Posted in Travel

US States to Visit

These are the states I would love to visit in 2022-2023. Some are states that I have visited before and would love to visit again. Also, one isn’t technically a state, but I’ll include it anyways because it’s here in the United States.

2022

  1. Washington
  2. Oregon
  3. Nevada
  4. Arizona
  5. Texas

2023

  1. Florida
  2. Delaware
  3. Massachusetts
  4. New York
  5. Pennsylvania
  6. Tennessee
  7. Washington DC
Posted in Events, Life, Year Review

Looking Back at 2018

Another year has come and gone. 2018 was a good year for me. So many things took place this year. One of the most exciting things that happened was I found I was pregnant with my first baby. I also got to travel and take part in fun races. Here are my highlights of 2018.

Pregnancy
My boyfriend and I always talked about having a baby, but we didn’t know it would happen so soon. My boyfriend wanted a boy and I wanted a girl. I was thrilled when I found out I was having a girl. This is a blessing and I can’t believe our little one is almost here. I spent the majority of 2018 being pregnant and while I did miss out on a few things, I will cherish all the little moments with my baby. For example, the first time I heard her heartbeat and saw her on the ultrasound, the first time she kicked, and when my belly bump started to get bigger.

Moving
Another thing that happened in 2018 was that my family and I moved out of Montebello. This was after living there for almost 10 years. We moved about 20 minutes from Montebello and while I do miss my old city, I am very happy and comfortable in my new city. Only bad things are that I live further from my boyfriend and my commute to work is a bit longer. When I was in Montebello, I was able to leave my house 5 minutes before starting work and get there on time. Now I need to leave at least 25-30 minutes before I start work. I give myself the extra 5-10 minutes just in case there is traffic of construction going on.

Travel
In February, I spent the weekend in Orlando by myself. I had gone to Orlando before back in 2017, but this was my first ever solo trip. The reason I went to Orlando was to take part in the Disney Princess Challenge. This is a series of races hosted by Run Disney. I ran a 10k on Saturday morning and then a half marathon on Sunday morning. I really enjoyed my solo trip and I’m so glad I got to experience it before becoming a mom.

In March, I ran a half marathon in San Diego. I normally travel with my family or friends, but this time I went with my boyfriend. This was our first weekend away together. It was long overdue. We have been together for 5 years and that was our first trip. Hoping we can take more weekend trips with our baby girl in the upcoming years.

I decided my last trip before the baby’s arrival should be a fun one. What could be more fun than almost a week in Las Vegas? In August, I went to Las Vegas with Giovanna for a few days. There were many things I couldn’t do like drink or ride on the New York New York roller coasters, but I still had fun. The best part of the Las Vegas trip was getting to see the Backstreet Boys in concert. I also got to try a lot of good food and we walked so much every day that I was always walking at least 10,000 steps, which was my goal.

Running
I ran almost 300 miles. I’m sure if I hadn’t been pregnant, I would’ve ran more. Regardless, I am still happy that I was able to run 300 miles. Not only that, but I was able to run one half marathon, one 10k, and two 5k races while pregnant. I wasn’t going to let my pregnancy slow me down!

At the beginning of 2018, I did my best half marathon 2 hours and 9 mins in Pasadena. This was so close to my goal of running in under 2 hours. I’m hoping that in 2019, I can reach the goal. I know this will require a lot of training runs from me, most of which will take place in the summer.

As I mentioned earlier, I did the Disney Princess Challenge in Orlando. I love to challenge myself. This was the first time I ran 19.3 miles in 2 days! What makes the Disney Princess Challenge runs even more fun is the fact that you get to run through the Disney parks and take pictures with the characters. I got to take pictures with Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Belle and Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, and even Buzz Lightyear to name a few. I won’t take part in the races this year, but I plan to be there in 2020!

In 2018, I ran the LA Marathon for the first time. I did not run in under 5 hours like I had planned, but I did improve by 6 minutes over my first marathon. Not going to lie, this was a tough marathon for me. It didn’t help that at the start of the run, I did some have pain in my left knee. I also didn’t follow my training plan as well as I should have. That’s okay, every time I run a marathon or any other race, I always learn ways I can improve my time and my training. The hills after mile 20 were the worst. Now that I know what to expect, I will definitely train for that in 2020.

Concerts
I went to see Brad Paisley in concert with my mom. My mom isn’t fan of country music, but she really likes Kane Brown, who was one of the openers for Brad Paisley. I had to choose between going to see Tim McGraw (my favorite country singer) and Brad Paisley. I decided to see Brad Paisley and it was worth it. He is such a great singer live and entertaining. I really like the song he sang with Carrie Underwood, who sang her parts via satellite/video.

Seeing the Backstreet Boys was the highlight of my Las Vegas trip. My only complaint is that I wish the concert had been longer. They played some of their newer music, along with their classics. It’s great to see them still together after all these years. They are touring this year. They are scheduled to play in Anaheim and Los Angeles. I’m hoping I can see them again. Fingers crossed that I make it to their concert.

Favorite Movies
Normally I am the kind of person who waits for movies to come out on DVD or Netflix instead of going to the movie theaters to watch. In fact, most of the time I only go to the movies once or maybe even twice a year. This year, I ended up going to 7 movies, which is a lot for me. Who knows if next year I will be able to watch as many movies since I will have my little one. Of course, I will make an exception to watch the new Avengers movies. Here are the movies I went to watch in 2018. The little kid movies are the ones I took my sisters to go watch.

Sherlock Gnomes
Black Panther
50 Shades
Hotel Transylvania
Avengers Infinity War
Goosebumps 2
Crimes of Grindewald

2018 was a memorable year for me. I can’t wait to see what 2019 will bring for us!

Posted in Running, Travel

Princess Challenge Weekend

I don’t know why it has taken me so long to post this trip recap. This trip took place almost three months ago!!! Oh well, better late than never!

February 23-26 2018
I have travelled to a few different places throughout the United States- Portland, Oregon, Washington DC, Las Vegas, to name a few. However, I usually travel with other people, either my travelling partner Giovanna, my sister Destiny, or my family. I had never travelled anywhere alone. That is, until February. That’s right, I went on my first solo trip at 27 years old.

I first travelled to Orlando, Florida last year in March 2017 for WrestleMania. I was there for almost a week and went with my travelling partner, Giovanna. This time I went to Orlando for four days and I went for the Disney Princess Weekend. I was there for about five days and had sucha blast!

I have to admit that the thought of it freaked me out so much!!! In fact, there were a few times that I even considered cancelling my trip rather than going alone. But after thinking about all the cons and pros of travelling alone, looking online, and speaking to someone who has gone on many solo trips, I decided to go for it. After all, what was the harm in travelling solo at least once?

Airplane Ride/Airport
Just getting to the airport was a mission! I walked to the bus stop from my house. Then I took the Metro Gold line to the Union Station, from there I got on a shuttle to LAX. I barely made it to the plane on time. I got to LAX ten mins before the gates closed. Lucky for me, there was no line for security checkpoint. As soon as they checked me and my things, I ran all the way to my gate. I got there four minutes before they closed my gates. I have never been that close. I am normally at the airport at least an hour before my flight is scheduled to leave, sometimes even two hours. I was so scared that I would miss my plane.

I got to Orlando airport around 430am/5am on Friday. I stayed there until about 830am/9am. I just listened to my ipod and used my tablet. I also ate chick fil a for breakfast. I think I even fell asleep for a while. I finally decided I had been there long enough and went to the expo to pick up what I needed for the two races.

Expo
The expo to pick up the bibs and shirts was huge. In fact, they had three different locations to pick everything up. The first building is where you pick up your bib. Then you have to go to another building for your shirt. In the second building, they also had non Disney vendors. I bought some running stickers and energy gels. Then I went to the last building to pick up some pins I had preoredered and in this building they had Disney vendors. I wanted to buy everything! They had such a huge selection of things, including cute leggings, pins, cute shirts, anything Disney Princess thing you can think of! It was way more than I had planned to spend. Since the lines were really long, I decided not to get anything after all.

Hotel
After the expo, I decided to go to my hotel to check in. The hotel I stayed at was in Kissimmee, Florida about 15 minutes away from Disney World. Unfortunately, it wasn’t ready when I got there. The people at the hotel told me I could go to the pool for a while, so I went in for an hour. It was really hot outside and the pool felt really good. I went to see if it was ready and they still needed more time to finish cleaning. So I decided to walk to Target, which was about 1.5 miles away, and window shop. Went to eat lunch at Burger King and then I walked back to the hotel, which was finally ready.

I spent three nights there. For the price I paid, I was expecting a small room. I was shocked when I walked into my hotel room. It was much larger than I expected. The first thing I saw when I walked in was the kitchen. It had a full size kitchen with a fridge, microwave, stove, dishes and utensils, and a sink. Next up was a dining room for four, the first bathroom, and even a living room with two small couches and a television. As if that wasn’t enough, there was a bedroom for me with a television, another bathroom, and get this, a Jacuzzi in my room!

It was awesome staying in this room, but I admit that I did get a bit scared at night, to the point where I slept with all the lights on and the door locked. The first and second nights I only slept about 3/4 hours each. The final night I slept maybe 5/6 hours, which still wasn’t enough.

Saturday morning I ran my 10k race. I did pretty well. I didn’t really go anywhere once I got back to my hotel because I didn’t want to be too tired for my half marathon and because I was a bit scared to go out by myself.

Sunday morning I was at the race by 330am! I went early to take pictures in the morning. After the race, I took some pictures with some of the Disney Princesses. Instead of going to the hotel, I decided to go to Downtown Disney. I knew if I went to the hotel, I would fall asleep and not want to leave the room for the rest of the day. I changed out of my race clothes and wore my three medals around.

Disney Springs/Downtown Disney
I went there last year. We went on the last day, so I didn’t have much money to spend. This time I was able to visit Hard Rock Café and got myself a mac and cheese burger. Kind of on the pricey side, but so worth it! I also got a creme brulee from one of the bakeries and a strawberry frozen margarita. I basically spent my whole time at Disney Springs eating lol One of my favorite things to eat was the poutine.

Universal City Walk

On Monday, my last day in Orlando, I decided to visit Universal City Walk after checking out. One of my favorite things about going to Universal City Walk last year was going to the Chocolate Emporium and getting a red velvet milkshake, which had a giant red velvet cupcake on top! So I couldn’t wait to go back. I also went to Fat Tuesday and got myself a blue raspberry icee. I went to the movies and watched Fifty Shades Freed. After my day trip at City Walk, I headed over to the airport to go back home.

Trip Back Home
After the scare I had getting to LAX really late, I made sure to get to MCO at least 2 hours early. I am so glad I did, because the security checkpoint line was huge! I had a stop in Colorado. Right when we got off the plane, we could feel the freezing cold air! I guess we were close to the mountains. I was only there for an hour and then I was back on the plane to LA. I got to LAX around midnight, I was exhausted when I got home.

Travelling solo was a lot more fun than I ever imagined! I would definitely recommend that everyone travels solo at least once in their lifetime. Yes, it can be scary, especially for someone like me who is an introvert and very shy.

My only complaint about travelling is having to use Uber or Lyft all the time. It can get pretty expesnive, especilly when going to Disney World or Downtown Orlando. I would rather use the public transportation or rent a car.

My next solo vacation will be a weekend trip to San Francisco during the summer. It will be another racecation, I will be running the San Francisco Half Marathon!

Posted in Running, Travel

San Diego Weekend

Two weeks ago I went to San Diego with my boyfriend and our friend. We went because I had signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon. This was my first time going to San Diego in almost 10 years. This was also the first weekend getaway trip for my boyfriend and me.

We left on Saturday morning. It took us about two and a half hours to get there. It rained the entire first day that we were there. However, we did not let that ruin our day. I went to the expo to pick up my bib and shirt for the race. After that, we went to go eat. Our friend took us to a pizza place. Since I wasn’t eating any meat at that time, I decided to get a pizza that had artichoke, tomatoes, and jalapenos on them. This was my first time tasting jalapenos and it was better than expected.

Later on, we went to the Donut Bar. We got there around 430pm and unfortunately it was closed. They opened at 5pm, so we decided to just wait until it opened. The donuts were worth the wait! I bought myself four donuts and ate two that same day and two the next day. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake donut and the Harry Potter butterbeer donut.

We went to Coronado Beach, but it was still raining too much and way too cold, so we ended up going back to the hotel. My friend slept over at his family’s house, but my boyfriend and I stayed in Downtown San Diego. When we checked into our hotel, we were shocked to see that it was actually a hostel. Even more shocking, it looked nice. We got a private room, it was small but cozy. In the hostel, they had a kitchen, laundry room, and even a small library! There were many paintings on the hallways from local artists. The only thing missing was a tv in the room.

For dinner, we walked to a Mexican food place accross the street from Petco Park. It was really good. I just wish I had been able to try their food with shrimp.

I woke up Sunday around 630am for my half marathon. I didn’t plan to PR this race since I had the LA Marathon the following week. My goal was to run the half marathon in 2:30 hours. I ended up finishing in about 2:15 hours. Not bad, considering I had been dealing with calf pain and knee pain during my runs. The course was really nice. For the most part it was flat. I think it was around mile 9 or mile 10 that we hit some hills. They were a bit challenging, so I ended up walking most of it, which hurt my time a little bit. This was the first time my boyfriend had ever gone to one of my races and seeing him near the finish line was really special for me.

For lunch, we went to Lucha Libre Taco Shop, which I had seen on the Travel Channel before and it was on my bucket list. They are known for their massive burritos. You can find burritos all over San Diego, some with french fries, some that are surf and turf, but Lucha Libre’s burritos are some of the best. I got a burrito with black beans, French fries, avocado, and sour cream. I also got a cup of esquite, which is corn in a cup with mayo, chili, and Mexican cheese. My boyfriend got a burrito with carne asada and he loved it. Next time we go back to San Diego, I am definitely going back there again.

We went to Balboa Park and walked around. We didn’t visit the San Diego Zoo this time, we just didn’t have enough time. However, we got to enjoy a lot of other things. Then we drove home.

I enjoyed my weekend in San Diego and we are making plans to go back soon. I just hope next time we go back it isn’t raining and that we can enjoy the beach.

Posted in Travel

Mall of America

Two years ago, I finally went to the Mall of America! It was something I had wanted to do for almost 15 years! I went in December 2014, while on winter vacation from school. I didn’t go alone, I took my (then) 16 year old sister. We went for the weekend and had a blast!

Since we are both California girls, winter in Minnesota was much colder than we were used to. I’ve gone to other states before, but this was the first time that I had to be in charge of the plane tickets and hotel room. I’ve gone to other states before, but this was the first time my sister went outside of California. I wasn’t that scared, but I think my sister was a little bit scared. Minnesota was so cold, but it looked really nice 🙂 The whole point of our trip was to go to the Mall of America, we went all three days. It was huge! Our first day at the mall, we ended up getting lost. There were similar stores to the malls here in California, but I’ve never been to a mall that included an indoor theme park!

We went the second day of our trip to the amusement park and while we didn’t go on all the rides, we still had a blast! The hotel we stayed at was nice and they had a shuttle that would take us to and pick us up from the Mall of America. One bad thing was that the Lakers played a game the same day that at left. If we had stayed one more day, we could’ve gone to see that game! Another semi bad thing was that our flight was delayed! We ended up waiting at the airport for about 4 hours! Luckily, I had my kindle, phone, and iPod with me 🙂

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