Cali galleries: Old town San Diego.

TBV - CGOldTownIt took a few days for the other members of my family to fly into San Diego from all over the US. When everyone who could make it arrived, the adventure began. Our first day all together became a full on tour of San Diego sights. It was a really tiring day, but still a lot of fun. 😄IMG_4602

Our first stop was Old Town San Diego, which was explained to be one of the first towns in California. It was such a fascinating place to be in and go around because it was like going back in time, or going to a movie set but everything is real. An old bank, a carriage, a classroom, several other structures, everything authentic to the time (although probably touched up a bit to avoid too much wear). There were several museums that show how life was back in those days, and even their stores and restaurants were on theme. 😄

There was this area that I think was a town square of sorts? Perhaps a place where people gathered for special occasions. This place had these beautifully painted benches, as well as these two ladies made of plants that were just really well made and nice to look at. There was also this carriage outside with some Mariachi looking statues and a variety of plants. There were so many areas to take photos and it was a place that was both really upbeat but also chill. 😆

Apart from the beauty of the old structures and other details, the nature in the area was also incredibly beautiful. There was so much open space, and there were so many cacti, but also so many colorful flowers and towering trees. I probably spent more time taking photos of the scenery than the museums and fixtures. 😆

The last part of this stop was the gift stores. There were so many stores selling many different things. There was one big one that sold random house fixtures, there were a few stalls that sold souvenirs, and there was this store that sold crystals and other crystal-y things. These were the only two photos I took of the stores, but I think that they convey how overwhelming it was going around this part. 😳

So yeah. That was Old Town San Diego, the first stop of this ultra crazy day. If you want to check out the introduction to this series as well as links to the other posts, go ahead and click here. I hope you have an amazing day, where ever in the world you are. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Cali galleries: Lucille’s flying pig lounge.

TBV - CGLucille'sFlyingPigNo trip would be complete without checking out the local food scene. I’m a huge fan of barbecue, so when my mother’s friend suggested we have lunch at this really good barbecue place, I was stoked. 😆

From the minute you enter the place, you are bombarded with the scent of food being grilled, as well as the visuals of the decor around the place. It was kind of crazy in the sense that there wasn’t really a single theme to the whole place–the bar area was dimly lit and, for lack of a better word, bar-like, but the outer extensions of the bar seemed to have a more homey vibe to them. Their setup was kind both in-cohesive and cohesive at the same time, if that makes any sense at all. 😆IMG_4547

Now on to the food. So Lucille’s has 3 different barbecue sauces that you can try when you eat there, and purchase to take home if you’re into it. I tried all three, and my favorite is probably the original. The Memphis sauce was a bit to tangy for my liking, and I was never really a hot & spicy type of girl. 😕IMG_4548.JPG

When I was looking through their beverage selection, I saw the words “Muddy Waters” and I was so fascinated by the name, I just had to try it (although my tita did say that it was a good drink too). The drink is a mix of iced tea and lemonade, which isn’t too unusual a drink mix. Back in Manila, actually, I liked to mix different drinks and this was a mix I’ve tried. There is a difference though–iced tea in the States is different from Iced tea in the Philippines. I can’t explain it, but even International sweet tea is not the same as the iced tea I’m used to. 😆IMG_4549

Let me tell you, that was soooo good. Again, it’s different from what I’m used to, but it was such an awesome mix of sweet, bitter, and sour. Aside from the flavor itself though, the drink also looked cool with the gradient of brown to yellow in the huge mason jar. It makes it look all the more elegant and chill. 😊

IMG_4550.JPGOkay, now on to the food. Let’s begin with the biscuits and Honey Apple Butter. Now, I’m not really a big fan of biscuits and butter, but as always, I didn’t knock it ’til I tried it. It was different from other things I’ve tried. As can be guessed from its name, the butter was sweet–and way different from what I’m used to. It wasn’t bad at all, but not exactly my type. 😕

IMG_4551Next up is what my tita said was a must try for this place: their Onion Straws. This is Lucille’s version of onion rings–thin strands battered with buttermilk, seasoned, deep fried, and served with their BBQ ranch dip. It was amazing. First of all, when they put it down on the table, I was surprised at the size of the serving, it was just a mountain of onions and I got excited. I love onion rings, but am kind of picky about it, and this was just really really good. In a way, it was both something very familiar, and wonderfully surprising. 😊

Now for the main. When I was looking at the menu, I had a really hard time deciding what to eat because there were so many choices and they all looked good. I then found that they had lunch combos. It was an opportunity to try multiple items on one plate, but not too much of each. I decided to get their St. Louis Spareribs with Brisket Burnt Ends and Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes. 😄IMG_4552

The photo I took doesn’t quite look too appetizing, and I think it looks smaller than what it actually was. The serving was pretty big, almost too big for me (and can eat A LOT). It was a really good combination, and each item was good on its own. I was worried that having two barbecue meat dishes would be overwhelming, but it really wasn’t. The ribs were delicious, they were really tender and slipped off the bone, and they just tasted like really good ribs. The burnt ends, I thought, took the best part of barbecue (the charred bits) and let it stand alone. It may not be the healthiest thing in the world, but boy was it good. The garlic mashed potatoes accompanied the two grilled dishes well, while at the same time being able to stand on its own. It wasn’t the type of thing that I couldn’t eat by itself. 😊

After finishing the main, I was so stuffed that I didn’t have space for dessert, so I missed out on that on this visit. I’ll have to try it next time, and there will be a next time. I really enjoyed my meal here. Their decor, their servers, their food–everything just came together in an upbeat and energizing way. If you happen to pass by one of their locations, I say check it out if you haven’t yet. So yeah, that’s it for this installment. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

P.S. – Check out the introduction to this series here. Links to the other posts are here too. 😄

Cali galleries: Disneyland.

TBV - CGDisneylandThe first stop of this adventure was Disneyland in Anaheim, California. From the airport, I took a shuttle straight there, with no time to spare. It was about an hour and a half drive away from LA, from the drive alone I could already see how different this place was from the windy city. Without further ado, let us start this gallery off with the first photos I took as I entered the grounds of Disneyland. 😊

I spent my first few hours there in Downtown Disney. I walked around and spent quite a bit of time going in and out of the stores. This activity in itself already showed much wonder, from the the entrances of the World of Disney store to the displays inside the stores themselves. Unfortunately, these four below are the only photos I took that weren’t of merchandise, but they are pretty cool photos. 😊

I then met up with one of my friends whom I haven’t seen in years. She served as my guide throughout the park, and we got to catch up on what’s happened in our lives since we last saw each other.This was my first time in Disneyland, so I told her that she had the reigns on what we did next. 😆

The first ride we rode was the Pirates of the Caribbean, which she told me was changed a bit for the 50th anniversary of the ride. She also pointed out, when we got to it, the only real skeleton left in the whole ride. Pirates was pretty cool in its different settings, but if you’re not a fan of scenic rides, you might not enjoy this one too much. 😕

Then after that, we went on the Haunted Mansion. I found the technology used in that particular ride very fascinating. The mixture of projections and animatronics made for such a wondrous visual experience, and I couldn’t help but be in awe at each part of the ride. This was similar to Pirates, but the doom buggies that we were situated in moved a little faster than the boats. 😋IMG_4466

The next ride we rode was the Hyperspace Mountain. Now, I’m not a fan of roller coasters. For the longest time, I avoided all coasters like a plague. So you can understand the fear rushing through my veins as we lined up in this ride. Man, I think this ride changed everything though. From the very start of the ride where they played the Star Wars theme, I got chills down my spine and I got really excited. And then that was followed by what I think could be the funnest 2 minutes of my life. I guess I like those kinds of coasters now. 😆

After Hyperspace Mountain, we rode the Indiana Jones ride. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos from that ride. I thought I did, but I guess not. This was the last ride we ended up riding, and I think it was a really good way to end the day, ride-wise. This is one of the oldest rides in the park, and can be considered a must-do for first timers. 😁

One thing I noticed about all the rides that I went on was that the designers of the rides paid attention not only to the rides themselves, but also the areas that lead to the rides. Some of them had attractions before the rides themselves–like the stretching room in haunted mansion. All of them had beautifully decorated line areas which made the walk and wait leading to the rides entertaining in their own way. 😄

Apart from the rides that my friend considered to be “first time essentials,” she told about two particular things that I had to try: the Mint Julep and their Churros. This seemed a bit random to me when she mentioned them, but they were both very delicious! I’m not sure how else to describe them apart from saying that. 😅IMG_4464

It rained at some point when we were there. Also at some point, I realized I hadn’t taken any photos of the streets of Disney or Cinderella’s Castle. So amidst the rain that poured around me, I took these two shots. The park, even in the rain, is pretty magical. Walking down the streets felt like being in a different world, with the music and even the smell of the place. I also saw what could possibly be the biggest horse ever, so that was pretty cool. 😆

After Indiana Jones, we went ahead and headed back to World of Disney, and looked around for souvenirs and other trinkets that we could get. I ended up buying some tsumtsums to add to my plush collection, as well as a necklace for my sister. After our shop, we headed to dinner and then walked back to watch the parade. 😊

The parade that night was the Main Street Electrical Parade, an old and retired parade that was brought back just for a while. It was pretty cool that I was able to catch it. Everything was so pretty and bright–as a light parade would be. I felt like a kid watching each float as they passed, almost yelling the characters on them. It was a really cool ending to that night. 😄

So that was pretty much my trip to Disney! I only spent half a day in the park itself, so there are probably things that I missed, not to mention my not being able to explore California Adventure. It was a really fun and memorable day though, and I definitely will be coming back someday. 😊

That’s it for now! Thank you for your patience with this series. I’ll put everything up as soon as possible! 😊

’til next time,

🐰❤️

P.S. – Check out the introduction to this series here. Links to the other posts are here too. 😄

Cali galleries: Introduction.

TBV - CGIntroductionHey! 😄 So, the past two weeks for me have been spent in California, visiting family and friends. Initially, I planned to write one post about Disneyland and another about the rest of the trip. While here though, I realized that the number of places I ended up going to, if put together in just one post, would make for a very long one indeed. 😳

Instead, I decided to do this: in the next days I will put up the photos I’ve taken throughout this trip, a bunch at a time. Most of them will be the exhibits, plants, and views that I’ve seen. They will be accompanied by some information on the setting of the shots, and other things. 😊

I want to share with you the memories from these amazing two weeks, and possibly give you ideas of where to go if ever you find yourself in this part of the world. 😆 I hope these galleries will achieve this through these galleries, and I thank you in advance for checking them out. ☺️

’til next time,

🐰❤️

P.S. – I’ll be updating this as the posts come. Links will be below 😄

Throwback: Tagaytay trip part 3.

TBV - ThrowbackTagaytayTripPart3Hi, welcome back! This is the last installment in this mini series, and I’m glad you’re here. In the last part, I left off with the Picnic Grove, the middle of the second day. Without further ado, here I go. 😊

So we exhausted our time, and ourselves too 😆, in the Picnic grove, and it was late in the afternoon when we left. We wondered where to go for dinner, and we decided to go to Mushroom Burger. This place was a throwback to my childhood, when I lived nearer Tagaytay and my family would go here and my sister and I would play in the playground out back. It’s a very affordable place to eat, but still something that you go Tagaytay for. Although a branch once opened across our university, I think there’s something about going to the original branch, and for me the nostalgia made it all the better. ☺️

We spent about an hour at Mushroom Burger, enjoying our mushroom burgers and mushroom fries, while I went on about this place and my childhood. When we were done and stuffed, we went back to Ayala Malls Serin (the mall we went to the day before) to pick up some more bits and pieces. Then we headed back to Cleeve Hills. 😊

We spent the evening and night on one of the tables in the garden of Cleeve Hills. The air was fresh and our surroundings were calm and beautiful, even in the dark of night. We decided to take a laptop, some snacks and drinks, and just take everything in again, while at the same time catching up with a show we’ve been watching. I don’t remember how early or late that day ended, but I know it was a great way to wind down. 😄

We woke up early the next day because it was check-out day, and we had to pack everything up, make sure nothing was left behind (though I did end up leaving my jacket somewhere along the trip 😔), and make sure we left the room and place as close to how we saw it when we arrived as possible. We put everything in the car, took some photos, thanked the caretakers of the house, and headed out. 😊

We had one more stop in our list of places to go, and that was Bag of Beans to have brunch. Bag of Beans is a restaurant/bed and breakfast in Tagaytay that serves really good coffee and hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the branch that I wanted to go to was under renovation, so we ended up going to the bigger, fancier one that we’d passed by the day before. The layout of the restaurant made so that the table we sat at didn’t directly overlook the view. It was still nice though, because there were plants everywhere and this added a closer beauty to the further view. ☺️

So we ate our food and drank our coffee and hot chocolate. The environment made this brunch even more relaxing, and a great way to end this trip. When we finished, we walked around the bed and breakfast part of the place (below the restaurant proper), took more pictures, and just took advantage of this last part of this break. 😊

We took one last deep breath and then got in the car to head back to reality and the hustle and bustle of the city. On our route though we made sure to pass by two places to buy some pasalubong (souvenirs)–Mr. Moo’s and Colette’s. Mr. Moo’s is known for it’s Carabao milk and other milk products. From here, we bought one bottle of Carabao milk and one of chocolate Carabao milk. Colette’s is best known for its Buko Pie, and is also one of those things from my childhood. We got a pie, and just like that, we were headed back to the city with no more detours. 😞

The whole trip was three days and two nights. It was a simple trip with just a few stops, but it was a much needed break from the chaos and the overwhelming nature of the city. I think it was a great way to pass the time and, I’ve got to say, a pretty great first self-planned trip. Tagaytay is such a good place to go if you wanted to get away for a bit. It’s not too far from the city, but the minute you entered the area you would be able to feel the difference, if that makes sense. So yeah, that’s it. Again, thank you so much for staying with this mini series, I hope you really liked it. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Throwback: Tagaytay trip part 2.

tbv-throwbacktagaytaytrippart2Hey, welcome back! In the last post I told you about the beginning of this wonderful trip. Where I left off was us settling into where we were staying for the trip. So yeah, after we settled in, we headed out on the first leg of our adventure. 😊

We went to Skyranch, which is a leisure park in the area. It has different kinds off rides and attractions, including the Sky Eye, which is their Ferris Wheel, and a zipline, both of which boast of a great view of Tagaytay, as well as it’s most popular attractions: the Taal Lake and Volcano. 😊

Unfortunately, the Eye was under maintenance when we got there, and I wasn’t up to zip lining because of my fear of falling. What we did instead was walk around the whole place, took a ride on their Log Coaster and Drop Tower (my first time doing both those things), and took in the view from the ledge. 😍

The thing about a lot of things in Tagaytay is that the view is just amazing, you don’t even need to go too high up to get it. So even though the Eye was closed at the time, it was okay. We’ll probably come back though to check that out, because that was the star attraction of the park. 😄

After a while, before the sun started setting, we decided to find the place where we were going to have dinner. One of the things that Tagaytay is most known for, is a stew made with beef shanks and bone marrow. This dish is delicious, and is even more perfect because of the cooler weather in the area. That’s what we were going to have for dinner. 😊

towerground
Photo from The Budget Traveler

We went to this place called Tower Ground Bulalohan which was a roadside chill restaurant that, according to the internet, served really good Bulalo. We were sat in a big booth-like table with an amazing view, ordered Bulalo among other dishes, and just enjoyed the good food and environment. We took our time and took everything in. When we were done, we realized that we ordered too much. We decided to take the leftovers back with us, and have them for breakfast the next day. 😅20160609_171114

After dinner we headed back to Cleeve Hills, relaxed for a while, and then took out some drinks that we got at the mall, headed to the roof deck, and just spent the night drinking, talking, and just making the most of being away from the city and the stress. 😊

The next day, we woke up pretty late the next morning, and we decided to head to the roofdeck again, cooked rice, and then had the Bulalo and other stuff from the night before. The thing about stews, not just this particular one, is that a lot of the time they taste better the next day. After breakfast, which was more like brunch because of the time we ate it, we got ready for our next adventure. 😄

2015-05-29-0988
Photo from blogph.net

The afternoon plan was to visit Tagaytay Picnic Grove, which as its name shows, is a place where people go to have picnics surrounded by nature. There are tables and small hut type things all around the park, all overlooking an amazing view. The place isn’t just restricted to this though. If you wanted to just walk around in nature, there are wooden pathways and a bridge that cover the forest-like part of the park. There are also several ziplines, food and souvenir stalls, a mini zoo, horseback riding, and enough space to have a picnic on a field or fly kites and run around. 😄

The weather that day was pretty perfect in my opinion, sunny but windy. We spent a significant amount of time just walking around and taking pictures of the place and the view. It was really nice taking time around lots of greenery, especially coming from the crowded and cement covered city. When we came across this bridge, I didn’t want to cross it at all because I have a fear of falling, so we went back up the way we came and went around the other side. Later on, when we got to the bridge again, partially because it would be a hassle to go back around again, I said okay to crossing the bridge. 😳 It was a cool experience, but pretty terrifying too. It wasn’t the only time I faced this fear that day though. On the same day, we also went ziplining. As scared as I was, I refused to close my eyes because what I saw when I did these things were really amazing. 😊20160610_131521

I think I’ll leave it here for now, this post is getting a bit too long. I hope you’re liking this mini series of posts. 😄

’til next time,

🐰❤️

Chicago drive by.

tbv-chicagodrivebyI live an hour away from the city, and I don’t really get out much. I love the city though, so any time there’s a reason to go to Chicago, I take it and try to take in as much as I can in the time there.

Yesterday, a family friend surprised his wife for her birthday at a restaurant in the city. I was happy to be able to attend such a sweet event, and even more so to be able to take in some of the city again. We didn’t go around the city beyond the event, but on the way to the lunch and on the way back, I managed to take some photos of the city. I thought I’d share the snapshots I got. 😄

These are just photos of some of the things that I found really eye catching. The infrastructure and art in Chicago is just amazing to me. It’s so much different from what I am surrounded by in the suburbs, which is also beautiful in its own way.

Hopefully I can make some time soon so that I can really go around the city some more. For now though, I hope these photos, although few, can give even just a bit of justice to the beauty that I saw in this part of the city. ❤

’til next time,

🐰❤️