Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Snapshots of California // Brazilian BBQ, Google, and Stanford

I hope you are having a great week! :) Today I am posting about California again!

After we were done in SF we went south of the city to meet up with our lovely Brazilian friends Mariana and Eric. Mari and I met when I was a sophomore in high school and she was an exchange student! She came to our wedding (and Eric caught the garter.. :P ) and we were SO glad to FINALLY get to visit them in California! (TEN YEARS AFTER MEETING! Holy cow! :P) We spent some time touring through the area, and catching up. On this day we did a Brazilian BBQ (KC said he "was in his element"), visited Google, Stanford, and an upscale shopping center.

Eat: Mari and Eric really wanted to take us to a Brazilian Barbecue - and wanted to go themselves... :P - so we went to one called Taurinus in San Jose. It was SO good. Mari and Eric will give the advice not to try the salad, sides, etc. etc. so you can save room for the meat! That's the main event. KC was in heaven! I'm not a meat lover, but it was really fun to try something different and so expertly prepared. Yum. Definitely worth it. My favorite though was the rice with bean stew pictured above. I love the Before and After pictures. hehe

See: Google, Stanford, Stanford Shopping Center.

Shop: We visited the Stanford Shopping Center while we were in Palo Alto. It was a really lovely area with tons of upscale shops ranging from Banana Republic to Kate Spade and Tesla. We were pretty tired but did enjoy walking around. There was lovely landscaping. We also tried Sprinkles for the first time there! :)

Do: See the grounds at Google and ride the bikes if you want. Walk the Stanford Campus (it's beautiful!). Shop and eat. Take the time for the Brazilian Barbecue in San Jose!

Favorites: Definitely trying Brazilian Barbecue with Mari and Eric was fun. They knew so much about what we were having and how it worked, it was very fun to try it with them. Plus they only go on very special occasions because it's pricey! :) It's hard to pick other favorites on this day because it was all really fun! :) 

New Experiences: Seeing a prestigious college campus, seeing a headquarters for something big like Google, trying Brazilian Barbecue, and trying Sprinkles cupcakes!

Random Tip: Save room for the meat at the Brazilian Barbecue by skipping salads, etc. 

Has anyone else been to Google or Stanford?

Have you ever tried Brazilian Barbecue? What did you think?

Happy Travels!


*some photo credit for Barbecue and group pictures goes to Mari and Eric! :)*

Monday, August 29, 2016

Semi Charmed Summer Challenge 2016 // Bookworm

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a lovely weekend!

I have been working on this list and participating for a few months now, but haven't gotten around to posting my list... and you know, it ends in two days... so why not now? LOL Even though I won't finish, I always end up reading interesting books that I may not have picked otherwise, so I am glad that I participated!

Here is my Semi Charmed Summer List:

Initial Post & Rules Here.

June 1 - August 31 - each book must be at least 150 pages long.

5 Points - Freebie (150+ Pages) The Siren by Kiera Cass  - my review here.

10 Points - A collection of short stories or essays - Fork in the Road edited by James Oseland

10 Points - Read an adult fiction book written by an author who normally writes books for children. - The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (AKA JK Rowling)  - my review here.

15 Points - A book set in Appalachia - Serena by Ron Rash

15 Points - A book with a cover you find personally unappealing. - You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero

20 Points - A book that you had previously seen the film of. - Austenland by Shannon Hale  my review here.

25 Points - Read a book with a punny title. - Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson -  I dunno if this counts, but she's talking about be both pretty and happy...

30 Points - Read a microhistory. - Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson

30 Points - Read one book with a good word in a title and one with a bad word

Good: Gentleman Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos  - my review here.
Bad: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and JK Rowling 

40 Points - Read two books that contain the same word in the title, but once singular and once plural.

Singular: The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
Plural: The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette Fay*  - my review here.

Total Points Earned: 50

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Did anyone else participate in this challenge? If so, how did it go?



Friday, August 26, 2016

Have You Heard? // - Coldplay - "Magic" // & Snapshots of the A Head Full of Dreams Tour

Hello Everyone and HAPPY FRIDAY!

This week was a little bit different because KC, my friend Jessica, and I all took off Thursday afternoon to drive to Tulsa, OK (~3.5 hours) for the Colplay A Head Full of Dreams concert. KC and I saw them back in 2012 for Mylo Xyloto and had such a blast that we knew we needed to see them again. When they didn't tour for Ghost Stories... (I mean outside of Tokyo, Paris, etc.) I was really disappointed! I loved that album. Anyhow, when they announced this tour, we knew we needed to grab tickets, and also help Jessica cross this off her bucket list! :) I'm SO glad that we did!

So today I am sharing one of my favorite tracks from Ghost Stories, "Magic," and then I'll give a quick concert recap. Kind of like I did with T-Swift and J.Lo. :)

I think the lyrics to this song are really sweet and hopeful, and I think that the video and all of the album art are so clever and lovely. Did you guys hear this one? Also, I mean, this song is just so romantic. Sigh, I'm a sucker for that.

Anyhow, I definitely recommend listening to more of their stuff if you haven't kept up with them over the past like 20 years. HA - there have been so many iterations of their music during that time.

On to the concert!

It was at the BOK Center (a large arena) in Tulsa, where KC and I had seen The Black Keys & The Arctic Monkeys back in 2012. We don't love arena shows the most, but sometimes for
bigger names you do what you can! :)

As expected, they played a lot of songs from their new album, A Head Full of Dreams. But they also played some songs from Ghost Stories (THIS ONE! MAGIC!), as well as some popular singles. I don't think they can get away with doing a show without playing "Yellow" or "The Scientist". :)

They also dedicated "Everglow" to all the parts of the world that are hurting right now. So of course I sobbed. Not that I didn't already shed tears during other songs. I had SO MANY FEELINGS.

As with last time the visual aspects of the show were really incredible. We had blinking wrist bands, the screens, lights, and other props were really awesome... they even had some pyrotechnics this time! And the confetti! So much confetti! :)

So (yet) another concert lesson for you guys: sometimes it's worth the drive and a little bit of planning to see an incredible show. :)

So there you have it!

Did anyone else catch the A Head Full of Dreams tour?

What is your favorite Coldplay song or album?

Other Posts This Week: 2 Year Progress // 101 Things in 1,001 Days //Goals //Snapshots of San Francisco // Cruffins, Golden Gate Bridge, and Mission.

Have a Great Weekend!



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Snapshots of San Francisco // Cruffins, Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Bridge, and Mission

I hope you guys are keeping cool. I am so over summer. #truth - but... on we go. Here's another San Francisco post!

On this day of our trip we went back to Golden Gate Park to the Conservatory of Flowers, visited The Golden Gate Bridge, and went to the Mission District. Oh yeah, and we tried the famous cruffins.

Eat: We started the morning at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse - home of the famous "cruffin". We didn't know much about it, but it sounded like croissant + muffin and can you really go wrong with that? Well... sort of. We got pastries to start because you have to wait in line for the cruffins. If you get a sticker then you are guaranteed a cruffin. The pastries were really lovely, and the branding was really cute. We waited for our cruffins, the flavor of the day was Matcha Marshmallow. Which is a little out there but we decided to stay in line. We got our cruffin, took a few photos, and then started to eat it. It was filled with matcha flavored pudding. Neither of us likes filled donuts at all... so that was a bummer! We're really glad we only got one, as we ate some of it and then got rid of it. Turns out KC doesn't like matcha. And I just can't even with pudding ever. Oh well, glad we tried it and the pastries were great. This was another strange day where we didn't really eat lunch but had an early dinner. We had our dinner in Mission at a great Mexican place called La Taqueria. It is rated as some of the best Mexican food in the city. It doesn't look like much, it's small and it's busy, but holy cow were our burritos good! :) We ended the night outside of the city to visit our friends who live there. We got Pinkberry, which is always fun because we don't have them here. I tried the coconut ice cream which was really good and refreshing. :) 

See: The street art near Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. The Conservatory of Flowers - a gorgeous greenhouse that was opened in 1879. It survived earthquakes and fires, and it's the oldest glass and wood greenhouse in the United States. It was so gorgeous, and worth the tiny $8 fee to see it. It's very very hot in there... but it's so lovely. We had not been to a greenhouse like this before and would definitely recommend it! It was in Golden Gate Park - not at all close to The Japanese Garden or DeYoung we visited on a different day. The Golden Gate Bridge was another  stop for us on this day. We didn't cross the bridge, but loved seeing it up close! We also went to Mission and saw Mission Dolores, it's a Spanish Mission that was dedicated in 1776 - making it the oldest building in the city of San Francisco. It was absolutely gorgeous. The architecture, cemetery, gardens, etc. etc. were so beautiful. It closed early in the day, but we made it before closing and I am really glad that we did! It was only $5 per person, and so worth it. I am not Catholic, but I love to see these beautiful historic structures. :) 

Shop: We did not do a lot of shopping on this day (or any) in San Francisco. Golden Gate Bridge and Mission Dolores both had gift shops which we found a few souvenirs in. I think that Mission was my favorite part of the city, and should we go back we would probably spend a lot more time there. I think that there was probably some cool shopping in that area that we missed.

Do: The Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Bridge, and Mission Dolores.

Favorites: The Conservatory of Flowers, The Mission & Mission District, the food at LaTaqueria, seeing our friends Mariana and Eric! :) 

New Experiences: Visiting a Mission, Seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, and any large bridge really... visiting a conservatory or large greenhouse! 

Random Tip: We did The MUNI passes in SF. We purchased them at a Walgreens near our hotel. They were $40 each with unlimited (bus, cable car, trolley, etc.) rides for 7 days. (does not include BART or anything that reaches outside the city) No one ever checked them, but it was cheaper than paying each time. After all the cable car is $6 each way!

Have you been to San Francisco?

Have you ever been on a trip and wished you would have spent more time in a given district?

Do you like filled donuts?

Happy Travels!