Highway 1

Ever since I moved to California, I’ve been told many great things for what’s along Highway 1 especially Big Sur. Never wanted to really do the drive alone since it’s definitely a drive I’d prefer to have some company with. Luckily I had friends from Boston visiting last weekend which commenced for a photo adventure. Definitely didn’t want to pass up on the opportunity to experience the amazing views. Each stop was gradually breath taking. I suggest anyone to take a day to drive along Highway 1 to really experience the scenic views. Don’t forget to bring some beer, too! We had a beer before we ventured off to enjoy our last stop during this drive. Here’s a list of where we stopped:

– Pescadero State Beach

– Pebble Beach to see the Lone Cypress Tree

– Point Lobos

– Bixby Bridge

– Pfeiffer Falls

My favorite spots were Point Lobos and Pfeiffer Falls. I wouldn’t mind going back to Point Lobos one of these weekends to hike. There was something so calming about this place for me. Luckily we were able to make it to Pfeiffer Falls right in time before the sun set. It was beautiful. I was surprised to see a bridal party just leaving Pfeiffer Falls after their ceremony ended as we were walking onto the trail. Pretty cool idea.

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Thanks again to my friend JP for driving! Of course when we arrived back to San Jose we had to have all you can eat Korean BBQ as well as lots of beer and soju at YakiniQ. Yay! Perfect way to end a great day. Got lots of great pics but still really need to get a better lens!! Had time to make change my wallpaper with all the photos I’ve taken!

Working from home :)

It was a really great time and I was glad to share this experience with friends that’s never gone before. 🙂

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Haight Street Block Party

This past Sunday I went to SF to check out this event my coworker told me about. It was the 1st Annual Haight Street Music & Merchants Street Festival. It was pretty much a block party in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in SF. The headliners of this free event was Erykah Badu (DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown) and Talib Kweli. There were various performers as well, but not sure of their names since I didn’t see an online flyer with their names. I was all for checking out this event since I didn’t get to see Erykah Badu back in February/March when I went to a concert in SF. She had changed line ups with someone else and came on last and that concert went on until 3AM and I was exhausted. I was always bummed out that I never got to see her. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity again. I decided to bring my DSLR with me and just check out the event by myself. I know my friends back at home would’ve loved this event since they like hip hop.

I got really lucky with parking when I got into SF. I parked down the street from the second stage that was being set up. I walked around since it was the other end of Haight St. that I’ve never been on. I’ve mainly been around Lower Haight before. The event was from 12-6PM, so after I parked it was 1PM. I decided to just go into this one restaurant that I was in front of to get some food and a few beers before it got crowded. I got a perfect window seat where I could see the stage. The windows at the restaurant were opened so I was just chillen there with a beer and enjoying the good music. Had my legs rested on the ledge of the window and it was very relaxing. Got to do a lot of people watching, which was pretty entertaining haha.

Talked to a few random people while waiting around for Erykah Badu. Eventually I got up and went outside to dance around to the music. It was fun dancing around with strangers. I felt so care free and pretty much everyone there didn’t give a fuck about anything. It was really awesome to be around that since it reminded me of the fun I used to have back at home with friends or even meeting strangers whenever I was out. Everyone was really nice and we all came to this event just to enjoy ourselves. Finally Erykah Badu came on and I stayed til almost the end. Too bad I didn’t get to see Talib Kweli. I’m only assuming he was at the other stage at the other end of the block. I was not going to try to even talk through that crowd to see him haha. I wasn’t even too far from the end of the block I was at and it took me forever to just walk a few steps to get out so I can walk back to my car. Overall, it was a really fun event and hopefully they have it again next year. It definitely would’ve been more fun to have some company, but nonetheless it was still a ton of fun! The whole purpose of this event is to supposedly bring the neighborhood together, which is really great thing. I really wouldn’t even mind living in that neighborhood, but SF is too damn expensive for my bank account haha.

Here’s a link to much better photos than what I took: click here and here

August Moon Dinner

Some time last week while I was on the phone with my mom, she had mentioned how I should go buy some moon cake and have a nice dinner since August Moon was approaching. I was looking considering on doing it today since I worked from home and had a bit of spare time to go grocery shopping, but I wasn’t feeling well all day so that plan didn’t follow through. My landlord’s parents are in town visiting and his mom always kinda scared me. She just looks like a mean old lady, but turns out she’s not haha. I was getting some water in the kitchen and she spoke to me in Mandarin saying they’re going to have dinner tonight because of August Moon. She had to repeat herself in Cantonese since I don’t understand nor do I speak Mandarin. I kindly replied and appreciated the invite and just told her I didn’t want to disrupt their plans, but she kept insisting that I join. I offered to help with prepping the food and cooking, but she said it’s all set and when dinner is ready she’ll let me know. I thought the invite was really sweet that I kinda teared up when I got back into my room. It was just a really nice gesture on her end since I wasn’t looking forward to having the usual “table for one” kinda dinner or any meal by myself.

Afterwards, I grabbed my keys and went out to the Chinese market where they have a deli section and I bought some soy sauce chicken. I didn’t want to sit at this table without having helped with the cooking or anything. I thought this would at least be something than nothing to have offered them. I spoke to my parents and told them I was going to eat dinner with my landlord and etc., and that I had bought some extra food. My parents were joking around how I’m suddenly so polite and well mannered, but they commented saying that I’m a really good girl for doing that. I’m glad that made them happy. After everyone at the table was slowly finishing dinner, I was clearing the table and bringing the dirty dishes to the sink. I was about to wash them and then my landlord’s mom shoved me lol. I told her how I want to clean the dishes since they did all the cooking. We fought over the sink and I eventually gave up and walked away haha. Fiesty old lady, but very sweet as well.

I noticed that when it came to Chinese holidays, my landlord has always been very hospitable and welcoming for me to join them and having dinner together. It’s a really kind gesture and I really appreciate it. I take those little things to heart and I am very grateful to have met such kind people. They make me feel like they’re my little family and home away from home since I don’t have any family here at all. I’m a very lucky girl to know people like them. 🙂

Red Door Cafe

A few weeks ago I went to San Francisco during the weekend. I was doing some exploring and it was time to get something to eat. I wanted to get some brunch that was close by. Plus, having brunch on a Sunday is a ritual for me. I checked on Yelp and Red Door Cafe had some good reviews. I looked at the photos of the food and the establishment and it was very eccentric lol. I drove over and luckily parking wasn’t too bad. I arrived 30 minutes before it closed. The hours here are limiting. I believe they’re open from 10AM-2PM. It’s a very small place that doesn’t allow a party of no more than 2 or 3. Sounds like a good spot because I think the day I went was on Mother’s Day so I’m sure every restaurant in the city was packed. I tried to open the door to the restaurant which was locked, but the owner opened the door for me and seated me. Got to sit wherever since it was just myself and this other couple. The owner was really friendly, sweet and funny. After I picked my seat, he grabbed this plastic penis decor with rings around it and placed it on my table saying, “here’s a lovely small Asian cock for you” lol. Once I got seated, my eyes continued to wander all over the place. Definitely not your typical brunch spot, but I really liked it. There was so much to look at and to me not in a bad way. It was a very unique place. I looked through the menu which was quite small, but the selections they had to offer wasn’t bad. I ordered “the Wet Pussy”, which consisted of grilled French butter croissant with layered Alaskan smoked salmon, tomatoes, onions, capers, topped with 2 fried eggs and “the works”. It was really good, even though it was a bit uncomfortable on my end ordering my dish out loud lol. The girl next to me ordered the same thing and asked me if I liked it as much as she did haha. Overall, great food and service. I’d definitely come back again if I want to be in a smaller, quieter restaurant for brunch. If you’re a total prude this place probably wouldn’t suit you lol. I think it was fun.

Check it out: http://www.yelp.com/biz/red-door-cafe-san-francisco-3

 

Flu

I haven’t been able to write much recently because I’ve been really sick. First my lower back pain and then I got the flu. I felt like complete shit. Sucked even more that I had no one to help me out. I haven’t been this sick since I was living back in Boston. I got really sick after my friends from Boston left during their visit here in SJ. My back pain eventually went away, but this cold hit me hard. I felt really nauseous and light headed. Everyday I woke up to something new. One day was the chills, next was a sore throat, coughing, lost my voice, etc. etc. I didn’t even really speak to anyone because I felt so tired and weak. Whenever I did have to go out to pick up medicine or groceries, I felt really hot and sweaty just to be surrounded by a lot of people. Sounds weird, I know. I just wanted to get all the rest I can and to get better again. I felt like no matter how much medicine I took I felt worse. How is that possible!?!? I don’t know haha.

I was looking on Yelp to look for any places that makes decent congee or wonton soup but it seemed like a total mission and I guess I’m kinda picky about how it tastes. I decided to just make congee and wonton soup myself. It all came out really good, but I am so sick of having any type of soup. My appetite is now back to normal. Well kinda haha. I had last minute plans with a friend back at home that was visiting and I had to suck it up and just get myself out of bed to hang out with her. I also forgot about the Skrillex concert that I got a ticket for a month ago. So I had to coordinate plans with the group I was going with since we haven’t hung out after the first time I met them.

Anyways, I really need to take a lot better care of my health besides preventing any colds. I’m really stressed out about that the most right now. My body has gotten so weak internally and physically. I notice that I’m not as strong as I used to be and I’m not happy about that at all. I’m not even that old (yet haha) and my body shouldn’t be this beaten up for a 26 year old. After getting this sick, I felt really unhappy with the condition of my overall health. I just felt really angry with myself and all I had to do was to take better care of myself. I just hope things don’t get any worse.

Great Day in the Bay

On Wednesday night, my friends from into SJ from Boston to visit me for my birthday. I was so exhausted waiting up for them since their flight got delayed. Once I saw them walk out I got out of my car and ran to them and started crying. I know I’m such a softie lol. I was so happy and relieved to see my friends. After I picked them up we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for some drinks since the options to grab a drink on a Wednesday night were kinda limited. Of course we’d have a few shots and drinks, but it was nice hanging out like that even for a little bit before we got some rest. I felt like my old self again and I was just really happy.

We headed to SF on Thursday afternoon and made it in time for brunch at Mama’s on Washington Square. Parking was kind of a pain but luckily it didn’t take too long and waiting in line to get seated wasn’t too bad either. I heard that there’s usually a crazy line. It was a cute and cozy place. The food there was good, but I’ve had better brunch lol. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars. I got my usual smoked salmon eggs benedict, but they call it the Norwegian here. The Bloody Mary was alright. It had soju in it instead of vodka. Once again, I’ve had better brunch elsewhere haha.

After brunch we headed straight to the Golden Gate Bridge. This was my second time here and I was at more of the touristy side where they had a cafe and a souvenir shop. The last time I went I drove over the bridge and was in a parking lot. I preferred the side I was at this time. Got much better views and we got to walk a little bit over the bridge. I was scared shitless to walk over it because I’m really scared of heights. Got some great shots of the bridge. It was awesome that it wasn’t foggy like last time. We lingered around and took lots of photos.

Afterwards we headed to the Japanese Tea Garden. Luckily we made it in time because they were about to close in 15 minutes. Even better that I found parking on the street. I really loved this place! I definitely wanna come back here again and just chill with a book or something. It was really small but it’s was very relaxing. Maybe one day when I become a baller, I’ll build a garden like this in my back yard haha. It was a really cute place and we got to chill for a bit and enjoy some tea.

Our next destination was the California Academy of Sciences. I always heard great things about Thursday nights here because of their “NightLife” they have here weekly. We browsed at the map of what to check out, instead we just walked around and got to see a lot. It was pretty cool. I think we might’ve missed seeing a couple of things but that’s okay. It was still a good time.

The final destination was to get dinner at The View. It was located on the top floor of the Marriott Hotel. Pretty much suppose to be a great view of SF. I have to say Boston’s Top of the Hub and the Signature Lounge in Chicago had better views of the city. At least there was glass windows all around so you can see better. Nonetheless the seat we got, we were able to see the Golden Gate Bridge so that was cool. The food was actually pretty good. Got myself the braised short ribs and the drinks there were good too. I guess I can’t complain too much about the place haha. After we finished our dinner and as I was staring out the window, I noticed the waitress’ reflection. I saw her holding a dessert platter with a candle lol. I was thinking I hope that’s not for me and possibly for the table next to us. Nope! Haha. My friends were so sweet and arranged for this. I started crying because I was so surprised and overwhelmed by their kindness. I rarely ever get surprises especially like that so it was extremely sweet and thoughtful of them. The dessert sucked here but hey it was the thought that counts lol. My friends picked up what to get on the dessert platter. The only one I liked was the espresso creme brûlée. Creme brûlée is one of my favorite desserts and I’m glad they remembered since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth haha.

At this point we were so exhausted and it was only 9 or 10 PM haha. Talk about grandma status. We accomplished a lot with the sightseeing. Definitely a productive day. It was nice to have checked out these places with someone that’s actually never been to these places. I just couldn’t get over how nice it was that day. Perfect weather with great company.

Hands down one of the best days I’ve had since I’ve been here in Cali. 🙂

Twenty Six

It’s 11:00 PM PST. Only one hour left until my birthday is over. I have to say today was a great day. It was hands down one of the most low key birthdays that I’ve ever had. I was dreading my birthday a lot this year due to lack of company and just being away from home in general. I was really unhappy to spend it alone. I wasn’t expecting a big party or to go out and get drunk. I’d be fine with doing anything with good company, but once again I lack in that department. I didn’t want to be all mopey on my birthday, so last night I made a “birthday to do list”. It’ll give me some thing to do and won’t leave me throughout the day feeling like “well what now?”. I was looking forward to accomplishing what was on the list. It really wasn’t much but to me it meant a lot. I do a lot of those things on a daily basis but still.

As soon as I woke up I got ready and wore my favorite color, yellow and made myself a nice breakfast before I got a jump start on my list. I didn’t think the list was gonna keep me busy today but it definitely surprised me. I think the one thing I spent the longest time with was buying myself flowers. I really didn’t wanna get roses and I’m generally not a fan of the mixed bouquets. I went to 3 different places and finally the last place satisfied me. As much as I didn’t want to get roses, I loved the color of these. They’re a nice lavender purple. Pictures of it doesn’t do its justice. As soon as I got home with the bouquet I arranged it in the only vase I have which was being used for something else. Glad I managed to fit the flowers in it. I didn’t really wanna drive out again to buy a vase if it didn’t fit. I’m happy with the way it came out. For whatever reason I find it relaxing and a bit calming when I arrange flowers. I always hand pick a bouquet for my mom and I arrange it to my likings rather than how the florist does it.

Anyways, today was the first time where I went to watch a movie by myself. I never thought it was weird or wrong to watch a movie by yourself. I just prefer to have company so I can discuss the film with someone afterwards. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be to watch it alone and I actually enjoyed it. I decided to watch “Her”. I heard great things and the trailer definitely intrigued me. I caught the early bird showing of it and sat smack in the center. I’ll probably write an in depth post about the movie, but I loved it. Great movie! So far one of my favs for 2014. There’s gonna be some great upcoming movies that I saw during the previews. I’m excited for that as well!

There were some last minute additions to my plans today, which was fine with me since I had accomplished most of it. There’s this guy H who I’ve been talking to. No, not pursuing him. Just only as friends. Really nice and funny guy. He was really nice and suggested to take me out for lunch and dessert, but I was already on my way to the movies and whatnot. So we made plans to have dinner and dessert instead when he got out of work. It was a pretty adventurous dinner plan that we had haha. He was looking up places last minute and kept mentioning to go eat pho. I was ready to back hand him if that was gonna happen lol. We headed to this sushi restaurant in Fremont, but turned out it was closed for maintenance. Total fail! So then we headed to another one that was also located in Fremont called Satomi Sushi. The sushi there was sooooo good! I’m glad H checked Yelp to see what was recommended. There was this photo of a super large maki and apparently it was on the secret menu. We asked the waitress for it and we were excited to try it as well as the other things we ordered. When we finished our meal, H was gentlemen and paid. I felt horrible since it was our first time hanging out and I don’t care if it’s my birthday or not. I just didn’t want him to be forking out money like that during our first hangout. Afterwards, we just headed to get some milk tea at Ten Ren in Milpitas. Soon we called it a night and plus food coma was kicking in.

When I got home it was still relatively early. It was only 8PM and I realized I didn’t get myself some cake. Milk tea was our dessert after dinner but that’s because we were super full from the sushi. I drove down the street to this dessert spot near my place and picked up this chocolate hazelnut mousse cake. I was tempted to get tiramisu but I wanted to try something different. I was happy with my selection because it tasted just like Ferreira Roche chocolates. So yummy!!! Now I’m just finishing up this post and enjoying my beer in bed. Probably gonna read my book and call it a day soon.

Overall it was a great day and I was overwhelmed with the kindness of my friends from back at home texting me all day. It really meant a lot to me. I was surprised that certain people remembered it, but then again disappointed that I didn’t hear from one person, but it’s okay. I’m not surprised. Last night when I was chatting with my close friend A, she was really sweet and mentioned how she’ll check in with me throughout the day to see the status of my birthday to do list. I literally teared up when she said that. Although I had company during dinner, I still wanted to be around someone. Just to sit and talk. But at least having some company was better than none at all. Before I started on this post, I got to Skype with my dad so that was great as well. I felt very loved today but deep down I feel very lonely still. I did a good job masking it all today with my optimism and just embracing the day for what it is. I’m glad I was able to stay occupied throughout the day. I feel very successful in accomplishing such simple tasks today. Turning 26 didn’t feel too bad after all. I think this is a newfound tradition of mines. Maybe next year’s list will be much more epic. 🙂