LA for Christmas! Pt. 1

Hello all,

I do realize it has been a while since my last post, but Christmas came along and I realized I was not at all prepared this season. It was a mad scramble to get passable gifts for my loved ones, and then I also went on a spontaneous trip with the boyfriend to Los Angeles!

We left on boxing day, really early in the morning since we got our tickets for cheap off Expedia. The trip to LA should take about 2.5 hours if we took a direct flight, but instead it took more towards 8 hours since we had layovers and such. We went to Phoenix first, then down to LA. Weird flight route, I know.

The first day was all travelling, so it passed by in a blur of naps in weird locations, and switching between modes of transport. Once we got to LA, we got on a shuttle to take us to Anaheim. We were visiting Disneyland for Christmas!

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We spent one day at California Adventures, and one day at Disneyland. It was really busy in both parks due to schools being let out and everyone wanting to see Disneyland in its Christmas form. But seriously, Sleeping Beauty’s castle was amazing with the Christmas lights.

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It’s funny how we all pay hundreds of dollars to line up for hours on end at Disneyland, yet still leave feeling like we experienced magic. Disneyland was definitely a LOT more busy than California Adventures. At least at Cali Adventures, I felt like I could walk around without constantly bumping into a wall of people!

One thing that I loved most this visit was Cars Land. I had forgotten they had added a new section to Cali Adventures, and when I walked by the road that lead down Radiator Springs I actually cried. I wish I was kidding. It looked so much like the movie that it really was magical. We ended up eating dinner at Flo’s and it was the most satisfying meal of the day!

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Another thing that stood out to me was Dole whip. Here’s the thing: I’ve never heard of a Dole whip. I saw it on instagram, then realized that there were a million pictures of the little mountain of pineapple flavoured soft-serve ice cream. What the heck was this and why is it so popular? I was very hesitant to get it, mostly because it was cold at Disneyland and there was a lineup. There was a lineup for soft serve. I had enough of lineups. But nonetheless, we waited about 30 minutes in line and got our Dole Whipe Float. It tastes much like pineapple flavoured soft serve, except there are little chunks of pineapple. It tasted tart, which I quite liked. It was a very good soft-serve, but I still didn’t get all the hype that surrounded it.

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By the end of the Disneyland visit, we had spent a small fortune on foods at the park, and also severely lacked sleep as we would always leave at the last possible moment, then arrive as early as possible. So worth it!

Next post to be on Los Angeles itself 🙂 (Hopefully, it won’t take 2 months for me to post)

– Karen

Whistler = A Winter Wonderland

Hey all, I have not been to Whistler for… I’m guessing at least ten years. To be fair, I was actually on another continent for five of those years, but I realized how much I wanted to see it again. It felt like the first time since I barely had any memories of it. It’s reading break and to start off our holiday, two friends and I went to the snow dusted municipality of Whistler. Here’s the thing though: we don’t snowboard or ski– so what is there to do there if you’re both hesitant to slide down the mountain at high speeds, and want to avoid spending a few hundred bucks on rentals? Well, our itinerary was basically the following:

1. Eat

2. Toboggan (Would recommend just heading by Canadian Tire and getting your own board. It costs $10 there, and $30 in Whistler)

A pic with some kid who taught us how to properly toboggan :)

A pic with some kid who taught us how to properly toboggan 🙂

3. Skate Photo 2-16-2014, 4 58 29 PM

4. Watch the Sochi Olympics in the square (or in the hotel with a nice can of beer at 9AM in the morning– Yay! We won men’s hockey which was no surprise!) IMG_2846 5. Eat

6. Watch shows (x)

Driving around Whistler was beautiful– it looked exactly like a winter wonderland that you would expect to see on Christmas Cards. The snow covered the limbs of trees, framing the green giants. In some areas up there, the snow was so thick and untouched it looked fake! I wish I could bring back the exact image of the environment with me because it was beautiful. But I guess I’ll have to do with just pictures.

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This was more beautiful in person!

Sure, Whistler is cold, but it’s not too bad if you wear a decent amount of clothing. I was fine with a large waterproof jacket and a sweater inside. I would highly recommend not wearing jeans because any contact with the snow will result in you feeling like you wet yourself. This little three day holiday was refreshing in one other aspect as well: we did not wake up till noon every day. We planned everything quite well and knew when we had/should head out to Whistler Village again, so everyone felt well rested! I mean, it has been a while since we could all sleep in. Most of time during vacations, I am forced to wake up early in order to make the most of my time, but I realize that with proper planning, sleep is an option. Hope other fellow UBC students are having a good reading break so far, and that everyone else is enjoying the slow transition from winter to spring! – Karen

Tis the season to be jolly!: Part 1 (And I am! :))

The 20th of December marked my last day of final exams! I am free!! And survived my first university finals/term one!

Right after my exams, I met up with Carmen! We went downtown to eat lunch at Hon’s…

Us and our noodles ❤

And then we walked around downtown. We wanted to watch Sherlock Holmes 2 so we continued shopping around until 4-ish. However, Carmen suddenly came up with a great idea: to hunt down a takoyaki food cart! Apparently the cart can be found at Howe and West Pender and we rushed there. At first we were slightly disappointed because it seemed like there was no cart…but then when we turned the corner, there it was!

This takoyaki food cart is the cutest thing ever! It was called Osa Tako Hero Takoyaki! The menu featured their food in a game-like theme. First you chose your ‘heroes’ a.k.a how many takoyaki you want. Then you can choose power-ups to upgrade your heroes’ abilities, a.k.a what sauce/toppings you want on your takoyaki! I was really hesitant to try the maple syrup one, but Carmen wanted to. In the end, the guy making the takoyakis allowed us to have a bit of each topping! 🙂 Surprisingly, the maple ones did not taste sweet!

Hero scroll! Choose how many heroes you want :3 And then their abilities on the side!

Carmen at the stall ^^

Our ten heroes with mixed abilities! Ahaha sorry for the blur!

Waiting for the takoyakis took pretty long and since our movie starts at 4:45, it seemed like we were going to be late. We had to walk bad to Scotiabank theatre and then buy our tickets! We were running towards Scotiabank, but then we saw a bus, so we jumped on. We go to the theatre with minutes to spare and bought our tickets. That’s when Carmen and I realized that it was Tuesday and the tickets were half price!!!! AHHH lucky us! ^.^ And we basically got into our seats just in time as well!

Sherlock Holmes 2 was very good in my opinion. Filled with wit and humour, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s amazing screen chemistry will never cease to amaze me. Oh, and why must I fall in love with Robert every. single. time. I. see. him. in. a. movie?

So, thank you Carmen for the perfect after-exams day! And LOL to us falling asleep at random times of the day because we were both lacking sleep! I missed you Carmacorn and I am so glad we got to catch up!

Oh and here are my nails for Christmas! 

I wonder what else is in store this winter holiday…

-Karen