Farewell, Gap!

August 15, 2017

Today was my last day at Gap Factory. Handing in my badge and laptop was a very bittersweet moment. While I am so grateful and fortunate for the experience, I’m very sad that this is the end. Scratch that, it’s not entirely the end (c’mon pessimistic self), it’s actually the beginning of a new chapter.

This experience has been nothing but positive. I’m so grateful for the people I’ve met and the opportunities that were given that sometimes I forget how lucky I am. To find a job right out of college that I not only love, but found a passion/calling is almost unheard of these days. And on top of that, to work at a company I’ve admired for so long in an industry I’ve dreamed working in my entire life is just icing on the cake. So you can see why it must’ve been hard for me to leave, a literal, dream come true.

However, all good things must come to an end and my time at Gap Factory is just the beginning of an exciting journey. As a college graduate who majored in marketing, I didn’t even know what to expect when I entered the working/corporate world. I mean, I didn’t even know there was a such thing as a “copywriter”, but man am I glad I discovered, became, and learned this profession with the guidance of such an amazing mentor and team. I always knew I was good at writing–in middle school I won a few creative writing contests, was known by my peers for my novel writing, and even predicted by my 8th grade teacher to be a fashion magazine editor–I just didn’t know I could make a profession out of it. My mom mentioned to me in high school that I would be good at marketing, but honestly, I didn’t know what the hell that meant. High school also kinda destroyed any love I had for writing or english because, let’s be honest, my high school was competitive AF and any sort of creativity was wiped out in fear of getting a bad grade.

Come college I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do business because that’s the industry both my parents are in. I knew I wanted to do marketing because apparently I was good at it, and it was more of the creative aspect of business. So I took a lot of business classes with the thought or hope that I was going to be on the production side, maybe social media, but something that I would maybe enjoy. But, the stars somehow aligned and the universe presented me with the opportunity to be a junior copywriter and I found myself in my dream job that I never thought was possible. This is all thanks to my mentor, Alex, who believed in my writing and potential more than I even did. She showed me the beauty in storytelling and allowed for my creative juices be heard. Without her, I wouldn’t have rediscovered my love for writing or even the possibility that I could make a career out of it.

Sooo…what does the future hold?

Well, starting September 5th, I’ll be on my way to Southeast Asia, where I’ll be backpacking solo for 3 months. I figure, the time is now, I have some experience under my belt for when I want to jump back into job-hunting and working in the corporate world. Traveling is definitely very important to me, and I’ll regret not making the leap if I pass this experience up. When I return I hope to be in a copywriter position again, at a company similar to Gap (hopefully in the Gap Inc. family because I do love this company) or a fashion-related industry. I want to strengthen and refine my writing skills, since I didn’t take any writing courses in college, and take my copywriting profession seriously. I want to move out of my mom’s tiny one-bedroom apartment and finally get my own place. I have so many goals that I want to achieve, and I’m excited to say this is just the beginning.

So, thank you to everyone who’s made my time at Gap a memorable and amazing experience. I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me. If you want to know how my trip is going, please subscribe to my blog or check back regularly! I would love to share my first, long, solo backpacking journey with all of you!

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Costa Rica (late, late, late post)

April 25, 2017

Wow it’s already April and I haven’t written a blog post since November. Which, I should have because I visited another country that month! This time I decided to dabble in Central America with my boyfriend. We flew into Liberia Airport in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica. After being re-inspired by reading my blog posts from my Europe travels, I decided again to tell you about my amazing trip to Latin America.

Thursday, Nov 3

Today would be a day of constant travel. Our first flight was to LAX, where we would catch another flight to Liberia. Nothing newsworthy went on during our flight other than EFF AIRPORT FOOD. I’m starting to learn how to travel smart and that means downloading movies to my iPad ahead of time, since Southwest doesn’t have any person TV’s we’re all used to in those luxury airlines. We arrived in Liberia around 9-10pm, they’re only an hour ahead. I arranged a taxi with my AirBnB host, which was nice actually since the hecklers outside of the airport were a bit intimidating and annoying, trying to probably scam us with a ride to our destination.

Our driver didn’t know much English, I tried to tell him “thank you for waiting” since our flight to Liberia was delayed a bit and we got there later than we’d hoped. All he could say in response to us was “pura vida”, that was the first time I would hear the Costa Rican infamous moto, but I was confused as to why he was saying it as a response. (Note: come to find out later, it can be used in response to things like “how are you” and is more of a term like “no problem” or “my pleasure”.) We were exhausted on our ride to our hotel but we couldn’t help but notice the Costa Rican driving: although it was dark, we saw that most of the main roads were only one way; if you were going slow you would be passed very quickly; Costa Rican drivers are really good at stopping on a dime and navigating their roads; the non-paved roads are very bumpy (since it’s the rainy season and littered with potholes); and these drivers are very confident even though it’s stormy as hell, hard to see, and rainy AF (that’s ‘as fuck’ if you’re an old fart reading this).

We finally got to the AirBnB (Hotel Mamiri) an hour later: the host was very gracious and stayed up even tho it was well passed 12am. Our BnB was nice with two stories and air conditioning. However, the boyfriend didn’t like it since the sheets were musty (a smell we could not escape since it seemed like they didn’t wash the sheets and since it’s always humid/damp in the tropics it probably wouldn’t be washed out) so we didn’t sleep in the sheets the whole time we stayed there–one, because it was hot, and two because the stench was really that bad.

Friday, Nov 4

We woke up super early today to meet our tour guide for our excursion. Randall from Shaman Tours greeted us bright and early at 6:30am (remind you, we probably went to bed at 1am) and informed us of the long trip to the Rincon de Vieja national park. This day was our activity day where we would be doing zip-lining, horseback riding, hot springs and innertubing down the river.

[Tip: We were recommended this tour company by a travel blog called MyTanFeet. If you ever go to Costa Rica, we definitely recommend checking out this blog & using this tour company. You can find reviews on Shaman here.]

First off, horseback riding. Luckily we just missed the rain, all that was left was a slight mist that eventually cleared up so we could see patches of sunlight! We had a relaxing horse ride in this national park that was absolutely beautiful. Everything is green and lush and just beautiful scenery. Our tour guide Randall was waiting for us at the end of our horseback ride to take us to our next activity which was INNER TUBING! This was quite awesome actually. We started off in this big group and were instructed to hold on and paddle when we get stuck–that was it in terms of instructions, the rest was up to the river to take us where we needed to go. It was probably the funnest activity, the rushing river took us on little rapids and waterfalls all while we looked up at the thick canopy of trees above us. When we got to the end, Randall yet again was waiting for us at the bottom and even helped carry my inner tube up the hill (A1 service if you ask me).

After our first two activities, it was lunch time. We were the first people to get to lunch and had a great table in the corner at the edge of the patio that overlooked their amazing property. We ate delicious “comida typica” or their traditional food of rice, beans, plantains and some sort of meat.

We then went zip lining through this lush, green forest and over ravines of water. It was such a cool experience. Randall also took us to a waterfall that was gushing with water (because it was the rainy season and had just rained). During the dry season, you can usually swim at the base, which we unfortunately couldn’t do.

Lastly, we finished our activity day at the hot springs. These natural hot springs are heated by the volcano and the pools are situated on the edge of a river. We took a mud bath that was heated by the volcano that was supposed to cleanse our skin. Overall it was very relaxing and extremely beautiful.

On our way home it was raining again. It took us over 2 hours to get back to Tamarindo and we were exhausted. Since it was raining and it gets darker earlier, we went to a delicious Mexican restaurant called Green Papaya, that had the most delicious enchiladas I ever had. We went back to our hotel and passed out.

Saturday, Nov 5

Today we slept in a little, woke up in time to have complimentary breakfast at our BnB. I had the breakfast tipica while JM had pancakes. We had to check out quite early but it was no problem since our other BnB has a flexible check-in time and was right around the corner. The Beach Bungalows was by far better than the first BnB, and it was so freaking adorable. We had our own bungalow (there were 5 all together on the property) with an open kitchen and pool in the middle.

Our host, Niko, was a Frenchman expat who decided to live in paradise with his wife and set up this beautiful bungalow BnB. Each bungalow had it’s own relaxation pad underneath the elevated living space, where you could sit on the lounge chair or hammock. He sat us down once we got there and gave us important information about Tamarindo, things we could do, places we could go and which restaurants were the best. It was superb hospitality right from the start.

After settling our luggage we grabbed some towels and headed to the infamous Tamarindo beach. The town we were staying at, Tamarindo, is famous for it’s beach. It’s good for surfing, swimming, relaxing…etc. There were a lot of restaurants that lined the beach–we ended up settling on one and relaxing on their beach chairs. Someone from inside gave us a menu and explained that all drinks were “buy one get one half off”, their “happy hour price” which is basically all day, every day. We hung out there for a little, played on the beach for a bit, then decided to check out the town, since we hadn’t really explore the place. Wanting a little snack, we settled on this cute plaza with cheap food & a pizzeria. Pizza sounded good (and we could split it), plus it was cheap.

After walking around for a bit, we just relaxed the rest of the day. We ate again at this restaurant called the Beach Shack or something like that, drank more and just absorbed the Tamarindo Town.

Sunday, Nov 6

Today we woke up, ate a great breakfast prepared by lovely Alice, one out of the two workers that worked at the BnB. She made us this delicious breakfast torta: egg on refried beans with salsa/tomato sauce over a fried tortilla. IT WAS AMAZING!! We had time to kill, so we went to the beach and wait for our sunset cruise, which would start at 1pm.

We met at the beach for our sunset cruise called Blue Dolphin Cruise. One couple that was staying at the same bungalows as us actually booked it for the same day & time as we did. They were a really sweet couple from the East Coast; the husband even offered us some coconut that he bought off a vendor on the beach. Once on the boat, we found out that one of the groups that took the same Rincon de Vieja adventure tour on the same day as us were also on the SAME sunset cruise. It was a great atmosphere. They played great music, had unlimited drinks (the dolphin especial was their house cocktail, I had about 6 of those) and brought us out to this amazing private cove. Once there, we could either take a kayak, stand up paddle board, or snorkel gear out to the “reef” area. I was a bit disappointed because it was pretty muggy out in the water and the guys were yelling at me to stay away from the rocks (the only area where there were actually fish). I had to assure them that I was a great swimmer and I could swim confidently. [Plus, I was in the don’t-give-an-eff mode since I was probably 4 cocktails in by this point].

After being docked for about an hour, we set back to Tamarindo. On our way back they had a buffet full of food where you could make tacos and nachos. I was so hungry too since I swam for a long ass time. I made friends with the group who also did the adventure tour the same day as us, and they were really nice people from Austin! As we were coming back, the Captain & crew started to salsa and play Latin music. Drunk me was having fun watching when the Captain grabbed me and started dancing with me. Drunk me didn’t know if I was in rhythm or really how to dance like that, but I obliged and tried to dance. The sun started to set and it was an amazing spectacle to see out on the water!

We said goodbye to our new friends, headed back to the BnB, took a nice warm shower and ate at our favorite place: the Green Papaya!

Monday, Nov 7

We booked a second day trip with the same tour company, Shaman Tours. Randall arrived at our bungalow bright and early (630am). Today we were doing the “Hanging Bridge Tour”, a hike/canopy tour of the amazing protected land of Tenorio national park. First off, we stopped at an amazing waterfall at Llanos de Cortes. We were the first people there (because it had to have been like 8am or so) and the only people there. The waterfall was gushing with rushing water because it was the rainy season. It was so perfect since it was quiet, pristine, and intimate!

We stayed for about an hour and were back on the road. It took us about another hour to reach the park. Randall was great, stopping at places to see if there were sloths/howler monkeys and grocery stores so we could get something to eat. Once we got to Tenorio Park itself, we realized it would be a relatively easy/short hike (which was so nice because at this point we were so tired from all our earlier activities). The park was beautiful & picturesque. What made it even more unique were these suspended hanging bridges, where we would be in the canopy, admiring the view. We didn’t see any animals unfortunately, but it was still so serene and beautiful.

Of course, my annoying-ass had to ask Randall if this was normal, not seeing any animals & all. So, he was determined to find me a sloth (or a monkey at least). On our way out of the park, Randall kept an eye out. He stopped at a tree on the side of the road where the slots normally “hang” out (hahah see what I did there). He took out his huge telescope and found us not only one, but two sloths on the tree!! I was so ecstatic to finally see a sloth, especially in the wild.

On our way back, we were given an option for lunch. It was either to go to a “Restaurante Tipico” where they serve authentic Costa Rican dishes OR to go to a Tilapia farm, catch our own fish, and have it fried fresh to eat. Our choice was obviously the tilapia farm (1, because we’re Filipino & can’t say no to fried fish and 2. who doesn’t wanna catch their own fish?!). Ok, so it wasn’t really that hard to catch a fish because you first would bait it in a small pool where they’re raised and then keep throwing in your line until you caught them. This particular fish farm was so adorable! It was family-owned with all generations in the house. We met a little boy named Ian, who was three years old. His mom was the cook and his older brothers were the waiters.

Randall accompanied us to lunch, he caught his own fish & everything. They asked us what kind of flavor I wanted for my smoothie (I got mango, obvi). The first course they brought out to us was this savory fried plantain cup filled with refried beans. IT WAS SO DELICIOUS! Then…our tilapia came out and HOLY EFF WAS IT AMAZING!! I wish I took a picture of it (I thought I did but I guess my camera wasn’t on all the way). I guess it’ll just stay ingrained in my memory forever.

Our bellies were full and we were headed back to Tamarindo. I was so freaking tired on the way home (plus a full-belly) that I kept falling asleep and snoring. JM had to bump me constantly bc my mouth was wide open & I looked like an obese, drunk man after a night at the bar. I’m not sure how we ended this night, but we probably drank again or just passed out really early because we were tired.

 

Tuesday, Nov 8

We woke up again for the delicious breakfast from Alice. The same couple that was on the sunset cruise with us were also eating breakfast. We chatted with them and they suggested we go to Playa Conchal (literally translates to Shell Beach). They said that the water over there was amazing, crystal blue like Hawaii, and they snorkeled and ate lobster prepared on the beach. It sounded great & our host, Niko, said that he could get us a cab there for cheap (which ended up not being as cheap…). We didn’t have anything planned that day so we decided to check it out.

We were dropped off on the beach and told the taxi driver to pick us up “a las cuatro”. We had the whole day to spend there, and it was so freaking beautiful. The water was turquoise blue and the beach was made out of millions of crushed shells (although later we come to find out that the WHOLE beach used to look like that but because of tourism & the gov’t deciding to use them for construction, only a tiny section of the beach is truly all made out of shells). The boyfriend & I set up camp under some trees for a free shady area–hecklers were asking if we wanted to rent chairs & umbrella for $20 the whole day, but we politely declined. The rest of the day we just hung out, went into the water, and literally soaked in the sun. We didn’t do much but we didn’t need to, we just relaxed and really absorbed the environment around us.

We started to get hungry and we were a little late asking the guy, who was going around to the different tourist on the beach, for some food. He told us he sold out of the lobster, but that he had freshly caught Red Snapper. This was the best choice for us anyways since neither of us like shellfish. We bought two cervesas (Imperial is the beer of Costa Rica) and the Red Snapper was delivered to us. LET ME TELL YOU, THAT WAS THE BEST-TASTING FISH I EVER HAD! (Freshly prepared fish, the fish the day before was fried not grilled, so there’s a difference…I think). So fresh, cooked so perfectly, and we ate it sitting on the beach with beer–it can’t get any better!

Finally, we were picked up and brought back to the hotel (it was $20 one way to the beach then $40 on the way back!!!! SUCH A RIP OFF!!). After another shower, we wanted to get happy hour drinks before our dinner reservation. Our host made reservations for us at Patagonia, this upscale Argentinian Steakhouse. Jon-Mykal and I split a plate because, we don’t eat a lot and we knew it was going to be expensive. After that we went back to the BnB and drank the night away.

Wednesday, Nov 9

Today, we woke up with the sad, sad reality that Donald Trump won the election back in the states. Glad to be in a different country when this news broke, we sorrowfully headed down to the kitchen for breakfast. Nothing like Alice’s delicious breakfast torta & international talk couldn’t fix (it didn’t actually fix it but it helped lessen the tremendous defeat we were feeling). We were checking out that day, so we hastily ate, packed, got ready. Our next host wouldn’t be picking us up until 1pm, but we had to check out by 11am.

With time to kill, we walked around Tamarindo looking for non-touristy pasalubongs (Tagalog for souvenirs). That proved difficult since Tamarindo is a very touristy town and we were touring in the off-season so no one wanted to give us discounts. On this ominous day, since finding out that Trump was the new leader of our country, there were actually optimistic locals who wanted to talk politics to us. This one lady manning a souvenir shop explained that both of the candidates were a bad choice. She was saying that this is a great opportunity for people to band together against the greater evil. It was a nice perspective to speak to intelligent locals who know their shit, don’t knock you for being American, and realize that there are solutions to problems.

We needed this healing, in a way. Talking it out with people from other walks of life and perspectives gives you a better understanding and acceptance of the situation. We, after all, can’t really do anything about the situation other than accept the circumstances and try everything in our power to resist.

Since it was lunch time, we wanted to get some food before going to our next hotel. We opted for the pizza place again since it was cheap and just enough food for the both of us. Headed back to the bungalows, we waited for our host to pick us up. Felipe showed up at our hotel in his white pickup truck. He had a cute little doggy in the back. We gave our hugs to Alice & Edwin (the other employee there) and even Pepito (the resident gato who was so friendly).

Me and JM squeezed into his small truck. Blancita (Blanca), his pup, was riding in the back when Felipe explained why he had his dog. She apparently is very attached to him and was able to escape her lead & fence at their home, he ties her in the yard on his way to pick us up. The next thing he knows she’s chasing him down the road and he had no choice but to pick her up and bring her along. She doesn’t even like being in the back of the truck, and Felipe was worried that she would jump out of the back into traffic. As most of you all know, I love dogs, so I said I didn’t mind if she sat in the front with us. So all of us–me, JM, Felipe, AND Blancita–are all squeezing into this very small pick up truck.

Felipe let us know that we were going to a very remote area of Playa Grande (which is a protected national park) and that there wouldn’t be food options near by. So we stopped at a supermarket while Felipe got gas to get our dinners for the night. We opted for sandwich making ingredients for our dinner/breakfast in the morning (we’re only staying one night). After what seemed like the longest, bumpiest road ever, we finally made it to the Pipe Hotel.

The Pipe Hotel is amazing! Felipe made the space all from scratch–he was an engineer from San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, probably the most westernized city in CR. He didn’t like his life in the city so he moved to Playa Grande (which is just a 30 minute car ride from Tamarindo & a 5 minute boat ride), bought a plot of land, and created the Pipe Hotel. What’s unique about this hostel are the pipe beds. These huge industrial pipes were recycled and made into sleeping pods. Each pod can hold 1-2 people & there’s just a bed and a small rack inside. The Pipe Hotel has 6 Pipes but only one other person was staying there (it is the off season after all). His name was Grant, a young 18-year-old from Washington and a pro wake surfer. He was here to surf, since is a great surfing spot. Felipe is also a beach bum with a great community of friends who are also beach bums.

We had a lot of time to kill–we were away from the city and in a remote area. So the only thing to do now was to explore the beach, that was literally in our backyard. Playa Grande is a protected area and beach so it’s very quiet and remote. Turtles, like the  endangered large Leather Back Sea Turtle, lay eggs at this beach. Since they’re endangered the beach is off limits to big tourist companies/hotels. JM and I spent a lot of time at the beach, just taking in the incredible scenery. The amazing thing about traveling to CR during this time was it was the tail end of the rainy season, which means…everything is green!! We only caught rain once and that was the first/second day we were there. So fortunate to have missed the rain but get all the benefits of the after effects!

After watching the sunset with Felipe, Blancita & Taco (his other pup), JM and I went to make our sandwiches! Grant was hanging out in the common area so we had a conversation…all night. He shared his Cuba Libre’s (rum & coke in a can) with us and Felipe came to join us. We had a really good night just sitting around talking for hours on end. People here also don’t have any reason to stay up late. They wake up and go to sleep with the sun because most of their work is done when the sun is up. Unfortunately, we were only staying here one night, I wish we were staying here longer because it was one of the BEST NIGHTS WE HAD! Hostel-type accommodations are definitely more my pace, especially when we’re not traveling with a lot of people. You can meet some great people from all over in these types of hotels.

Anyways, we had to sleep early since our cab was going to pick us up early to go to the airport.

 

 

&&& Thursday we left. Nothing much notable there. So that was my trip. I loved Costa Rica, everything about it. Now I know why a lot of expat’s go there. If you ever go, I would recommend going to the Guanacaste Province in November or December. I went in Nov, and it happened to be great timing. There was some showers but not a lot, not too touristy, and very green & lush! I plan on going back one day and spending LOADS more time there. Anyways, pura vida!

Here are some pics of our adventure! The video that I made will be on the next post!

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Mud baths on our adventure tour!

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The waterfall was gushing so we couldn’t swim.

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Riding horsies apart of our adventure tour!

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The natural hot springs were right next to a rushing river.

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Tamarindo beach

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On the Dolphin Sunset Cruise with my Dolphin Especial! I would later lose an earring that day because it fell off in the water *cue Kim Kardashian’s iconic I lost my diamond earring in the ocean scene*

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We were the first and only people here! The water fall was also gushing, but the water was SOO COLDDDD.

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Hanging Bridges tour with our tour guide Randal!

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RANDAL FOUND US A SLOTH! This is a picture taken on the inside of a telescope! It’s arms are in it’s head.

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I “caught” a tilapia from the fish farm, then had it fried!!

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Playa Grande– see how no one is on the beach, yeah we saw maybe 5 people during the 3 hrs we were out there.

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The Playa Grande sunset & last night of our trip. IT. WAS. AMAZING!!

Sept + Oct

November 22

Do I really even remember what happened these months? Well thanks to pictures taken with timestamps, I luckily do.

I want to first off say that I’ve really been lagging with these posts. One, because I don’t really think anyone reads them. Two, I don’t have that much interesting things to say. And three, I’m just lazy.

September and October are really transition months. Fall is such a huge transitional period that people get back to their regularly scheduled (boring) lives–ok, so not that boring if you know how to do it right. Summer is over, kids are going back to school, adults are trying to balance work and kids back in school and everyone is just trying to adjust and find a routine. Obviously I don’t know how to do it right since I’m bored half the time. Here’s what I did each month, I apologize in advanced for an extremely mundane blog post:

September/October

  • Labor Day Weekend–My friends and I went to Tahoe and spent the day by the Donner Lake. It was actually cold that one day we decided to go to the lake so there was really no point in going in the water. It wasn’t too exciting.
  • Concerts–I specifically went to Beyonce, SchoolboyQ, Metro Boomin & Kayne. The cool thing about fall is the peak of concert season. I can definitely break the bank for some concerts (however, the news of Kanye’s recent concerts make me happy that I saw him when I did).
  • Halloween–I didn’t do anything interesting for Halloween, but I did hang out with my Assumption buddies. We roamed around the really packed Polk St and were only there for about an hour because it was just that ridiculous.

Ok so nothing that cool happened, that’s why I was really hesitant of writing a blog, but I’m bored at work so might as well. I also have to be in a particular mood to write something funny/interesting, but I’m not in that mood so this blog post doesn’t really have that much point to it other than a personal recollection of the things that I’ve done this year so far.

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August Recap (AKA HAWAII TRIP!)

September 8, 2016

So, this is so late. I’ve been lagging on blog posts because I’m mostly lazy. Also, I don’t really see the point of posting anymore since I don’t have anything profound or groundbreaking to say. Most of the time I just ramble about what’s going on in my life, I feel like that’s really the only thing I can talk about. Plus, this summer my life wasn’t too interesting. I think that was due to the fact that most of my friends have a significant other and decided to do things with them this year (and on account of I barely have any friends).

I’m trying to figure out what else I can write on my blog. But, I don’t really take enough photos (because I have a 16G phone that can barely hold anything) and I don’t do much throughout the week so what would I really be taking pictures of in the first place.

This blog was first designed to be a blog for my fashion outfit/choices, then travel blog, but now it’s shifted to just a mundane, whatever, once-a-month blog that doesn’t really give anything to the world. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid to really say how I feel (you know how that shit catches up to you these days) that I don’t decide to dig deeper into certain topics. Maybe it’s because of over saturation on what I already post on various social media sites (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat), that another social media channel is just something else to worry about. Or maybe it’s just really that my life is that boring I don’t have a lot to talk about.

Now I’m getting redundant, but the point is I need to start deciding how to make this blog better. Whether that’s putting more thought into it or talking about issues that matter and that I believe in. Whatever it is, I’m going to think deeply about how I can improve it.

 

SO–now on to what I did this month.

I’d say I was a lot more productive this month than the whole summer, but that’s due to the fact that I WENT TO HAWAII!! That’s basically the highlight of the month so we’ll just talk about that.

This year, I went with my boyfriend’s family, the Reyes’. There were a total of 18 of us in all. My boyfriend is 1 of 5 kids, his dad has 2 brothers, one who has 3 kids and the other who has twins and the grandparents joined us. So there was an equal number of 9 kids to 9 adults (because we count as adults now WEIRD).

We stayed in Kailua, on the West side of Oahu. This was my first time not staying in Honolulu on the island of Oahu, and let me tell you it was AMAZING. Such a better pace of life. The beaches–Lanikai + Kailua– were one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to. The family rented an entire house that had a pool, lanai, hot tub and yard we got to hang out in.

Some of the activities included–

  • Boogieboarding
  • Snorkeling
  • Eating (LOTS OF FOOD)
  • Macadamia nut sauce over banana pancakes
  • Loco mocos
  • Roaming around the flea market with a young coconut
  • Lots and lots of shaved ice
  • Garlic shrimp trucks on the North Side
  • Sunrise hikes
  • Early morning swims
  • andddd so much more!!!

I love the mindset and pace of Hawaii. The fauna and culture make me appreciate places like that still exist. I hope Hawaiians can maintain their rich and beautiful culture, despite the cruel intentions of the United States and influx of Haole’s entering their country.

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I’m in the land of Spam!!!

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Lanikai is famous for the 2 islands of the shore (it might even mean the two islands) you can see one to the left. This beach was also popular for the local boat teams

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Some of the crew (minus that white guy to the right, he just didn’t wanna get out of the picture)

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This hike was called the “Pillbox Hike” and had a great view of Kailua. This was our Sunrise hike

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All I wanted to eat while I was there was a Loco Moco, it took me until the second to last day to find it (because we didn’t really eat at any Hawaiian spots before that).

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Me and my boyfriend atop of Diamond Peak. 

July Recap

August 16

Well, I’m late. Within good reason, though. The first week of August, I was in Hawaii and had no time to update my blog, cos I mean, I was sitting on the beach enjoying life…But now, sadly, I am back to the great ol San Francisco Bay, where Karl loves to just loom over for hours and give us no sunlight. Not to mention, I’m back to work, to my daily routine of going to work & hating life. Just kidding. Although, going to a beautiful place like Hawaii does give me an outlook of what I can be doing with my life and what I’m actually doing. Maybe one day…

Anyways, July was a cool Summer month, and in cool I mean actually cool as in chilly. I don’t mind tho because I hate really hot days, especially in the Bay. Hot days in the Bay just remind me of how how the earth is getting & the fact that we’re not getting heat waves makes me feel a tad bit better, even though I know the rest of the world is (sooooo, it just gives me a little reassurance that we’re not affected by it directly). I don’t really know what the point of this was, I guess I’m supposed to be talking about my month so here it goes:

  • 4th of July – My first successful 4th of July! Like really, I haven’t really done anything  too out of the ordinary, but this one felt distinctively special. Most of my friends are back from college, and this year we decided to plan a BBQ super last minute. We went shopping, invited everyone, and headed out in the morning to stake out a nice spot. We got lucky on Bayfarm, at a spot right by the water. The boys started BBQing (some nice lighter fluid hamburger patties and hotdogs) while others trickled in as time went by. We had whiffle ball, soccer ball and a football, as well as cards and music. We just ate, talked, drank and all caught up. It felt like high school all over again, except we were all older. It’s like when you watch Rugrats “All Grown Up”. We didn’t end up watching the fireworks, because everyone was tired from day drinking, sitting in the sun and not to mention we got there at 11 so most of us had been out for 8 hours.
  • Pokemon Go – The craze that is currently taking over the world right now started at the beginning of the month. This has inevitably taken over my life & I’m now going around at 10pm at night in random parks to try and catch rare pokemon. Mom has even gotten into it as well as all of my friends. It’s fun, but not fun at the same time, but it gives us something to do during the summer.
  • Santa Cruz – Since I was supposed to go away for 4th of July that didn’t end up happening, I wanted to have one weekend dedicated to doing summer things. JM & I ended up going to Santa Cruz for the day–we ate sandwiches, checked into our Airbnb, went shopping & prepared for our night activities. The one day I happen to be in Santa Cruz, my uncle was preforming his script-read play in a theater near by. So, I went to go support him in his play about the author (Iris Chang) who wrote the Rape of Nanking and the toll the horrific genocide took on her life. It was so profound & I couldn’t wait to do my own research about the event. The main reason we went to Santa Cruz was so we could watch Leilani Wolfgramm, one of my favorite reggae artist, perform at the Catalyst. This was my first time at this venue as well and I couldn’t wait to see her. As we got in there, we were in awe of how awesome this venue actually was. There were two bars on either side that overlooked the stage and the main floor where people stood. As we were waiting for her to perform, I saw that the time was later and later. Well, turns out we were watching Steel Pulse perform & Leilani was in a different room performing. I was very upset I didn’t get to see her, but it wasn’t all bad because Steel Pulse put on a legendary performance.

The end.

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Hello Kitty day at the Giant’s game: July 10.

June Recap

Ok ok, another boring month. Can you believe half of 2016 is already gone?! What am I doing with my life for it to go by so fast (and slow at the same time). The answer is working. Working. Working. Working. Do I try to do more than work? Yes, however it is proving to be pretty damn difficult. I have very little friends who are in the same area, I don’t really drive bc Oakland parking is ridiculous & if I get a ticket it’s usually around $80, which is also ridiculous. I’m making excuses now but June has been pretty uneventful for me and all I wanna do is go out in the world and explore and make memories and have experiences and LIVE LIFE.

Ok, I love to complain on here about working, but I shouldn’t. I’m working at a very good company (who recently has been hit with hard times, but most of the retail industry has) and I like it here. Some people don’t even get their dream jobs or what they went to school for, so I need to suck it up and work…even though it pains me so. That’s all I can talk about anyways until I get my vacation (First week of August, can you not come any faster?!).

Here’s what I did in June:

  • Cried when GSW + Sharks lost…can you believe we freaking lost?! We jinxed it yo, we lost both when we were SOOOOO CLOSE. Sharks were just not the same in the Stanley Cup as they were in the previous post season games. They lacked all of the drive that a team needs to succeed in the finals & truth be told they just were out played. GSW, do not get me started. First off, Steph was just not the same in the post season after his two injuries, that was very apparent and all the haters out there in the world can say that’s an excuse but that’s the truth. Second off, Lebron is NOT my favorite player. Yeah he does all that he can to win, but that also includes bad-mouthing the refs (which Steph & Draymond would have gotten fined for), fakes his injuries, and does all this extra shit that Michael Jordan, Kobe and other old school, legendary players would not do. Lebron has talent, but his extra-ness, flopping shenanigans is neither admirable nor credible. He has extreme favor with the NBA top officials, meaning, he makes them the most money & so of course they’re going to protect their money-making baby. To my next point–these refs sucked. Bad calls all around. How are you gonna say that you’re going to “let them play” & just decide which calls to call a foul? I don’t understand and I don’t agree with the NBA’s stupid politics. I should just quit watching professional sports because the NFL (my previous love) is letting me down with their corrupt shit, the NBA is looking like shit is fixed, and the MLB is just boring as fuck so what am I left with?! I’ll try bowling or curling next time bc there’s no way that shit is fixed.
  • Concertssss aka my favorite thing: So this month I had 3 concerts planned, but I only went to 2. The first, Smoker’s Club, is a tour with a lot of different artists that have one thing in common–they all love to rap about marijuana. Which is fine, I basically only went to see The Underachievers. The other performers were whack, and UA only played for like 5 songs bc stupid, drunk white f***boys in the crowd started to say “WEST COAST” every time UA would say “BEAST COAST” (they’re rap movement they have with other rappers from NY). White ppl always gotta ruin everything. The next concert I went to was Summer Jam! Hell yaaaaaa, it was so fun. I finally saw my love Kehlani perform but she only performed for like 3 songs. The other performers were cool but I don’t remember too much tbh. Oh yeah, I lost my phone during the concert but after I activated “Lost my iPhone mode” some nice guys contacted my friend after the concert and gave it back to me (there are still nice ppl in the world!). The last concert I was supposed to go to was Kamaiyah, a local Oakland rapper who has finally made it big in the industry. She was to perform at my favorite venue, the New Parish in Oakland! So, since this was her hometown and she just recently popped off (even tho I’ve been following her for a good minute) the line to get in the venue was LONG. Mind you I’ve been to this venue at least 5 times and I’ve never seen it this crowded. I met up with my friend Kia, who knows Kamaiyah from Elementary school, but she couldn’t even get in. After an hour of waiting in line and no signs of moving, I finally said lets go (since the venue was going to be packed to the brim anyways) and we left to go hang out with our friends at a bar. On the bright side, YG brought out Kamaiyah during Summer Jam, so I was able to see her for 2 songs that night.
  • California Primary, Presidential election mumboshmumbo: So, June 4th was the primary to pick our presidential candidate. Me being a millennial and actually educated about the world and our problems as a country, believe Bernie is the most trustworthy and qualified candidate. HOWEVER, hours before 6 states (I believe) were to vote, AP and other news outlets decided (conveniently) to declare Hilary as the presumption nominee for the democrats. Mind you, this was HOURS before a huge primary AND the democratic party did not even declare her a winner. They based it off of how many super dels pledged their vote to her (they don’t even freaking vote until July so there shouldn’t be a reason why the news outlets reported this news anyways) AND THEY DIDN’T EVEN WAIT FOR THE BIGGEST PRIMARY TO TAKE PLACE. Ugh it frustrated me so much because people who aren’t as educated about our corrupt news agencies and our election may have seen that news and were either dissuaded to vote or voted for Hillary because their vote for Bernie wouldn’t have mattered anyways. He lost California but won two other states. I’m just so disgusted with this whole political race, I can’t even be proud to be an American anymore (and I’m serious about that). Hillary is the lesser evil against Trump but is she really a good candidate to run the country?! FUCK NO. Let me just cry and wallow in my sorrows about how baby boomers fucked up and still continue to fuck up millennial’s lives and the future of our world.
  • Giant’s game: This past week, Battle of the Bay, in SF, in the suite, with my friends, and my family. Probably the last time I’ll be in the suites since my dad doesn’t have the tickets anymore 😥
  • Carl time: We’re just the bestest of friends
  • Three words–GAME OF THRONES: Ok, so this season was the first season that I actually watched the season when it premiered. I spent all last summer binge watching and getting up to date on the best series on television. Let me tell you, I LOVE GOT AND I WISH THERE WERE MORE SERIES ON TV LIKE IT AND I CAN’T WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR BC THIS SEASON FINALE WAS EPIC AND I ALMOST PASSED OUT BC ALL THE SHIT THAT HAPPENED AND IT’S GETTING SO GOOD OMG. Now I have to wait 10 more months until it comes back on TV again…what will I do with my life?!

That’s it thanks for reading if you actually read till the end and don’t get bored of my weird/opinionated mind.

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My loves

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May Flowers (Recap)

May, May, May you were quite boring. Don’t be surprised if this blog post is bleh, but I have to keep up with my month recaps so bare with me.

My general psych has been pretty bleak. I mean, all I do all day is sit in a cubical and do work, I know I complained about this last month, but it seriously it’s killing my mojo. Not to mention I don’t really have a place on my own where I can collect my thoughts and reconvene with friends or do what I want. That is the main goal right now: MOVE OUT. I have so much ambition, so many things I want to achieve and do with my life in order to be happy. I just need a vacation badly because normal life/adult life kinda sucks.

All I do is work, and my drive to be successful is more important to me than anything right now. I’m having a hard time balancing my work life with my social life and I can see it weighing on me. I definitely need to go out and do kid/young adult stuff because, I mean, this is the only time I’m going to be young, I might as well live it.

So anyways here’s what the month of may looked like:

  • BAY AREA SPORTS: May is like the pinnacle month of our sport’s teams. The Giant’s are doing very well, the A’s (I’m not sure bc I don’t follow them), the Warrior’s are in the Championships and the Sharks made it to the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history! What a good time to be a Bay Area fan. What I’ve noticed though, the success of the Bay Area teams is in direct correlation with how well our economy is doing in this area. I’ve also noticed that the fans that attend these playoff/championship games are bandwagon millionaire fans who are the only people that can afford the tickets. Peeshaw. I saw the Giant’s game with Mom & Dad for Mother’s Day, then with my bff Karen for USF night the next night LOL.
  • CONCERTS: This looks like a theme for me. Except this time I went with my lil bro to Disclosure for some good ‘ol siblings bonding time. It was fun…RIGHT PAT!?! NOW I’VE GOT YOU IN MY SPACE, I WON’T LET GO OF YOUUUUU!
  • Applied & approved for my first credit card: I learned what my credit score was and applied for my first Chase Freedom card so I can start earning points towards a Chase Sapphire card, which I don’t want to purchase yet since I don’t spend a lot and I don’t want a card with an annual fee. Ugh, I’m adulting.
  • Quit my job @ Urban!!!!!: It was a long time comin’, but I finally pulled the plug. I was getting home around 12:30, 1am some nights and that was not helping my health and overall wellbeing at all. Retail works you like slaves for meager pay!! But…no more discount 😥 I will miss the friends I’ve made there, especially because I’ve been working there since August of 2014, but hey–you’ve gotta leave the bird’s nest one of these days.
  • Spent quality time with Carl because I’ve missed my bpfl (best pal for life). We did some fun stuff like went hiking and wrestled and ran around and chased squirrels and wabbits. Mind you, I did this stuff too.

Yep, that’s it for May….like I said BORING. Whatever, it’s summer now so hopefully I’ll get into more fun things, like summer stuff.

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April Showers (Recap)

May 3, 2016

So last month was April, and it was pretty blehhh. I mean I did some fun stuff but at the same time, I’m realizing how mundane work/adult life really is. A 9 to 5, is that really how I want to live my life for the next 40 years?!? How do you adults do this? My little “Adult Odyssey” is giving me a real dose of reality and putting into question if I actually want to live my life like this.

This might be one of the reasons why work culture is changing. There is a huge shift from a strict work life to a work/life balance lifestyle. I can see why now companies are changing the way they view the relationship between work/life & how there needs to a be a happy medium to cultivate happiness & productivity. While Gap doesn’t have much of the perks that, say, huge Tech companies like Google, Facebook or even LinkedIn have, they still have a very laid back view on work culture–which is amazing.

I constantly have to pinch myself realizing how lucky I am to get such an awesome job. There are a lot of recent graduates that don’t even get a first job of their choice let alone a job they went to school for. The things that I’m doing now are creating better opportunities for me in the future, and I’m just so blessed.

Anyways, last month’s recap worked for me, so I will bullet away to what I did this month:

  • VISITED MY BRADDA IN CHICO FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. He actually wanted to see and hang out with me, what a difference! I met his chill roomies and his chill friends and we went out for a few nights. It was Caesar Chavez weekend, so I guess a lot of parties were happening. He took me to Bear Hole (?) on Saturday, where we went swimming and hung out and looked at nature and hung out. He took me to his favorite places to eat and his favorite bars. Overall it was a great weekend, and I very much approve of his quaint little college town.
  • Went to NYC to see family. My mom & brother went to NY to celebrate my cousin’s First Communion. They live in NJ and we went to spend time with family we rarely see. It was a nice little getaway and I’m very glad I got to see family.
  • The Bay Area has the best sports teams. Warriors are in the playoffs (obviously) & it’s an even year for the Giant’s, the Sharks are (also) in the playoffs, lets just say it’s a good year to be a Bay Area fan. I was lucky enough to see the Warriors play in the playoffs against a team that is irrelevant (Houston Rockets). I also saw the Giant’s in their opening week. I love attending sports games–you can thank my fanatic parents.
  • I SAW MY FAVORITE GROUP IN CONCERT: Flatbush Zombies, oh how I love you. They are my favorite rap group, favorite performers, and overall exceed the sound, performance, and passion expectations I hold for artists and music in general. I think I just relate to their sound & what they stand for, and their concert was just amazing. Congrats guys, I can’t believe I’ve been following you since your first song made its way into the underground rap scene, & now you’re touring nationally & internationally on your first debut album…nothing but love.
  • The physical copies of Gap Factory’s Summer In Store Magazine came in! This is the project I was most excited to see. Like I said earlier, I basically wrote everything in this magazine, with the help of my mentor. I have such a good time writing it and I can’t wait till it’s time to work on the fall in store magazine project.
  • I moved desks, from my where my team (the creative team) works to an area by the marketing team. I’m where everyone can see me, all the time, right by the kitchen. The lady’s desk I was sitting at before just came back from her 6 month maternity leave, and now I have to move since that’s her desk. There are pro’s and con’s to this desk: the con’s are that it’s right near the kitchen so I hear everyone, people walk by my desk all the time because it’s also right by the stairs, it’s in the front so people can see what I’m doing, and I’m away from the team I’ve become so close to. The pro’s are, I’m right by the kitchen so I don’t have to walk that far to refill my water or heat up my food, and I’m by a whole other marketing team who I get to become close to & learn from. I always have to see the light in situations, I’m just not very good at it 😛

That’s it for now, hopefully I’ll have a more interesting month in May!

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The boys at Bear Hole, Chico

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Time Square, New York, New York @ 2am in the morning

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My beautiful family in New Jersey!

March Recap

March 31, 2016

Well, it’s the last day of my favorite month (when I wrote this, not when it’s published lol) & it was an actual good one. So this whole “adult” thing/life is interesting to get used to. I no longer have the stress of constant school work, which is really nice & I’m still not that used to it. I have an adult-day job & a night-teen/young adult job, so I’m getting the best of both worlds. I actually have to schedule time to hang out with friends to catch up with life, which until now I didn’t really understand why adults did that. So–moral of the story–I’m entering into the early stages of adulthood (cue the ewwwww).

Granted, I don’t want to grow up & be OLDDDD but who does (ahah). My youthfulness is precious (and makes me unique) in this world of adults and I’m having a hard time letting it go. Nonetheless it must happen and it only gets worse…just kidding. I realize that I’m at the most prime stage of my life: your 20’s can and should be the best time of your life. SO, my goal is to travel & live every moment with energy and excitement. I want to take every opportunity & just live without limits. This is the time, I need to do it now. Wow I went really off track to what I planned this blog post to be about, but whatever it’s my own personal narrative on life so I hope if you’re reading you enjoy the little romanticized dream rants I go on…

So here’s what I did this month:

  • Hung out with friends for the first time in forever. I’ve been dwelling in my cave for a while, mostly because prior to this month, I’ve worked almost 7 days a week. But now I have the weekends off, which means more time to live, which means more time to hang out with friends. Plus I have the bestiest friends, who took me out on my birthday. It’s crazy to realize who your real friends are after college…the one’s that stay in your life & make the same amount of effort you are to ketchup.
  • Spring SKIIIIIING with my close homie, Nick! It was our second time this season going up for a day trip. We went to Squaw which was cool, but it was so freaking hot and crowded. Spring skiing is alright but never ideal.
  • My beautiful cousin, Margo GOT MARRIED! So cute that the wedding planner, who’s planned over 100 weddings, got married at the venue where she plans other people’s weddings. Up in the Santa Cruz mountains, it poured heavily that day, so that meant a lot of mud & umbrellas galore. But hey, that means good luck right?
  • It was my birthdaaaaay! Me and my boyfriend hung out in the city and my brother was back for Spring break so we were able to have a family dinner. Other than that my bday was very uneventful LOL (psh, bc who cares about turning 23).
  • Warriors games & concerts are always fun to attend. Little Simz, a female rapper from the UK, had her first tour in America (& btw she’s amazing).
  • Celebrated 8 years with the biggest pain in the world (just kidding).
  • GAPDATE, I wrote the Summer In Store Magazine this month. This process was a lot different than the other. For Spring, the magazine was basically a rough draft that I had to edit, create titles for and write in the “Gap” voice. However, this time I actually wrote the whole thing. We had a meeting where we all decided how the magazine was going to read from front page to back based off of the pictures from the shoot and the flow of products going each month. After the pagination/idea meeting, I then had to write from scratch the whole 30 page magazine. Based only off of merchant notes and pictures, I was able to craft this magazine that I am super excited about! I will post a video when it is finally published but I can’t wait to show y’all what I’ve been working on.

Yep, so that’s is so far of what my month consisted of. I’m really excited for this year and can’t wait for what’s to come!

 

 

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It was super muddy out, so the bride came prepared!

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My breakfast brunch, accompanied by spiked tea.

 

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Spent the majority of my birthday in Japantown

 

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Me & Karen caught up at Cholita Linda, and then went to an art show that was way too hipster [:

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I’ve always wanted to be a powerpuff girl.

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My frans Jessica & Bekah dragging me out of my cave for once.