with Justin Willman! Thanks again Nelson for another wonderful evening at the Magic Castle :)


On Tuesday, Dena and I did the Rose Bowl Loop Track in the morning and then I headed over to Burbank to meet up with my lovely ladies from EFS at El Torito. They treated me to a lovely meal for my birthday, which included a complimentary birthday song and flan from the staff. Then in the evening I went over to CHRON's apartment for my birthday dinner. Christina made me a beautiful salad along with a very British drink (Pimm's Cup) and then we had Papa John's pizza for dinner. Of course I drenched mine in garlic dipping sauce, so good. Then we ended the meal with desserts from the bakery at Gelson's and an episode of The Voice. On Wednesday Dena and I did the Griffith Observatory Hike and then headed over to Pinkberry for some free Greek yogurt. We were smarter this time with our toppings and our yogurt was so much yummier as a result. I got mine with mango, mochi, strawberry puree, and cinnamon honey. Yum! Ran errands with my mum afterwards, read, napped, and watched TV. Thursday was spent at home the entire day but it was important because I. FINALLY. FINISHED. LES. MISERABLES. That's right, all 1463 pages. YAY!!!


{With Siobhan, Nicola, Tina, and Barbara}

On Friday the birthday festivities continued as Crystal and Abby treated me to dinner at Firefly. Crystal also gave me fobby gifts from Taiwan--thanks Crystal-poo! On Saturday I went back to do the Griffith Observatory Hike, but this time with Gardy and her coworker Claire. I thought coming multiple times with Dena would mean that I knew the trail well, but I still got us lost. Turns out I made a wrong turn -_- But it was all good because eventually I got us back to the right place and then we rewarded ourselves with delicious avocado sandwiches from The Trails. On Sunday I tried out Christian Assembly in Eagle Rock. It was nice but I don't think I'll be back. The search for a home church continues! Then I ran errands with my mum, which included buying a frame for my limited edition Avengers print. Just one more frame to buy and then I can finally hang stuff up in my room! Monday was Earth Day and I celebrated by getting a free tote bag from the Disney store at the mall. Then I met up with Joyce for lunch at Souplantation to celebrate her upcoming birthday and also got her Starbucks afterwards. On Tuesday Dena and I did the Rose Bowl Loop Track and then on Wednesday we went to Pinkberry and ate it while we watched Les Misérables at her place. Afterwards we went to Bar & Kitchen for my final birthday celebration.


{Fresh Strawberry Donuts at Donut Man}

Yesterday a certain friend of mine (who will rename unnamed since I fear Big Brother) ditched work and spent the day with me! We had lunch at Flappy Jack's Pancake House and then grabbed some delicious donuts from Donut Man. Then we hit up Redbox, came home, and we watched Zero Dark Thirty and Pitch Perfect. Then for dinner we each had a strawberry donut (so good!) and shared a tiger tail. What an enjoyable fatty day :) Today I had another interview and then I met up with Janice for our book club meeting. We have decided on The Great Gatsby for our next book since the movie is coming out in a couple of weeks. Then I ran errands, which included buying another frame (this one for my Community fanart print) and strategically using my CostPlus birthday gift certificate so I ended up paying $0.68 for my purchases. Now it's time to watch some more TV episodes, but before I go I'd like to wish my wonderful friend Joyce a very happy early birthday!!! ♥

Monday, April 15, 2013

28 Years

I thought about titling this post "28 Years Later" but I decided that would be too close to the horror movie 28 Days Later so I'm going to align myself with the Viggo (and Sandra) movie 28 Days and keep it simple. And yes, I realise 28 Days is more of a Sandra movie and less of a Viggo movie but he's the only reason why I watched it in the first place :P

Anyway, back to Monday and my family's museum trips. So after lunch in Koreatown and running some errands, we went to LACMA. Unfortunately it was closing at 5PM that day so we weren't able to get to all of the buildings, but we got to 3 out of 5 (technically there are 9 but the others were closed/not for exhibitions) so I think we did pretty well. And of course we ended our visit with pictures by the Urban Light installation.


Tuesday I spent mostly catching up on TV and then on Wednesday I met up with Dena and we did the Griffith Observatory Hike. Then we rewarded ourselves with free Greek yogurt from Pinkberry (they're doing a special in April where it's free on Wednesdays from 11AM-2PM). I got it with just strawberries and mochi and I must say... not a big fan of Greek yogurt. But I am a fan of free, so we'll be back again! Then I went over to Daniel and Judy's place since they made me a delicious dinner for my birthday! And I also got cupcakes, ice cream, flowers, and the sweetest cards from the entire family. I ♥ them so much!


{Posing with Annabel and Cilla and my birthday cupcakes}

On Thursday I had an interview and then I met up with Lorraine, Janice, and Thora to celebrate Thora and my birthdays! We had lunch at Malbec and Lorraine kindly provided desserts. It was really great to spend time with them since I no longer interact with them everyday. And Friday was the fateful day where I turned 28 years old! It was truly a day of pigging out. For brunch, we went to Elite Restaurant for dim sum. It was a very pleasant surprise to see how empty the place is on Friday mornings! You can park anywhere in the entire lot, there's no wait to be seated, pretty good service... it was pretty nice! And then for dinner my aunt treated me and my mum to Ruth's Chris Steak House in Pasadena. I thought it was really nice of them to have a happy birthday sign and a necklace prepared at the table for me when we got there (I had noted on my reservation that it would be my birthday). It was a great birthday dinner--we all thoroughly enjoyed our meal and the service was superb. I'm so glad my aunt gave me this opportunity to try this place that my mum and I would never be able to afford on our own!


{With my complimentary birthday cheesecake}

On Saturday, we went to Descanso Gardens. A lot of the flowers were already in bloom so it was nice to walk around and enjoy the scenery. We just had a quiet dinner at home afterwards, per my aunt's request, even though it was her last night in LA. Yesterday we took her to the airport and hung out there with her until it was time for her to go in. Luckily the timing was right so that Tasha got to the airport as I was leaving so I got to say goodbye to her too. Then my mum and I drove to YNCC for church. For dinner I met up with Jinwon for more birthday celebrations. We had dinner at Green Street Tavern and then followed up with dessert at Carmela's. Jinwon had never been before so I said we had to go. I got a half scoop of Salted Caramel (of course) and then a half scoop of Spicy Strawberry Sorbet (seasoned with pepper and balsamic vinegar). And it was absolutely delicious, as always. A perfect end to our dinner date.

Today I had another interview and then read some more of Les Misérables. I will finish it this week FO SHO! Of course my reading was followed by a nap, but I'm awake now and will be getting ready for tonight... when I will be going to THE MAGIC CASTLE! Exciting! *squee*

Sunday, April 07, 2013

A Visit to America's Finest City

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that San Diego is the finest city in America. I haven't been to all the major cities in America so I can't make that claim, but "America's Finest City" is what SD calls itself. And it's pretty dang nice I must admit.


{Laguna Beach}

Our jam-packed weekend started with us heading down to Laguna Beach on Friday morning. We went to House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer for lunch. Crossed the street to check out Wyland Galleries since I always go there whenever we stop by Laguna and then we were off to our usual haunts in Dana Point: the gift shop at the Ocean Institute and the shops at the Harbor. Then we stopped by the Target in San Clemente because we liked it so much last time, but it was no longer good. Sadly, Carlsbad Premium Outlets were also a disappointment. But then we were in America's Finest City, checking into The Bristol Hotel. We were hungry so I quickly Yelped a decent place nearby and then we were off to dinner at Operacaffe.

Yesterday we started off our morning with breakfast at McDs. Then we went to Balboa Park and spent a good portion of the day there. There is so much to see and do! But it's pretty exhausting :P My mum and aunt were tired of all the gardens and museums and wanted to do some shopping, so we went to Seaport Village after stopping for gas. After walking around and buying some stuff, we headed to Coronado (Island) since I wanted to check out the hotel. But we couldn't find parking nearby and we were all pretty exhausted at that point, so we actually ended up just driving back :P But we made a stop at Panera Bread before we got back to the hotel since my aunt said her feet hurt and she was too tired to go out for dinner. So I got food from Panera and we had dinner in our hotel room while watching Chopped: All Stars on the TV.

Today we said goodbye to San Diego and hello to La Jolla! We started off the morning at La Jolla Open Aire Farmer's Market. Shared an omelet and a Belgian waffle with strawberries for breakfast with my mum and aunt. Walked around, bought some delicious strawberries, and then we were off to Birch Aquarium. It was a bit disappointing and we didn't spend too much time there. So goodbye San Diego County, hello Orange County! We went to Irvine Spectrum so my mum and aunt could have lunch at Kabuki and I could meet up with Natasha and her friend Rachel for lunch. We went to Pieology for lunch and I made my own delicious "kustom" pizza. For dessert we tried out Casey's Cupcakes, which was unfortunately not good. Then I bid Tasha and her friend adieu and we headed to 85C Bakery of course! Stood in line, bought pastries for all and of course got myself a sea salt coffee. Then it was time to come back to home sweet home! It was a great but exhausting trip and I'm glad to be back in my room. Tomorrow the museum visits continue and we hit up LACMA!

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Getting Cultured in April

We're just a few days into April and already I've gone to two museums! And there are more coming my way... this is my month of getting cultured!

On Monday, I went to Getty Villa with my mum and my aunt. They had also gone before the renovations but not since then, so they were quite impressed with the "new" Getty Villa. I was glad to be back since it's such a beautiful place and we had lunch there as well. My mum and my aunt both enjoyed it and we spent about 3.5 hours there total. Came home after stopping by Koreatown Galleria for some items. At night was my dinner date with Laura! She treated me to Caramba Mexican Food as a thank you for bunnysitting and it was a lovely date.


{My mum and aunt at the Outer Peristyle}

On Tuesday, Dena and I did the Rose Bowl Loop Track. Afterwards I ran some errands, cooked, read, napped, and watched TV. (Doesn't the funemployed life sound awesome?) Yesterday was another visit to a Getty institution, but this time it was the Getty Center. My mum and my aunt both wanted to see their special exhibit "Looking East: Ruben's Encounter with Asia" so they could see his "Man in Korean Costume". I love the Getty Center so it was great going there again and exploring all the different exhibits (both new and old). We had lunch there at the Restaurant (my first time ever!). It's really nice with a great view, except my mum and my aunt both hated their food. You can read my Yelp review for the details. I, however, am happy to report that I was happy with my food so it was a good day for me. And I even got to see a celebirty: Todd Grinnell! Yay :)


{With a horse sculpture at the Getty Center}

Today I started off my morning with a walk to Laura's to bunnysit. Spent the rest of the day reading and watching TV before going to dinner with my mum and aunt to Souplantation. Love that place! Now I need to pack because tomorrow kicks off our weekend trip to San Diego!