Summer 2018

Although summer doesn’t officially end until later this month, many people consider Labor Day the last day of summer. After all, by this point, most students are back in school. I graduated from Cal State LA last year, so this is my second year not going back to school and it still feels so weird! I actually liked school and miss it a lot. If it wasn’t for the fact that school is expensive, I would’ve kept going to school to get my masters. Oh well. I have my bachelor’s degree and I’m happy with that. That being said, this summer was really good for me.

One thing I look forward to every four years during summer is the World Cup. This summer was no different. Although the United States or Italy did not take part in the World Cup, there were still many good matches. France ended up winning the final against Croatia, but along the way, there were many upsets and surprises. One of the most shocking things that happened was Germany did not even make it out of the group stage and they had won the previous World Cup final. I guess the curse of World Cup winning teams is true. Also, Spain, who were one of the favorites to make it to the final, lost against Russia, one of the teams that no one expected much from. Argentina and Portugal disappointed and so did Brazil. Overall, it was a good World Cup. Can’t wait for 2022, I hope Italy and the United States make it next time.

For people who know me, they know that my favorite type of music is country music. When my mom mentioned that she was going to a Brad Paisley Concert, I just had to go. Technically she was going to see Kane Brown, but Brad Paisley was the headliner. He is my second favorite country male singer, after Tim McGraw. It was a really good concert. We had good seats and I enjoyed spending time with my mom, as corny as it sounds. That’s something that never happens because I have so many brothers and sisters. (I’m the oldest of six)

Every year since 2011, I have gone to see a team from Europe play a friendly match in Los Angeles. Usually it’s Real Madrid, but this year they didn’t come to Los Angeles, unfortunately. However, this year AC Milan came to Los Angeles. They are my boyfriend’s favorite team. I like watching them, although they aren’t my favorite Italian team. It was a good game even though they ended up losing to Manchester United.

My mini vacation to Las Vegas trip was a lot of fun. It was only few days, but still enjoyable. Next time I go, I will make sure not to go during the summer though because it was super hot. I think I will go back in November 2019 and this time, I will drink more since it is Las Vegas. The best part of the trip was the Backstreet Boys concert. I really hope I can see them again next year.

The city where I used to work had free concerts at the park every Friday in the summer. My family decided to go to the last concert of the summer. My mom loves listening to Brenton Woods. I grew up listening to his music. As luck would have it, Brenton Woods was the main even of the last concert. It was free so the whole family got to go. There was so many people there. It was still fun though. Three of my coworkers went and I met up with them.

I admit that sometimes I watch way too much TV, Netflix, Hulu etc. So I decided to see if I could stay away for a while. I decided to take part in the 30 day no TV challenge for the month of August. Overall, I was successful. I watched TV only once in the entire month. I missed watching TV at first, but eventually I found better things to do.

Two things I missed out on were my weekend getaway trips to San Francisco and San Diego. I had planned to go to San Diego at the beginning of June for the Rock and Roll 5k and Half marathon races. However, I had to cancel due to financial reasons. The following month, I had planned to go to San Francisco for the San Francisco Half Marathon. I cancelled that trip because it didn’t seem like it would be safe for me to be in the city alone, even if it was just for the weekend. I plan to run that race next year, fingers crossed.
I ended my summer by going to Knott’s Berry Farm with my family. Even though I couldn’t get on any of the rides, I still had fun. We didn’t know about it until we got there, but the day we went was one of the days that Knott’s Berry Farm was having their dollar days. There were 7 of us, so we saved a lot of money. Some of the things that were on special for only $1 that day were the ices, popcorn, hot dogs, pizza slices, and soda, to name a few. WE only stayed a few hours because it was very crowded. Luckily, we have the season pass, so we can always go another day, when there’s less people. My favorite time of the year to go to Knott’s Berry Farm is during the Boysenberry Festival and during the Christmas season.

I’m looking forward to fall, it’s my favorite season of the year! Will be making my fall bucket list really soon 

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Las Vegas Trip

A few weeks ago, I went to Las Vegas for the week with Giovanna, my travelling partner since 2012. It was my second time going to Las Vegas. It was fun, but so hot! I think it was 105+ every day that we were there. Thank goodness it wasn’t humid.

The last time I went to Las Vegas was in November 2017. That time I went with my family, my mom, three of my sisters, and my grandpa. We stayed at the Circus, Circus hotel. We only went for the weekend and it was because I had the Rock and Roll 5k and Half Marathon. This time, we went to have fun.

We stayed at the Treasure Island hotel. Our room was nice, but we were on the 22nd floor. The view was great, but it felt scary being so high up! In our hotel, there was a gym and a pool. We went to the pool twice and I went to the gym once.

I loved going on the Eiffel Tower at the Paris hotel. It was so awesome being able to see all over Las Vegas, from the strip all the way to the mountains. It was a bit scary to be up so high, but the view was so worth it. I wanted to get on the High Roller, which is a ferris wheel near The Linq, but Giovanna didn’t want to go because of how tall it was.

The highlight of my Las Vegas trip was going to the Backstreet Boys concert. I grew up listening to them,but this was my first time seeing them in concert! I had so much fun, my only complain is that I wish the concert had been much longer!

Some other things that we did were go to the ice bar, see the dolphins, lions, and tigers at The Mirage, see the Marvel Station at Treasure Island where they had props from the movies, visit the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, and visit the garden at the Bellagio .

I pigged out so much! One of my favorite places to eat at was called Hash House a Go Go. They have huge pancakes there, big enough for two or three people to share. I got a cake milkshake from Black Tap on the Venetian, a huge slice of pizza from Pinup Pizza next to Planet Hollywood, cupcakes at Sprinkles, and creme bruise at the Venetian . Next time I would love to go to the buffet at the Bellagio.

We walked soo much! It ranged from 13,000 steps to 20,000 steps! That was my form of exercise. The first day was tough. We were mostly exploring and by the end of the night, my feet and back were killing me!

One thing I wish I could have done was go on the roller coaster at the New York New York hotel. I had so much fun when I went on it last time, but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get on it. Oh well, maybe next time.

This Las Vegas trip will be my last trip for at least the next six months. I was originally supposed to go to Orlando again in November, but I had to cancel that trip due to unexpected circumstances.

Princess Challenge Weekend

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to post this trip recap. This trip took place almost three months ago!!! Oh well, better late than never!

February 23-26 2018
I have travelled to a few different places throughout the United States- Portland, Oregon, Washington DC, Las Vegas, to name a few. However, I usually travel with other people, either my travelling partner Giovanna, my sister Destiny, or my family. I had never travelled anywhere alone. That is, until February. That’s right, I went on my first solo trip at 27 years old.

I first travelled to Orlando, Florida last year in March 2017 for WrestleMania. I was there for almost a week and went with my travelling partner, Giovanna. This time I went to Orlando for four days and I went for the Disney Princess Weekend. I was there for about five days and had sucha blast!

I have to admit that the thought of it freaked me out so much!!! In fact, there were a few times that I even considered cancelling my trip rather than going alone. But after thinking about all the cons and pros of travelling alone, looking online, and speaking to someone who has gone on many solo trips, I decided to go for it. After all, what was the harm in travelling solo at least once?

Airplane Ride/Airport
Just getting to the airport was a mission! I walked to the bus stop from my house. Then I took the Metro Gold line to the Union Station, from there I got on a shuttle to LAX. I barely made it to the plane on time. I got to LAX ten mins before the gates closed. Lucky for me, there was no line for security checkpoint. As soon as they checked me and my things, I ran all the way to my gate. I got there four minutes before they closed my gates. I have never been that close. I am normally at the airport at least an hour before my flight is scheduled to leave, sometimes even two hours. I was so scared that I would miss my plane.

I got to Orlando airport around 430am/5am on Friday. I stayed there until about 830am/9am. I just listened to my ipod and used my tablet. I also ate chick fil a for breakfast. I think I even fell asleep for a while. I finally decided I had been there long enough and went to the expo to pick up what I needed for the two races.

Expo
The expo to pick up the bibs and shirts was huge. In fact, they had three different locations to pick everything up. The first building is where you pick up your bib. Then you have to go to another building for your shirt. In the second building, they also had non Disney vendors. I bought some running stickers and energy gels. Then I went to the last building to pick up some pins I had preoredered and in this building they had Disney vendors. I wanted to buy everything! They had such a huge selection of things, including cute leggings, pins, cute shirts, anything Disney Princess thing you can think of! It was way more than I had planned to spend. Since the lines were really long, I decided not to get anything after all.

Hotel
After the expo, I decided to go to my hotel to check in. The hotel I stayed at was in Kissimmee, Florida about 15 minutes away from Disney World. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready when I got there. The people at the hotel told me I could go to the pool for a while, so I went in for an hour. It was really hot outside and the pool felt really good. I went to see if it was ready and they still needed more time to finish cleaning. So I decided to walk to Target, which was about 1.5 miles away, and window shop. Went to eat lunch at Burger King and then I walked back to the hotel, which was finally ready.

I spent three nights there. For the price I paid, I was expecting a small room. I was shocked when I walked into my hotel room. It was much larger than I expected. The first thing I saw when I walked in was the kitchen. It had a full size kitchen with a fridge, microwave, stove, dishes and utensils, and a sink. Next up was a dining room for four, the first bathroom, and even a living room with two small couches and a television. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a bedroom for me with a television, another bathroom, and get this, a Jacuzzi in my room!

It was awesome staying in this room, but I admit that I did get a bit scared at night, to the point where I slept with all the lights on and the door locked. The first and second nights I only slept about 3/4 hours each. The final night I slept maybe 5/6 hours, which still wasn’t enough.

Saturday morning I ran my 10k race. I did pretty well. I didn’t really go anywhere once I got back to my hotel because I didn’t want to be too tired for my half marathon and because I was a bit scared to go out by myself.

Sunday morning I was at the race by 330am! I went early to take pictures in the morning. After the race, I took some pictures with some of the Disney Princesses. Instead of going to the hotel, I decided to go to Downtown Disney. I knew if I went to the hotel, I would fall asleep and not want to leave the room for the rest of the day. I changed out of my race clothes and wore my three medals around.

Disney Springs/Downtown Disney
I went there last year. We went on the last day, so I didn’t have much money to spend. This time I was able to visit Hard Rock Café and got myself a mac and cheese burger. Kind of on the pricey side, but so worth it! I also got a creme brulee from one of the bakeries and a strawberry frozen margarita. I basically spent my whole time at Disney Springs eating lol One of my favorite things to eat was the poutine.

Universal City Walk

On Monday, my last day in Orlando, I decided to visit Universal City Walk after checking out. One of my favorite things about going to Universal City Walk last year was going to the Chocolate Emporium and getting a red velvet milkshake, which had a giant red velvet cupcake on top! So I couldn’t wait to go back. I also went to Fat Tuesday and got myself a blue raspberry icee. I went to the movies and watched Fifty Shades Freed. After my day trip at City Walk, I headed over to the airport to go back home.

Trip Back Home
After the scare I had getting to LAX really late, I made sure to get to MCO at least 2 hours early. I am so glad I did, because the security checkpoint line was huge! I had a stop in Colorado. Right when we got off the plane, we could feel the freezing cold air! I guess we were close to the mountains. I was only there for an hour and then I was back on the plane to LA. I got to LAX around midnight, I was exhausted when I got home.

Travelling solo was a lot more fun than I ever imagined! I would definitely recommend that everyone travels solo at least once in their lifetime. Yes, it can be scary, especially for someone like me who is an introvert and very shy.

My only complaint about travelling is having to use Uber or Lyft all the time. It can get pretty expesnive, especilly when going to Disney World or Downtown Orlando. I would rather use the public transportation or rent a car.

My next solo vacation will be a weekend trip to San Francisco during the summer. It will be another racecation, I will be running the San Francisco Half Marathon!

Disney Princess Races

The night before the 10k race, I told myself that I would try to be asleep by 9pm in order to wake up at 3am to be at Epcot parking lot on time. That did not happen. It was really difficult for me to sleep so early, especially given the time difference. By trying to go to sleep at 9pm, it was like trying to go to sleep at 6pm! Plus, I was a bit scared of spending the night in a different state by myself, so that didn’t help. I eventually fell asleep around 11pm or so. I woke up a little before 3 am. I had scheduled an uber to pick me up at 330am, so right at that time, I went outside. I got the message that they were on their way. However, after waiting outside for 15 minutes, the driver cancelled! I was so mad. Had to request another uber and waited an extra 15-20 minutes.

10k
For the 10k race, I was in corral B. Although I have done many 10k races before, I was still pretty nervous about this one. Mainly because I had heard so many bad things about the Disney Princess races. I did much better than expected though. I finished in 1:04 hours. However, I didn’t end up stopping for any character stops. After the race was over, i did take a few pictures. I took pictures with both Ariel and my favorite Disney princess, Belle.

Half Marathon
For the half marathon, I was in corral C. This time, I made sure to try to stop for as many character stops as I could. I got to the Epcot parking lot around 330am. Since I was so early, I was able to take a picture with Anna from Frozen! I waited about an hour in line. After that was over, I went to the corrals. There were so many people! I think at least 15,000+ people ran/walked the Princess half marathon.

So I ended up running my second slowest time ever, 2:36 hours! But it didn’t matter because I had fun. I took pictures with at least 5-7 characters.

San Diego Weekend

Two weeks ago I went to San Diego with my boyfriend and our friend. We went because I had signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon. This was my first time going to San Diego in almost 10 years. This was also the first weekend getaway trip for my boyfriend and me.

We left on Saturday morning. It took us about two and a half hours to get there. It rained the entire first day that we were there. However, we did not let that ruin our day. I went to the expo to pick up my bib and shirt for the race. After that, we went to go eat. Our friend took us to a pizza place. Since I wasn’t eating any meat at that time, I decided to get a pizza that had artichoke, tomatoes, and jalapenos on them. This was my first time tasting jalapenos and it was better than expected.

Later on, we went to the Donut Bar. We got there around 430pm and unfortunately it was closed. They opened at 5pm, so we decided to just wait until it opened. The donuts were worth the wait! I bought myself four donuts and ate two that same day and two the next day. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake donut and the Harry Potter butterbeer donut.

We went to Coronado Beach, but it was still raining too much and way too cold, so we ended up going back to the hotel. My friend slept over at his family’s house, but my boyfriend and I stayed in Downtown San Diego. When we checked into our hotel, we were shocked to see that it was actually a hostel. Even more shocking, it looked nice. We got a private room, it was small but cozy. In the hostel, they had a kitchen, laundry room, and even a small library! There were many paintings on the hallways from local artists. The only thing missing was a tv in the room.

For dinner, we walked to a Mexican food place accross the street from Petco Park. It was really good. I just wish I had been able to try their food with shrimp.

I woke up Sunday around 630am for my half marathon. I didn’t plan to PR this race since I had the LA Marathon the following week. My goal was to run the half marathon in 2:30 hours. I ended up finishing in about 2:15 hours. Not bad, considering I had been dealing with calf pain and knee pain during my runs. The course was really nice. For the most part it was flat. I think it was around mile 9 or mile 10 that we hit some hills. They were a bit challenging, so I ended up walking most of it, which hurt my time a little bit. This was the first time my boyfriend had ever gone to one of my races and seeing him near the finish line was really special for me.

For lunch, we went to Lucha Libre Taco Shop, which I had seen on the Travel Channel before and it was on my bucket list. They are known for their massive burritos. You can find burritos all over San Diego, some with french fries, some that are surf and turf, but Lucha Libre’s burritos are some of the best. I got a burrito with black beans, French fries, avocado, and sour cream. I also got a cup of esquite, which is corn in a cup with mayo, chili, and Mexican cheese. My boyfriend got a burrito with carne asada and he loved it. Next time we go back to San Diego, I am definitely going back there again.

We went to Balboa Park and walked around. We didn’t visit the San Diego Zoo this time, we just didn’t have enough time. However, we got to enjoy a lot of other things. Then we drove home.

I enjoyed my weekend in San Diego and we are making plans to go back soon. I just hope next time we go back it isn’t raining and that we can enjoy the beach.