PRESIDENTS’ (DAY) WEEKEND

It was a three-day weekend and since I do not have midterms to study for (yet), I decided to head to the Bay for two days.

After meeting up with Teresa in Oakland, Teresa drove to Alameda so we could grab dinner with our sponsoree. Amanda chose Monkey King since she wanted to drink. :p The 40-minute wait was worthwhile since the food turned out to be quite delicious and reasonably priced!

We killed time by catching up and taking selfies! XD

Though we were extremely full after dinner, we decided to head to ChaTime for boba. There’s always a separate stomach for dessert, no? ;) We called it a night around 9pm.

Though Teresa and I knew we had to wake up at 4am to hike Mission Peak with her Oakland Crew, we stayed up until midnight to catch up on Orange is the New Black. We got 3 hours of sleep since we tossed and turned the entire night. Oakland Crew picked us up at 4:30am and we started our hike at 5am.

The view at 5am. We had to use a flashlight to see the trail.

5:30am: The sky began to light up.

5:45am

6:15am: The sun rose and we were 2/3 of the way up.

This portion was actually hard since we had to semi-climb between rocks (and it was extremely steep), but the view was amazing!

People have said Mission Peak is an extremely hard hike, but I thought it was alright. Not sure if it’s due to the fact that we took many breaks or if the group exercise classes are paying off. :p We arrived at the peak around 7:20am. We stayed for nearly an hour at the top just taking pictures and enjoying the view. That is, until it got too cold for us to handle.

Survivors! ;)

Majestic Bay Area fog at 7:30am.

I got a picture of my own! :)

The hike back down took longer than I expected. The steepness was more strenuous on our legs and my old knee injury acted up a bit. :( We arrived at the base at 10am. 6-mile hike roundtrip completed in 5 hours, woohoo! We were famished halfway down so we decided we would grab tacos on the way back. XD

Alice came to hang out with us around 2pm. Guess Teresa and I were running on adrenaline by then since we hung out until 8:30pm! The three of us were supposed to try ramen wings in San Francisco, but they were closed for the holiday. :( We ended up at Home of Chicken and Waffles. It was our first time trying chicken and waffles. The food was delicious and fresh, but we thought it was a bit expensive for the portion sizes. After lunch, we decided to chill at Blue Bottle Coffee Co. The line was quite long and the coffee wasn’t the kind I was used to, but the ambiance was great. We spent an hour or so having adult conversations before heading to Emeryville for a bit of shopping.

Latte art!

I’ve missed my housies. <3

Unsurprisingly, we ended the day at ChaTime to wait for Sam to pick me up. All in all, it was a weekend well-spent! :)

FIELD TRIP TO SAN FRANCISCO

We’ve discussed going to The Exploratorium for awhile now. I haven’t been there since I was a kid. I definitely felt like a kid again, even though it was not quite the same since they had moved to a different location.

Karen, Cathy, and I left Davis around 10:30am, went to Bay Point to pick Adrian up, and arrived at Henry’s place around 1pm. We were definitely on schedule this time around. :p It was a rainy day in San Francisco, but luckily it cleared up a few hours later. We spent around 2.5 hours looking at everything. Though we didn’t get to see everything, we definitely got a chance to play with the things we were interested in.

I thought this clock was gorgeous! If you tinkered with it correctly, all the numbers would light up, and it would then expand into the full face of a clock.

Zombies! :O

Our shadows battling! Typical behavior between us. :p

Selfies outdoors…

…and indoors as well. LOL!

Ain’t nobody need filters when you’re in a filtered room!

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I thought the water looked cool here. :)

Fun in the distorted room!

This is the coolest balloon ever. If you and your friend sit on the same colored tiles, separated by that gigantic balloon, you can speak softly and hear each other loud and clear.

3D mirror! This was an innovative design.

Afterwards, Adrian wanted to return his Prada wallet, so we headed over to Union Square. We ended up spending nearly two hours around the area, checking out NikeTown, Walgreens, H&M, and Uniqlo. It is always tempting to shop, but even more so in downtown SF! XD

Adrian’s cool shot of the stairs at Uniqlo!

Henry suggested going to SO for dinner, since they are known for their wings and noodles. The five of us waited nearly an hour for a table. We were starving! >.< However, the wait proved worthwhile since the food was delicious and reasonably priced. :)

Hungry girls! >:(

Amusing rice plate names.

While waiting for our food… :p

Though we were incredibly full from dinner, we decided to grab boba from Wonderful Dessert & Cafe. Apparently, it was the first boba place in Irving. Though it was more expensive than the other places around the area, the quality of the tea was greater as well. Plus, it is still cheaper than what can be found in Davis.

What was supposed to be a short break, at Henry’s place, turned into a full-blown games night. Typical! Poor jetlagged me was exhausted, but it was definitely worth it!

SIMPLE SATURDAYS

Auntie and I were extremely tired from Black Friday shopping. Uncle let us sleep in until noon, before he woke us up for lunch. The three of us grabbed dim sum and boba in Chinatown. They are always spoiling me! :)

After lunch, we decided to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf from Chinatown. I think we walked about three miles. The three of us walked through the financial district to the Port of San Francisco. It was great walking through the market inside the building. I ventured upon a vendor selling ‘medicinal mushrooms’, which made me chuckle.

The weather and lighting were amazing! <3

Decided to be artsy with this one. :p

We walked to Pier 39, Pier 41, all the way to Ghirardelli Square. There were too many people there, but I managed to grab a pack of peppermint hot chocolate before leaving.

O’ Christmas tree, O’ Christmas tree, how steadfast are your branches!

It was too cold, and we were too tired, so we decided to catch the bus back to Chinatown. I think we walked for three or four hours total. It was definitely great exercise. Back to reality soon. :( Good thing winter break is right around the corner!

THANKSGIVING & BLACK FRIDAY 2013

I decided to spend Thanksgiving with my family friends this year, and auntie decided that I should get the “Black Friday” shopping experience. While she and I were planning our course of action on Wednesday night, her husband sat next to us and judged. (HAHA!)

On Thanksgiving, we spent the morning and afternoon preparing, since they were hosting dinner. We actually stopped by American Eagle since we happened to see they were open, and the entire store was 50% off. :p Since we were having guests over, I didn’t see how we’d be able to hit the stores once they opened at 7pm/8pm. Auntie had it all thought out. She started dinner at 5pm, and we left the guests to mingle with her husband at 7pm. Our first stop was Old Navy. We got there around 7:10pm and had to wait about 10 minutes to get in. We were 400th in line and got the chance to participate in the raffle. Since the entire store was 50% off, it was pretty chaotic. I think the wait to pay was about 20 minutes; not too bad considering there were 500+ people in there! Afterwards, we stopped by TargetSephoraExpress and Victoria’s Secret, but didn’t end up purchasing anything. Macy’s was our last stop of Round 1, and we each bought a few items. If the store wasn’t as chaotic, and the lines weren’t as crazy, we may have bought more since their deals were pretty amazing. Round 1 of Black Friday shopping: 7pm-10:30pm.

I took an hour-long nap when we got back. We headed out for H&M at 11:45pm. The line wrapped around the block. Ridiculous! I didn’t see much that I liked there, but I wanted to use the $12 Wrapp gift card. I ended up getting two cardigans (originally $24, on sale for $7.95) for $2. Win! Even though we waited 30 minutes in line to pay, we agreed it was well worth it. :p We also made a quick stop at Urban Outfitters since they were having an additional 50% off of their sale items. Round 2 of Black Friday shopping: 12am-3:30am.

Our initial plan was to shop at the mall when it opened at 7am. We woke up at 9am, ate breakfast, and decided we were too tired, so we went back to sleep until noon. After lunch, we wandered around the mall but didn’t get anything since we were pretty much done with waiting in lines. Around 6pm, we made our way over to Union Square for the annual Tree Lighting. It was extremely crowded and the actual lighting was pretty anti-climactic, but it was a good experience nonetheless.

I loved spending quality time with auntie and uncle this year, but I am done with shopping for awhile. It was definitely physically and emotionally taxing! XD

NICE GUY & NICE GIRLS

Since it is football season, and $2 ribs are offered at Cattlemens every Monday, we decided to hang out as a line there after Regina’s thai tea fellowboat. The fellowboat was quite awkward for me since I didn’t know half the people there. =/

When we arrived at Cattlemens around 8pm, they informed us they were out of ribs. We were extremely disappointed! Abby, Brian, Eric, Regina, Sam, and I sat in Sam’s car for 30 minutes deciding where we should go. Sam and I were craving different foods from the other 4. We finally decided on Fish’s Wild, but Abby had to leave since she had prior plans.

We talked about anything and everything during dinner. Somehow, we got on the topic of haunted places. I mentioned Stevenson Bridge and we ended up making a trip there at 11:30pm. Though the bridge was very artistic, known for its graffiti, it was also very scary since it was extremely secluded and dark.

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Love the camera quality on my iPhone 5s! The graffiti is gorgeous!

Getting down here was quite scary. :x

Spontaneous trips are the best. All in all, I had a great time with my line. :)

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM THE NG LINE

We haven’t hung out as a line for quite some time, so we decided to shop, grab dinner, and catch a movie.

At 3pm, Regina came to pick me up before heading to South Davis to pick up Brian and Sam. We wandered around Roseville Galleria for a few hours before grabbing dinner at 8pm. Poor Brian got really bored at some point. It is not fun being the only guy shopping with 3 girls! :p Sam, Regina, and I also got matching infinity scarves from H&M. It’s too bad we forgot to take a picture!

Are these pictures Christmas card-worthy? :p

It took us quite some time to decide on where we wanted to grab food. We ended up at Raku for AYCE sushi. I think we spent nearly 2 hours eating since we wanted to get our money’s worth. Though we were super full afterwards, we still managed to catch the 10pm showing of Catching Fire. The movie was incredible! (I may be biased since it was my favorite one from the trilogy.) Sam usually fidgets or falls asleep during movies, but she was able to stay awake for this one. :p

Writing this post makes it seem as if we didn’t do much, but we didn’t get back until 1am. Can’t believe I spent 10 hours with these kids! Guess my line is pretty awesome. :p

TOURIST FOR A DAY

Karen texted us last night, asking if we would want to hike Kirby Cove today. Surprisingly, we were all free. When she mentioned hiking initially, I was slightly intimidated since I have not worked out in quite awhile. Since I haven’t hiked since high school, I decided to just go for it. I’m glad my new phone came in two days ago. The camera quality is amazing! I was able to capture many shots of the Golden Gate Bridge. :)

We left Davis around 1pm and arrived at Henry’s place around 2:30pm. Since we were scheduled to meet up with Karen’s friends, Philip and Ada, at 3:45pm, we decided to grab a quick bite at Gordo. After our tummies were filled, we set out on our merry way.

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Of course, a few selfies were necessary. :p I love the new front camera quality!

I look displeased with that burrito. :p

We had some…complications…with parking, but after that was settled and we met up with the other two, it was time to become one with nature. I didn’t realize how out-of-shape I was until we were hiking our way up from the parking lot to Battery Spencer. Burning calves indeed! It turned out to be a good thing though, since that meant the hike back would be easier. The view made it all worthwhile.

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Asked Alex to take a picture for us, and he went shutter-happy. -_-

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Looks like a postcard! :)

The hike down to Kirby Cove was quite peaceful. After we got down there, we wandered around taking pictures and stayed by the water for an hour or two to wait for the sun to set.

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Looks like a painting. Too gorgeous!

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Love, love, love!

Alex, Cathy, and Henry decided to kidnap my phone and take selfies. XD

Still gorgeous!

We’re so silly!

After the sun set, we started to make our way back to our cars. We stopped by Battery Spencer again to take a few night shots.

Bokeh effect! :)

Captured the image I usually find on Google!

For dinner, we decided on pho since it was super cold out. We ended up at PPQ for dinner, and then at Honeyberry for dessert! After chilling at Honeyberry, we called it a night. Can’t believe the weekend is essentially over! Being a tourist in my hometown was quite eventful. :)

PRE-HALLOWEEN FESTIVITIES

Spookfest was on Friday. For some reason, Cathy, Karen, and I took a long time getting ready for this rave.

Their bathroom has good lighting for getting ready and for mirror pictures! :) Can you tell what we’re dressed as?

The Trinh sisters applied their own eyeliner this time. I like to think I’ve taught them well! :p

After meeting up with Adrian and picking up Teresa, it was finally time to rave! Security was a b**** this night. Took us much too long to get into the arena, and then much longer to get to floor level. However, floor level tickets were definitely worth the money. The experience was amazing! Though Sebastian Ingrosso was the only DJ I knew, I still had fun during the short-time we were there. :)

Mickey, Minnie, Daisy Duck, and Agnes from Despicable Me!

We were attempting to catch confetti hehe!

Adrian wanted to be part of this :p

Cute couple!

Buddies forever <3

We were hungry after Spookfest (typical!) so we decided to head over to Shooting Star. The wait was too long and they were closing, so we had to order our food to-go. It was somewhat weird to see Daphne working there since we had never seen her outside a rave. :p

While waiting for our orders at Shooting Star Cafe.

Twinsies!

I woke up Saturday morning with a sore throat. Guess I was bound to get sick from drinking on a weekly basis and not getting enough sleep. :( Since Teresa had work, Annie and Shirley were nice enough to hang out with Cathy and I. :)

Annie came to pick us all up and we had lunch with Teresa during her lunch break. After dropping Teresa back at work and grabbing Michelle from their grandma’s place, the four of us headed to Teaway in Alameda.

Love hanging out with Annie whenever I’m in the Bay! :)

We picked up Shirley after she got off work and decided to head to Baystreet for some retail therapy. :p Just as we were talking about pumpkin patches, we saw one up the street. We wanted to go on the inflatable slides, but it would cost us $4-$8, so we settled for taking pictures instead.

This picture can totally be an ad for H&M. XD

Since their family had dinner plans, Cathy and I took the BART to Walnut Creek where Karen picked us up. We roamed around downtown while waiting for Adrian to get off work.

Toys galore! We spent forever looking at these at Barnes & Noble, and each left with (at least) one!

For dinner, we dined at Porno, a Korean restaurant. The name is quite scandalous! XD To kill time after dinner, we headed over to CREAM in Berkeley. The CREAM here is better than the one in Davis, and is $0.50 cheaper too.

Annie wanted to grab lunch today before we had to leave, so the six of us dined at Champa Garden. Teresa decided she wanted to come to Davis so she could grab her diploma. Since she had work until 5pm and Cathy wanted a new backpack from Northface, we parted ways. Cathy, Karen, and I spent about an hour at the Northface outlet in Berkeley and we all left with something. :p

Blurry picture, but we’re matching again! Twice this weekend. :p

After picking up Teresa, we decided to stop by Ikea for cheap (but yummy!) meatballs and to look at shelves. Karen ended up purchasing a shelf to display her toys. Woohoo! We talked nonstop the entire way from Oakland to West Sacramento. :p The majority of my weekends have flown by this past year. I’m always out and about with them! :)