Adventures · Concerts

July 14 – G-Dragon in San Jose

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G-Dragon had a solo concert in San Jose as part of his Act III: M.O.T.T.E World Tour. My friends and I drove out there to attend.

We arrived first in Milpitas to eat at Gen Korean BBQ House. There was quite a wait so my friends went over to the bar first. I’m not much of a drinker so the alcohol got to me a bit fast. Luckily my friends are social butterflies and befriended a waitress who hooked up a table within half of our scheduled wait time.

 

The small portion sizes were a good idea. We were able to do four rounds (I’m missing the third round’s picture) and weren’t overly stuff. And I received a “surprise” plate of pineapple for my birthday.  I went to the restroom and I suppose my friends told the waitress it was my birthday. When I came back, the waitress whispered in my ear, “Whose birthday was it?” I replied back with, “It’s mine.” She immediately lowered her head down in shame hahaha. It was nice of them to gift me with some pineapple but I didn’t eat much of it.

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Birthday pineapple

After lunch we ended up at Walmart and Ross to pick up some needed supplies. I only bought a cord to charge my phone and a Starbucks drink since I needed to sober up.

San Pedro Square Market was our next destination. We parked our car at the SAP Center first and walked for 10 minutes.

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Outside the SAP Center. People were already lined up to go inside.

It was a pain in the ass trying to find my seat. I went into the seating area only to go back out, walk around the center and carefully climb down a few rows of seats. I was sweating bullets. My friends went back to the car for a few more drinks so I was alone.

The concert overall was AWESOME. Unfortunately, there was some kind of hanging equipment that was distracting. -_-  And truthfully, I just could not recognize half of the songs that G-Dragon performed. I like his music, but I mostly listened to his title tracks.

He started off with HeartbreakerI thought he would have started with Middle Fingers Up since it’s his intro song for his latest mini album. The concert ended with his title track Untitled, 2014.

He also prerecorded a monologue. The thing with that was there were three large screens but only the right screen had subtitles. And of course I sat where the left screen was visible. So while they played the monologue, my side of the audience just listened quietly lol.

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Exiting the parking lot was a bitch. It took 30 minutes. And while we were waiting to exit, some car bumped into the car in front of it. It seemed like a new driver because when they backed back into their parking spot, they hit the parking bumper. I guess they were under stress or something.

We decided to get some Taco Bell before we hit the freeway and that was the end of that night.

I will be going back to San Jose in September to check out Taeyang in concert, on a Sunday! I think that’d be the last time I will ever see them perform in person. The Big Bang members all have military priorities. By the time all 5 are done, I’ll be in my mid-thirties lol. I’ll be too old to hop around in the audience.

Adventures

December 30th – San Jose, Part II

Here’s part II. If you haven’t read the first part, here it is.

I woke up in the middle of the night because it got so hot in the room. I think it was around 2AM. Sleeping there was not fun at all. I could feel the springs in the bed and the pillows were so flat that I had to fold one pillow in half. Eventually I fell back asleep and woke up around 6AM. After that I was just in a light sleep until whenever…

I was Yelping like crazy trying find a place to eat for breakfast. We ended up at Bill’s Cafe, which has several locations around SJ.

Since I decided we should eat outside, we were immediately seated. It was a bit chilly though.

I ordered a meaty omelet with country styled potatoes and it came with a buttered English muffin. Melanie ordered eggs benedicts that was served on top of crab cakes. It was definitely the winner that morning.

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Meaty omelet with country style potatoes and an English muffin.

My potatoes were quite tasty. I’ve never had potatoes cooked like that before. The omelet was okay, but that’s just because I’m not a big fan of breakfast type meats. I don’t know why I chose to order it in the first place haha. I ended up just eating the cheese inside.

While we had breakfast, we discussed plans for the rest of the day. I wanted to drive to SF, but Melanie wasn’t enthusiastic about it so that was out of the picture. Plus I didn’t want to force Melanie to drive out there. We decided just to end SJ and head home, but stop by 85°c Bakery on the way home in Milpitas.

Before we left, we explored the area a bit. It’s a low-key downtown area. We were in another small town, not really in SJ anymore. We walked towards…I don’t know where, about 10 minutes, and headed back to the car.

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The area we explored.

85°C Bakery was located in another Asian plaza and that shit was just as packed as the other parking lots. We had to park in another plaza and walk 5 minutes to where the bakery was located. I purchased about $23 worth of pastries for my family. Luckily an 85°c Bakery is opening up in Sacramento, so I don’t have to do that type of shit anymore haha.

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$23 worth of pastries!

We decided to visit Melanie’s sister-in-law since she lives on the way back home. We spent the rest of the day there where I ate Sonics’ for the first time. I was feeling real shitty that evening and finally went home around 9PM. It felt GREAT to be back home in my comfy bed. And that concludes my two day vacation.

I wouldn’t mind going back to San Jose. But only for a day. Or just past by it. And I want to try out the Vietnamese food next time.

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.

Adventures

November 3rd – CL in San Francisco

Three friends and I went to San Francisco to watch CL* perform at the Warfield on Market Street.

*CL is part of 2NE1, a female music group from South Korea.

I’ve been a fan of 2NE1 since their debut in 2009. I even attended their concert in LA back in 2012 with Melanie (one of the three friends) and that was fucking awesome. The best/funnest concert I’ve been to, actually. But I wasn’t sure if I would attend CL’s concert since I wasn’t really following her solo material, but since my friends were going, why not.

We were supposed to leave around 11AM but we left Sacramento around 12:30ish haha. Before we left, we got some McDonalds to go. Melanie and I were supposed to be on a diet that started two days before, but that was just going to be ignored for today.

The drive wasn’t bad at all. Getting to and through the Bay Bridge was a breeze.  And there was lots of sun that day, unlike most of the days I go to SF. We were debating on what to do when we get to the city. The concert didn’t start until 8:30PM and we got to SF around 2PM so we had time to kill.

Japantown was chosen as the first stop…

We decided to eat some more and stopped at Sophie’s Crepes, one of my favorite places there. I decided to try out their green tea sundae. I actually hate green tea but love green tea ice cream. It doesn’t taste like straight-up plant and it’s not too sweet.

The green stuff on top of the whipped cream was so bitter. I had to scoop that and toss it. Melanie got some kind of strawberry sundae.  There was a poster for CL’s concert inside the shop.

After walking around, Felisha ordered some takoyaki which disappointedly wasn’t made fresh. They warm it up using a takoyaki pan. The worker claimed it takes too long to cook which was absurd since it took forever for the order to be ready. At least the octopus wasn’t hard and chewy.

I saw these mochi on a stick…I think they’re called dango. I wanted to try it since I’ve seen them on YouTube but I was too stuffed.

We decided to walk a little north of Japantown to go to a small Japanese market. There was onigiri sold inside so we decided to buy some. I don’t think any of us have tried one before since we had difficulty opening it up.

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The view of Japantown from the Japanese Market.

I bought one filled with that salted plum stuff, umeboshi. That stuff is SALTY as hell. It’s good if you eat a tiny amount, like the size of three rice grains haha. I had to scoop some out to make the onigiri edible. I would love to eat it again though. I also bought a spam musubi which I’ve never tried either. I typically don’t like spam but it was okay in the musubi form. Everyone else got a roe filled or tuna filled musubi which they enjoyed.

Daiso was the last thing on our list for Japantown so we headed there. I had been to Daiso already in Roseville a few days prior so I wasn’t too eager to buy anything.  I’m was also trying to save my money and not buy random crap that I won’t even need/use. I eventually got tired walking around in Daiso so I went outside and sat on the ground…only to find out that there were benches nearby.

Chinatown was our next destination. We went to different shops that had all the same cheap crap. I was beyond exhausted. And nobody bought anything.

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I didn’t know I was so close to the Transamerica Pyramid.
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I didn’t realized that people live above the shops until I saw someone close their curtains.

We finally headed towards the Warfield, parked the car, and walked to the venue to find out that there was a LONG line to get inside. The doors opened at 7:30 and we got there around 7. My friends wanted to get some drinks so we headed to a bar that was nearby, Mikkeller Bar.

I didn’t order any drinks since I popped in two Advils since my tooth was hurting. I did order three appetizers though haha.  And I’ve never been to a bar before to be honest. The guy that took my order asked if I wanted to start a tab. I didn’t know how to respond to that haha. I said yes at first, but changed my mind two seconds later.

I ordered french fries, mac and cheese, and a chicken quesadilla.

The chicken quesadilla was BOMB. Fries were okay. The mac and cheese had a raw flour taste. It wasn’t good. Bland too. Not much of any cheese flavor present.

We left around 8:15 and I thought that the lines would be short by that time but I was very wrong. It was even LONGER. It wrapped around the freaking street. We got in 30 minutes later and the concert already started. Melanie and I were talking to the usher about our seat location and I saw CL. I grabbed Melanie so she could see. I always do that to her lol.

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A building behind the venue. People live here too. I don’t have much experience being in the city.

We got to our seat area and had to walk around because I couldn’t find our exact seats. We were located in the very back, third to last row of the venue. That was kind of unfortunate but whatever.

The concert was good. CL performed most of the songs from her group which was a major WTF since the concert is her solo concert but it was still enjoyable. One of the things that prevented the concert from being ass-kicking awesome was the fact that everyone around me was too busy recording on their stupid fucking phone.

The reason why I had a blast at 2NE1’s concert was that everyone was out of their seats, arms in the air, screamed their ass off during the whole thing.

Everyone around me at CL’s concert had their arms in the air to record. Imbeciles! I tried having a good time on my own but it doesn’t really work if you’re the only one screaming and the surrounding area is quiet.

CL was performing some kind of ballad. I wasn’t too familiar with it but it’s one of her group’s song.

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I don’t remember what she was performing here.
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Performing “Lifted”, her latest release.

ANYWAY, after the concert we decided to eat some pho at a restaurant 5 minutes away. Finishing our meal around 10:45ish, we called it a night, headed out of the city and went home.

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My bowl of combination pho.

That day was pretty awesome. Ate all day without guilt because everyone was eating haha.

Adventures

October 21st – Apple Hill, Placerville

This was a short, random trip. My sister, Sophia, wanted to go to Apple Hill to get some pastries and apple cider. My sister, Vickie, and I both worked at 3PM that day so it had to be fast. Honestly I was going to back out since we left an hour later than planned (Sophia’s fault).

I haven’t been to Apple Hill since 3rd grade. The only thing I remember about that trip was eating apple pie. We were apparently behind schedule so we had quickly eat our apple pie. Yeah.

Anyway, it took about an hour to get there. The weather was pretty nice. Bright, blue skies and it was warm. Apple Hill is like a flea market. There’s a lot of crafts for sale and of course, apples. I actually don’t even like apples. The taste is okay but the crunchy texture is something I’ve never been a fan of.

We ate lunch once we arrived. We decided to do tri-tip sandwiches which was alright. It came with a bag of chips and a drink. I’m pretty sure the meat finished cooking a while ago since it wasn’t even warm! Since it was lunch time, all the elementary students were going to have their lunch too. At least we got a picnic table before anyone had arrived.

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After eating, we decided to get the hell out of that area and went to the restroom where they had the coldest sink water. I wonder if it came from the mountains lol. We walked around and eventually got some pastries. Sophia got her apple fritter that she wanted and I got an apple donut with sprinkles.

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There was a huge pond where everyone had gathered around to relax and eat. We sat on a bench along the pond and devoured our treats and people watch. Sophia wanted to leave and head somewhere else down the road but first she had to buy her apple cider.

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While she was while she was waiting in line, I decided just to check out what was on sale.

We headed out to Boa Vista Orchards which was 5 minutes up the road. It was basically the same at Apple Hill except there was a pumpkin batch across the street. There was a lot of apples again and same merchandise on sale. Sophia treated us by buying some scented salts. I bought a birthday present for Diana.

We left around 1PM since Vickie and I had to work soon.

Would I go again? Probably not, for a while. It’s definitely not worth the one hour drive. And Boa Vista is opened year round. If I really wanted something from there, I would go some other time besides fall.

Other photos:

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Adventures

October 6th – Lands End, San Francisco

My sisters and I took a trip out to Lands End in San Francisco with my two nephews. Originally we had planned to go to Kirby Cove, but my older sister suggested going to Lands End instead.  The sky was clear with the occasional smoke trails from the Blue Angels jets that were practicing for a show.

Driving to Lands End reminded me that I really do need to explore more of SF instead of going to the usual tourist traps (Japantown, Pier 39, Chinatown, Union Square…). There’s so much more to SF than those areas.

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Anyway, there weren’t many people at Lands End. Maybe it’s because we went on a Thursday.  We headed out going down towards the water and walked along the cliff. The pathway was pretty wide so there was no worries about falling off.  We headed further down a steep path where I had to hold onto my nephew since he was scared and then headed into a cave.  The cave didn’t really lead to anywhere since the other end was fenced off.  We turned back and headed to the actual hiking trail which consisted of lots of inclining stairs.

img_0331 This was at the side of the cave.

The hike included gorgeous views of the SF bay and a new view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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After basking in the view of the GGB, we decided to head down to a beach since my nephews love going to the beach.  We had to walk down sandy stairs while holding onto a kid. There were a whole bunch of rocks stacked up on top of each other which I didn’t really care for to be honest.

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We couldn’t do much because of the rocks.

We left the beach after probably 30 minute of resting and headed back up the sandy steps to another area. This area gave another great view of the GGB.  There was a circular design made out of rocks on the ground. I didn’t know what the hell it was supposed to be.  I still don’t know what it’s supposed to be.

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We had to hike up some more stairs and decided to call it a day since my nephews were getting worn out and my other sister was waiting for back at my older sister’s house.

I would love to come back but without kids. And better fitted shoes. I kept slipping inside my shoes which hurt my toes.

Adventures

Hiking at Hidden Falls Trail + Random Trip

A few weeks ago, a few friends and I decided to go hiking at Hidden Falls Trail in Auburn. It was my first time ever hiking so I had some expectations of how it was going to go down. We left Sacramento around 7:45AM and got there around 8:45AM. It was a really easy drive. And I’ve honestly never been up that far up in California. I need to explore more.

Anyway, it was super bright and sunny that day with crisp, fresh air. The trail started downwards which I thought would be easy but it was a lot harder. I had just started practicing yoga that week and was breathing in too deeply which caused a bit of a sore throat. Walking downwards didn’t help at all since my head was always pointed down so I could see where I was going.  My thighs were burning too since I had to have a strong grip against the ground so I wouldn’t slip. Plus I wore the wrong pair of underwear. I wore my pair that kept slipping down. I don’t know why I still have it haha.

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We eventually passed a small stream where we took a small break. Just listening to the water flow by was quite refreshing.

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We continued to walk for a while until we reached a big waterfall.

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We weren’t standing on rocks to view the waterfall. There was a platform made of wood for people to bask in the view. We took another rest there for 10 minutes and decided to head out…to Reno. It was only because we were apparently half way there, might as well just go for a random trip. I had never been to Reno either so that day was a first time for everything.

Hiking took a little over an hour. I had expected it to be a bit longer…like an all day activity. But I’m glad that I was wrong. I was tired! And I brought more than what I needed: mosquito repellent, sunscreen, bandages, pain killers…but better safe than sorry.

We arrived in Reno around 12:30PM and my friends were eager to tell me all about the casinos since they come to Reno very often. We spent 6 hours there before we decided to leave only to find out that westbound I-80 was closed due to a homicide on the freeway! We decided to go to Boomtown and wait until it opened up again.

I eventually searched for updates and the freeway was going to be closed for another three hours. There was another way home which would take us to Lake Tahoe and that would also take three hours. We decided to just leave around 8:30PM and didn’t get back until 11:30PM!