Tag Archives: travel

Game Masters at The Fleet Science Center!

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Have you read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline yet?  I’m obsessed with everything RP1 because although it’s set in the near future, it heavily features the nostalgia of the 1980’s (not to mention, the audio book is narrated by Wil Wheaton).  In the book, I imagine that the OASIS game creator James Halliday’s collection of video game consoles and arcade games would have looked exactly like this new exhibition at Balboa Park’s Fleet Science Center, GAME MASTERS: The Exhibition.  I first heard about this exhibition on Good Morning San Diego on KUSI News from none other than Brad Perry.  After seeing just the arcade game portion of the segment, I knew I had to take the kids to see it.  I actually finished RP1 after I visited this fantastic exhibition, and I’m so glad I did because I learned so much about the game designers that I recognized exactly who Ernest Cline was referring to in many instances, including when he mentions Dave Theurer, creator of my all time favorite arcade game, Tempest.

GAME MASTERS is separated into three sections.  It starts off with “Arcade Heroes” showcasing arcade games from my childhood.  The “Game Changers” section features games and consoles that took video game playing to the next level.  Finally “Indies” highlights current games very familiar to my son and niece, like Angry Birds and of course, Minecraft.

Video game aficionados and fans of RP1 should definitely take advantage of visiting this amazing exhibition.  GAME MASTERS was developed by ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) and is open now through January 15, 2018.  Information about the Fleet Science Center, including hours and admission can be found here.

Cheers!


ACRADE HEROES

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Mei-Lin attempting to play Space Invaders

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My husband showing Dominic how it’s done! (Playing Elevator Action)

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There, in front of me, at the base of this long pillar of light, stood an old coin-operated arcade game.  I recognized its distinctive, angular cabinet immediately.  Tempest. Atari. 1980.

– Parzival, Ready Player One

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Your’s truly and Mei getting on the board!


GAME CHANGERS

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Dominic playing SIMS

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Mei-Lin…concentrating

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INDIES

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Playing Angry Birds on a touch-screen TV

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Having fun with Castle Crashers

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Not your typical game of “Air Hockey”

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The only other game I’m actually good at:  PaRappa the Rapper

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One of their all-time favorites:  MINECRAFT

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FTC Disclosure:  I received complementary passes to enjoy Game Masters: The Exhibition at The Fleet Science Center.  Although I did receive complementary passes, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

Quick Wok: Tasty & Affordable Chinese Cuisine!

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During the summer, it’s always great when my sister and I can get together and take the kids out, especially since we have similar days off.  Earlier this month, we took the kids out for a fantastic lunch at Quick Wok, located in the Carmel Mountain area at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  The food was fast, delicious and the prices averaged at $10 or below, which made our lunch with drinks $35 for four people!

If you’re craving tasty Chinese cuisine at an affordable price, Quick Wok is located at 10175 Rancho Carmel Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 and they can be reached at (858) 592-7770.  If you’re in the area, you can also use Door Dash to have their full menu delivered to your door!

Cheers!

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Hot & Sour Soup

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The Sesame Chicken was amazing!

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My sister had the House Special Beef and she loved it! 

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The kids love dumplings, so each ordered the Fried Pot Stickers.  With a side of rice, it was a perfectly sized meal for each of them!

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Our entire meal as pictured, with four drinks came to $35! 

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Rancho Carmel Plaza.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(All photos taken by Rholnna Jiao)

The Latest From LEGOLAND® – Splash Out to Summer 2017!

It’s getting hot here in San Diego, and what better way than to cool off at LEGOLAND’S® Water Park in Carlsbad!  A couple of months ago, my sister and I got to spend the day there with the kids to kick off their “Splash Out To Summer”.  In addition to the festivities, we also got to see behind the scenes during the construction of their newest attraction, Surfers’ Cove.  We captured all of the fun we had that day, and I’ll be sure to post when Surfers’ Cove officially opens!

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A very early morning at LEGOLAND®!

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(This image courtesy of LEGOLAND®)

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While I stayed with the kids at the Water Park, my sister got to tour the area where Surfers’ Cove was being built.

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This area is near where the entrance would be to Surfers’ Cove and the blue platform area will become the Surfers’ Ride.  There will also be a Beach Street Taco stand, and we got the chance to sample what will be offered.  Pictured below is a delicious fish taco!

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A fun little gift pack; I’m excited to finally have a waterproof carrier for my phone!

(Most pictures taken by Rholnna Jiao & Cy Chen, unless otherwise noted)

 

On Birthdays, We Wear Pink!

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Before the month ends, I wanted to put up pictures of when my sister and I went out for my birthday earlier this month.  We both have Monday’s off, and my birthday was on May 8th, which fell on a Monday this year.  Since my husband was working and our son was in school, my sister and I went on a mini-adventure in the Irvine area.  I’ll split our trip up into two parts, which was what I wore, and what we ate!


Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE OUTFIT

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I bought two things from the Victoria Beckham for Target line:  The Blush Floral Jacquard Bomber Jacket and the Black Collared Dress, which I’ll be wearing in another outfit post (pictured above).  It was fitting that we visited the Hello Kitty Cafe on our way home, because pink was the order of the day, and who wears it better than Hello Kitty!  I wore the jacket very casually with black jeans and a white t-shirt, but jazzed it up a bit with a pom-pom necklace, metallic sneakers, and of course…pink pins!

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Outfit:  Blush Jacquard Bomber Jacket by Victoria Beckham for Target (no longer available online); The Cotton Box-Cut Pocket Tee by Everlane; Michael Kors purse (older, no longer available); Jeans and Leather Eyes Bag Tag by Madewell

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Pom-Pom necklace purchased at Vocabulary Boutique; Chic” pin by Pin Drop; “Just Another Tweenage Dirtbag” pin by Pretty Nobody Co.; “George Michael” pin by Bang-Up Betty

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Breakpoint Metallic Canvas sneakers by Converse


Birthday Adventure 2017:  THE FOOD

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Our food adventure began at Burntzilla (menu here) and ended at Stax Cookie Bar (we didn’t actually eat at Hello Kitty Cafe).

Burntzilla is a brick & mortar cafe, combining two of Orange County’s popular food trucks: Burnt Truck and Dogzilla.  We originally had other plans to visit a place that served specialty tater tots, but unfortunately it was closed on Mondays.  Since I was in the mood for tater tots in any form, I searched “tater tots Anaheim”, and Burntzilla came up (although the location is in the Irvine area).  I love a good slider, so the menu was appealing because it had different variations on sliders and mini-hot dogs.

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The folks at Burntzilla generously gave me a complimentary Golden Combo for my birthday!  The Golden Combo is a great deal because you can get two Sliders or Zillas (or one of each), with a soda and naked side.  Along with the tots, I had the Yaki Zilla (hot dog) and the Sloppy Joe Slider.  Both were amazing and the tots made my meal perfect!

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My sister also had the Golden Combo, but had the Dogzilla, Cheeseburger Slider and fries, since I had the tots.

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For dessert, we wanted something out of the ordinary.  On the fly, my sister hit the dessert jackpot in her search while we were literally on the road, and found Stax Cookie Bar, right across the street from UC Irvine.  Based on the pictures below, you’ll see why!

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This is the Smookie.  Stax has a variety of filled cookies to choose from, and you can top it any way you desire.  Since it was my birthday, I had the Snickerdoodle cookie (filled with Nutella) topped with birthday cake ice cream and caramel sauce.  I can’t even begin to describe how decadent it was!

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On the left is the Bacon Chocolate Chip Creamrito, which my sister attempted to get through.  The Creamrito is rolled ice cream wrapped around more ice cream and other yummy fillings.  This truly is a two-person dessert, and we do plan on coming back up and doing it justice because it was quite delicious.  On the right, is the famous “Waffle Shot” by Zia Valentina.  I had my first one at The Grove, but the one I had at Stax was espresso with ice cream at the bottom of the shot.  Yes, it was as good as it sounds!

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I had a great time on this mini-food adventure with my sister, who gifted me with several new pins, because well, she’s my sister and knows what I love!  Thank you Rholnna for spending my birthday with me, and here’s to more foodie adventures to come.  Cheers!

“Mangia Mangia” at Bongiorno’s Pizza in Poway Valley Center!

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Hometown eateries are always a great find because they’re like hidden gems.  My sister and I have been discovering fun places to eat up near where she lives in Rancho Bernardo, and Bongiorno’s Pizza in the Poway Valley Center is a tasty and affordable choice for Italian cuisine.  Our entire lunch meal, which included our main dishes with garlic knots, drinks and dessert only came to $29!  There were so many great choices, which solidifies a return trip with our families!

If you would like a great and affordable Italian dining experience, Bongiorno’s Pizza is located at 13332 Poway Road, Poway CA 92064 and they can be reached at (858) 679-3278.  They also do deliveries within 5 miles.  Cheers!

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Bongiorno’s has a cozy feel, with lots of pictures of New York.  Isn’t that pizza clock awesome?

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I had the spaghetti with meat sauce, and my sister had the baked ziti.  Both were really good, and we loved the garlic knots!

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“Leave the gun, take the cannoli…”

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This is absolutely one of the best deals at Bongiorno’s: the Dough Bites.  They are deep fried dough rolled in powdered sugar, and come in a small pizza box.  The entire box was only $4.99 and so great hot and right out of the box!

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FTC Disclosure:  I received compensation to patronize a business at Poway Valley Center.  Although I did receive compensation, the opinions in this post are strictly my own.

(Most photos by Rholnna Jiao)

The Latest From LEGOLAND® – The LEGO® STAR WARS™: THE FORCE AWAKENS Miniland Model Display

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I’m sure you’ve heard by now that the longest LEGO® STAR WARS™ Miniland model ever built was just unveiled last week at LEGOLAND® California.   LEGOLAND® bloggers got a sneak peek at the media preview a couple of weeks ago.  My sister and I brought the kids to partake in the fun!

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Sarah Michelle-Gellar, best known for Buffy the Vampire Slayer but is currently the voice of Seventh Sister in Star Wars Rebels, was on hand to help the young guests “power up” the display with their light sabers!

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The detail was simply amazing!

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Have I mentioned my love for themed food?  There was plenty of snacks on hand to feed the young Padawans!

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I think Mei-Lin and Dominic had fun, don’t you?

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KUSI’s Brandi Williams was on hand to interview Julie Estrada, Media Contact at LEGOLAND®

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We then got to meet Brandi and she was so sweet!  She took pictures with us and let the kids hold her KUSI microphone!

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Imagine my surprise to see myself and the kids as part of the media kit that went out to everyone after the preview night!

(This image courtesy of LEGOLAND®)

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Thank you LEGOLAND® for a wonderful night and for the gifts for the kids.  Congratulations on your new LEGO®Star Wars™: The Force Awakens Miniland Model Display!

(Most pictures taken by Rholnna Jiao, unless otherwise noted)

The Latest From LEGOLAND®: Dominic’s Birthday at The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days!

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As you know, The LEGO® Batman Movie did extremely well at the theaters this year.  In conjunction with its release, LEGOLAND® California celebrated with The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days during the last two weeks in February.  LEGOLAND® bloggers were invited to attend one of the weekends, so we decided to turn it into a birthday celebration for Dominic, who turned 8 on February 27th!  Being the amazing photographer that she is, my sister skillfully captured all of the festivities at LEGOLAND®.  The next day, we took Dominic out for breakfast at his favorite place, followed by The LEGO® Batman™ Movie.


The LEGO® Batman™ Movie Days at LEGOLAND® California

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My sister, Rholnna, in action!

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Mei-Lin & Dominic were ready to take on the Miniland Scavenger Hunt!

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Batman™ Mini-figures were hidden with letters throughout Miniland, which spelled out a word.  Once the word was unscrambled, participants could enter to win one of two LEGO® prize packs!

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Batman was present EVERYWHERE in places like The Big Shop.  Even yours truly got in on the fun!

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Mei-Lin & Dominic always have fun, and can find new things to do each time we go to LEGOLAND®.  This time, they tried their hands at panning for gold!

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Another big part of why we love LEGOLAND® is the amazing food.  I always go for the Bao Bun at the Ninja Kitchen in Ninjago® World.  The rest of the family feasted on desserts, like goodies from Castle Ice Cream and the Churro Stand at Castle Hill.  Here’s a tip: Get the churros with chocolate sauce, you won’t regret it!

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Dominic got an awesome XBOX gift card from Auntie Rholnna, Uncle Jeremy and Mei-Lin!

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Thanks again LEGOLAND®, Dominic said he had an awesome time!


Dominic’s Birthday

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My mom couldn’t make it to LEGOLAND®, so she opted to have breakfast with us at Breakfast Republic Dominic’s actual birthday.  I’ve been to the North Park location, and Dominic and I have eaten at the Liberty Station location.  Since we live near Downtown, we all ate at the East Village location for his birthday.

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Dominic’s favorite meal at Breakfast Republic are the Churro Pancakes!

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For his birthday, Dominic was also treated to coffee cake with his favorite fruit: strawberries!

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Dominic loved The LEGO® Batman™ Movie so much, this was actually round two for him!