first half 2014 photo dump

Just got back from a quick long weekend trip to Las Vegas. Rob & I did our usual round of eating, shopping, gambling (for him), and relaxing at the spa (me). But this time I also got the chance to meet my long-time online friend Sarah who was there for a conference. I’ve “known” her for probably around 10 years now (!!!). I’m naturally shy so I was nervous about our meeting but had absolutely no reason to be. Sarah was warm and awesome and we had no problems finding anything to talk about. 🙂 So happy our paths finally crossed in real life.

So it’s photo dump time! Here’s a look at what I’ve been up to over the first half of the year.

Ok ok… it’s more like a look at what I’ve been eating… 🙂 With some Diesel thrown in for some balance.

In March, I was in Miami Beach for a few days for work. It was a great opportunity for me to spend time with colleagues but I have to admit I really (REALLY) am not a huge fan. It’s such a scene and it’s just not me. The food scene, though, is a different story…

We went to the famous Versailles for lunch one day where I had the delicious ropa vieja with the yummiest side of plantains.

Lunch the following day was poolside at the Clevelander Hotel. It was a warm day and this Miami Vice hit the spot (it’s half pina colada and half rum runner).

On my free night, I walked over to Lincoln Road to dine at Shake Shack. Amazing! It’s seriously my favorite fast casual burger (yes, over In N Out). I CANNOT WAIT until Shake Shack opens in Las Vegas later this year. !!!

Here’s a look at what was my office for two days — yes, that’s a double decker bus!

On my last morning, I finally made it to the beach for a long walk followed by a refreshing iced cafe con leche.

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in celebration

Just got back from a week long trip to the Pacific Northwest with stops in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver (my fave). I haven’t downloaded our pics yet so for now, here’s a post I meant to publish before we left but got caught up in a flurry of packing…

August is an eventful month in our household. First Rob & I celebrated our fourth (!!!) anniversary back on August 9th. And a few days later on the 13th Rob turned 34. So of course we took this opportunity to splurge on ourselves. 🙂

On the night of our anniversary, we had dinner at Napa Rose in Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel.

It was our second time dining at Napa Rose and it was a fantastic experience. We sat at the chef’s counter in full view of the kitchen…

It was so cool to see the workings of the kitchen and all the interaction between the chefs.

Love all the little Disney touches!

Then that weekend we took a very last minute trip to Las Vegas. This time we stayed at the Cosmopolitan at the City Center…

And had a fabulous view of the Strip!

I really liked staying in the City Center area – it was central to so much shopping (pretty much the primary reason I love Las Vegas) and dining (the secondary reason).

I have a tendency to take Las Vegas for granted. I’m trying to be better at soaking in the atmosphere and appreciating the city’s energy.

For Rob’s birthday, we had the tasting menu at Scarpetta. WOW. Definitely one of our top 5 meals EVER. In life. Amazing.

We capped off the weekend with brunch at Bouchon (as per usual). Rob’s expression says it all. As the saying goes, work hard play hard. 🙂

vegas quickie


Back in February, Rob & I took a quick 2 night trip to Las Vegas where we spent the entire time eating and shopping. Really. Oh, and gambling for Rob. We scored a great deal at the Wynn by going Sunday through Tuesday. Our trip was right around the time that I was SUPER busy with work and was working late nights and weekends. So even though I ended up working for a few hours while we were there, it was wonderful to get away from “real life.”

Growing up in Southern California, I’ve been to Las Vegas many times. MANY. At LEAST once a year for as long as I can remember. So aside from checking out whatever new hotel has popped up on the Strip, there’s rarely anything I ever have to do while there. Not this time! I wanted to check out a few tourist-y things.

Like the Welcome to Las Vegas sign! Woohoo. In all my trips, I’ve never seen the sign up close before.

Elvis was there. LOL. He kinda reeked of alcohol. But he was really nice.

He even took our picture. 🙂

We also went to the Neon Museum for a tour. They collect and restore iconic Las Vegas neon signs and they offer tours of their Boneyard. Loved this place! It was SO COOL. Some of my favorite signs…

They’re opening a Visitor Center later this year that will include more exhibits and access to Boneyard tours. Next time I want to check out the neon signs at the Fremont Street Gallery.

And of course, we stopped to watch the Bellagio water show one night when walking back to the hotel. It always reminds me of Ocean’s Eleven. The George Clooney version. Hee.

But a Robokel trip wouldn’t be complete without lots of NOMMY food.

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back from vegas

I meant to post this days ago. OOPS.

I got back from Las Vegas on Sunday. And I totally sat at work on Monday doing nothing. Shhh. Don’t tell on me. I was TIRED.

I had a good time. And I’m not even that big of a Vegas person. 😀 Here’s a quick rundown of the weekend…

So my friend (and bridesmaid!) Ruby wanted to surprise her boyfriend Jason (also my good friend and colleague — I used to be his assistant and now he’s my sales rep) with a birthday trip to Vegas with friends. Rob and I arrived on Friday night (after a short delay in Oakland, of course) and after a quick change of clothes, we headed off to the Mandalay Bay to meet up with our friends to surprise the birthday boy. We were supposed to meet outside of the Orchid Lounge, which is where Ruby and Jason were having drinks. As we approached, Ruby happened to be looking in our direction and what did I do — I WAVED. OMG. I’m such a moron. Luckily, Jason was looking down and didn’t see me. Phew. Once all of us were gathered, we walked in and practically jumped all over the poor guy. 😀 After a few hours of talking and drinking (only half an Amaretto Sour for me), we went over to the Rum Jungle for more drinking (not me) and dancing (yay).

Here I am with Ruby and Jason…

And here’s the group taking shots…

Sadly, the DJ at Rum Jungle was terrible. So there was not much dancing. We finally dispersed at 3am. EEEK. It was rough getting up the next day. I am too old to be staying out that late. :/

Didn’t do much on Saturday (poor Jason had a *little* too much to drink so he was out of commission for most of the day) but I did get to check out the Wynn. I haven’t been to Vegas since it opened a few years back and wow, the lobby and the shopping esplanade are gorgeous. The casino, though, looks just like every other casino on the strip. While we were there, I dragged Rob to the Manolo Blahnik store (later I even dragged Ruby into the Jimmy Choo store at Caesar’s Palace) — all in the name of “research” for my wedding shoes. A girl can dream, right? 😀

We went to Aquanox at the Venetian for dinner. YUM-O. I had the filet mignon at a seafood restaurant. Hee. Afterwards, the guys headed off to the blackjack tables and Ruby and I took advantage of the free drink service (just cokes for me). Aaannnd that was our weekend. We hopped on a flight back to Oakland early on Sunday morning and took a nap as soon as we got home.

Good times. 🙂

In fandom news, has anyone heard/read the casting news for Prison Break season 4? WHAT THE HELL. TV Guide’s Ausiello has an interview with the executive producer if you want to read all about it. I think I might start watching again.

starbucks love

Aww yeah. My week is OVER! Tomorrow’s a holiday at work (“Spring Friday” is our PC term for it, hehe) and I’m heading to Las Vegas for the weekend to celebrate a good friend’s birthday. Woot. I just finished packing and of course, I overpacked. Oops. What? I need options! Hee.

So I’m finally a “regular” somewhere! It only took a year but the employees at the Starbucks across the street from work finally know my name and my order. A tall nonfat peppermint mocha. 😀 When I’m standing in line and one of them sees me, they yell out my name and confirm that I’m having the mocha. Sometimes I like to freak them out and order a tall nonfat latte. Hee. And the best part is that they charge me for a tall and I always get a venti. YAYAYAY. I feel so loved. 😀 Too bad I *really* need to lay off the Starbucks cause the venti is about quadruple the calories of the tall. I should have given it up for Lent. Maybe next year…

Also, why is printing addresses on wedding invitation envelopes considered bad etiquette?! My handwriting is not pretty enough to write all the addresses. And I don’t want to pay a calligrapher (hey, I’m cheap — I have to cut corners somewhere). ARGH. Oh, wedding etiquette. I shake my fist at you.

I’m so random today.

new year 2005


Aaannnddd I’m back. Hope everyone had a great Christmas! I sure did! But as nice as it was to be away for awhile, it’s even nicer to be home.

But before I start blabbing about what I did, I want to plug the following organizations that are collecting donations for the earthquake/tsunami emergency in Asia:

Please donate if you can! Every little bit helps! Many, many thanks to Christie for posting and letting everyone use the buttons.

Well, Christmas was pretty awesome. Very low key, which is just the way I like it. I received some great gifts which I’ll brag about here (hee)…
— money (from one of the account executives that I support — kind of a weird present, I thought)
— Nordstrom gift cards (thinking of getting shoes — maybe round toe heels? also want to get a purse and cosmetics)
— Abercrombie gift card (already used it to get a hoodie)
— Banana Republic gift cards
— pink Banana Republic v-neck sweater (which I’ve returned because it was too chunky and I’m too short to wear anything that chunky)
— 2 GAP sweaters — one ivory and one lavendar with sequins
— GAP mitten and scarf set (so cute! It’s blue and green and really preettyy)
— pink/red Express button-up shirt (yay, clothes for work!)
— lavendar Limited shell
— pink Ann Taylor button-up shirt
— snowflake flannel sheets
— winter spice candle
— set of frosted glasses
— chocolate covered potato chips (which sound gross but are really, really good)
— lots and lots of boxes of chocolate

Pretty fun haul. I did notice that my family refrained from feeding my DVD obsession. Humph. 😛

I still have to buy 2 more Christmas presents — for my dad and for Rob. Rob and I *always* wait until after Christmas to exchange presents. That way we’ll have more money to spend (hee) and so we can take advantage of the after-Christmas sales. As for my dad, he spent the holiday in the Philippines visiting my grandma so I didn’t even get the chance to see him when I flew down to SoCal. At least I have more time to think of a really good present to get him.

During my time away from home, I got the chance to spend some time in Santa Barbara visiting my cousin who goes to school down there. I finally saw her apartment and just her environment in general. I was only there for a day (and I spent most of it shopping since she was working at Bath and Body Works) but I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s gorgeous. Very, very different from living in the Bay Area. However, I did get hit on by some guy who told me he had just been released from prison. Um, what?!? Great pick-up line there.

I also went to Las Vegas where Rob and I spent 3 days. I know, 3 days is a very long time. We spent a day with friends and then spent the next 2 days with his family. I don’t gamble nor do I drink so I basically watched Rob gamble the whole time… BUT he gave me an allowance from his winnings so I guess it was worth it. Hee.

Anyway, that’s that. I can’t believe it’s about an hour til the New Year. Craziness. Rob and I don’t have anything planned — but I’m sure we”ll probably watch some cheesy special on TV. So I’m off! Hope everyone is having a fun night!

las vegas

Going back to work after a vacation is no fun. No fun at all.

I had a great time this past weekend in Las Vegas, despite the extreme heat. Rob did lots of gambling (and lots of losing, hehe) and I did lots of shopping (with his money, natch). We also went to see Mystere at Treasure Island, which was amazing. Who knew people could bend their bodies like that?!?

We also managed to see Troy Friday night and I really, really enjoyed it. I never expected anything more than an entertaining blockbuster movie so I wasn’t disappointed. Eric Bana (Hector), by far, was the heart and soul of the movie. I’m joining the hoards of women who, after seeing the movie, have fallen in love with him. I’m a new fan! 😀 Loved Brad Pitt as well, but then I always do. Plus, there was the added bonus of Brad in a skirt. I’m shallow. *g* I wasn’t as crazy about Orlando Bloom’s performance, though. He just seemed to be channeling Legolas the entire time, heh. Well, I take that back… Orlando was okay — depending on who he was acting against. Paris and Helen didn’t really do anything for me but Paris and Hector (my favorite relationship of the movie) brought me to tears.

What was up with all the Fantasia praise on American Idol tonight?!? Ugh, the judges piss me off. So. Much. I get that they’re trying to sway the vote in Fantasia’s favor but do they have to sacrifice any constructive criticism they may have had for Diana and Jasmine? I didn’t think those two did nearly as bad (even Jasmine, suprisingly — though why she was smiling during All By Myself, I will never know) as the judges made it seem. Blah. I’m hoping that either Jasmine or Fantasia goes tomorrow night.

Still reeling from learning about the start of Alias’s fourth season. I mean, January? I don’t see how such a late premiere can be good for the show — it seems awfully like ABC trying to get rid of the show altogether. And that’s not cool.

mid-season wrap up

Since it’s close to hiatus time, I thought I would do a little mid-season commentary of all the shows I started to watch this season…

Everwood – My saving grace this season. The show has continually gotten better and better with each episode. I may not necessarily like the direction of some storylines (Ephram/Madison and Andy/Linda) but I appreciate that the characters are being true to themselves. I do miss Colin, though. *sniff*

Las Vegas – Truly a guilty pleasure. 😀 It’s not really a great show plot-wise or anything (it’s usually downright predictable) but I think it’s a lot of fun. Plus, Josh Duhamel!!! LOVE him. He’s adorable.

Skin – I didn’t even get the chance to watch a whole episode before it got axed by FOX. I recorded the pilot (never got around to watching it and I probably taped over it) and watched about 15 minutes of the second episode. What I saw had potential though I didn’t fall in love. I enjoyed Adam Roam however. *g*

Gilmore Girls – I haven’t been watching this show faithfully like I used to. This season hasn’t grabbed me at all. I don’t really enjoy Digger or Marty and I wish there was more Lane and Paris. And as much as I love Rory, the girl is getting on my nerves.

One Tree Hill – OMG. New obsession. The show didn’t jump out at me right away but I kept watching (pretty much only because it airs right after GG and 24 hadn’t premiered yet). After a few episodes, the show seemed to find its legs so to speak — the improved writing has made me care about these characters. I’ve also found my ship of the season on this show — Nathan/Haley. LOVE. 🙂

24 – Still on my “must watch” list. But it still consistently gets me frustrated. I’m frustrated with Jack’s stubbornness, I’m frustrated with Kim’s hair, I’m frustrated with Tony’s condition, etc. etc. But I guess getting emotionally involved in a show is a good thing.

Smallville – I’ve enjoyed all the episodes this season so far, with the exception of the totally random retro episode. The most recent episode, Shattered, rocked. The acting was fantastic, there was lots of Clark and Lex (and even Clex!), and the storyline was actually captivating — something I was seriously missing from this show. My heart seriously hurt after seeing Lex at the end. *sob* Can’t wait til January.

The O.C. – *sigh* I adore this show. And I love Seth/Summer even more. Die Anna die! hehe. I’ve been hooked ever since it premiered back in August. It’s just excellent cheeky fun. 😀 But if TPTB mess with Sandy/Kirsten — %$^#@! There will be hell to pay.

The West Wing – I watched the premiere and that’s it. 🙁 I always forget that the show is on, probably because it’s on at the same time as The O.C. I still *must* purchase the s1 DVDs but the show just doesn’t have the same magic that it did for me in the earlier seasons.

Friends – I have to say that I was definitely not a fan of the Joey/Rachel romance so I’m glad that it was over and done with quickly. I adore Monica/Chandler so I’m happy to see them with an ongoing storyline this season. I can’t wait to see Chandler (he’s my favorite friend!) with a baby. Too cute. I’m so going to miss this show next season!

Tru Calling – Saw the premiere and wasn’t compelled to watch any episodes following. My Eliza love can only go so far. I’ve read the FOX ordered 7 more episodes. Wow. I totally didn’t see that coming. I thought cancellation was on the horizon.

CSI – Still rocks. And now there’s Xander Berkeley (Mason from 24)! Though I found Fur and Loathing to be rather strange. Oh, and there just needs to be more Warrick. Thanks.

Miss Match – This show is sooo cute. I love what I’ve seen but honestly? Friday nights just don’t work for me. I think Kate and Michael are gorgeous together, though, so maybe I should make it a point to record the show so I can see if anything has happened with them. Anyone know?

American Dreams – My precious precious show. I am alarmed that NBC has cut this season’s order from 22 to 18. It breaks my heart. I think this show gets better and better each week. I love everyone in the Pryor and Walker families and I hope that NBC realizes that there are many more stories to tell.

Alias – Still a can’t miss show for me but I don’t obsess over the show as much as I once did. My Syd/Vaughn loving heart just can’t take it! lol. But seriously, I still have yet to fully accept the 2 year time jump. I still feel a little cheated. I wanted to see Marshall and Carrie have a relationship! I wanted to see Dixon get promoted! Agghhh… useless resistance, I know.

Phew… even though I dropped a few shows, I still watch a ton of TV. I’m an addict, hehe.

Still feeling sick. Bah. I need to lie down.

vegas trip

I can’t believe I have to go back to work tomorrow. Guh.

Sooo I had a pretty rocking 4-day weekend. Rob and I had a great time in Vegas. We ate tons of food, he gambled (and even won a little!), and I shopped. 😀 Good times. Got home yesterday afternoon with a raging fever and a stuffy nose. Sucks. It seems like I’m always sick nowadays. Boo.

HEE! I’m currently watching VH1’S Big in 03 and they just had the award for Big Shocking Moment — and it was Ruben winning the American Idol crown over Clay. But the best part was that the presenters then announed that they were bringing out the person that should have won and it was Frenchie! Bwah. Also loved that The O.C. won the award for Biggest Guiltiest Pleasure. So cute to see the whole cast. But I missed Matchbox 20. *sniff* I have to catch a rerun.

Doing the Friday Five for good measure:

Do you like to shop? Why or why not? HELL YEAH!!! hehe. I don’t really know *why.* I just know that I do. Love shopping, that is. 😀

What was the last thing you purchased? Some tarts from the Yankee Candle Company. Love these things. They make my apartment smell yummy.

Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why? Shopping at an actual store. Especially for clothes. I have a really weird figure so it’s difficult for me to buy stuff online because I don’t get to try the stuff on.

Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it? Does lunch money count? If not, then no allowance for me. But I’m an only child so if I asked, I usually got what I wanted. Within reason, of course. 😀

What was the last thing you regret purchasing? A Hard Candy nail polish set from Sephora. Their nail polish was awful — very thin and chipped quickly.

[EDIT] What is wrong with the time on this entry? Grr. I can’t seem to fix GM to be the right time… BOO.