Summer Diaries: Skydiving

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Skydiving has always been waiting on my bucket list ‘cause no one wanted to go with me. Pfffft. So imagine how happy I was when my friend told me she wanted to do it for her birthday in August. Channeling my inner Katniss Everdeen, I said, “I volunteer.” Lol. We were supposed to do it on her birth month, but because I’m as impatient as you could imagine, and something was telling me to just do it, I finally did it.

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On a Thursday morning, I called up Skydive Taft to make a reservation for Friday. It was quick. Next thing I know was I was screaming of excitement for the next day. My best friend agreed to go there with me for support, provided she will not jump. Hehe, I don’t know if she did the purpose ‘cause during the whole drive to Taft, she’s been scaring me.. But to no effect. Sorry, Myz!

As soon as I got there, I signed my life away. Seriously! The waiver says that no matter what happens, it’s gonna be my fault. Scaryyyy, huh? But just think that the instructors do it every day of their lives, and they’re still alive. Lol. Besides, you’re gonna die anyway, why not make life worth it? 

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Afterwards, they took my weight (or mass, lol), and checked my ID (You should be over 18). In a few minutes, my instructor called my name, put my harness on, and explained to me what I was supposed to do. His instructions were just enough to make the most of the experience, but not enough that it made me panic. 

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In another minute, we’re already boarding the plane. Yay! The plane took off, and we started jumping off at 13,500 ft.

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We free fell for about 60 seconds, and at 5,000 ft., my instructor deployed the parachute. We did some flips, which were my favorite part overall. 

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When we landed, we were picked up by a small van that took us back to their office. I waited for the video and pictures that didn’t take too long. I’ve read a lot of reviews that says it can take you hours even before you jump, but the whole process was super quick! Plus the staff was nice, so my overall experience was great. 

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Was I scared? Honestly (and proudly), no. I was calm. But when we got in the plane, and started to take off, I got a tiny bit nervous. But I was still more excited. 

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Do people go there alone? Yes. Before, when I thought no one would go skydiving with me, I kind of felt intimidated by the idea of going to the airport without any friends to skydive with. But when I got there, there were some people other than me who were gonna do it alone. Besides, if you’re gonna do a tandem skydive jump, your instructor will definitely make you feel comfortable.

 

Tips? Expect that flying at 13,500 ft. from the ground, the pressure would definitely hurt your ears. That’s the only bad part of my whole experience. You might be allowed to wear your own earplugs, so bring a pair for yourself! Bring extra clothes (especially pants or shorts). You’re gonna land on the ground with your butt, so your pants might get dirty. Other than those, just wear comfy clothes, and you’re good.

Was it worth it? Hell yeah! And I would definitely do it again. If only it wasn’t that expensive (at least for me), I’d get myself a license. Someday, someday..

The feeling you get from flying is just the best. Would you ever go skydiving? Let me know in the comments!


Skydive Taft is located at 500 Airport Rd, Taft, CA 93268

Summer Diaries: Disneyland

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I could go on and on for days telling you what I love about L.A. And surely on top of my list is Disneyland! It just never gets old. It makes you forget how old you are, and just go back to childhood once you enter the gates of the happiest place on earth! Is it evident from my smile on that picture? Lol.

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On the first day of my sweet little summer break, I spent the whole time with two of my friends at Disneyland. We’ve all gone before, but since it was Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, we decided to check out Disneyland’s diamond celebration.

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We arrived hungry, so we started munching on treats. My favorite was the raspberry macaron. It was reaaaally yummy! And who can resist these cute pastries anyway? You can buy them at the Jolly Holiday Bakery in Main Street.

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Fancy something to quench your thirst? The Dole whip is for you! Soft serves and floats are sold at the Tiki Juice Bar in Frontierland.

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We didn’t have enough time to ride a lot of the attractions, so we just tried the ones we haven’t done before like the Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Star Tours, and Matterhorn Bobsleds, where we screamed our lungs out. Lol.

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We had dinner at New Orleans Café, ’cause we wanted to try the Mickey beignets. Other than that, we shared a bowl of gumbo, and the Monte Cristo sandwich, which were both good, especially the former.

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Café Orleans is located in New Orleans Square. There can be a wait of a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes, but you can always make a reservation ahead of time.

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Later on, all the people were getting ready to watch the parade and the fireworks. It was already crowded in front of the Sleeping Beauty Castle, but I insisted to try to find a place there, and luckily we did!

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The fireworks display was perfect and magical. It’s always my most awaited and favorite part when visiting the ‘Land. I felt like a kid once again. What’s your favorite part of Disneyland?

Hmmmm, now I’m craving for a new adventure.. Stay tuned for my next Summer Diaries post. 😉

Best Brunch Spots in Los Angeles

Best Brunch Spots in Los Angeles

We all need a sweet little redemption after a whole week of work or school– some time to zone out of the busy world before you start yet again another busy week, or simply a lazy morning to chit-chat with friends while having your own time to enjoy a hearty brunch. If you feel like having something that will fuel you up for the week, or if you wanna eat some sweets just because you can, I got you six of the best brunch spots around LA that should be your next weekender!

Urth Caffé

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My personal favorite on the list. I keep coming back for the D’Lox pizza, and their pesto mac and cheese. It’s not on the menu, but you can order the kid’s meal mac and cheese, and request to add pesto sauce and chicken in it. They also carry decadent cheesecakes. So good! Most of their drinks are organic, and I personally like their Spanish latte. On peak hours, the café could be quite busy, and you can see the customers pile up. But the service is good, so as their ordering system, so you’re not gonna be waiting to be seated for long.

  • 267 S Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90212
  • 8565 Melrose Ave, West Hollywood, CA 90069
  • 2327 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90405
  • 451 S Hewitt St., Los Angeles, CA 90013
  • 594 E Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, CA 91101

Flappy Jack’s Pancake House

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This is one of LA’s hidden gem. Located in Route 66, in the city of Glendora, this homely diner offers a huge selection of brunch items from pancakes, to skillets, to steak & eggs, or whatever tickles your fancy. There’s always a long wait, so you might wanna come early to get a table right away. Try their southwest chicken wrap if you want something savory. Or if you’re craving for sweets, you’ll never go wrong with their pancakes or stuffed French toasts! Portions are huge, and price is totally reasonable. Also, the service is excellent, so it’s always an overall good brunch choice. 640 W Rt 66, Glendora, CA 91740.

Malibu Cafe

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This open air restaurant just a few minutes drive from the beach is a good spot to enjoy the breeze in the morning. Well, maybe not if you’re afraid of chickens- they tend to lounge around the area. However, if you enjoy being outdoors during a Sunday brunch, this is the place to be! Their decors bring out a pleasant atmosphere. I’ve only tried their sandwiches which were good, but it is known that their chicken and waffles is a must-try! They also have a full bar if that’s how you do brunch.

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After your meal, don’t forget to take a walk around the area, and try some activities like paddle boating (for free!), or just take pictures. 327 Latigo Canyon Rd, Malibu, CA 90265.

Original Pancake House

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Located in Redondo Beach, this pancake house is nothing like your ordinary IHOP. There’s a huge selection of pancakes, and the pancakes are the perfect kind of soft and fluffy, just the way you’ll like it. Try the Dutch baby pancakes, or the apple pancakes if you’re looking to try something new. Or go with the strawberry or chocolate chip pancakes if you don’t wanna go too much out of your way. Either way, they won’t disappoint. Portions are huge, so make sure you still have room for more of their items. The corned beef hash is also must-try. 1756 S Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.

Bottega Louie

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This fancy restaurant in Downtown L.A. is a local favorite. Everyone just loves this place. Their carefully designed French pastries seen from the outside would definitely invite you in to dine for brunch. Parking can be a bit of a hassle (It’s downtown!), but if you come early in the morning, metered street parking is always available. Or if you’re just not lucky enough, there are garage parking structures around the restaurant.

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Order the smoked salmon eggs benedict, and/or their burrata pizza. And what better way to end the meal than with a good dessert? Try their signature chocolate soufflé, it’s divine! Or just take out a few pieces of their macarons.

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700 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Café Maji

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This cafe totally screams kawaii! If you’re brunching here, you’ll surely gonna want to Instagram your Insta-worthy food! This brunch spot in Arcadia is oddly located in the upper level of a fitness club. But other than that, the food totally hits the spot. They have sandwiches, waffles, and all sorts of coffee for your caffeine fix! But my favorite from the menu is the snow affogato.

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The snow affogato is vanilla ice cream topped with cotton candy and served with a shot of espresso on the side. You pour it over the cotton candy and watch it dissolve over your ice cream. Sounds too sweet? Well, not for me! I mean.. whoever came up with this is a genius! Just awesome. 56 E Duarte Rd, Arcadia, CA 91006.


Ahhh, now who isn’t hungry from reading that? What’s your go to brunch spot?

Three Different Views of the Manhattan Skyline

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One of New York’s signature is the stunning skyline of Manhattan- be it at night when the buildings light up the dark, or in the morning with the view of the city’s busy streets. But wondering where to see and snap a picture of that Instagram worthy skyline? I got three different places where you should be!

1. Empire State Building Observation Deck

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On top of the list is the Big Apple’s most iconic building.. You can never go wrong with it! This skyscraper located on Fifth Avenue offers tourists a spectacular view of the city. Be prepared ’cause a lot of tourists go up during the day! Come at early morning for less busy hours, or at night and watch the city lights twinkle in the dark. Admissions start at $32.

Oh, and by the way, on special occasions or holidays, they light up the exterior of the building with different colors, so you might wanna watch out for that too!

2. Top of The Rock

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Located in Rockefeller Center, Top of The Rock offers pretty much the same thing as the Empire State Building.. Except it’s better! The three-story observation deck gives you a view of the city, with the Empire State Building! That’s one thing the Empire State Building obviously cannot give you! Lol. Not to mention it’s less crowded than #1, you also get a better value for $30!

3. Roosevelt Island Tramway

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A little less known than the first two on the list, yet the tram gives you a unique experience to see Manhattan. You get an aerial view of the city, and you can hop off to enjoy the quieter side of NYC.. Bingo!

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Bring with you a good photographer! My best friend, Mariel, took that picture of me.

Did I mention that with your MetroCard, a roundtrip ride is only $5? You’re welcome! The Manhattan station is located at 2nd Ave, between 59th and 60th Street.


Which among the three would you wanna go up first? Let me know in the comments!

Best of New York on a Budget

My bucket list has a long list of travel destinations, and one of them was New York. It’s the city where food, fashion, and art meet. But being the Big Apple as it is, it can pretty much break your savings.. That’s if you don’t plan ahead! Tourists can still experience NYC without breaking the bank. Here’s a guide to the bests of the city while on a budget:

1. Take the train or subway

Skip the infamous yellow cabs. Taking the subway is the easiest way to get around. It can get pretty confusing which train to get into, and where to hop off. But in a little while, you’ll get the hang of it. After all, New York is known for its subway system, and you’ve never been to New York without getting on the subway!

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A single ride ticket costs $3, however you get more value if you buy the MetroCard and just load it through their vending machines as you ride. You can also get an unlimited ride MetroCard that’s good for seven days for $31. Check out mta.info to know more.

2. Walk

Obviously, the cheapest way to see the city. You can just walk around and admire its beauty. Stop by once in a while and take pictures! If it’s your first time in the city, you won’t even notice how far you’ve gone! Trust me, it’s that pretty.

3. See the Statue of Liberty

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You don’t wanna see the Lady Liberty. You need to see it! Because why not? Staten Island Ferry gives free ferry rides to get up close to the Statue of Liberty. See http://www.siferry.com/schedules.html to see the schedule.

4. Get a pizza

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Hungry yet?

You should try NY Pizza Suprema in Midtown. A good slice just costs around $5.

Or if you’re on a tight budget… Once you see a flashing sign of “99c Fresh Pizza”, don’t ask, just get in that store, and feed yourself a slice, or two. I won’t judge!

5. Free Attractions

New York can be overly expensive if you wanna get in every museum and broadway shows. But if you plan ahead, you can score cheap, or better- free entry to different kinds of attractions. Most museums have free days, or have some sort of pay-what-you-want hours. While you can score discounts from broadwaybox.com on some broadway shows.

6. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

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The Brooklyn Bridge is famous for its history, and for being the longest suspension bridge when it was built. It also connects Manhattan and Brooklyn. Walk or bike through the bridge and witness its beauty! Bike rentals start at $7.

7. Get a cheesecake

Once you get through the Brooklyn Bridge and step into the streets of Brooklyn, head over to Junior’s and reward yourself some New York cheesecake! It’s one of the three locations in the city. Not only is the cheesecake divine, but the service is great. A slice of cheesecake is only $8!

8. Grand Central Terminal

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If you’re a fan of Gossip Girl as I am, you’ll definitely wanna hop off the S train at Grand Central. And if you’re not, well, you still should. Lol. Admire its architecture, people watch- observe the locals, shop at the market, see the train miniatures at the New York Transit Museum (free admission). Just go!

9. Halal Guys

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This is definitely one of my favorites in New York, just ’cause we don’t have it yet in the West Coast. At $7, you get a full bowl of chicken (or whatever kind of meat you want) and rice with their signature sauce. It’s delicious. (Can’t wait til they open their branch here in SoCal.)

10. Times Square

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The most touristy place to be on the list. One of the city’s busiest place. Tourists flock off to this square because of street performers, flashy electronic billboards, and has been mostly used as a movie location.

Any other ideas to save money while in NYC? Let me know, and comment below!