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Memorial Day Weekend 2016

By 10:13 AM , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Ah, Memorial Day Weekend - a commemoration of the people who died in the line of military duty and the first "long weekend" of the year. This year's Memorial Day weekend has been amazing!

On Friday, my youngest had yet another dance recital before the semester ended, which Karen, her boyfriend RC, my mom and I attended. This dance recital mostly revolved around ballet and musicals but had vestiges of modern dance here and there. 

 I know it can be pretty tricky to discern but my little sister is on the far left, doing her thing. I am so, so very proud of her and how much she's grown as a dancer and as a performer.

We welcomed her in our loving arms with lots of congratulations and a bouquet of flowers after the show. Afterwards, I met up with my boyfriend to grab some dinner. We had decided to go the The Morrison, an Irish pub I discovered a year ago. Since then, the restaurant had apparently became the Top 7 restaurant in the entire United States on Yelp. Pretty cool, if you ask me. We ordered the Old Rasputin (his), Not Your Fathers' Root Beer (mine), Fish & Chips, Old Smokey burger in a quinoa & squash patty and their famous butterscotch bread pudding. Both the fish & chips and veggie burger were okay. Nothing really special. The bread pudding, on the other hand, was the bomb. Romain and I actually had it before and we fell in love with it from the get-go. It's also the only thing I remembered to take a photo of because we were both really hungry.

I've never had bread pudding before (I just wrongfully assumed they were gross) whereas Romain has had plenty. He agrees with the consensus - The Morrison's bread pudding is the best he's ever had.

It's my gorgeous little sister Karen's birthday!!! I'm honestly so proud and so happy of the wonderful, beautiful and spirited young woman she has become. I feel so lucky to have someone like her in my life, and I feel luckier still to not only be her sister but her friend. I head to my parent's apartment to celebrate Karen's birthday, which we enjoyed with a lot of Thai food. We ate too much, laughed too much, reminisced too much and sang way too much karaoke. But spending time with my family always feels so good. I enjoy their company so much and it's wonderful to know that they have my back just as much as I've got theirs.

I feel so blessed to be surrounded with such supportive, loving, talented and brilliant people.

For brunch, Romain and I went to Foxy's where we ordered Baja omelette (mine), Lox benedict (his) & chocolate french toast in lieu of a chocolate milkshake that we always get. I usually get Lox benedict at Foxy's because it's one of my favorite breakfasts EVER but I was feeling rather adventurous. The Baja omelette was superb and I liked it a lot though to be honest, I still like my usual Lox benedict plate better. The chocolate french toast was also only "good". I think the best french toast we've ever had was in Square One Dining.

We then headed to Claremont to visit the Rancho Santa Ana Botanical Gardens where we paid the $8 admission/adult. We had a lot of fun taking in the scenery, the native plant species, the random sculptures and art installations, and the good workout that we incidentally added in (10,000 steps what up!?).
 This was taken by the Joshua Trees area, where they planted mostly Joshua Trees. I've never seen a Joshua tree in person or this close before so I was really excited.
 Romain being the unofficial tourist guide as I have long given up on my spatial intelligence.

This kinda reminded me of cotton, and I thought it was adorable.

This was in the Torrey Pines area and as we walked underneath the towering trees, we were immediately enveloped with a cool breeze. 
We got really excited about these "fire trees", as we ended up branding them. We don't know what kind of tree it is or the species it's under but we found it so beautiful.
This is probably one of my favorite photos that I took.

After the long and productive walk around the garden, we had planned on going to The Back Abbey for a delicious and fulfilling meal. I wanted to try this place for a while because it was touted to have the best french fries. Unfortunately for us, they were closed that day. I was pretty upset because it was the reason why we went to Claremont in the first place and I was particularly upset at myself for not checking their hours. For someone who was just as excited, if not more, to try The Back Abbey's french fries, Romain was very patient and loving throughout the entire fiasco. I mean, he basically just drove an hour and 10 minutes to go on a walk with me. Ah, I feel so lucky! <3


We watched the new X-Men movie (it was a good movie with questionable plot choices made but whatever) & ended up getting dinner at BJ's instead. We ordered a sculpin (his), a framboise (mine because it's one of my favorite beers of all time), shrimp and asparagus penne and Wild Atlantic salmon, blackened. Our drinks were delicious. I was surprised the waiter didn't card us, but Romain posited that our liquor choices probably gave an impression that we were adults. The penne was so-so but the salmon was delicious! We considered getting desserts there but we both didn't like any of their selections. Unfortunately, Pinkberry was closing a little before we finished our meal so we just opted out of desserts. This day, in spite of all the mishaps, ended up being a fantastic day for both of us. 


We decided to play basketball at a nearby park. I've played basketball since I was in 4th grade while Romain just loves the game itself. When we came upon the court, there was a couple of kids shooting hoops. We played HORSE with them (I got eliminated first - I'm horrible at shooting hoops tbh) and ended up playing against them.

Afterwards, we got brunch at Massis' Kabob and attempted to try Creamistry. However, after waiting for five minutes without someone taking our order and one of the other customers, who apparently had been waiting for a while, asking for a refund because they were waiting for a long time, we decided to leave the queue. Honey, ain't nobody got time for that. We ended up going to the nearby Haagen Dasz Ice Cream Shop instead where I got the Belgian Chocolate Chocolate in a regular cup and Romain got a mango sorbet in a regular cup as well. The name is so redundant but we both loved Belgian Chocolate Chocolate, which was the perfect balance of sweetness and chocolate. The mango sorbet, on the other hand, was 'eh', if not downright worth the trash bin. I learned early on that if you want a good sorbet, gelato places are the best place to get them.

Then, to end our Memorial Day celebration right, we decided to get sushi from Moto Sushi, which was closed. Then, we went to Kumadori Sushi, which was also closed. Fortunately, Zono Sushi was open. We ordered salmon, yellowtail, scallops, red snappers, uni and a BSCR. Out of everything, I only really liked the salmon and uni. Everything else was mediocre. We're looking to make our own sushi sometime soon, and I'm really excited for that!

This Memorial Day Weekend has been really good to me, and given how this year has been so much more amazing than last year's, I'm not even surprised that it fills me with this much bliss. I hope you had a fun one as well!

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