Earlier this month Cal Poly Pomona hosted their annual weekend Pumpkin Festival, which featured a corn maze, pony rides, produce vendors and of course their pumpkin patch! Coincidentally that was the same weekend (and LAST weekend) The Donut Man‘s Famous Strawberry Donut were going to be sold. I’ve never had the Alton Brown approved treats, so I knew I had to make it a priority. 🙂
My friends and I arrived at the event in the mid-afternoon to be greeted by hundreds of other enthusiastic guests. (*Note – go early in the morning 1) It’s much cooler 2) Parking is more available.) There were also tons of different Cal Poly Pomona student groups selling merchandise, food and drinks, in addition to food trucks and other vendors. Admission was $5 a person, and for an additional $5 guests could roam the pumpkin patch and pick their favorite pumpkin (any size!). There were definitely a lot of choices and I saw a number of families roll away with several large pumpkins in their little red wagon.
After spending an hour or so to pick my perfect pumpkin, my friends and I took a short trip up to Glendora to try California’s best donut – the strawberry donut from The Donut Man. I typically don’t eat donuts, but had heard so many wonderful things from friends who had eaten there in the past. Suffice to say, this donut is really good and I had to stop myself from finishing the whole thing. After all I wouldn’t’ want to spoil dinner at the Palms Family Restaurant. I mean look how much food they give!!
Now with my perfect pumpkin and Oct 31st just around the corner, I now need to figure out what I’m going to be for Halloween! I love playing dress-up and while I’ve been many different characters at different conventions (SDCC 2018, Power Morphin Con 2018, and LACC 2017) I still have no idea who I’m going to be! Classic #cosplayerproblems.
In previous years this festival focused primarily on the edible guilty pleasures and this year moved to highlight other activities. Wine and other libations made up 1/2 of the festival and vendors specializing in pampering experiences such as a braid bar, silly photo booth stations, and luxury furnishings had a large presence. There were also several large art displays for guests to enjoy.
My favorite sample at the event had to be the seared-diver scallops with quinoa served by Pelican Grill. The chef continuously laid large plump pieces on the portable grill, seared them perfectly, and served them fresh to the guests. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I had three servings because it was so so good. *Drool*
Personally I enjoy eating more so than drinking, but there were so many different libations to choose from. Guests could enjoy a cider from Stella, Macallan a prominent whiskey brand, and so much more.
When you think of LA you don’t typically think of people using public transportation, but for one day major LA destinations temporarily closed streets to car traffic and encouraged Los Angelenos to walk, bike, skate and roll through this amazing city. Lead by CicLAvia this nonprofit organization alongside with their sponsors promoted exercise with many free events and live performances.
Inspired by Bogotá’s weekly ciclovía, CicLAvia advocated for greater community building by celebrating LA’s diverse neighborhoods. They selected 5 prominent LA areas and designated them as official hubs, each of which had a different commemorative and freshly printed handkerchief designed by local artists. I was able to secure the Melrose one, and was tempted to try to collect them all, but spent my time listening to the live performances and wandering the streets. There were also many interactive booths giving away various swag, food trucks, and crafts for all to enjoy. Target had a very large presence and gave away a lot of really great freebies.
CicLAvia will return for another community day event on Sunday December 2, 2018 from 9am to 3pm, so if you’re looking for a free family friendly activity to enjoy during the holidays this would be a great option!
Aside from driving – whats your mode of transportation?
Last weekend I partnered with Kind Snacks to cover the Ohana Festival on Doheny State Beach. The three music festival is an annual event and had an incredible line-up! I was excited to hear Norah Jones … Don’t know why… Well, I hope you do as it was one of her most popular songs. 🙂
While my friends and I checked in around 6pm, the festival started around noon with many music lovers lounging around the lush lawn with their blankets and beach chairs. Food and beverages on the premise was for purchase and there were a couple of miscellaneous vendors including Philosophy and some non-profits.
Norah gave an amazing performance and her loungy style was perfect for a relaxing Friday night. Prior to coming to this festival I hadn’t heard of Eric Church, but after seeing many cowboy hats in the crowd I later found out that he’s a prominent country music artist. This handsome performer was very charming on stage and before I knew it I was singing the “drink in my hand” chorus along with hundreds of others. I can definitely say I’m a fan of Eric Church and hope that I’ll get to see him perform again.
Halloween is just around the corner so I’ve increased my exercise regime and returned to eating very lean meats and healthy, nutritious meals to prepare for my fall cosplay outfits. While I’ve seen positive results in these changes, I’ve incorporated at least one cheat day a week to balance my cravings. The OC Weekly Decadence event on Friday evening was nothing short of a self-indulgent.
This yearly event was hosted outside of the Segerstrom plaza in Costa Mesa and as a VIP guest I was given admission to check out all the glorious noms and sips at 6pm. I was also given a really sturdy tote bag and later found out was filled with tons of great goodies! As my friend and I wandered around the plaza trying everything, we both agreed that the steak over garlic mashed potatoes from Texas de Brazil and Bourbon Bread Pudding from Sweet Dixie Kitchen were the dishes of the night. There was also plenty of alcoholic libation poured and photo booth opportunities to pose for.
Like many food festivals that I attend this had a great variety of local restaurants; however, the swag bag was definitely one of the best that I’ve seen. The gave away an elegant necklace perfect for a night out on the town along with generous coupons to visit the participating restaurants in the future. My favorite swag item had to be the $20 gift certificate from Mozambique. Can’t wait to try their exotic flavors and see their dessert options.
Cosplay AND Food Festival in one post?! Holy Cow! World’s colliding! and what better way to debut this pairing than in the backlots of Paramount Studios for the LA Times – The Taste ? Entertainment and food goes together like Peanut Butter and Jelly, right?
Over the Labor Day weekend, I along with other foodies made our pilgrimage to the annual event to sample some of LA’s best and kick off the three-day weekend with fun, food and flavor! Held right on the sets used for many movies and shows, this outdoor venue made a perfect backdrop to highlight the chef’s tasty bites. There was a ton of seafood options, which I loved including shrimp sashimi, an uni mousse, and scallops. But carnivores also had a wide selection of steaks and tartars. A number of the restaurants and guests asked me to pose for photos, which greatly reminded me of my geek convention days (See Power Morphin Con post, SDCC post, and LACC posts for photos!)
I had a great time wandering the streets sampling tons of bites, but my favorite part of this event was interacting with the sculpted characters representing Korea and Taiwan. We danced and did a bunch of videos to capture our memories, and of course ate delicious ethnic food at their booth. The boba from Taiwan’s Tourism Bureau and Korean pancakes from The Korean Tourism Board were on point!
If you’re a fan of my Chun Li cosplay I recently launched a new Instagram handle with all things Chun Li. So all future videos and photos and videos can be viewed there- so to see all those content please Follow @chunlistyle
Would you like to see more cosplay/food posts? Comment below
While most of the San Diego Comic Con was up and runnin’ on Wednesday (SDCC Preview Night), I was among the first guests to enter the Laika Live Experience – a FREE exhibit in the Gaslamp District.
Upon waiting in line my friends and I were handed a fan with a character as well as a headband with the characters iconic headdress (I choose the helmet for Kubo) and we were seated to watch a short video regarding the movies. For my readers unfamiliar with the Laika, they’re known for handcrafted stop-motion animation and stunning visual effects. They swap out heads to mimic different expressions, but at the end of the day it takes hours to create a scene that lasts a couple of minutes. Whew!
They also recreated a few life-size versions of certain scenes, but don’t let this comfy lookin’ couch fool you, it’s as hard as a rock. So deceptive! And my hinny was in great pain, but anything for the shot! lol
I can’t say that I know the franchise all that well, but I am confidently impressed by the patience and care to detail these artists put in creating these features. During the exhibit the artist who worked on the movie showed us techniques and told us how they recorded people doing certain tasks and would emulate those actions with the characters. One artist informed us that his running style was used for one of the mother characters.
My friends who attended last year said that this was even bigger and better than last – who will check this exhibit out in 2019?
San Diego Comic Con is MASSIVE and I felt that I didn’t do the mecca nerd gathering justice by spending just a couple days. So, this year I allocated more time to dwell in the summer nerd capitol and tried to do as many of the outside convention stuff. (See Conan Taping LIVE here.)
On Wednesday my friends and I ventured behind the convention to checkout the Dragon Ball Z area and considering it was Preview Night I was surprised at how many people were already waiting in lines! But those lines were no match for the My Hero Academia panel line (check out post here). Nevertheless, the setup was most impressive and there was a ton to do and see for the ultimate Dragon Ball fan! * Note * this area was within the sectioned SDCC Badge area.
The main line was for dedicated to fans who wanted a Dragon Ball Z backpack and lanyard, among other goodies, whereas the side lines were for fans who wanted to try and win freebies such as a t-shirt or hat. There were also photo opportunities as well as figurine replicas re-enacting scenes from the series all to promote the third anniversary mobile game “Dragon Ball Dokkan Battle” – I tried it and it’s super hard, but practice makes perfect right? Lol
Dragon Ball Z will also be premiering a movie later this year. No word on which theaters, but I hope it’s “Over 9000” haha… If you can have a private viewing of an upcoming movie, what movie would you want to see?
It’s surprising to people that this is only my second time attending San Diego Comic Con and while I had a blast last year (Click here to read) there were so many things that I missed out on! This year a group of my friends and I entered the Invincible Conan San Diego 2018 lottery for a chance to see Conan, some VIP guests, and get an exclusive Conan Funko Pop! No luck on my end, but one of my girlfriends was lucky enough to score tickets for herself and friends! Woohoo!
The taping wasn’t until the afternoon; however, we were instructed to line-up bright and early in the morning to secure our tickets. The tickets all had assigned seats, but rumor had it if you got there earlier you could get seats closer to the stage. My friends and I arrived at Spreckels Theater around 6:30 am for the 9:00 am ticket distribution, and found that a huge line already formed. There were some people there as early as 4:30 am!
Once 9:00 am hit we walked through their ticket booth decorated with all types of nerdy artwork, grabbed our tickets and went on our way. Just an FYI, tickets were somewhat random, as two guys in front of us were given Orchestra seats and we were given tickets Mezzanine. So, I really have no idea about seat selection. *shrugs*
We returned around 2:30 pm (doors closed at 3:30 pm), and enjoyed the band play before Conan arrived on stage. Conan told a few jokes and eventually introduced the cast for Aquaman including: Director James Wan, Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Yahya abdul-mateen II and Dolph Lundgren. I think out of the interview Dolph Lundgren’s story about learning to swim for the role then finding out that he didn’t need to was the highlight of the interview. Though I think some would argue that the cast drink a can of Guinness was the best part of the show – to each his own!
After the show we were each handed a Conan HellBoy Funko Pop as a souvenir. I believe if you attended the showing on the other days you had to redeem their pop at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. I think as a Comic Con newbie attending a Conan show should be on everyone’s to-do list. I for one would love to attend again next year!
When I was first thinking about this post I thought to myself – man… I totally bombed the “will write a blog post every-week” goal, I “should” be making more money, I “should” be blah blah blah.. but as I looked through my rolo-dex of photos I realized that I had so many cool moments and while I didn’t meet all the goals I set out – I did achieve quite a bit and “should” remember those! This was definitely the year of “Me, Myself, and Irene” from my “Diary of a Beauty Queen’s Food and Travel Adventures (Instagram)” to opening up to my readers with my alias as @TheGeekyGuide (Instagram) to launching my College Consulting By Yu Youtube channel (website), I’m three people in one!
As @yurockstar I finished my term as Miss Taiwanese World Queen and passed the torch (blog entry), and visited so many cool restaurants – the Exchange Restaurant being my favorite this year! (blog entry) – and festivals as media including the LA Food and Wine Festival (blog entry 1; blog entry 2; blog entry 3) where I got to meet Tyler Florence and Brian Malarky. I also got to be a guest on Gordon Ramsay’s “The F Word” and critiqued the competitors dishes. 2017 was also the year when I got to visit San Diego Comic Con (blog entry) for the first time and hear Disney Legend Alan Menkin perform his classic hits at D23 (blog entry)! I also bought an annual pass to Six Flags Magic Mountain (blog entry) and convinced four of my friends to go on roller coasters with me. On a totally random note – I also won a mattress from an Instagram contest through yelp, woot!
To be honest, I was kind of a closet cosplayer and nervous about cosplaying one of my childhood idols. The live action Wonder Woman movie debuted earlier this year and I felt very conscientious about wearing a corset, let alone portray such an iconic character. I was selected as one of Game Spot’s Best DC Cosplay at SDCC and WonderCon, and featured on the LA Time’s “Why Cosplay as Wonder Woman” video. But more importantly, I loved when kids came up to me to ask for a photo opt – just to see them smile made me feel that that 2 hours it took to do my hair and make-up all the worthwhile.
I also debuted Chun Li this year and was invited to join a Street Fighter group! Everyone does such a great job in portraying their character, and they inspired me to revisit and brush-up on my martial arts and dance techniques. I also upgraded some of my Sailor Mars uniform and had a blast with various photoshoots with the Sailor Scouts and Tuxedo Mask! I’ve made so many awesome friends through cosplay and it’s always awesome to see familiar faces portraying different heros and villians.