friends

Okay!

Time to talk about day 2 of my Orange County trip!

Cindy and I decided to have a leisurely day, so we slept in a little bit. Even after we woke up, we were both sitting in our beds clacking away on our keyboards and doing computer things. It felt nice to be on a trip with someone who is like me and feels a little naked and uncomfortable without a laptop in their bag!

After internet business and showering, we decided to head out to breakfast.  We wound up at a chain restaurant that was near our hotel, Mimi’s Cafe. I had no idea it was a chain…honestly I had never heard of it before. After checking the website, I guess it’s just that the closest location to San Francisco is still too far away for me to have been exposed to it. No matter. I thought the food was pretty darned delicious! The portions were a little crazy though. Check this out:

santafewrap

Behold the Santa Fe Wrap!

(Scrambled eggs with onions, jalapenos, cilantro, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and black beans wrapped in a tomato tortilla)

The wrap was pretty darned humungous….but that wasn’t all you got, either!

pumpkinmuffin

The meal also came with a muffin and glass of juice of your choice!

Cindy and I ordered the same meal, except for our muffin and beverage decisions. She had a honey bran muffin, orange juice and tea; I had a pumpkin  (of course!) muffin, apple juice and coffee. That pumpkin muffin was no joke, either. It was absolutely heavenly. Since the meals were so large, both of us wound up taking half of the wrap and half of the muffin (my half pictured above) back to the hotel with us. As we were lucky enough to have a mini fridge and microwave in our room, we were able to eat the other half of our meal for breakfast the next day. It heated up pretty well!

Once we were fed and watered, we got in the car and drove up to L.A. The reason we were in town was to see a concert at The Palladium, so we figured we would mess around up there for the day. A few days before our trip I had come across a website for a store that sounded absolutely…magical….and since we were in town, we both thought checking it out would be a fun thing to do.

whimsicalley2

whimsicalley

whimsicwindow2 whimsicwindow

quidditchkid hermione

A Harry Potter shop! How could we not go here?! Cindy and I are both Potter fans….actually, I just saw the 7th movie with Cindy and some friends a few weeks ago. The store was pretty darned cool. There was a room full of robes, school uniforms, scarves and sweaters. Another room full of wizarding hats. A room full of your more standard type of Potter merchandise. A room for wands and wizard’s chess. A corner filled with Harry Potter themed candy and treats. A room for trinkets and things that weren’t exactly Harry Potter related, but still involved fantasy.

There was also a room for Twilight—I didn’t go near that room.

One of the coolest things about the shop was their banquet room. I didn’t get a picture, as there was an event going on. I really just spied it through a crack in the open door. It was decorated like the Great hall…floating candles and the like. I believe it was a birthday party that was going on, as I kept seeing little kids buzzing around in Hogwarts robes! So cute! I guess you can rent “The Great Hall” out for parties and events. Cindy commented that it would’ve been fun for a graduation party. I concur! Can we go back in time 11 years so I can look forward to a rad Harry Potter themed grad party, please?

hall platform poster

Anyway, I really liked the store. Just seemed like a fun kind of place. As much as I would like to deny it, I am very much a consumer. I knew I wanted to buy something to commemorate my visit. A certain item just kept calling out to me, thus I kept finding myself back in the school uniform/robe room….

scarf

Yep, I bought a Gryffindor scarf! I know I could make this (or have one of my craftier friends make it for me…let’s get real, here!), but it just seemed more fun to buy it at the store. Plus, I look super cute in it. Even cuter when the backdrop isn’t my closet and I don’t have a camera in front of my face. Cindy also picked up a scarf, but she got one in the Ravenclaw colors, as she feels she’s more suited to that house. I agree. This brought on a discussion about which houses we thought various people we knew would belong in if Hogwarts was real. I didn’t want to sound full of myself, placing myself in the house that all of the Harry Potter main characters are in, but I think I probably would be in Gryffindor. I’m smart, but not like, Ravenclaw smart. I’m not really so eager to get ahead that I’ll do anything to get there….and I don’t really feel Slytherin-y. Maybe I could be a Hufflepuff, but I don’t think so. I think I’m too outspoken and, well, balls-y to be a Hufflepuff. I think I would be a Gryffindor.

My god, I wish Hogwarts was real!

All of our wizard shopping made us hungry, so we stopped in at Pinkberry to have a treat. I was pretty excited about the prospect of trying out this famous fro-yo spot. I’ve heard so many wonderful things, so I just had to go.

parfait parfait2

Much like with my trip to Blush with Florence, Cindy and I wound up getting fro yo fruit and granola parfaits. The employee let us taste all the available flavors (tart, pomegranate, pumpkin and chocolate) and while I really liked both the tart and the pomegranate (the pumpkin was good, but not what I felt like having), I was really in a chocolate mood, so I went that route. I paired my chocolate with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. The chocolate was rich; I was a fan! Cindy went with pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries and…pineapple, I think. That’s what it looks like in the picture…I don’t actually remember.

I thought I would get through my entire day in one post, but this is getting crazy long. Next up will be the concert post. Stay tuned!

Which Hogwarts house would you most likely get sorted into? And if you have no idea, tell me about your favorite fro yo flavor. Trust me, I care about both things.

Last Friday, I woke up way behind schedule, which was rather unfortunate, considering I had a plane to catch.

I ran around my apartment like a crazy person. I didn’t eat breakfast. I didn’t get Starbucks. I missed my first BART train to the airport. I get to the airport and realize I’ve forgotten deodorant, toothpaste, a plastic bag to put my make-up in to go through security and to mail my rent check.

Yeah. The day started off greeeeeaaaat.

Luckily, another train came quickly. I made it through security lickity split, without having to go through the backscatter. I met my traveling companion, Cindy, at the gate without any problems and we had plenty of time to get a bagel and latte, so I didn’t die of hunger on the 1.25 hour flight….

….to the John Wayne Airport in Orange County!

I had no idea he even had an airport!

I know that’s a lot of enthusiasm, considering how much I generally hate Southern California. I don’t mean any offense to you guys down south….I’m just a bay area kind of girl. Everything down there is so spread out. I hate driving. I don’t like the weather. It’s just not my thing. As a matter of fact, I have only been there twice in the last 13 years.  Truth.

All that being said, there are two things that will bring me down south.

1) Concerts.

2) DISNEYLAND!!!

Last weekend, I hit up both. And it was sweet.

The concert was on Saturday, so we decided to head to the “Happiest Place on Earth” right after we found me a post office so I could mail my rent check away.

While we had discussed potentially going to California Adventure (the other Disney park, which neither of us had ever been to) and Disneyland, we realized we were only going to have time for one park. When faced with that kind of decision, especially at Christmas, there is no choice.

It had to be Disneyland.

What? Disneyland? Hooray!

While I did visit Tokyo Disneyland in 2008, this was my first time at the original in Anaheim since 1998. I was excited to see what had changed in the last twelve years. I would find some things had, in fact, changed. Some things, however, were the same as always.

Sounds good to me!

When we first entered, we were confronted immediately by the Christmas parade. We had a hard time watching much of it, as most people were already lined up in the parade sections of Main Street, and the Disney employees were keeping the walkways clear. We did manage to get a couple glimpses of what was going on, however.

Santa! Santa! I want a pony!

(Or a DSLR camera!)

One problem with the reindeer for me was the fact that I had just watched the “Holiday Hell” episode of  the History Channel’s “Life After People” the night before the trip on Netflix. They explained that the domesticated reindeer would join their cousins, the caribou (apparently, they’re the same species) after people. This would work out fine for a while, but since the reindeer and caribou calve about a month apart, the reindeer would wind up falling behind, thus making them easy prey.

That’s right. Dancer and Prancer are going to be eaten by wolves. Merry Christmas.

ANYWAY….on to something more cheerful….

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, where no one is ever eaten by wolves!

(Disney should hire me for their marketing department…)

Cindy and I did the most we could during our time at the park. Since we only had a half day, we couldn’t fit in everything. We started with Pirates of the Caribbean, which was fun, as when I was here last the movies hadn’t been thought of yet. It’s neat to see how they threw Johnny Depp as “Jack Sparrow” into the already existent ride. Sure, I had already went on a Depp-ed out version of the ride in Tokyo, but nothing is ever official until you do it at the original park.

I’m a purist.

We got a Fast Pass for Space Mountain and then rode a few other things. One of these, being the Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion has always been my favorite ride in the park, and I usually go on it several times a visit (complete nerd, party of one…). I had never been to Disney at Christmas time, however, so I hadn’t been prepared for this:

What is that, you ask? It’s the Haunted Mansion…except during the Christmas months, they apparently turn it into a “Nightmare Before Christmas” ride. Now don’t get me wrong…I really like the movie….and the ride wasn’t all that bad. It was quite impressive the way they completely transformed the attraction. Thing is….it’s sort of my favorite ride….and I just wanted it to be the way it always is. Kind of disappointing.

I did like this scary Santa though.

Eventually we grew hungry for some lunch so we headed over to the “Pizza Port” and picked something up. Cindy and I both had salads, split some breadsticks and Cindy also had some water.

I sort of didn’t have water….I had…

Yeah. Way to eat healthy while on the road, Alexa. Good job. Oh well. It was delicious. The health fest continued when 5 hours later we returned for Pasta (Cindy) and a slice of pizza (me). Cindy once again rehydrated with a nice bottle of water.

I had a juice box.

Oy!

I’ve regressed into an elementary school kid!

During the second half of our Disney day, we rode Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Space Mountain, Madhatter’s Tea Party (Teacups), The Matterhorn, went to the Tiki Room (pineapple soft serve!!! so good!!!), watched Captain Eo (I hadn’t seen it in YEARS! Yay 1986 technology!!) and then finally we had to do what every Disney traveler never wants to do, but always HAS to do, because, well, it’s just necessary.

That’s right. We went on “It’s A Small World”

The ride we all love to hate.

The outside was pretty “blinged” out for Christmas time. Look how crazy all of those lights are! Cindy informed me that the ride had undergone a major renovation a couple of years ago. I didn’t exactly get to see the new stuff though, as it was made over for Christmas. This actually made the ride significantly more tolerable. Why? Because they don’t sing the song all of the way through! There are also verses of “Jingle Bells” and “Deck the Halls” thrown in there. Kind of neat and definitely better than the normal ride.

Come night time Cindy and I were pretty exhausted….and freezing. Seriously. 50 degrees in Southern California? What? We hadn’t brought the right clothes with us. After the evening fireworks spectacular (which was awesome!) and some quick shopping on Main Street, we headed back to the parking lot trams. I’d like to come again, when I have more time to explore both parks, but for now, this was good enough.

Have you ever been to a Disney theme park? Are you a fan, or do you think I’m a lunatic? It’s okay. You can be honest.

When we last left off, Maya and I were wandering around the Rockridge area, eating sandwiches and taking pictures of Great Harvest bread. Eventually, the sandwiches were consumed and the bread had been fully documented to our standards, so we decided to wander around. After all, we were paying over $7/each round trip in BART fares…might as well check out the sights!

We peered into windows and looked across the street. Maya noticed an antique shop she might want to peek into and then we saw it. A store that we of course could not walk past:

That’s right, a running shop!

The inside of the shop was full of running clothes, supplies and of course, shoes. It was also decorated with a border of racing bibs. That’s a lot of races represented there!

Maya was excited because they had Vibrams. While the barefoot running shoe isn’t a rarity in San Francisco these days, in Japan, they are much harder to come by. As she is interested in eventually investing in a pair, Maya knew she wanted to take this opportunity to try some on.

Since I wasn’t ready to jump into barefoot running, I decided to just be a spectator. I also attempted to document the experience, however it was difficult…she kept moving and my point and shoot Canon is really not all that forgiving when it comes to someone trying to wiggle into some Vibrams.

In the end, Maya decided that she was going to wait to buy a pair, but was glad she had the opportunity to try some on. This way, she will at least know what size to order online when she decides to make the purchase.

After a quick pit stop at Trader Joe’s, we boarded BART and headed back to the city. Once we arrived, we hung out at my apartment (which Maya had never seen before) for a couple of hours, sampling fudge and Great Harvest purchases. We also watched some “Flight of the Conchords” episodes. Darn those New Zealanders are funny!

Then we went to dinner.

That’s right…we ate MORE food!

One of Maya’s favorite restaurants is a place called 2223, located on Market Street. I went there for the first time with her and Eric (her BF) and their friend Renee (….and I think someone else, though I don’t remember who…) back in 2008 when Maya was home for her sister’s wedding. I really enjoyed it, so a few months later I took another friend there for their “$12 Tuesdays” menu.

I had suggested that since it was Tuesday, we hit up 2223 for the $12 Tuesday deal. Practically the same group showed up this go around: Maya, Eric, Renee, her boyfriend and myself. When we arrived and took in the $12 menu, it seemed that the entire thing was comprised of Thanksgiving leftovers….almost all turkey dishes!

This was fine with me. After all, I had missed out on Thanksgiving turkey this year, given my unorthodox holiday plans.

I wound up with one of their signature cocktails and the Turkey Enchilada Plate. You’ll have to excuse the poor photos…even with me adjusting the ISO level, my camera could simply not compete with 2223’s low lighting.

This meal was delicious!

We also shared two desserts amongst the five of us. A berry cobbler and a Pumpkin Cake, both were served with Mitchell’s ice cream. A-maz-ing!

After dinner we all said our goodbyes, as we knew it was unlikely we would see each other again before Maya and Eric returned to Japan. Renee offered me a ride home, but I declined, knowing that I definitely needed to walk home…I was stuffed!

What are your favorite things to do when friends are in town?

Wow! I’ve had a crazy busy week!

While I’ve missed blogging quite a bit, I’ve had a great time hanging out with friends and seeing concerts.

Before I leap back into things, I just wanted to thank Kylie, Alvin and Sarah for contributing guest posts while I was away this past weekend. Really, it was so helpful. Thanks guys!

Now that I’m back, I need to let you in on all of the things that have been going on this last week. The first up, being Maya’s visit from Japan. As you know, I spent the Saturday before last at her parent’s home partaking in Belizean cuisine. In addition to that evening we also ran the Run Wild for a Child 5K the next morning. While I will certainly tell you all about the 5K, I first thought I’d talk about what we did on Tuesday.

As both of us were free, we decided to spend Tuesday hanging out. I got off to a stressful start, as I had to do laundry and clean up my apartment as it was the only day off before I went on my trip. Due to this, we ended up meeting later than planned. We still managed to get in a fair bit of fun just the same. We started off, of course, at the Ferry Building.

bluebottlelatte

We all know what this is.

After we got some coffee we wandered around the Tuesday farmer’s market. If you followed the posts of any of the bloggers that attended Food Buzz, you probably know all about the Ferry Building’s farmer’s market. It’s pretty amazing. The bloggers all showed you what the Saturday market is like. The Saturday market is the BIG market. It has the most vendors present and there’s much more to see, buy and sample. I can never make it to the Saturday markets, however, because I work Saturday mornings. Instead, I often hit up the Tuesday or Thursday lunch time markets.

We ate about a billion samples of almonds and various nut brittles from the G. L. Alfieri Farms stand. Seriously. My favorite stand at the farmer’s market, hands down. We pretty much spent all of our market money right there. Maya bought tons of brittle for both her own stash and I would assume also as omiyage. We also bought a container of fudge to split. I don’t remember specifically the flavor…I’m thinking it was a vanilla mocha? I didn’t keep the packaging when I divvied it up. Just know that it tasted like coffee and was (and still is, as I still have a bit…) unbelievably delicious.

After some shopping around at the jewelry stands, we hopped on BART and headed to Oakland. Why, you ask? To go to the Bay Area’s only Great Harvest location!

Both Maya and I have read a lot about Great Harvest breads, most notably on KERF, but on the blogs of many others as well. Since I had just recently discovered that there was in fact a location nearby, I proposed it as an outing we could do together while she was in town. I had never been to this part of Oakland before, so I was hoping it would be easy to locate the bakery from the Rockridge BART station. It turned out to be really easy. Less than a 5 minute walk and we were there.

greatharvestbuilding ghsign

ghoutside ghsign2

ghsign3

Once we were inside we sort of stood there overwhelmed for a moment. Does that ever happen to you? It happens to me all of the time. I go into a restaurant, store or whatever for the first time and once I see the menu I just stand there trying to take everything in. I want to make the right purchases. I want to get the most out of whatever experience I’m having. In this case, I wanted to make sure I picked up the right selection of bread, since I don’t come to the east bay all that often.

After the initial freeze passed, we decided to order half sandwiches. We figured that each of us would get a different sandwich and then we would split them, each of us getting a quarter of each type. A few moments of indecision and then we placed orders for 1/2 a chicken salad sandwich on Dakota and a turkey sandwich on Honey Whole Wheat.

turkeysandbetter

chickensaladsand

They looked so pretty that we had to take lots of pictures of them. And each other.

foodphotos

Then it was time to split the sandwiches. We didn’t have a knife, nor were either of inclined to go inside and ask for one. I should have never been responsible for the division of these sandwiches….

sands

Ooops. Not so pretty anymore!

In addition to picking up lunch, we also decided to buy some bread. I chose a loaf of Brown Bread and a loaf of Dakota. Maya and I  sampled a couple of different breads….I believe Cinnamon Chip and Spelt. Both were excellent. She decided to pick up a loaf of Cinnamon Chip for her family to potentially use for french toast. She was interested in the Dakota as well, but since she was leaving for Wisconsin for a couple of days and then after that she would be heading back to Japan, it didn’t seem practical for her to buy a loaf for herself.

foodphotos2 funnyface

Bloggers are funny. They take pictures of bread. And make funny faces.

(sorry, Maya.)

All in all, I think Great Harvest bread is pretty darned tasty. It’s dense (the bag with just the two loaves I bought was HEAVY), filling and flavorful. We both liked the Dakota best out of what I purchased…though after a couple more sandwiches, I’ve grown attached to the brown as well. I could definitely see myself heading across the bay once in awhile to pick up a loaf or two.

Believe it or not, this wasn’t even the end of our day! But I think I’ve covered enough for now.

What’s your favorite type of bread?

There is something to be said for easy going days.

I had a rather emotional Friday. No need to go into details…and everything has worked itself out, but by the time I climbed into bed, I was toast.

Luckily, Saturday was stress free. I had an ordinary day at work with an ordinary lunch from Subway.

Toasted Roast Beef on Honey Oat. Swiss cheese. Deli mustard. All veggies except for banana peppers and jalapenos. Baked Lays. CSA apple.

After work I went to Starbucks for the second time that day. The first trip I got a Grande Nonfat Misto with 1 pump of Pumpkin Spice Syrup. I really liked that combination….not as damaging as a Pumpkin Spice Latte, yet still with a bit of a seasonal feel. I also got an Egg White, Spinach and Feta Wrap. The second trip to Starbucks I tried a tall Eggnog Misto. I typically hate eggnog, as I find it too rich and sweet. I had curiosities about what it would taste like mixed 1:1 with coffee….I kind of liked it!

(Sorry there are no Starbucks pictures, but, well, you know what Starbucks red cups and wraps look like…it was raining…)

While waiting for my Eggnog Misto, my phone rang and Maya informed me that she and her family were heading back into the city. After a bit of back and forth, it was decided that I would head to Glen Park BART station and they would fetch me from there. Fetch me for what, you ask?

For dinner, of course.

I have known Maya since I was 12 (well, there is a debate about this…I claim that I met her when I was in 7th grade and she was in 8th….she claims it was the school year before. In either case, it was the early-mid 90s and a long time ago!). We went to the same middle school, high school, junior college and university. We have spent a lot of time together over the years and when we were younger, I spent a lot of time at her house.

For some reason, when you are a kid, it is always best to stay at someone else’s house. Truth.

Anyway, despite the massive amounts of time I spent with her while growing up, I’ve never eaten her father’s cooking. It seems amazing that I managed not to. I’ve heard tell of these things called “fry jacks” for years. You see, Maya’s father is from Belize and fry jacks are a staple of Belizean cuisine. It’s essentially fried dough….Maya’s mom pointed out its similarities to Native American Fry Bread…and various Latin American countries have a version.

Since Maya was in the country (she now resides in Tokyo), her Dad was frying up a batch, so Maya suggested that I come over and partake.

Since the alternative was me cooking, I  decided to go for it.

Well, I wanted to see my friend too, of course.

So here come the fry jacks. My pictures aren’t too good, but I assure you that the meal was quite delicious.

Bowl full of fry jacks. There were plain ones (which is traditional) and the ones right in front were filled with cheese. Let’s face it, I liked the plain ones, but I really liked the cheese ones. Maya’s mom believes that she and Maya’s dad created them. She told Maya to Google it. I chose not to Google it, as I don’t really care either way. I just want to eat them!

We also had beans. My bowl presentation is a little messy, but you know, I was too preoccupied with the thought of food consumption to care.

This picture is hideously dark. Sorry.

Cheese fry jack, beans and a cabbage…slaw? Don’t remember what they called it.

An incredibly tasty night. Hooray for a day that wasn’t stressful. Finally!

What did you do on Saturday?

Edited to add: Just read on a website that the plural of Fry Jack is Fry Jack….so, I would go and correct all of those Fry Jacks…but it’s even in the title. So. Um. Oops.

I know all of you are busy catching up on all of the amazing Thanksgiving dinner posts that are out there.

I didn’t have Thanksgiving dinner.

(but they all look delicious and I am super jealous of you all.)

Since my family wasn’t really having a Thanksgiving dinner this year and because I didn’t have to work, I wound up having an untraditional holiday. My co-worker and I went to the race track.

The two of us are definitely gamblers at heart. We usually go to Nevada twice a year, but due to financial struggles, we missed out this fall. Whenever we pass Golden Gate Fields on our way back from Reno there is always a “We should go there sometime!” conversation, but as our work schedules conflict with race days, we’ve never been able to. Luckily, this year we both had Thanksgiving off and nothing to do. The plan was to get up and have him pick me up at my place at the same time we normally head for work.

Being tired and hungry when Thanksgiving morning came, we decided to stop off at a local 24 hour diner, The Lucky Penny, for breakfast before we headed across the bay.

coffee

I started off with coffee+cream. I don’t normally use cream in my coffee, but this cup wasn’t overly flavorful, so I indulged.

My friend Peter and I discussed what to have for breakfast. We both were in the mood for a typical eggs, pancakes and meat meal. There is one meal that comes with regular sized pancakes and another that comes with silver dollar sized ones. Recalling that the pancakes are normally the size of our heads, we opted to get the silver dollar sized meal. It wound up being gigantic.

morningspecial

Why yes, I would like some food with my butter…..yikes….

With our bellies full of reasonably tasty diner food, we hopped onto the freeway and made our way towards the ponies.

golden

Once we got there, it was time to figure out how to make this outing a little “interesting”. Peter had been horse racing before, but it was my first time. He had planned to show me the ropes, but as it turned out, it had all become digitized since the last time he had been….he didn’t know any more than I did! I guess we’re dumb, or something, but it took us nearly an hour to figure out how to place bets using the machines. Aren’t we a sorry pair? Luckily, we did eventually figure it out. Heck, by the end, we were old pros.

bets2 bet

Don’t worry. In all of the other races, I was betting $2….I just got a little excited with that first race…cough…

Once our bets for the first race or two were in, we wandered around the various areas in the spectators sections of the track. It was a fairly nice day outside. Clear and crisp.

ggfields

ggfields2

The problem was that it was also freezing. I don’t think it really got up past 45 degrees while we were there. After looking around a bit, we decided to get some coffee to warm up our hands.

cappuchino

I decided on a “cappuccino”. It came from a hot chocolate machine, cost $3.50 and tasted nothing like a cappuccino. It was warm though.

After putzing around, it was finally time for our race day to begin. I watched them set up the gates…large tractor like vehicles kept moving them around the track depending on what distance each individual race was. Interesting.

gates gates2

Eventually, there were horses.

raceprep

prance

They sort of mill around and do a stroll around the track before it is time for them to enter the gates. I made many attempts to get pictures of the race, but it all happens so fast. Never really got a good shot. Did get a few nice pictures of horses though.

horsewinner2 horsewinner

Number 2 was the winner. Those people had “sponsored” that particular race and they got to take a professional picture with the winner.

At some point our greasy spoon breakfast started to wear off and we went in search of a snack. Our options were limited. There aren’t that many concessions choices, plus not all of them were even open due to the holiday and its low attendance. Peter really likes peanuts, so we wound up with a bag of those. We almost killed the whole bag.

peanutsbag

insidepeanuts    peanutshells

Then we resumed looking at the horses.

horses4

Number 3 was my choice for a winner. Came in 3rd. Oops.

horsenumber3

Overall, I had a good time, but unfortunately, we learned that neither Peter nor I have the gift. We only won $2.60 a piece. We spent MUCH more than that. Fun is great, but I sure wish my wallet didn’t look like this:

emptywallet

Ouch.

What did you do for Thanksgiving? Ever been to the race track?

As I mentioned in one of my early blog posts, I grow very tired of people deciding that I am a tomboy and not like other women my age. Any of the people who have been forced to suffer through my crying or crazy hormone driven rants can tell you that I am a lot more girly than I appear on first sight.

For instance, I love purses.

No really, I love them.

About two years ago I bought a Coach purse on eBay. I love that purse with every fiber of my being. Perhaps more than I even love my cat. Okay. Not really that much…but I do like it a lot. Due to my deep rooted affection for my first Coach item, I was absolutely devastated when I learned that it had developed some thread-bare spots. I mean, sure, the bag was still wearable, but it certainly is looking tired from overuse and I knew it was time to go shopping.

So I called up Florence, queen of the outlet shoppers.

The girl has purses. Apparently, a lot of them.

She told me on the car ride to the mall that she had been considering just giving me one of her purses since she had so many!

It was a generous offer, but I really wanted to shop….I had the itch.

Outlet shopping is insane. People run around, nineteen purses attached to their arms and really, they looked mean. I like purses, but I’m not going to tackle you for one. These women would kill you for a wristlet.

I’m not even joking.

It’s really easy to get sucked into their world though. Before long, I started to look just like them:

149802_703533476228_11707689_38908614_6974715_n

I really do look like them…I even have a Paul Frank iPhone cover….

Don’t freak out too much guys. While I certainly could have picked out three purses just for myself, I went in only for one. The other purses were for my mom and sister. On my way out of the house yesterday morning, I e-mailed my sister and asked her if she would be interested in a Coach purse for Christmas, since I was going to the store and I have no idea what to get her this year. She seemed eager, as I don’t think she’s gotten a new purse in quite some time. The problem with the whole plan, I learned, was that while I know my style well, I don’t know my sister’s style at all. I picked out my purse in about 5 minutes (it’s the one on my shoulder in the left of the above picture), but it took me nearly an hour of pacing around the store to figure out what to do for my sister.

I really didn’t want to be the bearer of a crappy present that she hated, so I finally just decided that the best course of action would be to take pictures of purses, e-mail them to her and then have her pick out her Christmas present. It seemed simple enough.

photo 1 photo 2

photo 5 photo 3

photo 4photo(5)

photo(4)

Unfortunately, she kept getting sidetracked.

“Oh! Is that you wearing jewelry?! Oh…no…it’s your friend. This is so cool…it’s like we’re on a virtual shopping trip together! Yay!”

Okay. Really. Tell me what purse you want so I can buy it already!

Eventually we got it all figured out.

My sister got the purple bag.

IMG_2815

My mom got the brown leather one. I know. It looks black. A better shot of it is above.

IMG_2820

I got the cute mini messenger bag:

IMG_2807

IMG_2806

IMG_2810

I love being a girl. And buying purses!

If all of that purse love wasn’t enough, my friend Florence felt bad that she had missed my birthday and she bought me a gift while we were at the store. She said she could tell I was enjoying myself and that I would appreciate something else.

IMG_2823 IMG_2824

IMG_2829

IMG_2826 IMG_2831

I love wristlets!

(I really need better lighting in my house…my purse photo shoot does these beauties no justice!)

While we were at the mall we decided to grab a food court lunch. We both wound up getting beef bowls at the Korean BBQ stand:

IMG_2800

I also got a tea:

IMG_2801

It was kind of too sweet for my taste, but I drank it anyway. I was thirsty.

We shopped for a couple more hours and then Flo decided to take me to her favorite FroYo place. I never turn down a chance to eat frozen yogurt, so I let her lead the way. The place was called “Blush” and it is in a shopping center near her house. I sampled the Pumpkin and Blush (pomegranate + dragon fruit) flavors before settling on the Blush. It was one of the best froyo flavors I’ve ever tasted. They have a menu item called a “Blush Parfait”, which is blush froyo, granola and two fruits of your choice. Both of us decided to get that as our dessert for the evening.

IMG_2803

IMG_2802

Holy moly that was a lot of dessert!

I got raspberries and blackberries as my fruit, Florence got raspberries and pomegranate arils.

After dessert Florence drove me back to Dublin/Pleasanton BART and I headed back into the city. It was so fun to have a girls day out and we vowed to go outlet shopping again soon.

If I had it my way, I’d go today!

Is there any particular clothing item or accessory that you go nuts over? Or do you hate shopping?