Summer

Throwback Thursday: Gelato Paradiso

I’m throwing it back to the one of the real summer days! Weather here in sunny SoCal is slowly starting to get chilly and it’s nice because there’s less of that blazing sun burning our skin! On the other hand, I’m going to miss getting a tan and going for ice cream runs at night because of the heat!

One summer night, Elaine and I had to just get out of the house, get some fresh air and explore. So we drove over to Gelato Paradiso in Laguna Beach! When we got there, this small gelato shop was packed and had a long line going out the door! We stood in line for 15 or 20 minutes and finally treated ourselves to some gelato with their fresh homemade waffle cone!

For $4.75 I got a peach and chocolate chip gelato in a waffle cone. Elaine got the pistachio gelato in a waffle cone also! I highly recommend getting the waffle cone as it is constantly made fresh and it goes perfectly well with all the various gelato flavors. The flavors genuinely taste like what its supposed to be and it just hits the spot!

Yelp shows 4.5 stars with more than 350 reviews! With that kind of rating, you know you just have to check this place out!

Check out my Gelato Paradiso Tastemade appisode here!
Gelato Paradiso 2

Elaine, thanks for taking me to this hidden gem in Laguna Beach! I’m going to miss our spontaneous summer runs to Laguna Beach just like this night!

Spontaneous Road Trip: Day 3

Day 3 was our last day of our Spontaneous Road Trip and we maximized every minute of it pretty well! For breakfast, we went over to Stacks’ in Campbell, California. This cute breakfast joint is located in the old town area of Campbell. It almost has a thousand reviews with 3.5 stars according to Yelp.

This restaurant had an old school feel to it where the ambiance and the customer service felt homey. Instead of sitting in a booth, we sat on those stools and felt pretty hip.

Note to everyone: I wasn’t going to bring this up but felt obligated to. Please don’t judge our outfits. We wore the same outfit two days in a row because we were so comfortable in them. Thanks Gap for making hip and comfortable clothes!

Kat and I decided to share a plate since we weren’t too hungry but knew we just had to eat something before the long drive back down to sunny SoCal. We got a huge plate of an omelette with a bagel and hash brown on the side. I don’t know how one person can eat all of that but I suggest that you share this meal with a friend!

The omelette definitely satisfied us for the morning and couldn’t have asked for a better breakfast! So afterwards, we took PCH to head back home. We wanted a scenic route but we mainly wanted to see Pfieffer Beach which is known for this beauty:


Look at the sunlight beaming through the doorway! How beautiful is that? Thanks Aaron for telling me about this before the road trip! Unfortunately, we missed the exit for this! We lost reception several times on PCH and forgot to pay attention closely for this beach. Oh well, there’s always next time!

On our way down, I took over the wheel since Kat drove majority of the time on our road trip. I love driving and singing in the car so I didn’t mind the long drive!


After one or two hours of driving, we had to pull over because we saw a field that we just had to take a picture of.


This just reminded me of Lion King. I felt like I was in a safari and it was just me and the animal kingdom.


I won’t forget this selfie picture we took together because it was our first of many times of pulling over to the side of the road to take some awesome pictures.

This was our second time pulling over when we saw this beach that was so bare yet so beautiful!


The sand was abnormally really rough and we saw people with metal detectors walking over all the beach hence those footprints. I was surprised that people still used those because the last time I saw someone using one was when I watched Save By The Bell back in the 90’s.

Ok, at this point I’ll be sharing a bunch of pictures we took when we pulled over on PCH.


In the picture above, I felt like we were in Hawaii because the colors of the water were so vibrant!

When we were closer to sunny SoCal, we called a few friends last minute to see if we could stop by their place. Luckily, we were able to visit Sarah! She gave us a tour of her place, fed us with some fruits and desserts! Her place was such a good resting point physically and mentally! She always has words of encouragement than can easily lift people up! Kat and I agree that stopping by her place was a perfect way to conclude our trip!

Thanks Sarah for always sharing your love! By the way, it was nice meeting Nemo in person!

After Sarah’s place, we made one last stop, home! It was a bittersweet moment when we went our own ways! It’s always nice to be back home but I was sad that our adventure had to come to an end!

Huge thanks to Kat for EVERYTHING. Literally! I don’t even know where to begin. Thank you for being spontaneous with me during this whole road trip. I know I’ve said this many times to you in person but I am so very thankful that we went on this trip together because of all those photography moments we shared. I’m so glad we went to the V3 Conference together in June where we both learned how to make good pictures. We were finally able to apply what we’ve learned into practical use during this trip! Thank you for appreciating the art of photography and taking such artistic pictures of me and of our trip. You really have an eye for photography. I can’t wait for our next road trip once you’re on break from medical school or even our next photography session! Thank you again for making this road trip so memorable!

Model: Briana Kim

I asked Briana if I could do her hair and makeup. Then bam, we had a fun summer photo session with some great sceneries!

If you’re curious about her hat, it’s from H&M. It was on sale for $5 when it was originally around $15-20! Her summer dress is from one of my favorite stores, Gap.

Thanks Briana for being my model and cooperating under the hot sun! AND thank you, A-A-ron for letting me borrow your amazing 50mm lens! That thing works wonders!

AFTERS Handcrafted Ice Cream

After three attempts to get Afters Handcrafted Ice Cream, I was finally able to get some! The first three times I went, the line was ridiculously long and my friends were not willing to wait.

My BFF, best foodie friend aka best frenemy friend aka Briana, and I went at an off hour like 3 or 4PM. The wait was about 15 to 20 minutes. The line was still out the door but not as bad as when it’s prime time like after dinner time.

If you’re not familiar with AFTERS, it’s basically an ice cream donut sandwich shop. They’re not just regular Dreyer’s ice cream but they’re uniquely flavored. For example some of their most popular ones include Almond Cookie, Cookie Butter, Cookie Monster, Jasmine Milk Tea, and Milk & Cereal.

Briana and I probably tried about 5 samples and they were all really good. We had a hard time deciding what to get. We both ended up getting two of the most popular ones on the menu.

I got the Cookie Monster with sprinkles in a milky bun. The first topping is free topping and as for the milky bun, it’s a few extra bucks. The milky bun is a regular glazed donut under a fancy name. In total, the ice cream sandwiched in the milky bun costs $5.40.

Briana got the Jasmine Milk Tea with the milky bun.

They were both really good! The Cookie Monster was just like the the cookies ‘n cream flavor. The Jasmine Milk Tea had the smooth and light flavor just like the boba drink.

BUT!

It was definitely an overkill with the sweets. I think my sugar level went up drastically after one bite. It gets pretty darn rich with the ice cream and donut together. It’s best if you get the ice cream alone because that in itself is heavy or go halfsies on the ice cream with milky bun.

You can just get the ice cream by itself in a bowl or cone. One scoop is $3.50, two scoops is $5, and three scoops is $6. The quality of the ice cream is uniquely handmade that it’s more on the pricey end.

Would I go here again? Eh, I wouldn’t go out of my way next time. I want to give it another chance just with ice cream by itself. No milky bun, please, no.

I’m glad that I was able to check this place out though. I was curious about it because everyone was posting it on social media! I can finally check this off my foodie list.

Thanks Briana for checking this place out with me during your short visit in SoCal! It’s always fun to try something new with you! I’m looking forward to more foodie adventures with you!

Eat Chow & Sprinkles Ice Cream

Christian was in town for the summer so as usual for our hang out, we had to have a food adventure! We went to Eat Chow in Newport Beach for dinner. FYI. Parking is kind of a bust. You have to park in the neighborhood. Eat Chow is a small, hip, homie kind of a restaurant with great customer service.
Eat Chow

As we were waiting to get seated, other customers were waiting next to us and apparently they go to Eat Chow several times a month because it’s that good. They suggested that we try everything because you can’t go wrong with anything. And you know what? They were right! Everything at Eat Chow was honestly really good!

We started out with the Truffle Parmesan Fries. They were addicting!
Truffle Parmesan Fries

Then we split the Truffle Mac “N” Cheese that had pieces of bacon.
Truffle Mac N Cheese

And! We split the The Chow burger with a side salad. Visually, it didn’t seem like enough food since we were splitting everything but we ended up being stuffed! Everything was honestly good and I wouldn’t mind getting the same exact thing the next time I come here.
The Chow Burger

The total for the fries, Mac N Cheese, and the burger came out to be $25. So for all that good food to split in half, $25 isn’t too bad.

For dessert, we headed over to Sprinkles for some ice cream. I actually got some cupcakes to take home. Then rushed over to the ice cream line before the line got super long. We probably stood in line for about 30 minutes for ice cream. I got a waffle cone with vanilla ice cream and red velvet cupcake crumbs for $3.75.
Sprinkles Ice Cream

I think the ice cream was a little overrated. Nothing too special about it. I probably could have made it myself by getting some Dreyer’s vanilla ice cream and red velvet cupcake all from the grocery store. Done! Sprinkles Ice Cream, you were a little too expensive and not too exciting as I wanted you to be. Sorry, there probably won’t be a next time with you.

Thanks Christian for a full on carbs and sugar filled night!