travel

The Hills Are Alive!

What meant to be a hike turned into a show. Charlotte and I ran through a field of grass and started singing, “The hills are alive!” from the top of our lungs. We threw our arms into the air and started dancing across the fields. I think we did pretty well acting out the scene. It probably should’ve been us in that musical.

If only we were performing that scene in Germany! If only. Instead, we were at Quail Hill Trailhead in Orange County. You can see the hills and trails right off the 405 freeway going down San Diego. You can’t miss it especially when the grass is bright green.

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Did I ever tell you that I’m a triplet? I probably never did because I’m not.

Aside from singing our hearts out, we had some good conversations during our actual hike. By the way, the hike wasn’t a strenuous one. It was flat for 2 miles and easy to get around. Take it as a walk in the park kind of thing. It’s a great place to get a quick and simple work out, but also for some breath of fresh air.

On Yelp, this trail has 4 out 5 stars with 42 reviews. Though there may not be a lot of reviews, it definitely doesn’t hurt to check this beauty out when it’s sunny and the grass is green.

Thanks Charlotte for taking me to Germany! I mean, to Quail Hill Trailhead. You should bring your guitar and I’ll bring a picnic blanket and basket to make it more like the Sound Of Music.

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Sup Noodle Bar

The weather has been a little bipolar here in SoCal. You just never know what to expect the next day or any day. One of my friends described SoCal’s weather perfectly, “SoCal is the only place where you can experience four seasons in one day.” Well said, right?

Luckily, one day recently, it was cold just like how it should be since it’s still considered winter during this time. When it’s a gloomy afternoon with grey clouds, pho somehow best suits the mood in these situations. So my friends and I went to Sup Noodle Bar in Buena Park.

We first started off with their one of kind Shaken House Fries.This appetizer was monstrous in size and mouth watering to look at.

It had truffle fries topped with shaken short rib, garlic, carmelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese, and chef’s suace. There was ketchup too but we barely touched that because it was still good without it.

You definitely want to share the fries because it will easily fill you up and you might not have room for your actual entree.

I got the Shaken Pho Bac with brisket which is basically your classic bowl of pho. I don’t know what that broth was all about but it was good! I was surprised how it just didn’t taste like any other broth because it had a soothing taste and made it more perfect to have for the cold weather.

If it ever gets cold again in SoCal, make sure to check out Sup Noodle Bar. Well, it doesn’t really have to be a chilly day but if you’re around Buena Park, I would highly suggest this place. I definitely want to come back here for those fries and that broth! I have to ask the chef about that broth.

Yelp gives them 4.5 stars with 245 reviews. Yelpers also like their fries and the broth!

Thanks Stanley and Elaine for the fellowship over lunch! Elaine, I’m glad you wanted their fries because that was seriously, amazing!

Old Towne Orange

I love Old Towne Orange. Go there in the day time and you will be able to experience its decorative architecture and rich history. Go there at night, you will experience the romantic side of it. Whether you go there when the sun or moon is out, you can easily enjoy your time there to eat or even to walk around. There’s plenty of places to grab a meal from all sorts of cuisines. I recently came here with Linda to walk around and have fun taking pictures.

I used to be a rebel back in the day. I would break the rules and block doors when I wasn’t supposed to do. Just kidding!

I don’t think Linda and I were able to thoroughly walk around Old Towne Orange. You know what that means, right? We just have to come back here and be ready for another adventure! We’ll walk around, take some pictures, grab some food, take more pictures, check out some antique shops, more pictures, and then treat ourselves to some dessert. Thanks Linda for checking out Old Towne Orange with me!

The Chandelier Tree

Our very last stop for the night was at The Chandelier Tree. I somehow knew about this place awhile ago through Pinterest or Snapchat. I kept forgetting to check this place out until Aaron mentioned it!

The Chandelier Tree is an iconic spot in Los Angeles, California. They’re perfectly located in one of the most trendy areas, Silver Lake. This is a one of a kind front yard that has 30 vintage chandeliers gracefully hanging on a sycamore tree.

According to LA Times, “Marriage proposals and wedding photo shoots are commonly held beneath the tree, and locals often show off the tree to visitors. The sycamore has appeared in music videos, and five film location scouts list the location in their books.” Now that all makes sense why it looks so familiar!

It was quite a magical night standing underneath the tree and looking above at all the chandeliers. I have to come back here and bring my DSLR to take nicer pictures. These pictures certainly do not do justice of how beautiful everything is in person. I was in awe of this house right when I saw it. It was like love at first sight.

If you want to learn more about The Chandelier Tree, check out their Facebook page and Yelp! To visit them, go to 2811 West Silver Drive in Los Angeles, CA 90039.

Thanks Aaron for showing us The Chandelier Tree! Thanks Aaron, Alex, Elaine, and Junie for joining me spontaneously to explore Los Angeles due to my travel bug.

Chinatown in LA

The morning I got back from Sacramento, I went to my niece’s and nephew’s birthday party without coffee. For some odd reason, I was pretty much feeling strong and awake even though I only got four or five hours of sleep. After the party, I tried to rest at home but was eager to just go out. I realized the travel bug was in me and it was real. It was so real that I had to go somewhere to explore.

With a few friends, we grabbed dinner at In-N-Out and then we were off to a spontaneous trip to LA! I’ve been wanting to check out Chinatown in LA to see the Chinese lanterns lit up and simply to explore the area since I always drive by it whenever I’m in the area.

When my friends and I got there, it was pretty dead. It was nice to have the whole town to ourselves!

Chinatown can easily be explored in less than 30 minutes but we took our time taking pictures and enjoying the bright neon lights. Next time, I’m going to have come here in the afternoon when it’s busy and have some dim sum!

Thanks Chinatown for temporarily curing my travel bug!

Since we were near Little Tokyo, we decided to grab some milk tea from one of my favorite boba shops! I got my usual Brown Sugar Milk Tea which was perfect as always!

We hung out at Ozero for a little bit before heading out to our last adventure!

Pizza Rock

We all had a pretty good work out at the Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink. Skating our hearts out to the crowd and picking up flowers from our fans on the ice rank made us pretty tired and hungry. We decided to celebrate our gold medals that we won from our unofficial competition against each other.

We went over to Pizza Rock for some rockin’ pizza. Ok, that was really cheesy. That was also an extra cheesy joke.

First, we got some Pizza Rock Meatballs as appetizers. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of these meatballs because I was so focused on eating that I forgot to take pictures! You will just have to go to Pizza Rock to know what they’re like! I highly suggest ordering them if you get the chance.

And of course, we got pizza! We ordered a classic Margherita pizza.

We also ordered one of their popular items called Stromboli which had three different kinds of pizza all on one platter! It was one very long pizza!

On one end of the pizza was the Romano’s Original 1950. It had Prosciutto di Parma, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mozarella, American cheese, and sweet peppers.

Then the middle of the pizza was the 3 Cheese Roll which had mozzarella, ricotta, and crushed red peppers.

On the other side of the pizza was the Pepperolly that had pepperoni, mozzarella, garlic, and oregano.

It was such a bittersweet moment at dinner since it was our last night together! I wish we could have spent one more day hanging out in Sacramento. I must say that I think overall we maximized our time pretty well in a short amount of time. After dinner, Alex and I had to get going because we had a long drive ahead of us. We left Sacramento around 10pm and were on the road for 7 hours heading back to home sweet home.

There are so many things that I’m truly grateful for from this trip! Thank you to the Vu Family for letting me tag along on this trip! Alex, tell your parents I said thanks again. By the way, I still can’t believe your mom was a news anchor! Thank you to Briana for I don’t know what actually. Just kidding! Thank you for letting me crash at your place and for showing me all the popular spots in Sacramento. We need to get started on The Brina Band Tour 2015. Can’t wait! Thanks Justin for driving us around and for the cronuts! If you’re ever in SoCal, I will treat you out to some good milk tea! Thank you Jaclyn for making time to hang out with us from your busy schedule and thank you Phil aka Snow King for taking us to the best shaved ice place in Sacramento. I’m so glad that I was able to see you both from SoCal to NorCal! I hope we can all get together again one day! Thanks everyone for everything!

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Once I had a taste of those cronuts from Bakers Donuts, it was time to ice skate! Well first, I had to pack my belongings at Briana’s place since it was my last day in Sacramento. I packed, helped Briana clean up her place, and then off to the next adventure!

Sadly, Briana wasn’t able to ice skate because she had other plans for the night so she dropped me off at my next destination. From there, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Tear, tear.

Going to Downtown Sacramento to ice skate was like going to Rockefeller Center in New York City because of the outdoorsy feel. Actually, I’ve never been to NYC but I imagine it would be something similar. Coming from SoCal, you don’t see an outdoors ice rink quite often. It’s not a significant attraction to check out nor is it available in SoCal so it was nice to experience a new kind of winter culture in Sacramento.

At the ice rink, I met up with Phil, Jaclyn, and a bunch of other people! To be more specific, I met some new friends who were friends with Jaclyn. Also, Alex and Justin joined in on the fun!

Since we skated on a Friday night, we got a dollar discount on admission fee. We ended up paying $9 each, eight for the admission and a dollar to rent the skates. We skated for a good 2 hours!

The rink was big enough for me to practice my triple axels flawlessly like Yuna Kim. Just kidding, I have no skills in ice skating except moving forward and opening up my arms gracefully like a ballerina.

I don’t know what it is but ice skating around the rink is a lot of fun. Whether you’re skating with your friends or even by yourself, to skate through the cold is ironically fun. Maybe you get a sense of freedom like an eagle soaring through the sky and from that comes out joy perhaps. It’s just liberating to skate in a circle for some odd reason.

I was having so much fun like a little kid that I really didn’t want it to end! But, we had to get going since it was our last night there and we were planning to leave a few hours after ice skating.

Thank you, thank you Briana for taking care of me and showing me your favorites spots in Sacramento! I’m glad that I was able to hang out in Sacramento for more than 24 hours unlike last time! Ok, talk to you on the phone soon!