The Travels of a Culture Vulture, Weekend Warrior

Hello Winter Wonderland

It’s finally December & officially Christmas season. I’ve finally recovered from my Thanksgiving food coma, and so I thought I should share some moments from my little winter wonderland in Lake Tahoe this past weekend.

As you may know, I’m not a fan of the cold but I do find the snow to be truly beautiful and magical. When it looks this beautiful outside, you almost forget that your face is about to freeze completely off. It ranged from 10-20 degrees F throughout the day.

The lake even froze over around the more shallow edges, and my friends braved the cold to walk onto the lake the first day we arrived. The ice was pretty solid but I had a deep fear about falling through the ice and having a Titanic-like death experience. However, we were able to make it past the docks and slightly past the boating speed signs. If this isn’t the face of a daredevil, I honestly don’t know what is.

I made Filipino adobo the first night and we had a lovely time eating, drinking, gossiping, and playing games together. They wanted to go to the Casinos so we toured around the city at night time and all lost a little bit of money. I really don’t enjoy gambling, so you can imagine my disappointment when I lost $5.00 playing a penny slot with puppies on it. I could have bought an In & Out cheeseburger and fries with that! Peer pressure man.

The next day, we went to the Heavenly Resort to snowboard. It was honestly so beautiful, I could cry. However, 80% of the mountain was still closed and there were literally only 3 runs I could do as a seasoned beginner. I actually have all my own snowboard gear now and didn’t have to rent which was awesome, but it was my first time using my new board and it was super slippery. I’m so glad Jackie came along to do the easy runs with me, otherwise I would have held the boys back–there was no way in hell I would go down the blue runs and make it out alive. We had fun anyway, making snow angels and coasting through the bunny slopes.

 

My friends also built a snowman the first day and it lasted the entire weekend since it was so cold outside. I avoided the cold and instead sang the entire soundtrack to Disney’s Frozen inside a little too many times. (Just kidding, there’s no such thing as singing Frozen too many times.) I did go outside for a bit to participate in a snowball fight and then pretended like I had made a contribution to the creation of this snowman by taking pictures with him before heading back home.

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This photo perfectly describes us.

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Weekend Warrior

Hello Wente | Wine Tasting & Tour

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Weekend Warrior

East Bay Festivities

Friday | April 03

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Oakland, CA | First [Good] Friday at Art Murmur, followed by a hoolahoop contest at Lost & Found.

The solution to California's drought.

Berkeley, CA | The Albatross with the solution to California’s drought.

Saturday | April 04

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Oakland, CA | Brunch at The Grand Tavern followed by a visit to the Oakland Farmer’s Market

Oakland, CA | Park-bench-lounging at Lake Merritt

Oakland, CA | Park-bench-lounging at Lake Merritt

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Piedmont, CA | Mountain View Cemetery for the Qingming Festival

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Berkeley, CA | Treasure hunting at Ohmega Salvage on San Pablo Ave.

Berkeley, CA | Another night cap at The Albatross filled with an intense game of darts (which I had surprisingly won!)

Berkeley, CA | Another night cap at The Albatross filled with an intense game of darts (which I had surprisingly won!)

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Outfit Details | Gap Striped Blouse | Michael Kors Tan Anorak | Mossimo Black Bottoms | Mossimo Wedged Booties | Dooney & Bourke “Florentine Medium Pocket Satchel” |

Sunday | April 05
Brentwood, CA | Golden Hills Community Church with a special Easter Sunday sermon.
Hercules, CA | Lunch with the family. #FilipinoSpaghettiOnFleek
Pinole, CA | Phonomenal Vietnamese for dinner
Davis, CA | Homeward bound after a long, eventful weekend! #sleepdeprived

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TBT, Weekend Warrior

TBT |Snapshots of Mt. Rose Snowboarding

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At the start of the year, my friends and I reunited in Reno for a quick weekend getaway in the snow. Most of us hit the slopes at Mt. Rose, and I tried snowboarding for the second time in my life. Unfortunately, whatever skills I may have picked up when I tried snowboarding for the first time as a 10 year old, did not translate the second time around. I was essentially falling–no, face-planting is more accurate of a term–down the mountain. At one point, I flew up and landed on my chest…it was not a pretty site. It was funny though to be failing so hard so many times with all of my closest friends watching. But with each fall on that first run, my determination to just make it down alive (in one piece) grew stronger. And with each fall, the more I laughed at how terrible I was doing–it was better than crying about it. By the time I made it down, I was exhausted and felt so defeated. The score: Mountain-1 Kristin-0.

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After that first run, I took a long break. I didn’t want to repeat the horrible experience again and I didn’t want my friends to have to keep waiting for me every time I literally fell behind. But I thought that I should give it another try 1) because I’m not a quitter and 2) the snowboarding gear and lift tickets were effing expensive. The second time around was still pretty bad, but it was better and my body was starting to figure out how to navigate and more importantly, stop without falling so hard on my ass. That being said, my greatest fear wasn’t falling, it was getting on and off the damn ski lift. I’m terrified of heights and I hate being in confined (inescapable) situations, but I wasn’t about to climb up the mountain on foot so I just had to deal with it. On my last run, my friends convinced me to go with them to a higher peak, which required taking two ski lifts. To be honest, that final run was my redemption and I’m so glad that I tried it. I actually made it down with only a few minor falls and most of my run was spent balancing upright like a boss. Plus, it was less crowded on that side of the mountain so it kind of felt like it was just reserved for us. With the sun setting as we reached the bottom on the mountain, it was a peaceful conclusion to a difficult yet exhilarating experience.

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Weekend Warrior

Hay girl, hay!

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Over the weekend, some old friends came up to visit Alex and I to kick off this Halloween season and join us on our visit to the Dixon Cool Patch Pumpkins–which holds the Guinness World Record for largest corn maze in the U.S.

I hadn’t been to a pumpkin patch since I was a toddler so I didn’t really have any expectations going into the pumpkin patch, but I was pleasantly surprised. There were all different shapes and sizes of pumpkins on display and also growing on the pumpkin patches for fresh pickin’. There was a “Fun Zone” will a pool filled with corn grains and kids hyped up on kettle corn. There were teepees, a bunch of creative scarecrows made from a variety of materials, families pulling wagons stacked with pumpkins and babies inside, and hay….lots of hay. And since we arrived just as the sun was about to set, the setting sun cast a light that gave everything an extra tint of orange and created the perfect color scheme to welcome the festive season.

As for the corn maze, by the time my other friends had arrived, the light had completely disappeared and we started the convoluted maze in the dark. Luckily, we brought flashlights and something to mark the map with–we would have been screwed without them. I was pretty nervous (the usual…when I am trying new things for the first time) because being lost in the dark with no way out is what my nightmares are made of…plus, I was not as prepared as I had hoped. Though I wore comfortable flat shoes, it would have been much more appropriate to wear tennis shoes/trainers since the maze would take at the very least 1.5 hours to complete… plus the terrain is very uneven and dirty (not a good combo for oxfords with cutouts in them, lol.) But at least I wasn’t alone, so if I died out there in the middle of corn stalks that were double my height, someone would probably come looking for me.

However, we made it out of the maze alive and well. Thank goodness for Alex’s navigational skills and willingness to take the lead–we were out in 2 hours and only got slightly lost a few times (those convoluted circles in the beginning were confusing!) #GoTeamA[MAIZE]ing

Anyway, after completing the maze and a thorough leg workout, we grabbed some grub in Downtown Davis and then headed back home to catch up and play games. (Side note: I won Settlers of Catan for the first time, shebooyah!) And in the morning before our friends drove back home, we got brunch at Black Bear Diner to end the weekend the best way we knew how–with foodz.

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Outfit Diaries, The Travels of a Culture Vulture, Weekend Warrior

Weekend in Tahoe

One of my favorite things about living in California is being able to have a relatively quick & close weekend getaways. This weekend, Alex and I escaped to South Lake Tahoe for a quick dose of relaxation and adventure.

Day 1 | Exploring Heavenly Village
After driving a couple hours north, we arrived in South Lake Tahoe early Friday morning. We brunched at Blue Angel Cafe and I grabbed a cup of coffee to power up for the weekend. Then we went exploring around Heavenly Village to window shop & ease our way into the city. A really sweet vendor gave me a hearty sample of delicious donuts & I found this little piece of Davis in the heart of Lake Tahoe. The weekend definitely started on a good note. 
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We stopped by Raley’s to grab a six pack of beer & came out with 4…
They had some brews that we’ve been wanting to try & the cashier informed us of their buy 3, get 1 free deal so we couldn’t resist. This should last us for the rest of the season, hopefully.

Day 1 | Lakeside Beachin 
In the afternoon, we headed back to our hotel and got ready for some fun in the sun on the resort’s private beach. It was a perfect day–not too hot, not too cold– and since I’ve been feenin’ for a warm day at the beach since summer started (the beaches in the Bay are usually too cold/windy for my liking, even in the summer,) I was perfectly content with my buns out and toes in the warm sand.

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After relaxing at the beach, I went for a swim in the heated pool & played a bit of volleyball to work up an appetite (as if I really had to work for it.) For dinner, we decided to try some Irish grub at McDuff’s Public House. I got the Steak & Guiness Beef Stew &  Alex ordered a Shepard’s Pie. They were deliciously hearty portions and we proudly scarfed them down and left nothing to take home. No big deal.

Day 2 | [Horseback] Ridin’ Dirty
The next day, Alex and I woke up early to go to the gym and play some Foosball. (He won. Twice. It was such a close game, I was pissed, in true soccer fashion.) Then we lunched at Orchids Authentic Thai Food, did a bit of shopping, and then headed off to Camp Richardson Corral for our horseback riding session. I love animals, especially horses, but I was pretty nervous & excited to ride on one since it was a completely new experience for me. I was paired with Doc, a beautiful chocolate colored steed. Both of us were the shortest of the bunch and we were put in the back of the line. He was very sweet but he seemed a little sad to me, like he had just woken up from a nap and was forced to carry this little Asian girl around for an hour when he’d obviously rather be chillin’ with his friends, eatin’ grass, and crackin’ jokes.

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During my ride, Doc and I mostly just hung out way in the back, going at our own pace, while the other horses were carrying on ahead. Doc basically did not give two shits about keeping up with the group lol. I was fine with it but for safety reasons, the instructor urged me to get Doc to pick up the pace. Doc was not having it though. IMG_4113

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We were literally ridin’ dirty–constantly going through clouds of dust and dirt from the trail. I came out with a new mineral veil of  makeup on my face, clothes freshly powdered from the earth, and an ass so sore that it instantly made me realize why cowboys always strutted with their legs so far apart. Dayum, I’m still sore. It’s even worse than the time I went canoeing on the Russian River for 5 hours. But though I was sore and super dirty, I still had a lot of fun. Next time, I’ll just wear Nicki Minaj sized ass-cushions and a bandana to cover my face.IMG_4064

Oh! And after the ride I got stung in the arm by a wasp, little fucker. I cleaned and treated it fairly quickly so it’s not too bad anymore. But still, I hate those flying demons almost as much as I hate mosquitoes. But I digress…

We then headed off to treat ourselves at Richardson’s Ice Cream Parlor to get unhealthy amounts of ice cream to ease our booty/wasp pains & then drove up the mountain to a breathtaking overlook of Emerald Bay. IMG_4070

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Afterwards, we desperately needed to shower and get ready for our “fancy” dinner at Friday’s Station Steak & Seafood Grill, a restaurant at Harrah’s overlooking the lake. I was pretty exhausted and didn’t take any pictures (oops) but dinner was delicious and my filet mignon was cooked perfectly (damn, that sounded so bougie…but it was a pretty bougie dinner so sorry ’bout it…)

We ended the night playing pool in the game room and watching Princess & the Frog in bed. Aww yea, that crazy night life tho!

I had such a nice weekend in Tahoe. It was a perfect little weekend getaway to end summer and have a bit of  fun relaxing and trying new experiences. I wish the weekend was a bit longer but it’s back to reality now, which is okay too since I was missing Macky at home. Let’s just hope this work week goes by quickly! Anyway, I hope y’all had a nice weekend (and didn’t get stung by any wasps!)

Talk to you soon,
Kristin

Details | no. 1: Urban Outfitters Overalls | Forever 21 Lace Top | Target Sandals || no. 2: Forever 21 Shoulder Cutout Top | Thrifted Printed Maxi Skirt | Forever 21 Straw Hat || no. 3: Zara Olive Green Basic Tee | Forever 21 Blue Denims | Madden Girl Ankle Booties || Cole Haan Rounded Acryllic Sunglasses |

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Foodie Faves, Outfit Diaries, Weekend Warrior

Sass in the City

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Mac’s first time going to SF. #tourist

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Such a beautiful day in San Francisco. I love this city.

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Super Duper Burgers | 721 Market St., San Francisco

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Taking my main man  (sorry, Alex) on a walk at Yerba Buena Gardens & Center for the Arts.

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Pure (awkward) bliss eating my double chocolate eclair from my favorites! A must every time I go into the city.
Beard Papa’s Sweets | 99 Yerba Buena Ln or 845 Market St.

Weekend Wrap-Up | On Sunday, we went to SF to help Alex’s dad move some stuff around in his office and put these young guns to good use. We decided to take Mac with us since he had gotten pretty skittish after the earthquake that hit at like 3:30 in the morning. He was excited to come, it was going to be his first time in the city.

After we finished in the office, we wanted to take Mac out for a walk in the park and grab some grub so we walked a few blocks down to Yerba Buena Gardens & Center for the Arts. Mac was not used to walking with hundreds of people occupying the sidewalks, but he fared pretty well for his first time in the stampede.

As I was walking Mac around the gardens, Alex went to pick up our lunch from Super Duper Burgers. When I worked in SF, I always wanted to grab lunch there but never got to try it out so I was pretty excited when Alex arrived with the burgers and fries came. (But I’m always excited when food comes so that’s not really saying much, haha…) The cheesy garlic fries were so on point though. Really good!

I always have room for dessert, it’s like I have like a second stomach for it marked “Reserved for Sweets.” So after filling my first stomach, I got my favorite…Beard Papa’s eclair filled with chocolate. Alex got his favorite which was the cookie crunch cream puff with mango filling. Mhmmmm!

Afterwards, Alex headed back up to the office with Mac to pick his fantasy football draft & I went for a stroll to go window shopping. It somehow always turns into legit shopping somehow though. I blame those damn sales. We have a love/hate relationship…

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Dressing with comfort and flexibility in mind, I decided to go with stretchy leggings and a cotton T-shirt so I could easily move filing cabinets and heavy boxes without being limited by my outfit. But because I knew I would also be strutting around the city afterwards, I wanted to find a way to translate the outfit into something more classic and less workout wear. So I sassed the the outfit up by pairing a more structured pair of leggings with a classic polka dot print on my T-shirt. I threw on a chunky cardigan because no matter the season, SF can always get cold and brought a backpack just in case I ended up buying something (since they charge for shopping bags now.) I changed out of my Nike Free Runs after working, and slipped into a pair of comfortable ballerina flats so I could take on the city hills with ease. Just put on some cool sunnies, a bold lip, and a sassy attitude & boom, done! Practical and chic.

Details | H&M Polka Dot T-shirt | Nordstrom High-waisted Harem Leggings | Forever 21 Chunky Knit Cardigan | Zara Red Patent Leather Ballerina Flats | Cole Haan Polarized Acrylic Rounded Sunglasses | Feathers Faux Leather Backpack with Gold Zipper | Mac “Fixed on Drama” lipstick |

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