Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Comic Con Road Trip

Scott has been going to Comic Con since high school, and my jealously has been slowly growing each year. I've gone from not watching any TV in high school to slowly developing a (too?) large amount of dedicated shows that I can quote and happily discuss. From a Game of Thrones obsession (Kahlessi) to casually doing Troy and Abed's friendship hand shake, my dedication to the shows that Scott and I watch has grown exponentially. In the last year or two, I've decided that some way or another I was going to join Scott and experience the nerdiness myself. Even better, this year one of my best friends from college was going to be there working at Marvel's booth.

After pulling some strings, Scott got us tickets for Saturday. Once I heard the news, I made an appropriate Game of Thrones T shirt purchase (You know nothing, John Snow) and started planning.

Our brilliant plan was to drive down to San Diego after we both finished work on Friday. I got off a few hours early to make it to San Jose, and by 6pm we were in a car full of snacks and slight delusions about the length of the drive. Luckily, we've mastered road trips with a formula of rediscovering songs from high school and making an In -n- Out stop at Kettleman city for dinner. All it took was a little caffeine and finding some country radio stations, and we finally managed to roll into Encinitas at 1am.

While we had plans to get up early, the long car ride had taken its toll and we waited until a few minutes before the con started to slip inside. We were really lucky to get some free passes in exchange for helping out at opening and closing through Scott's family friend, so after hanging around at the booth for a bit, it was time to explore.

My first impression was that Comic Con literally had the best people watching I think I've ever seen in my life. While not everyone was in costume, there were all types of outfits out there that ranged from impressive and expensive to extremely questionable. Besides an impressive GOT cosplay, it was more fun to watch and judge discuss the outfits with Scott than take any pictures.

The actual expo itself was a little overwhelming during the first walk through. There were lines, people pushing, and a bunch of things/booths that I didn't recognize. But I still managed to grab a creepy photo (it's a special talent), see the cast of Arrow (I only have seen a few episodes from when my brother had a control of the TV after his wisdom teeth, but that is a beautiful man), and walk by the man behind The Oatmeal (who is also good looking?! What about all that talk about the blerg?).

Once we were back at our booth, Scott and I made a game plan for our next couple of hours. We decided to sit in on a panel for Grimm since we had finally caught up on the season finale the weekend before. 

We were able to get into the conference room quickly, and listened to the Family Guy (funny) then American Dad (so awkward and quiet) panels before Grimm came on. Since it's not crazy popular, it was awesome to see the entire cast at the panel and be pretty close to the front. 

After, Scott and I headed back down to the main area in an attempt to say hi to my friend at Marvel. Instead we stumbled upon the Avengers signing, and with a boost from Scott (best boyfriend ever), I saw Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans,  and Colbie Smulders in all their good looking glory. My day was made, and luckily I was able to stop by and say hi an hour later once the mob died down. 

The rest of our time at Comic Con was spent grabbing some food from Ralph's before helping to close the booth we were working at. Although I think Scott and I were both exhausted, we had big plans to go out in the gas lamp district.

We swung by Point Loma to pick up Scott's friend, and wandered around downtown San Diego until we decided to try out Lucky Bastard. We grabbed beers and a booth and hung out until Maddie swung by for a half an hour. Eventually, we called it a night and headed back to Encinitas with a lazy Sunday and long drive ahead of us the next day. It was a perfect mini trip to San Diego, and a check off the bucket list that I hope to cross off next year. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Got It From My Momma

I was looking forward to my Mom coming for weeks! As an early birthday present she was flying up from LA to spend my third weekend in SF with me.

Moving to San Francisco was not an easy transition. Although I was excited and nervous to start my job, I had a million other things on my mind. My first priority was finding an apartment to rent as soon as possible. I made the five hour drive up to San Jose in a car packed to the brim with suitcases stacked together with tetris like precision. After meeting up with Scott, we drove around the city with everything I owned in the trunk, looking at places I found on craigslist. It was not an easy experience (one apartment used to be a massage room, no thank you), but luckily the next day, I met with some friends of a friend in Inner Sunset and decided in 10 minutes that I would be moving in later that week.

An hour drive back down to San Jose and a celebratory call to my mom later, I was headed down to San Diego with Scott for his graduation party. There we had a few drinks, I said my real and official goodbye to the family, and made the official drive back up to the bay on Sunday.

The following week was a whirlwind of starting my first week of work ever, living out of my car, signing leases, and shacking up with a sorority sister. Finally, I moved into my new apartment complete with only a bed, mattress cover, blanket, and pillows.

Needless to say my first two weekends proved a little busy, as I slowly pulled my apartment together and tried to get everything in order. So, I could not have been more excited knowing that my Mom was flying up to visit for my third weekend in the city. Not only was it going to be great seeing her, but it finally was a weekend where I could play tourist in my brand new home (instead of spending all weekend attempting to put together Ikea furniture).

Scott and I picked up my Mom bright and early from the San Francisco airport, and headed to my apartment to grab food. A quick look around and we were off for breakfast at a tiny local brunch restaurant. Art's Cafe is a single bar breakfast place, that is known for it's delicious hash browns (and cheap food!). My Mom and I shared an omelet with hash browns, and almost ordered more, but decided to save our appetite for the rest of the food ahead.

Scott was nice enough to drive us around, and we started our day off at the Golden Gate bridge to walk part of it and take tons of pictures. Our next stop, was Fisherman's Wharf for clam chowder bread bowls and hanging out outside to enjoy the rare sunny day. After lunch, we decided to work off breakfast and took a long hike up to Chinatown. We enjoyed the sun, and passed by Lombard street, and checked out the shops selling jade carvings and whole fried geese.

My Mom's first activity on her to do list was to ride a cable car in SF. We were lucky enough to unknowingly skip the huge lines and prices by jumping on at the Chinatown stop, and were literally holding on tight as we hung off the side. Once we made it back to the wharf area, we headed straight for Ghiradelli Square where my Mom and I shared and inhaled a salted carmel sundae.

Soon, it was time to check into our hotel. As excited as I was to have an apartment in the city and a new couch, I was even more excited to stay in a fancy hotel with my Mom. Scott dropped us off at the hotel, and we had just enough time to run up to our room, get excited about the "Happy Birthday" bottle of champagne, and make it to the free happy hour in time for a few glasses of wine.

It was the ideal amount of wine to help ignore the cold while hopping back on the trolley to North Beach in a little black dress. From that point on, we had a classic night in the city and one of my top two nights out in SF. From befriending the owners of a small Italian seafood restaurants, and managing to bypass the two hour wait, to tisply devouring a steaming bowl of cioppino. Filled to the brim with seafood, eating at Sotto Mare was the best food decision I've made in the city to date. We grabbed a photo of us sitting at the booth before rushing off to our next activity.

My mom had been told to go see Beach City Babylon by her friend and had bought us tickets in advance. I hadn't heard anything about it or done any research, so I walked into the theatre not expecting anything. I was blown away by the performance and spent the whole time laughing. The costumes were amazing (and amusing) and the pop culture references were hilarious. Afterwards, I introduced my mom to the wonders of Uber and we grabbed a ride back to the hotel. 

The next morning we sadly checked out of the hotel and shared an omelette at a neighboring diner. A quick walk around Union Square and a tour of the area where I work, and we were off on MUNI back to my apartment where maternal instincts took over and my Mom helped mop my floors to get rid of the ridiculous amount of dog hair in my room. 

The rest of the day was spent fighting off tourist for a quick photo opp of the Japanese tea garden, before walking back to my place stopping only for a late lunch and dessert at La Boulange.

It was sad driving back to the airport, but it was one of my favorite weekends in the Bay Area to date! I'm so happy my Mom could help me celebrate my birthday a little early and see my new start in SF.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


This beach loving, SoCal native has gotten a job in the tech industry and moved to San Francisco! The apartment has been found, the first real weekend has been reached, and the bags are (slowly) being unpacked. It's time for new adventures!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

College Graduation

"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

My final weeks as a USC student passed by in a blur. It all started with Scott's graduation weekend. I joined his parents, siblings, grandparents, and my mom for one last weekend in Redlands to cheer while he walked across the stage. The ceremony was followed by celebratory pictures and lunch that consisted of calzones the size of my head. My mom hadn't seen Redlands before, so Scott gave his last tour of the campus complete with one last stop at A La Minut for an Orange Honey ice cream.

Graduation felt closer once I left Redlands for the last time and realized it was my last week of classes in college. After my hardest final on Monday, it was time for the senior celebrations. One last Whiskey Wednesday night at the 90, sorority senior wills, and of course the Fountain Run. An SC tradition is that the last Thursday night of classes, all seniors run around campus and jump in the dozens of fountains on campus. It's filled with debauchery, ridiculousness, and some inevitable bruises. It was an unbelievably fun experience and madness on campus.

The marathon week continued with our final invite that Friday. Luau falls on the last friday of classes every year, and all the seniors celebrated with a party bus to Manhattan Beach for drinks at Sharkeezs and then took the party bus back to the sorority. Everyone was a little nostalgic about our past four years of invites, and I was so happy that Scott could make it to be my date from the first invite to the last. The actual invite was at Gladstones in Malibu--right over the beach and with free calamari and snacks. It was a great way to end the week, and I spent the rest of the weekend at Scott's house in San Diego before taking the train back to school.

Before I knew it, it was graduation. The day before we had a mother daughter brunch at the Jonathan Club downtown. It was a little rough in the beginning because the seniors had "senior bonding" the night before, but the food was delicious and the club was beautiful.

Graduation day started with a 4am wakeup call since we were heading to the 90 bar to open its door at 6am! By 4:45 we were standing in line with coffee cups full of mimosa watching the sun rise and the line turn into hundreds of students (with a few parents thrown in there). The 90 was completely packed with loud 80s rock, and a lot of spirited seniors screaming out the lyrics. By 7 am, we back at the house eating breakfast before snapping a few pictures with friends and making our way to campus.

After a horribly hot main ceremony with 92 degree weather and thick black robes, we headed to The Shrine for the Political Science graduation. It was such a relief to be in a beautiful and air conditioned venue, and I'm proud to say I graduated walked across the stage without falling.

The rest of the night was spent celebrating at home for a graduation dinner with all the family. My college experience was absolutely amazing, and it's bittersweet to end my career as a student of USC.