Birthday at Disneyland

Birthday at Disneyland

We didn’t start out as Disney fans. Sure, we grew up watching Disney films and visited Disneyland maybe once every decade, but there was no ingrained fascination with the megacorp that a certain group of people seemed to share. We weren’t those people.

My husband and I moved down to SoCal (from the Bay Area) for his residency program in 2013 (before we had Elaine) and many of his colleagues were annual pass holders to Disneyland who seemed to make it their mission to haul him onto the bandwagon. “It’s only 30 minutes away,” they said. “You can go there for date nights/days whenever you want.” “You can go there on your days/afternoons off.” “It’s a bargain if you think about a day’s admission cost.” Spellbound, my husband found himself purchasing the premium annual memberships for the both of us so that we didn’t have blackout dates and we didn’t have to pay for parking for every visit. By the end that year, after about one or two visits a month, we were converts; we shared the same sentiment as the other Disney people whom we didn’t understand at first. There’s a certain desire for fiction and magic that Disney provides, and you come to love walking down Main Street with the view of the castle, the foods associated with each section of the park, and riding the silly rides that only last a minute or so. I rode “it’s a small world” at the end of the day around 11:30PM with a sleepy Elaine, and a family came rushing into the line standing behind me in which I overhead a lady say, “I always ride ‘it’s a small world’ whenever I come to Disneyland. If I don’t, did it even happen?”

Fiction, magic, traditions. That’s how they get’ya.

Food highlights from Pixar Fest (see this post for all the details): I had a long list of foods to try, but our stomachs could only handle so much in one day and we had a dinner reservation at Goofy’s Kitchen, which was a dinner buffet with the family, so we couldn’t stuff ourselves in the afternoon. We tried the grape soda cake pop, alien macaron, cheeseburger pizza, apple and cherry slushy in a Finding Nemo souvenir light-up sipper cup, a habanero meatball cone, and a “Choose Your Racer” churro in which I chose the red churro for Lightning McQueen. My favorite was the alien macaron because it wasn’t that sweet and it was a well-made macaron with a sweet-tangy blackberry flavored filling. I wanted to try at least 3 churros (the cocoa churro (inspired by Coco) and the multi-colored fruity churro (inspired by Up)), Jessie’s Berry Jubilee funnel cake (inspired by Toy Story 3), the three-flavored corn dog (inspired by Jack-Jack from The Incredibles), and the three-course Remi-inspired (from Ratatouille) menu at Cafe Orleans, but again, our stomachs could handle so much and I think the Lord was keeping me in check with all the sweets. ;) I didn’t indulge too much because I only took a bite or two from each food item. I just wanted a taste, that’s all. hehe.

 

 

Field Trip: Echo Park, L.A.

June 2nd: Impromptu trip to the Echo Park in L.A. The weather was sunny and not too hot. I thought it would be nice to have a picnic and ride the swan boats at the lake. Echo Park was also on my Summer List. We packed a light lunch by digging up leftovers from the week and headed to the park. Note to future visitors: street parking can be tricky on weekends because there’s a lot of people especially on nice days and the swan boat rides are $11 per adult and $7(?) for each child. I didn’t know it would be so costly, but since I didn’t think we would ride it ever again, we decided to take the plunge. All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon in the city.

Field Trip: Huntington Library

Field Trip: Huntington Library

In order to get free tickets to the once a month free day at the Huntington Library, you must set an alarm/alert for 8:50am on the first of the month prior. You must be sitting at your computer desk or have your phone in hand with the link to the tickets page open and ready to click. Not the homepage of the Huntington Library or the next two pages leading to the tickets page, but the actual tickets reservation page several clicks in. When the clock strikes 9:00am, hundreds of people will be clicking on the same link, causing a likely site crash by 9:01am. If you get stuck in the crash, you will find yourself looking at a “Sold Out” page by the time the site loads properly, which would be at exactly 9:02am. On April 1st, I leisurely walked to my computer at 9:05am and found myself baffled by the speed in which the tickets were taken. On May 1st, I was ready. I set my alarm, I had the page open on my computer (but it was the page before the reservation page) and the site froze instantly seconds after 9am; luckily I had the reservation page open on my phone and was able to snatch the tickets for June.

A lesson to be learned: Life is a competition.

 

 

 

 

Girls Trip: Vegas

We met in college, 2004. Now that we’re married and living in different cities, it’s difficult to find time to get together just the three of us. Four, if another had joined. ;)

We wanted to go somewhere to relax and eat (because that’s how 30+ year-olds roll). Since one of our husbands had a conference in Vegas and was able to book us an upgraded room, we basically tagged along and did our own thing. It’s funny how all our husbands asked, “What are you going to do in Vegas?” because they couldn’t imagine us there in the typical party/gambling/drinking scene. We simply wanted to relax and eat, wherever the location, which is all we did. Little did we know there was rave festival during the same weekend with a little bit of extra chaos. We avoided all that and spent the days eating good food and some time at the spa, relaxing and talking–typical ahjumma (old lady) stuff.

 

 

Field Trip: Unique L.A.

My first experience at a craft fair was Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco (2010). It was located in one of the warehouses along the piers and I remember the space being massive. Not only was the space massive, it was filled with booths for independent artists and their goods lined side by side in a circular shape. I didn’t know what to expect at the time and found myself being thrown along the tide of people in a conveyor belt-like fashion not knowing when to stop and look or when I should turn around and go back to my favorite booths. It was overwhelming but fun to experience–I came out feeling like I’ve been thrown around in a craft filled tornado. Since then I have made an effort to attend annual pop-ups and have learned to take my time and be okay with not seeing everything; I know what I’m interested in and which ones to pass. That would be my tip for first-timers: brace yourself to be overwhelmed and know what to pass.

Of the seemingly many events that happen year round, Unique L.A. is probably my favorite that happens in L.A. because: 1) it’s located in a good venue with ample parking (not free, but that’s pretty much everywhere in L.A.; must be thankful for availability), 2) they have a tasteful selection of booths, not too overwhelming, 3) it’s kid friendly, 4) they offer “free” goodies that aren’t likely to end up in the trash (samples, sponsored products, photo booths, canvas bag, etc.), and 5) they usually have a hands-on activity station. This year they had a flower crown making station with several tables for crafting and an abundance of flowers to work with. I made a crown for Elaine and she loved it.

Our admission/complimentary tote bags included free admission to the OC Fair. I’ve never been, so I’m looking forward to hopefully being able to go. :)