Friday, January 24, 2014

Disneyland at Christmas

2014 started with a little bit of magic. From fireworks and sparklers all New Years Eve to Disneyland on January second, the new year is off to a great start.

Right before midnight we lit some Chinese lanterns and all made wishes. It made for a very Pinterestesque event and a great photo op if I do say so myself.

The next day to get excited about our Disneyland trip, Scott and I saw Saving Mr. Banks. Besides the fact that I got teary multiple times, it was the perfect way to get in the Disney mood. I was on the look out for a few things from the movie (like Disney's father's name on the window) and was newly inspired to make sure I got a ride on the carousal. It was the last holiday week at Disneyland so I enjoyed the last piece of the Christmas season. Plus, the park just improves when even more glitterly lights are added.

I've been to Disneyland so many times that there was no rush to get to all the rides. This made our experience pretty ideal since we weren't stressed despite it being peak tourist times and packed. We still made it on to our favorites through out the park including Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones, Haunted Mansion, Buzz Lightyear, and obviously It's A Small World.

Of course there was time for one obligatory photo with Pooh Bear to match the one we took seven (!) years ago on our first date. Disneyland holds a special place in my heart like most SoCal residents, and it's always a million times more fun with Scott.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

13 Bucket List Items Completed in 2013

One of my Christmas break goals was to make a Bucket List. After a full day of blog reading and wanderlusting, I finally finished. Since I have an obsession of making lists, a Bucket List is kind of like the ultimate list project. It also was partly a way for me to deal with fact that this is the year that I graduate and remind myself that there are fun things to do in the real world too. But being myself, I didn't feel completely satisfied that I couldn't include (and more importantly cross off) some bucket list items I already completed so far. Since this whole blog is essentially a self indulgent journal (and proud of it), I figured I would include the bucket list items that would have been completed if I had made the list one year ago:

13 Bucket List Items completed in 2013:

- Paris with my amazing boyfriend. It's the city of love and staying in an apartment, eating snails, going to the top of the effiel tower, frolicking at Versailles was all made even better by having Scott there.

- Go to Aushwitz in Poland. I never wrote about it on the blog because it felt a little disrespectful, but it was an incredible and depressing experience. It really changes the way you view history and humanity and made for an extremely reflective morning.

- Eat a belgium waffle in Brussels. This was pure deliciousness. Somehow, Scott and I only ended up having one Belgium waffle (and one mini one) during our weekend in Brussels, but the taste did not disappoint.

- Studied abroad in Europe. I don't even know where to start on this one, but Prague is one of the best cities in the world, and it was the best experience of my life.

- Learn some of a new language. I may not be great, but I was pleasantly surprised by how far my Czech came along at the end of the semester. A highlight for me was having a little conversation the young Czech girl at the Prague Zoo. I have never felt so accomplished after exchanging names with an 8 year old.

- Eat pasta in Italy. I love food and I love carbs even more. I think this is a pretty common bucket list item and something that I was looking forward to ever since deciding to go abroad. From pasta carbonara, gnocchi in white sauce, linguini and mussels, to ravioli with truffle sauce, I ate so much that I had to lay down at one point. That is a sign of success if I've ever heard of one.

- Grand Canyon. My Grand Canyon bucket list was made possible by Scott. I always wanted to see the Grand Canyon, but I had this idea that I would see it on a spontaneous trip. Seeing and walking around the Grand Canyon as a surprise road trip was perfect.
- Swim off the Amalfi Coast. You know those experiences that you can't believe are happening even while they are happening? Boating around Capri and jumping into the water felt like a movie (besides the very cold water) and was one of my favorite memories from abroad.

- Swim in the Adriatic Sea. Also cold, but the water was so beautiful. The seafood was amazing, the place was amazing, and the pebble beach was amazing. Also included in this section is river rafting in Croatia and all the adventures there.
- Go clubbing in Berlin. I had heard about Berlin's crazy nightlife, and I feel like our successful Saturday night met my expectations--a club called Matrix under a subway station complete with gogo dancers playing electric violins and dancing in cages.

- Storm a football field. Also known as the time my life felt like a football movie and the time that I did not get trampled. The whole experience ended with purchasing and passing around a bottle of Fireball whiskey.

- Girls trip to Vegas. Oh Vegas, the best place to be dressed up and 21. Bonding moments with the crew and ego boosts all around. A girls trip was definitely the way to take on Vegas because 1) getting ready became half of the party and 2) we only spent money on our dinner together.
- Have a crazy 21st birthday (and hangover) With my 21st birthday on a Tuesday and work the next day, I wasn't sure how my crazy birthday dreams would work out. Luckily I have amazing friends who took me out for a fancy drink at Terranea and then for a crazy night in Hermosa. It was fun that on a less crazy night I was the only birthday in the bar, and had a ridiculous number of drinks bought for me as a result. I wouldn't have changed any part of the night even though it brought the birthday appropriate hangover from hell.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


Rest in peace to my favorite dog in all the world... the most perfect and adorable chocolate lab. 

For the past 12 years, Roxy has been a best friend to everyone in the family. She played fetch until we we couldn't throw the ball, was the best running partner (but only when she was off the leash), understood the importance of a comfy bed, and was an all around adventurer and diva. 

That's without even mentioning her expert level of begging for food. From reaping the benefits of standing next to my dad at the BBQ to getting sandwiches from Jessica to any part of my dinner, it's going to be weird not feeling a head on my lap while I eat every meal.
I will never forget all the love and cuddles you gave me and how you made us all laugh--the time you realized you didn't want to climb down the mountain in June Lake and made my dad carry you; the time you couldn't figure out how to walk with doggie booties on; the time that you were first learning to swim and kept trying to stay vertical instead of dog paddling.

To the dog that I wished for every time I held my breath under a bridge, every time it was 11:11, and every Christmas and birthday until I was 9, I will miss you so much. You are always loved.