Arts District Printing Co.

Looking at these prints by Arts District Printing Co. makes me want to pack a bag and go.

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BIG SUR, CA

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YOU ARE HERE- JT NEW

I also luv all their urban pics.

YOU ARE HERE SF

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YOU_ARE_HERE_AUSTIN_5X7

All of the prints are made on handmade paper using handmade inks from fruit and vegetables, how awesome is that?!

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Monterey, Ca

I wish I was back in Monterey.

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Our trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium was amazing. It really is a wonderful place to visit and very impressive. They have the best jellyfish exhibit on display and I saw so many that aren’t at the Aquarium of the Pacific. This is a must if you are visiting Monterey for sure.

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I can stare at all these jellyfish for days. Is it possible to have them as pets??

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Hearst Castle//San Simeon, Ca

Unfortunately for us our trip to Hearst Castle was met with rain. This didn’t deter us from enjoying our visit to this mansion on the hilltop. Taking pictures outside was a bit tricky because of the rain but I think it added to the mystique of it all.

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Hearst Castle, a National Historic Landmark in California, is a mansion  located near the community of San Simeon (about 250 miles from L.A.). It was designed by architect Julia Morgan for William Randolph Hearst—a newspaper magnate from 1919 until 1947. The mansion is really a sight and very impressive. The outside is truly breathtaking with its spectacular views. The insides are furnished with art from all over the world which span literally hundreds and thousands of years. However lovely and grand the art and furniture may be it can be a bit gaudy. We took the “upstairs tour” and it was really cool to see all the bedrooms. I was actually surprised how small Hearst’s room was and how claustrophobic I felt inside. Seriously the whole time I was there I was thinking to myself, “this is what Downton Abbey must be like, I wonder how many wild parties happened here”.

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and who can forget the famous outdoor Neptune Pool and indoor Roman Pool! That indoor pool is really breathtakingly stunning. I guess once a year they let their employees/volunteers use these pools as a perk. How awesome is that?!

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Solvang, Ca

Moments from Solvang, Ca.

Solvang

A couple of weeks ago I went on a quick trip up north to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We decided to drive up the coast and head up to Monterey(stopping in Solvang and San Simeon along the way).

The last time I was in Solvang was yearrrrrrrs ago, when I was about 11. It took us about 3 hours to reach Solvang from LA and we got there a little after 1p. The weather was a bit dreary and it drizzled a bit on us. Now I don’t know if it was because of the weather or because it was low season but it was completely dead around town. Perhaps it’s a good thing it wasn’t swarmed with tourists but I found it a bit depressing. All the shops closed at 5p so there really wasn’t that much for us to do but just walk around. I did love all the pretty flowers decorated around town and we tried several bakeries before they closed for the day. I just wasn’t impressed with their baked goods. I’ve never been a fan of danishes anyway so nothing looked that interesting to me except for this cookie called a “Napoleon Hat”, part cookie with a marzipan filling, yum!

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Napoleon Hat on the left and a raspberry cookie bar on the right.

We left Solvang by evening but right before we left I was racially attacked by a local. Like I mentioned there were a lot of pretty flowers all over the town and my mother had asked me to take a picture  for her. As I was taking the picture a car pulls up next to me(I was right by the street) and a young guy in his early twenties started saying “ching chong ching, you take pic-chaa?!” Let me add too that he made squinty eyes at me and stuck his teeth out mocking me. I was completely shocked and disgusted. I don’t remember the last time I was insulted for being an Asian, I mean it has been a reallllly long time since this has happened. I just turned to him and said(calmly), “you know, I speak PERFECT english” to which shocked him. His car had caught the red light so he was stuck right next to me for about a minute and I knew he wanted to die, I just stared at him until the green light. What a moron.

Okay, I’m not going to say everyone that lives in Solvang is a racist but it just left a bad taste in my mouth. I haven’t been back in over 20 yrs and this is what I get? a dead town, lackluster food, a racist, and rude storeowners (I forgot to mention this lady at one of the bakeries chewed my mother’s head off when my mother innocently asked, “how come all the shops close at 5?” to which it was answered rudely, “we are ALL locals here, we have families to go home to!”). I mean really?? Goodbye Solvang, see you in another 20 years or never.

Beginnings

Gosh, the year went by fast! 2013 came and went and although there were some happy times, I am glad to say goodbye to it and begin 2014. It’s funny how we all wait till January to set goals and plan our futures. Shouldn’t we do that throughout the year? All I know is I need and want change, both in my career and in my personal life. Here’s to 2014, a year with no regrets and exciting experiences!!

Btw, here are my fondest December memories in a nutshell (since I never blogged that whole month!).

December

* I just had to add this… Disneyland during the holidays is truly magical and beautiful. I had loads of fun as usual but hated how crowded it was. Anyway, when we were waiting in line at the Matterhorn, we spotted Jason Bateman and his group sneak pass all us fools in line. Then later we spotted Zoe Saldana and her husband do the same. Yes, I know these are the perks of being a celebrity but man does that blow when you’ve been standing in line for 2 hours, yes TWO hours. Jason Bateman refused to look at anyone and I believe it was because of GUILT. I’m also going to add that Jason had a Disneyland escort usher him throughout the park. I mean seriously, I like him and enjoy most of his movies but YOU AIN’T NO BRAD PITT! No one is going to hound you or swarm around you or your family.

Later as we were making our way to Space Mountain my sister and I spotted none other than Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead. That was actually my highlight since I am a huge fan of the show and let me add this too, Steven had NO escort nor did he act like he was better than anyone else. Luv ya Glenn!!

Fake tales of San Francisco

Random bits from SF.

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We also had an amazing meal at Top Chef Master winner Chris Consentino’s restaurant, Incanto. I sent my mother and step-father there when they went to SF a few years ago for their anniversary and now it was finally my turn to try it out. Let me tell you the food does not disappoint! We shared a couple of pastas for our appetizers and I had the pig’s trotter special for my entree. Everything was soooo yummy but I have to say the highlight for me was the uni pasta. Gosh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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pigs trotter

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lemon tart

We started our trip seeing a rainbow and no joke, we saw a double rainbow at the end of our trip. A nice ending to a fun time with my mother and sister.

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San Francisco Part 2

SF1I’ve never checked out the farmer’s market at the Ferry Building and luckily for us we were there on the days they were open (Tues, Thurs, and Saturdays). I highly recommend checking it out. We went on Saturday and it was PACKED! There are a lot of cool things to check out but more importantly, lots of good eats inside the building.

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We sampled meats at Boccalone, sweets from several chocolate and donut stalls, and of course Miette. I bought my sister the book a couple of years ago and she’s been wanting to visit Miette since. Luckily for us they have a stall inside the ferry building. We tried their macarons and my sister tried a cupcake. Um, omg…the macarons were sooooooo good!!

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San Francisco Part 1

My girl’s getaway to SF with my mother & sister was a blast. Our trip was filled with lots of walking, lots of sightseeing, and lots of eating.

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This is the first thing we saw when we arrived.

I first heard about Swan Oyster Depot from watching Anthony Bourdain. He is absolutely right, skip Fisherman’s Wharf and head straight to Swan for the freshest and tastiest seafood you will ever have.

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grace cathedral

Grace Cathedral

We started our first dinner at the highly recommended Commonwealth. This was one of the most gorgeous meals I have ever had in my life. The portions are small but each bite is an explosion of flavors, plus come on, look at my pics. Each plate was a work of art.

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This frozen coffee mousse was divine and a perfect ending to our meal!

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Meyer Lemon & Chili drink, sounds weird but was refreshing.

More pics to come. Btw, we stayed at the Ritz-Carlton in Nob Hill. The hotel was very nice and so was the area. However, we were entertained each morning by our nude neighbor from one of the apartments across from our window. It became comical each morning when we saw him in the buff…ya gotta love SF and all its eclecticism!

San Francisco…

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…here I come!

I’m so excited to be visiting one of my favorite cities, San Francisco. I would luv to live there if only the cost of living wasn’t so high. Anyway, I hope you all have a great weekend and Happy Easter…I shall be eating & shopping to my heart’s content in SF!!

Catalina Island

I went to Catalina for the first time about three weeks ago and have been too busy to post any pics until now. Thank goodness for this Labor Day Weekend. I’m ready for some relaxation and some fun! Hope everyone has a fantastic three days off!!

Btw, Catalina was nice but I think I can do a day or day and a half trip max. Beautiful place but after a while I can see how some people will be bored. Everything we ate was also overpriced and not so spectacular, except for a few dishes. The island is super small and there are areas that are closed off to visitors. We all had fun kayaking and I will definitely do the zip line the next time I go to Catalina.