Adventures

December 29th – San Jose, Part I

Long time no post! I was extremely sick for a few weeks (strep throat) so I had no energy to get on the computer and post an entry. Now that I’m feeling a lot better, let’s get back on track.

This will be split into two parts.

I began planning a trip to San Jose when I was scheduled two days off from work. Coincidentally, Melanie had the same days off so we decided to go. Unfortunately, I developed a sore throat the morning before and it went downhill from there. While I was packing, I constantly reminded myself that we were only staying for one night so I didnt’t need to bring much. I ended up with a stuffed duffel bag.

We arrived in San Jose a little after 12PM and headed straight to Boiling Point. I constantly said that Boiling Point was going to be the first destination!

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Taiwanese Spicy

Melanie and I ordered the “Taiwanese Spicy” hot pot. And it was spicy! My nose was running and my tongue began to hurt. And it was honestly not the best I’ve tried. I’ve tried the “Japanese miso” hot pot that was bland and beef hot pot that I tried in LA was the best.  I really wish I ordered that one instead. It would have been worth the 30 minute wait.

After eating, I wanted to go to Paris Baguette, a Korean European bakery chain, that was a few doors down. I didn’t want to leave the plaza yet since it was a pain in the ass finding parking.

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Raspberry and cheese danish, regular croissant, and some kind of flaky vanilla custard pastry.

We left the Asian plaza after eating the pastries and headed downtown to try an ice cream place that Melanie had tried before. While we were driving, I noticed that San Jose’s building were dull compared to Sacramento’s. I know that Sacramento doesn’t have much, but at least its’ buildings all look different compared to San Jose’s. (Yes, some shade to SJ haha)

Downtown was surprising quiet. I thought a huge city like San Jose would have a bustling downtown. Maybe we were in the wrong part. Anyway, the ice cream place, Milk & Wood, was located inside a building where there were other little eateries. (As we discovered later on, San Jose has a lot of these type of buildings.)

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Mint Oreo topped with chocolate curls, Butterfinger crumbles, and sprinkles.

I forgot what Melanie ordered, but the total came out to be an even $10. Not bad, I guess. It wasn’t the greatest to be honest. Maybe a different flavor would have been better.

Since we had a lot of time left with the metered parking, we decided to explore downtown. I honestly have no idea where we went. We just started walking.

We stopped by this Japanese store called Muji. It sells a whole bunch of crap. Bean bag chairs, air diffusers, stationary, storage, clothes…all very expensive as well. But it was probably the most interesting part. After that, we decided to head back to the car.

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This was on the way back.

Next stop was San Pedro Square Market. We heard so much about it and its’ food selection.

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Unfortunately we weren’t hungry. Or the food didn’t seem appetizing at that time. We walked around twice. Melanie saw a park on the map nearby so we decided to walk over there. Nothing but the homeless. We walked back and further down the street where the San Pedro was located. A lot more eateries that looked pretty cool.

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We walked until we reached the beginning? We weren’t sure if the words were going to light up.
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Passed by this Old Spaghetti Factory with a gorgeous entrance.

We decided to call it a day in downtown. On the way back to the car, we regretfully saw bicycle rentals by the parking garage. And on the way to the freeway, there was a “Christmas at the Park” event taking place with a whole bunch of lit of Christmas objects. It was only a five minute drive away. We couldn’t believe we missed it. Oh well.

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On the way to our Airbnb.

Our Airbnb was located basically on top of a hill. I just rented a room inside a house, nothing fancy. But the house did have a grand chandelier just inside the entrance. Our room was upstairs with a designated private bathroom that was just across the hall. As we settled in, I found out the room came with Netflix so we decided to watch Fuller House since Melanie wanted to watch the second season.

Before heading the SJ, I watched a vlog on Youtube and the girl went to a place called Soyful and I wanted to try it out. Luckily there was one 10 minutes away and there was a ton of restaurants, nearly all Vietnamese, nearby it so we headed out that.

That whole area was PACKED. Melanie had to park across the street at a Target. As we walked through the whole shopping plaza, each restaurant was packed. There was a fast food Thai restaurant that had some seats opened, so that was dinner that night.

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Some kind of stir fried chicken and curry. Fast food Thai is never really that great.

I ordered a two entree combo plate while Melanie ordered stir fried noodles. It was okay. Edible. The stir fried chicken was a little too sweet. Shouldn’t expect much from an express Thai restaurant. We then headed to Soyful to try it out. That shit was packed too. With a lot of young people.

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I ordered the combination with 50% sweetness. I’m not sure what’s in it. A whole bunch of crap. And I should have gotten it at 100%. I think it would have been fantastic.

Since we parked at a Target, we decided to go in. And it was HUGE. And busy. All I bought was a small calendar that’s posted on a clipboard. It turned out to be only $0.90. I could have just saved my money and not purchase it because I barely glance at it. now

We decided to call it a night after that. It was getting late (9PMish? lol) and I was feeling pretty stuffed up since I was sick. I felt kind of bad. If I wasn’t sick, we could have done something during the night.

Here’s part II.

Holidays

Christmas 2016

Prep work for Christmas began a week before starting with chocolate chip cookies and Christmas colored M&M cookies.  I had arranged to bake a lot since I planned to give cookies to my friends (it didn’t happen) so I needed to prep the dough to bake two days before Christmas.

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Raw M&M cookies.
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After being baked, cooling on a rack.
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Finished chocolate chip and M&M cookies.

I had to bake at my sister’s house since her oven has two racks. Mine only has one so it would take forever to finish baking everything (it took three hours at my sister’s).

After I came home from work on Christmas Eve, I needed to go to the store to buy ingredients for my last minute decision to make chili.  The store was super busy as expected, but I didn’t mind the wait.  Once I got home, I had to get started on my lotus cookies.

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Deep fried cookies made of rice flour, coconut milk, eggs, a little water, and a shit ton of sugar. I posted this on Instagram and got A LOT of likes.

I woke up on Christmas day around 9AM. I had to help prep other foods with my mom before I could began with my chili.

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Before
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After

I looked at numerous recipes for chili and they were all very similar. Some called for tons of different spices while other called for only two or three. I pretty much combined all the recipes. My ingredients were: 2lb lean ground beef, two cans of dark kidney beans, a can of cannellini beans, three cans of diced tomatoes, a can of tomato sauce, a small can of tomato paste, a can of beef broth, two green bell peppers, onions, garlic, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, dried oregano, salt & pepper. I feel like I’m leaving out some more spices, but honestly I just kind of threw everything in there. And it turned out great! I was really surprised it turned out well. I was afraid it was going to be too tomato-y. I had crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, and cheese for toppings.

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The menu: Pineapple, boiled chicken (Hmong style), fried tilapia with with a tomato and onion sauce, sticky rice + regular rice, chili, and a spinach & strawberry salad.
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Menu continued: BBQed tri tip and roasted prime rib.

After eating, everything went by really fast. We opened presents (I got Dolce&Gabanna’s Light Blue and a robe), the little kids opened presents, celebrated my sister’s birthday, and then everyone left. My sister and I slowly began to clean up and that was pretty much it for that day.

From my friends’ portion of Christmas, I got Dolce&Gabanna’s Light Blue in a roller ball form, argan oil by Josie Maran, and bobby bins.

(I began this post a little after 11PM and wanted to finish before the year technically ended, but I’m currently sick and got tired half way. This post is going to abruptly end.)

Happy new year, to you all!