Monday, February 06, 2017

Food Adventures - January 2017

I just realized that my Instagram feed has been filled with food thanks to my foodie boyfriend. I decided to collate the posts and share our food adventures for January 2017
Tous Les Jour's Strawberry Shortcake
New year, same strawberry craving. Tous Les Jours' Strawberry Shortcake is so good, I only gave my sister one slice and I ate the rest of the cake. I finished it in 3 days.
MyThai, Pioneer Center
We craved for Thai food and asked for our default order. We ended up being too full from Pandan Chicken and Bagoong rice combination that we didn't have space for Pad Thai.

Comedor's comfort food
We tried Comedor's bestsellers Crispy Liempo Bacon, Lechon con Pinakbet and Oyster Sisig and we loved it!
I want this now
Frank's mini corn dogs is a must try whenever you're in Shangri-la.
Homemade curry and steak
Chino and I got hooked on Nigeru Wa Haju Da Ga Ya Kunitatsu, a Japanese drama where the leads often ate curry. I had to prepare my own version of Japanese curry while he cooked rib eye steak.
Hobing's mango and cheese bingsu
I'm so lucky that my go-to bingsu place, Hobing, is just 10minute walk from place. My Instagram feed is literally Hobing's menu!

Wooden Spoon
One lazy Saturday, we woke up too late for our go to buffet places but we found out that Wooden Spoon in Kapitolyo offers P375 brunch, they have 5 delicious viands but I was disappointed that there's no Kare-kare.
Melon balls
Melon is in season so it was perfect to visit Cafe Flafe and order melon bingsu. I once finished a family sized bingsu which used up a medium sized Melon!
Strawberry dessert plate
I was able to buy a Spiral buffet voucher from and enjoyed this strawberry dessert plate along with steak, crabs, noodles, sushi and so much more.
The Hawaian store is the best
We checked out Madison Common's food park and tried kebab, tacos, tapsilog buritto, isaw and Wagyu Cubes.
Kung Hei Fat Choy
We celebrated the Chinese New Year with Chino's family in Luyong Restaurant (21 Gil Fernando Ave., Marikina). I really love the wrapped duck!
Frazzled Cook's Strawberry Shortcake
Yes, I'm searching for the best Strawberry Shortcake in Manila. This one from Frazzled Cook (78 Sct. Gandia St, Diliman, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila) is too creamy.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

California-Nevada-Arizona Adventure!

I can't believe my last post was in September! My 2016 has been jampacked and I haven't found time to breath and blog about my adventures until now. To my defense, I never failed to microblog on Twitter and Instagram but I still feel the need to update my 10 year old blog.

I never really had an American dream and I haven't even imagined that I will be able to visit this country until I saw my Expedia itinerary. Although I like traveling, I knew that USA is not meant for backpackers like me. To cut the story short, I had the chance to go on this trip because my aunt bought me a roundtrip ticket so that I can attend my cousin's wedding slash family reunion.
Ate twice on the plane and this was my 3rd dinner for Nov 9!
This to date, it was my longest vacation and flight EVER! I survived a total of 19.5 hours flight from Manila to China to LAX, plus the hours spent on 3 airports and finally we're able to reach my aunt's place in Orange County.
Day 2: We had the 1st taste of "outlet shopping" at the The Outlets at Orange. The low prices made me crazy but I followed my aunt's advice that we'll find cheaper prices on Vegas. After the church rehearsal and dinner, we went to Los Angeles County Museum of Arts or LACMA. It was already late so the museum was closed when we got there but we enjoyed the illuminations and installations outside.

glorious sleep and fooood
And on the 3rd day I was finally able to sleep peacefully, my gosh, jetlag is real! We tried In N Out burgers, it's cheap but tastes really good! We also celebrated my mommy's birthday at home.

Day 4: My cousin's wedding day, we got to wear faux fur in sunny California and met my long lost lolos <3
Downtown LA with Verenacion family
Day5: My high school kabarkada, Geny, fetched me from my aunt's place and toured me around Downtown Los Angeles. Our first stop was Central Market where I was able to try soft tacos and Mexican rice wine. We went to The Last Bookstore, the largest used books and record store in LA. We visited the Griffith Observatory, to see the Hollywood sign and overlooking view of LA. The last stop was The Americana, fortunately there's a Shake Shack store there so I was able to cross it off my burger list.

Day6: My other high school kabarkada, Ciara, had a playdate with me at Universal Studios! I really liked the Studio Tour, we rode a train and went around the different sets for films and TV shows like Desperate Housewives! I also enjoyed the Harry Potter ride while Transformers 4D was similar to the one in USS.
OC to San Francisco
Day7: We're all very hyped to go to San Francisco, until the estimated 6hour road trip became 9.5hrs on the road with seemingly never ending desert as view. LOL. The place where we stayed was located downtown so we're able to walk around Union Square and try some restaurants near the area.
Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito and Fisherman's Wharf

Day8: I remember that the weather in San Francisco was very cold, we went to the Golden Gate bridge on a very chilly morning. We walked around Sausalito, located in the bay area, where there are lots of small shops. I was surprised that I was able to buy a kokeshi doll from one store. I got to try clam chowder when we went to Fisherman's Wharf. It was enough to give me energy until our late lunch that was hosted by lolo Manny.  
Downtown San Francisco

Day9: We had 4 November celebrants so it's a must that we visit a church. We went to Grace Cathedral before going to Lombard street. We we're shouting while my uncle drove the van on several steep roads. We ended up on SFO Chinatown to buy souvenirs and I was able to buy another Kokeshi doll! The day ended with pizza treat from my sister who celebrated her 23rd birthday.
Big Sur
Day 10: We tried Denny's diner before another long road trip back to Orange County. This time, instead of desert as view, we passed by Highway 1 with Pacific Ocean as view. It was a scenic drive with cliffs and white sand beaches on our sight before stopping at Big Sur. The scary part was it got dark easily by 4:30PM and we still had several hours of winding road. We stayed at Morro Bay Inn to rest before we go back on the road again.

Day 11: The Inn was surprisingly nice and can be compared to 3 star hotels in Manila hehe. We also enjoyed the breakfast buffet before walking around Morro Bay. On the drive back to Orange County, we stopped at Solvang, a Danish area. I was able to try Ableskiever a savory pancake and lots of chocolates offered for free tasting haha

Day 12: After unpacking, washing my clothes and packing again, we're off to a 4 hour road trip to Las Vegas. It seemed like a short trip because of the SFO experience haha. For a desert, Las Vegas is surprisingly very cold, especially at night. I wasn't able to join them when they visited the different hotel lobbies.

Day13: We had a brunch buffet at Mandalay Bay. I also tried the casino and watched my $10 become $0.05 hahaha. I don't even have beginner's luck! I conquered my fear of heights when we walked around Hoover Dam. It is definitely an Architecture beauty and feat as it also provides power and act as flood gate. We went to Fremont Street and I don't understand how people can be naked while I'm wearing 2 sets of thermal and a coat.

Day 14: Instead of joining the entire family on the trip to Zion at Utah, we visited my mom's cousin who hosted another buffet at M Hotel. We also went to their house in Las Vegas before going to Target.

Day 15:  Long drive from Vegas to Orange County. We passed by a big grocery store to buy ingredients for Thanksgiving, my happy purchase is this pack of BIG strawberry!

Day 16: Spent the whole day preparing for our early dinner and celebrated Thanksgiving.

Day 17: We went to Citadel Outlet store for another round of outlet shopping, it was a bad idea because it's Black Friday! We've spent a lot of time queuing and the price isn't that low compared to the outlet stores in Vegas. I was planning to buy this Dooley and Burke bag that I've been eyeing but I ended up with this Corelle set! I regret nothing! We also toured downtown LA before they dropped me and my daddy to Staples Center. We got free tickets from my uncle's boss to watch the Black Friday game between Lakers and Warriors.
Day 18: Uncle Raffy fetched me, my parents and sister from OC to go to San Diego, it was more than 2 hours drive. We went to another outlet store called Barona and compared to yesterday, it was deserted even though the prices are almost the same. We checked in at Barona Casino Hotel, another day at the casino so it's a new day to eat buffet with the Dela Cruz side of the family.

Day 19: My uncle will drop us off to another uncle's place, we went to Costco to buy Kirkland pasalubongs. It felt like thanksgiving again with my dela Cruz relatives.

Day 20: My uncle Romy drove us around downtown San Diego, I really love California trees. It's so pretty! We passed by another outlet store which is near the border of California and Mexico, we already run out of shopping money so we skipped that. We then went to the navy base which is my uncle's workplace before going to Sea World! It was raining in the afternoon and we were'nt able to watch Shamu, but I enjoyed the dolphin, seal shows and shark aquarium!

Day 21: My mommy is so efficient that we finished packing in 2hours then we're off to 19hours flight back to Manila!

Looking back, the highlight of this trip, aside from my cousin's wedding, is the chance to reconnect with my relatives and friends who are now based in US. I am forever grateful to their generosity from offering to pick us up, feeding us and even treating us to shopping! One day, I also want to return the favor of being a gracious host!