Monday, October 16, 2017

i scream for ice cream;

i've been wanting to blog about september but i did so much traveling in september that i don't even know where to start to blog about september.
we started with labor day weekend in LA.
got back monday night and then i hopped on a plane again on wednesday night to go to denver for a conference. 
got back on friday night and then one week later hopped on a plane again to go to korea haha.
so yes, a lot of flying in september and i was done by the time october came around. 
thankfully no flying involved in october and just one more trip planned for the last quarter of the year haha.
i like going to different places but flying can be so tiring. 

so since i went to so many places in september i think i'll divide up my blogging haha.
shall blog about our labor day weekend/other september happenings and then dedicate a whole other blog post (or two) to korea since i love korea so much haha.

so we found cheap tickets to LA over labor day weekend in like june and so we decided why not. esp since we hadn't taken a LA trip all year (pretty crazy considering how often we usually go there).
since we always go to LA, i decided to try to plan a somewhat different itinerary for this time and we actually did quite a few new things so it was fun!

landed in LA like SUPER early (7 a.m.) and so we headed over to paris baguette for some breakfast.
took our time to eat our breakfast since we had like all the time in the world and couldn't check into our hotel yet anyway.
headed over to the newport beach temple after for a little morning temple walk.
love temple walks! it just feels so peaceful and quiet.

went and did some shopping at the irvine spectrum center before getting some lunch.
also cause sam wanted to get macarons from honey and butter.
they have character macarons which are so so cute!
so cute right? and they were delicious too

lunch was at this small little taiwanese place called A&J.
super small place but the food was really good and we totally over-ordered as usual haha.

we were totally having a food coma while we drove to newport beach haha.
but the sea was a beautiful sight although the sun could have turned it down a notch.
we started with a whale watching cruise.
we had to head out pretty far in order to find some whales to watch and so sam and i were totally like falling asleep on the boat ride haha.
but it was so worth it!
we saw lots and lots of dolphins and even huge whales!
it was hard to video but it was a great sight to behold.

the dolphins! there were so many of them and the water was so clear you could see them swimming underwater

went on this sunset cruise following our whale tour and so yeah, lots of boat time haha.
it started with a tour of the different houses in the area and omg, all those houses are so big they looked like resorts!
this is someone's house. so crazy.
the skies were really pretty 
gotta love those california palm trees

unfortunately, the sunset wasn't as spectacular as i thought it was going to be.
but we were happy to finally get off a boat and head over to grab dinner haha.
had dinner at this place called two birds where they're famous for their fried chicken and shared this massive burger.
it was yummy but all i can remember is that we were so so so tired and ready for bed haha.
it was a long long day with very little sleep haha. 

day two started with kbbq first thing in the morning at gen bbq just like we did in san jose.
there were only two of us this time though so i felt like we couldn't eat as much and got full a lot faster.
also cause we had had salad all week before coming on this trip so i'm pretty sure our stomachs shrank haha.
anyway, we were like rolling out of there haha.
and then we headed next door to stock up on 85 degrees bread hahaha oh the irony.
but just look at that. so good!

drove to downtown LA after so it would be a good amount of time before we consumed dessert haha.
headed over to try salt & straw because bryan kept raving about it and insisted we try haha.
took FOREVER to find parking and we were seriously about to give up haha.
we tried the strawberry coconut as recommended by bryan and it was actually really good.
we also got the avocado strawberry jam sherbet and i loved that one!
overall, it turned out to be really good ice-cream and i was pretty impressed even if the strawberry coconut flavor was vegan haha.
the weather was so hot so ice cream was perfect
brought sam to third street promenade and santa monica pier after since she had never been before 
and omg the amount of people that were there. absolutely crazy. 

and omg, as i'm writing this, i just realized how much ice cream we ate that trip haha.
we headed over to somi somi in ktown after because we really wanted to try the ice cream in 봉어빵 haha.
i loved that they had ube flavor!
i got the ube-milk swirl and sam got the black sesame. the soft serve melted pretty fast though so eating it was a messy messy process haha. but still yummy haha

headed over to the LACMA after to see the urban lights.
when we got there it was still light out so we sat and waited for awhile for the lights to come on.
and i regretted just sitting and waiting!
we should have taken photos when the lights were not on yet because i felt the urban lights structure looked so much nicer without the lights.
but oh well.
once the lights came on, it was soooo crowded and you could barely take a photo without a million people in your background so that was kind of annoying.
we tried forever to take a good photo and gave up after awhile cause we just wanted to move on to our night market haha.
sam just so done waiting for people to move hahahaha 
the lights were a lot smaller than i expected but still kind of cool
all lighted up
sam tried really hard to get a shot without random people in the background and did a good job in my opinion haha

headed over to our last destination for the night: 626 night market where there was a bunch of asian food and really, a bunch of asian people haha.
i wish we had more stuff like that in utah.
finally got to try shrimp daddy, which tasted very similar to the shrimp trucks in hawaii which was amazing!
and then also tried the baby bottle drink sam wanted to try - fruit juice with fruit balls served in a baby bottle haha.
there were so many things to try but the lines were so long so we spent forever in line!
shrimp with rice served in an actual pineapple // the baby bottle drink haha - it was so huge we took FOREVER to finish it haha

day three was our last day and so we took it easy before our flight.
headed to ktown first thing in the morning for our jajangmyun jjampong fix - so so so so good! 
i wished we had good jajangmyun here.

and then we ended out trip with our main highlight of the trip - the museum of ice cream!
i was so excited when i heard they were selling more tickets to the museum and waited online forever to get the tickets when they went on sale.
it was worth the experience though cause it was just a fun interactive experience and we got to eat ice cream all throughout the museum (see, seriously ate so much ice cream the whole trip haha).
everything was so colorful and happy!

and so that was our LA trip.
chill and fun and lots of asian food haha, just the way we like it.
and then we got back to our apartment and our carbon monoxide alarms were all going off.
so we went to walmart to get some batteries to try to fix the issue and it still didn't work.
and so we had to call the fire department.
they came they checked and it was just one carbon monoxide alarm that was faulty and so it triggered all of them and the apartment was really fine.
so grateful for them for working on the holiday and helping us unplug the alarm so we could finally wash up and go to bed.

okay didn't realize that would be such a long blog post haha.
following that trip i spent a couple of days in denver for a conference and it was fun to just relax and be away from my hectic work schedule.
i even got to go to the gym each day after my conference sessions so that was nice to get that back into my routine. 
i also managed to meet up with charles and kim for dinner and ice cream so that was quite a treat.
dinner at Root Down, a popular restaurant in denver. the food was really good but the service was super slow. 
ice cream at little man ice cream after where my ice cream cone was hugeeee haha. i loved how charles was like 'okay should we take a photo' before we left because 'charlotte always takes a photo.' charles, you know me too well haha.  
early morning from my hotel room window // evening walks down 16th st

other september happenings:
successful RS BBQ opening social 
hipster avocado toast by bryan 
visiting cutie kalia 
tosh ramen plus korean drama discussions with morgan

that was what i was up to half of september.
and the other half involved exploring and eating my way through korea.
stay tuned for my korea adventures update, whenever i get to it haha.


Monday, September 11, 2017

have a magical day;

august was a record breaking month for the number of hours i worked despite taking time off for vacations too.
i was literally 100% billable haha,
it was a long long one but yay it's over now and i think i might be able to breathe a little (just a little) now that september is here.
the year is just zooming by and next thing you know, it'll be the holidays.
so so so scary.
i'm not ready for the year to end!

as everyone was winding down from their summer vacations and getting ready for the new school year, sam and i were just getting started with our vacations in august haha.
we literally didn't go anywhere at all ALL summer but it's kind of nice not to travel when everyone is travelling.
it's nice to have the option to travel during off-peak season - perks of being a working adult haha.

our first travel location for the month was san jose.
it's been a whole year since jess graduated and moved to san jose so it was good timing that we had this reunion trip planned.
it was fun to visit jess and just hang out and eat good asian food all weekend.
san jose has such good asian food - seriously so jealous!
we spent the whole first night chatting till late (seriously when you put the three of us together in a room, you don't really need to even plan anything for us to do cause we can just chat chat chat) and then struggled to wake up and get ready to go out and get some korean bbq haha.
went to gen korean bbq first thing in the morning to beat the crowd and it was great cause it didn't start getting crowded until after we were basically done.
고기 time
got some yummy vietnamese drinks from bambu after lunch and none of us could finish our drinks since these drinks are packed with lots of jelly and what not inside. also where we had a hilarious incident related to two words "that's it" hahaha. basically jess couldn't understand the girl's accent when she asked her, "that's it?" and so she seriously stared at the girl for the longest time before just turning around and asking us what she was saying (jess (after): "i thought she was asking me if i wanted to add some sort of extra jelly") hahahah
i seriously love the pandan jelly in the drink - mixed with tapioca, it's just so good!

headed over to santa cruz after and traffic was seriously crazy and so Google Maps took us through a shortcut of long, windy paths.
finally got to the area and started with this place called Mystery Spot.
it's a visual illusion-based attraction on a short but super steep hill.
it was a really small area but it was pretty cool how things looked crooked when they were actually in a straight line or how crazy unbalanced you feel at certain portions.
it was worth a visit. 
 being able to stand upright at random angles where we look like we're tilting
on the way back down
this is apparently one of the main attractions in santa cruz and is often sold out on the weekends

headed over to the beach after where we wanted to boogie board but got there a little too late so we ended up just hanging out in the water for a little bit and then heading out.
beach time!
can't forget the jump shot! 
sam didn't even go into the water haha 
love the colors at beaches 
hung out at the board walk for a little bit before heading out for dinner 
sunset time 
headed over to this poke place that had a lot of good Yelp reviews and was not super impressed 
dessert at a taiwanese dessert place after getting back into san jose! was so good but omg we were so full hahahaha

so that was day one.
and then day two was more chill.
we still had to wake up early since we had reservations for the Winchester Mystery House first thing in the morning.
the Winchester Mystery House was actually really fascinating.
so basically the mansion (it's huge!) was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of gun magnate William Winchester.
after her husband and baby died, Sarah Winchester sought out a medium who told her that she must construct a house where the construction on the house never stops.
the medium told her that she was haunted by the spirits of people who had fallen victim to Winchester rifles.
so that was the Winchester mansion where there are doors and stairs that go nowhere, etc. to try to confuse the spirits. 
it was super interesting to walk through and see it first hand, and also kind of crazy to think that she lived the rest of her life lonely without her family and just haunted by spirits, spending everyday focusing on changing the mansion. 
starting the tour 
i wish there was an area we could have gotten a photo to show you the extent of the mansion 
only one small portion of the mansion 
yay us! 
notice the door to nowhere - meant to throw spirits off 
ended our trip with a late lunch at shihlin after church and it was SO GOOD!

and so that was our san jose trip.
short but so fun!

and then the next weekend, starting just a few days after san jose on wednesday, we headed over to florida!
can't believe the news of hurricane irma hitting florida so hard when we were just there less than a month ago.
so anyway, we randomly saw cheap tickets to orlando and decided, let's go!
super spontaneous but i'm glad we did it cause it's been so long since i was in florida last.
but omg, the planning starting right after we bought the tickets up till the trip make me so so so so so excited to be back at disney it was killing me!

we spent four full magical days in florida and it was so great!
so many memories went through my mind and it was just so fun for me.
we did 3 disney parks and diagon alley at universal and so we packed out schedules to the brim, and as such, our legs were just DYING after the trip haha.
but we did everything we wanted to so that was good.
i could go on and on for days talking about every single detail on the trip but i'll spare you the details and just post some of my favorite photos from the trip:
character dining at animal kingdom - those safari outfits!
Russell from Up was seriously my favorite haha. funny story about this part of the itinerary. so if you know me well you know i plan my trips with super detailed hour by hour itineraries. anyway, sam was reviewing the itinerary and she saw meet russell at discovery island and she was so so so confused cause she thought like russell our friend, not russell from Up hahahaha. 
Pandora was seriously as amazing as everyone said it was 
i absolutely LOVED the banshee ride and wished we could have done it over and over again! seriously, the best! 
loved their different types of foods and drinks too. Pandora was just so well done, and i didn't even watch the movie! 
loved the beauty & the beast castle // discovering the citrus swirl -  so good! 
this castle! with the perfect colors just as the sun was setting 
can't beat the fireworks show at Disney!
butter beer everything please 
how sam felt the whole third day hahahaha. we were so drained of our energy by the third day and our legs were killing us. poor sam couldn't even take the one awesome ride in diagon alley! 
seriously just loved how magical this place is!
during the time i worked at Disney World in Florida, Epcot was always my least favorite park but this time, just because they had the following characters, it climbed up the rankings haha: 
sam is obsessed with sadness hahaha so she was delighted to meet sadness 
loved the whole area they had for sadness and joy complete with the islands and the memory balls 
can you spot the two asian ghosts hahahaha
and we just had to stop by china to check out mulan because she never looks asian!

so those were our august travel adventures.
besides travelling, 
we got to tour the new MTC
get yummy desserts at the chocolate with jennifer
hang out with mr. MIA for a moment haha
made this cute diaper filled hot air balloon tower for baby chase
crystal's baby shower was seriously the cutest! and baby chase is just the cutest. 
pretty good attendance for our fish group
celebrated the king's/our korean father figure's birthday with a korean king cake 
he insisted i had to stand in the middle cause i'm the 공주 hahaha 
random sushi night with these girls and the waitress was quite shocked to see like 10 rolls on the table haha. yay for happy hour! 
celebrated the BFF's birthday with some bbq at R&R

i'm impressed i got out and did so much despite my work schedule.
i bet that kind of kept me sane too haha.
it's only the second full week of september and i've already been on the plane twice (two round trips that is).
and i'm headed on a plane again this friday haha.
lots of flying and less working :)
till the next update.