Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vacation. Show all posts

Sunday, December 31, 2017

December Picture Blog | Liquid Diet Guide


Last Meal At The boiling crab before liquid diet

First and foremost, Happy New Year, my loves! I hope this will be the year you will go gusto after your dreams and make them a reality! If you need weightloss or any kind of accountability partner, heat me up, either here, Brook@BabalwaBrook.com, or on all social media under my name: Babalwa Brook. Weight wise, what I have been doing is have you send me a photo of your starting weight, that's you on the scale with the weight on, then have you send me updates of your progress. I will keep your information private, of course. This is a free service, use me!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Hollywood And Beverly Hills Tour

Our time in Vegas is running out, we won't be able to meet up with Tortoise. I called and let him know that. We made our way to the bus station. A little waiting and we were on the road back to The City of Angels. Calvin picked us up from Union Station. He took us to the famous Phillippe's for breakfast, downtown LA. I was too tired to care, so I waited in the car for them. We took the food home. There was so much

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Haunted Hotel in Las Vegas

Happy New Month of August, everyone!

We're in Vegas, they let us check in early, thank goodness! Our room did smell like cigarette smoke though! We turned on the A/C as soon as we got in there, to try and, I guess, kill the smell? My sister, Pumla, took a bath first. I was walking around, taking videos. Here's a video of our hotel room...

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Vegas Bound With My Sister

Vegas, it is!
Now, to find accommodation and transportation at such short notice! We both jumped on our phones and got to getting! We didn't want to stay too far from The Strip, so we searched for something along those lines. or Strips?
We found a room on the Vegas Strip with

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Shopping Sisters

She's here! Now what? Just kidding!
This was a great period in my life, first the engagement, then shot gun wedding, now my person is in town! Talk about having the time of one's life! As my sister and I were walking to the care with me secretly wishing to bump into a celebrity or two. Why not? We are in LA after all, right? TMZ! Where you at? We'll just follow your lead!
This was her first time seeing my car in 'person', so she was excited for me. So was I!

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Birthdays and Anniversaries

I hope those who celebrate had a nice 4th of July!
        Quick! Before today ends, I would like to make an announcement: It's my sister Puma Brook-Thomae's Birthday! Happy birthday, sis! I have sent her messages all over the technology globe because I love her so. I can't wait to call her tomorrow and ask her all about it. She's probably asleep now. Time difference. It should be 3am where she is now. I don't think she will appreciate being called at this hour for birthday details, haha!

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Camping in Santa Barbara

Our campgrounds were about 20 minutes outside Santa Barbara City Limits. It was already dark outside and trying to find the grounds to be a bit tricky. I thought we could just follow the GPS and we'd be as good as gold. Nope! The address we had was for the offices. When you look out the campgrounds, the GPS takes you to the middle of nowhere and then says, 'you have arrived!'. No, lady! We haven't! Calvin told me he thought he may have seen an off ramp further back. I had to make a U-turn but we were in a hilly, windy road, so first driveway I saw, I turned into, to turn. Here's Calvin freaking out, 'OMG, babe! Babe! We'll get killed here! don't drive into this yard! What are you doing, babe?' I thought I was dreaming. What kinda co-pilot is this? You job is to keep me calm, not get more excited than me!

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Santa Barbara State Beach

The route to Santa Barbara was so scenic! So enjoyable! Plus, I love to drive, so this wasn't a stretch for me at all. We made one more pit stop before we got there. We got there sooner than I expected. One minute we were on the freeway, the next, we were on State Street!

Calvin suggested we head straight for the beach. Good idea, babe! Now, to find parking! We found a nice spot, probably the only one; right by the beach. Thank you, stars! I was so excited to be in one of the places I had always dreamt of going, I took a 360° video clip. Here it is!

State Beach, Santa Barbara, California

Monday, January 30, 2017

Nobu in Malibu

June was an interesting month in this household. It was the third month since Jim passed away, and since I moved in with Calvin. I was doing the best I can to settle in. I started my YouTube Channel and got my own domain name for the blog, around June/July. It was hot as heck and I was too heavy for the middle of summer in LA. I found the scale while unpacking the very last of my stuff from my old place. I mustered the courage to get on it. Oh my goodness! I was the heaviest I had ever been in my entire life! There goes my chance of being in the Weight loss Clinical Study! Now what?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Black Friday

On our last day in the desert, we got up early, as usual; Calvin made breakfast, we packed and loaded the car.

Calvin's dad has a friend of more than 50 years. They have been friends since they were in second grade and have been in each other's lives all their lives. The friend lives in the desert. Calvin called the friend and the friend wanted us to pass by before we left.

I asked Calvin to take a couple of pictures of me before we headed out. I was so glad to have finally gotten a chance to see the desert house.

It was kinda cold as you can tell by my outfit

Calv did what we used to call closing procedures in my years of working as a security officer; walking around the house ensuring all the windows are closed, doors locked, water thing closed, etc. As he was doing that, I walked around taking the scenery in one last time.

That's when I spotted these: 2 Prickly pears!

I come from an area named after prickly pear because there are so many of them. We used to even sell them growing up. We would fill old paint cans up with prickly pears and sell them to passers by along the main road from Uitenhage through Cape Town. I had never seen this shade though. Calv picked it for is...with his bare hands! I was like, are you sure you should be using your bear hands for that? He relied, 'babe, I'm a tree specialist! I know what I'm doing!' Ok, smarty pants!

Peach prickly pear. 

I had never seen a peach prickly pear before. Maybe it should be called prickly peach? I enjoyed it though. I hadn't had prickly pear since forever. Just before we left, I said something about my dry skin from the desert weather. Calvin ran back to the front yard, tore up an aloe and brought a piece. he told me to use some of the juices on my skin. I was like, ?!?!?!? I didn't want to say anything to the Tree Doctor. It's quite nice having someone so handy around, who knows things regular people don't know. He comes in handy more often than not.

Calvin spotted a toad as he was turning off water. See? on the left? there were three of them

When all was said and done, we headed over to Cal's dad's friend's house. It's downtown, so to speak. Cute house. Cute Harley Davidson bike outside. Nice and clean. Red. Have you noticed how bikes are hardly ever dirty? The friend came out to great us. A True biker, he came out in jeans with a Harley Davidson T-shirt on and had shoulder length silver hair. It was nice to meet someone that cool. You wouldn't expect that in that town. always expect the unexpected. He gave me a good, strong hug and told me that he had heard so much about me; that Cal's dad loves me and always raves about me. It was such a humbling thing to hear. I love Cal's dad, he is the nicest person you will ever meet in your life and an awesome cook. I guess that's where Calvin gets it from.

Back to my roots!

We hung out. I love other people's homes. I love to see how they decorate them and stuff. I'm into that. Feel free to send me pictures of your homes too, for real! I love them, I think you can learn a lot about someone by just looking at their home. I specifically love clean homes, ain't nobody got time to tiptoe in a filthy house where you can't even put your expensive handbag. That ain't right! It doesn't have to be all white. Lived in but tidy, where you don't have to spring clean, or lock some rooms when you expect someone because you're embarrassed. The way you live also shows your state of mind. If your house is chaotic, it means your affairs are all over the place. I really believe that. You wanna keep things in their own place in your head and in your house. Why not? Life's easier that way. You want to be able to walk from your bedroom to the bathroom or any other room for that matter, in the middle of the night, in the dark or with your eyes closed because there is no mess on the floor that you will trip on.

Anyway, we sat on stools by a counter between the living room and the kitchen and drinks! The friend took out his precious stash for Cal because he considers him his nephew. We all chatted and joked around. I love that guy, he's so cool. So Fun! There were a lot of that's what she said jokes. And you know me, I always down for a that's what she said joke. The friend's wife came home. She had been visiting her sister in the hospital. This is the fifth wife. Apparently the friend had been married and divorced four times and Calv's dad was best man in three of those weddings haha. I love such stories, the craziest things you will ever hear. The friend told us their started off as a group of five or six friend but half have since passed away. He and Cal's dad are the only two that are still close. 

The wife invited us to their 20 something or so anniversary. This may be the fifth marriage but it stuck! They have been married for a very long time! Calvin agreed.. Not too long after the wife got home, it was time for us to head out. Back to LA, it is! I noticed Calvin walking kinda funny to the kitchen. I had asked everyone to take a group selfie. It came out great. I sent it to the wife's phone for them to have a copy. We walked to the car and that's when I saw that Calvin was really having a hard time walking. All that good stuff that the friend was giving him, may have been too strong for him. Great! That means I'm driving all the way home!

But first!We went to the mall. I had seen one of my favorite stores in the mall when we went to Walmart. I asked if we could check it out seeing as it was the real Black Friday. There was nobody in the mall, I think everyone was still at Walmart since the night before. I needed a black, everyday handbag as my old Ann Taylor one was busted. I had had it forever though. Since my sister came to The US for the first time. I was still in South Africa then, dreaming of coming to America. This was 2009 or 2010. I highly recommend Ann Taylor, a bit pricey but oh so worth it.

I found a cute BCBG Tote.

Cute and just the right size
Just what I needed! And it's reversible!

Yass! 

Not only that! It came with another bag inside. A Crossbody bag. My kinda sht. If you've noticed my bags over the years, especially on Facebook or Instagram; I always have a crossbody bag.

Amazing bag that keeps on giving

It seemed like I was getting three bags for the price of one. What more could you ask for? I also needed a pair of sunglasses. I had been breaking mine like there's no tomorrow. I found two pairs; one Oscar De la Renta and one Tommy Hilfiger pair. The Tommy was going to replace the Rockawear pair that stretched out on me. They were kinda similar.

I saw a cute pair of Navy  swede Calvin Klein Moccasins for Calvin. Unfortunately, he told me they're not his style. When it was time to pay, Calvin insisted on paying. I didn't even turn him down because I deserved it considering I was bout to drive us all the way back home and I drove to the desert as well. 

Approaching Johannesburg

What? Where are we?

Johannesburg with 172 population. 

This cannot be the same Johannesburg as the one in South Africa has a population of around 5 million.

I'll leave you with me in Johannesburg. See you in the next blog. Thanks for reading!





Friday, May 13, 2016

Giving Thanks

Here we are, at Walmart, Ridgecrest, ready to shop till we drop! We had to drive around a bit looking for parking. It was already packed by the time we got there even though we were early. Clearly, we weren't the only ones who were Smart Brooks! Shouldn't these people be Thanksgiving-ing? Black Friday comes but one a year, I guess! We found parking, I kinda felt bad for people who were going to shop on actual Black Friday, there wasn't going to be anything for them to buy.

So, we walked towards the Walmart entrance and boom! Yellow tape all around the store! They had security all around the entrance. You couldn't do what I sometimes do and enter from the exit door and vice versa. Those police weren't playing. I asked one of them, why are there police here tonight? He told me that it was for black Friday. Wow! I am not a big Black Friday person, I just do my thing and if I was going to be at the stores, then so be it.

When we got inside, there was only one direction we could go, everything was contained within security tape. Also, the way they packed everything, it was impossible to go back, once you went black passed a section. It was pretty organised, I must say, big up to Walmart! We had to grab whatever we thought we might want, we could then sort everything out before we headed to the cashier. Calvin, being his impulsive self, was just grabbing and thowing on the cart (trolley)! I had to ask him if he really needed some things. He told me that he would give some away as Christmas gifts, which was a Smart Calvin move. I headed straight for the printer. It was going to be my first time owning a printer. How American of me!

I was lucky, they still had a huge pile of the HP Printers I was eyeing. In fact, they had different ones as well, but mine was cuter. Calvin bought all kinds of things, he really doesn't need anything, that's why it's so hard to buy him something for a special occasion. He's modest too, when I ask him what he would like for Christmas or something, he will tell me, 'I don't need anything, babe! If I needed anything, I would've already bought it myself'. I have a George Foreman grill that I got from a good friend of mine when she relocated, I told you that story. I use that to make toasts as well. They had toasters for $10, so I grabbed myself a cute, silver one. Calvin bought himself a ricer cooker. I have my amazing pressure cooker, that I hadn't even used, so I didn't get one of those. By the time we were done, this was us...



The stuff was very nicely priced though, I didn't feel bad at all, plus Calvin paid. He offered to pay for my Printer. He didn't need anything and ended up buying so much, so I felt kinda bad and paid for some of his stuff.

We loaded our stuff in my truck and wend to eat. Ridgecrest is a very small town, they didn't have that many options of places for Thanksgiving dinner, so we went to the first place we saw open; Dennis. Lucky Bastards!


Calvin ordered appetizer. It was ok
I never order appetizers and all that. Calvin almost always does. I just shoot for the most exotic item on the menu. This is Dennis, they don't do exotic.

My dinner. It was decent. The shrimp was meh

Calvin usually orders for me. I ask him to because he is such a foodie. His choice of food is always so good!

Calvin's dinner. Delicious

I had some of his food, as usual!

There were a couple of families to my right who had toddlers with them. Those kids wouldn't stop crying. First I was annoyed, then I ended up feeling bad for the families and the cry babies.

After dinner, it was freezing cold out! We ran to the car and headed back home. Heater on! We snuck into our sleeping bags and went to sleep. It was a great day indeed!

PumlasFood Cookbook

Soooooo! First and foremost, I would like to give a huge shout out to my sister Pumla Brook-Thomae on her amazing new cookbook that just came out. Well done, sis! You relentlessly make me proud! I will definitely buy myself a copy or two! Please support a sister! Her book is entitled PumlasFood: Family Style. It's very scrumptuouus,  really simple to make meals. She is taking preorders now and is shipping them within South Africa. International sales will be dealt with at a later stage, she will inform everyone. You may find her on Social Media, (Facebook, twitter, Instagram) under her name or look up Pumlasfood. She has a blog as well http://pumlasfood.blogspot.com . She's a great soul with a big heart, always sharing recipes on her pages, health and lifestyle tips.

My sister Pumla's highly anticipated Cookbook
Anyway! Back to the business of business! Remember, we were still in the desert, we did some shooting.

Shotgun

I hit the target my very first shot with this baby...
Revolver

Target. No watermelons were harmed during the production of this experience!

That's a fake watermelon. I nice time was had all around!

By the way, before we went shooting, we went to the local Walmart to buy earmuffs for me. When we got there, Calvin noticed that they had a printer dirt cheap. I had mentioned to him that I need one. I wanted one for my eBay business. It's so much easier to just print the label and drop the package in the drop box. It definitely beats waiting in line at the Post Office forever. A lady overheard us when we were going gaga over the printer. She told us that they were lowering prices for black Friday, which was the following day. She did mention, also, that they were going to start selling at the sale prices that very night! Thanksgiving night. Black Friday, as you may know, is the Friday after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is on the last Thursday of November in The US and in October in Canada. I told Calvin that we needed to go back to the sale. It was nice and late, we could do whatever we needed to during the day and then head out there before the sale started, pick what we wanted and be first in line once they started ringing Black Friday purchases. 'Smart, Brook!', he said. 

We got what we needed from Walmart and headed out to the shooting spot. Not before getting stares as if I was back in Eastern Europe. My gosh! Adults could contain themselves, but kids! Poor kids! Some parents stared too though. It got to the point where, I told Calvin and he told me to tell him whenever I spy a starer. We made out every time someone stared at us. Give them something to gawk at.

Traffic? What's that? 

I love driving in Ridgecrest, there is no such thing as rush hour over there. You may look it up, it's a very small town, with not much going on.
Driving Brook

After shooting, Calvin drove us back to the house. He loves shooting. I was glad to have shared in that experience with him. 

Back in the house, we just hung out and talked. I had always had a feeling that after our first trip to the desert, we would be that much closer. We did a lot of talking. I opened up even more to him. Believe it or not, I am not one to put out all my business out there. This may be hard to digest considering I am on all the social media sites (look me up and add me Babalwa Brook. Team follow back!) and I have a personal blog but still! I am not just someone who tells everyone everything about me, just like that. I have been in relationships and friendships with people for years and they still don't know all there is to know about me. I have friends who talk about stuff I even forgot happened to me because I never have any intention to bring up. I don't now if this makes sense, but I am not a big fan of feeling vulnerable. Hat off to people who can go there. 

I did try to call my family on Thanksgiving and couldn't reach them, especially my mom. I know Thanksgiving is an American thing but I am so big on gratitude (I've had a gratitude journal since 2014), I wanted to talk to the people I am most grateful for, my family. Time difference is a mutha, I tell ya! 

There are a bunch of CD's and VHS tapes in the desert house. We tried watching some TV to no avail and ended up watching a serial killer DVD on my laptop. I had taken it along because in all the times I have imagined being in the desert, I had imagined it being this cute house where my beau and I would be alone, listening to music off my iTunes. Nice and romantic! The laptop came in handy because we ended up watching serial killers haha. That can be romantic! No? Ok!

I'd had my nails done just before the trip. Calv's treat. Gel Nails

Calvin made us lunch, we ate and chilled. After all that, we headed for Walmart for Early Black Friday!









Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We Didn't Start The Fire

Freedom at last!
Inasmuch as I enjoyed the free money that came with having someone crashing on my couch for a few hours a night, I loved having my place to myself. I stayed alone for a bit after Brian moved out.

Calvin had to have a medical procedure one day. I happened to be around, so, I went along. In fact, I drove him to the doctor's. He told me to park the car and go in with him. I was flattered that he wanted me to be around for that, and, at the same time, cringed inside. I didn't know how scary it was going to be but I wanted to be there. It was as hot as heck outside, I found a spot across the street from the doctor's and went in to find Cal. Calvin was already with the doctor, they called me in when it was ok for me to go in. I was so nervous! I kept telling myself, relax, all's well!

The nurses were nice, doctor was ok. Calvin didn't seem nervous at all, so  I tried to hide my nerves. The actual procedure took no time at all, but there's all the paperwork that had to be done and stuff. When we got done, I drove us back home. Calvin had a few days off, doctor's orders, then it was going to be the weekend. He suggested we head for the desert. It was my first time out there and our second trip together. This was much further, 3 hours away. I didn't know what to expect. I had seen the outside from pictures Calvin took for me whenever he would go there with his dad.

We packed firewood, sleeping bags and all kinds of fun stuff. Calvin had said that we might go camping in death valley or somewhere in the mountains while out there. I was game! I'm always game!

We left around 2pm, just like last time when we went to Orange County. I drove, it was a nice drive, soon as we left LA, the road was clear. It always amazes me the difference in traffic just outside LA. Worlds apart!

The temperatures were much lower in the desert than in LA. We arrived at the house, I got a tour. It's a 3 bedroom house with living room and a big open plan kitchen with giant island in the center. I really like the setup. It has two bathrooms, one ensuite the main bedroom. It was a bit dusty because nobody lives there. As a result of the dust and not feeling like spring cleaning I took out the sleeping bags and told Calv we would sleep in them. I had brought pillows for us, in case we went camping. Those came in handy too!
The living room with eclectic throws and our thick ass red sleeping bags

After off loading the car, we went out to dinner. Calvin drove. I was pooped by then! It was my first time letting him drive my car. I don't generally let anyone drive my car. Interesting, because everybody lets me drive their cars. I don't ask, they usually do and, you know me, I don't say no! Anyway, he drove it very carefully, which  I appreciated. I turned on the A/C and heated the seats, it was so cold! Population in that town is  500, 5 minutes or so from Cal's family home, there's a bigger city with 15000 population. These are very small towns, as you can tell, especially where we were staying. There are no tall buildings and I think that adds up to how cold it is,because it's open.
We came across this ride full of people, they told us it used to look just like mine before they "worked" on it
See how open it is behind us? The town is somewhere in the peripheral view, small

We went to a steakhouse for dinner. It wasn't far, less than 10 minutes drive. Plus side for being in such a small town, with zero population? No traffic! We parked right outside the restaurant. There were a bunch of people inside, the waiter was nice, the food was meh. We had Ribs. I wished they were warm, it was so cold! There are a bunch of TV's in the restaurant and pool tables, it looked like a sports bar to me. The servings were so huge! We ordered one meal and shared and couldn't even finish it.
Dinner, giant ribs, okra, cornbread and sweet potato fried

 As soon as we were done eating, we got the heck out of there. Calvin drove back. We got home,  I helped start the fire outside.
Feeding the already well fed fire

 I stuffed in so much wood in there, the fire looked like a house on fire. It was great! I hadn't started a fire in forever but I grew up in the farm, some things you never forget.
Look at that!
We sat outside and enjoyed the fire while Calvin played Sam Cooke on his cellphone. We had brought his portable speaker with him. He bought me one as well when he got that one. He got me a pink one. Perfection! It was a fun time! We sang along, danced, enjoyed the heat. It was already late by then. I eventually got tired and went inside, made my bed. They have these really big sectionals in the living room. I got on one of them in my sleeping bag, Calvin took the longer side because he is taller. Interesting that we slept in the living room in an unoccupied three bedroom house. Calvin did suggest we sleep in his dad's room. I didn't think it was appropriate.
Parked outside the desert house

The following morning, we went shooting. We had brought all kinds of guns. We went to an open spot with mountains around it.

 Nobody lives there, we had also brought targets, we bought them on our way to the desert. Calvin set up the whole thing, he was the first one to shoot, I took pictures.
Gearing up
We started with the small gun, I don't know names, ok? He showed me how to load it, I did so, took a stance and BAM! I hit the target y'all! First time around! I was so psyched! Calvin caught it all on camera, thankfully!
Aiming ... and... BAM!
My immediate reaction after hitting the target the first shot

Monday, April 04, 2016

I Made a Boo Boo!

It's still vacation time and my phone is still off. Dude is still unable to get hold of me and is sleeping I don't know where because I locked the bolt to my house. Not my problem, when you book a stay through AirBnB, you pay before the stay. He didn't. Oh well! His stuff was still at my house, so he still owed me for that because I wasn't able to let someone else stay there, plus, he had the key to my place.

Calvin took me to one of his favorite restaurants in his neighborhood. Mexican. We picked up his friend along the way. A nice guy, very talkative, good talk though, so I liked. I looked for something I had never had before on the menu and found this cool dish that comes in a pot. I had meat, I think it was beef, then there was a plate full of rice, beans, other stuff and another plate with salad. AND the friend recommended a drink he thought I would like. I tell you, it looked like I was going to have a buffet all on my own. They also had their own dishes but mine was the most elaborate.

Part of my dish. The meat pot. The red drink was mine too

The food was good but I think I got full just by looking at it. It was way too much. We asked the lady to put it in a take out container or us.
Rice and Beans...

There is always so much food around Calvin that I couldn't tell you how much weight I have put on since we met. It's a hard one, I tell ya! (That's what she said haha).

That's me in Cal's Green clothes; his favorite color

The above is the outfit Calvin wore on our trip to to the mountain. I love how, even though he's slim, some of his clothes fit me. He has all sizes in his closets. Yeah, closets, that man has a lot of clothes!


On Sunday, Calvin wanted to go to church. I didn't have any church appropriate clothing. He offered to buy me a dress.

Cute and Comfy. I also grabbed leopard print shoes while at it

I will show you the shoes when I find the picture. I wore the dress with the shoes even though the shoes didn't really go along. I didn't buy them for that outfit anyway. I bought them cos I liked them.

Found the shoe picture!

During our shopping trip, we stopped by at this cute sweets spot. We had one of just about everything. Cal bought stuff for his family, and I had Ice cream with chocolate brownie, white and dairy milk chocolate and Lord knows what else.
The green is Pistachio ice cream so good!

 It was good!


 After church, Cal's friends stopped by for a drink or ten. We ordered pizza. I am not a big pizza fan. I will eat it, especially during PMS, otherwise, meh. To entice me, Cal ordered the best pizza around. I was like, alright, I'll check it out! It came in a giant rectangular box. One of the biggest pizza boxes I have ever seen. The pizza was good too. They ordered my choice, something with lots of meat on it. Why not, right? Well, unless you're vegetarian.

Pizza so big, all of it didn't fit in the picture!

I enjoyed the pizza. Calv had also ordered anchovies on the side.Some of her friends added ranch (salad dressing) on their pizza and some or everyone but me added Parmesan powder. I was like, dang! Tough crowd! All in all, everyone enjoyed the pizza (in their own special way!)

After out week or more off, I turned on my phone and checked my messages. There were so many from Brian, my AirBnB guest. He left me voice messages, emails, and texts. Normally, he wouldn't message me at the risk of me forwarding the emails to airbnb and  them finding out that he was a crappy guest who wasn't paying on time. He would always insist we talk over the phone or in person when he was home. He was desperate. When I got home, I messaged him through airbnb and told him the reason I had turned off my phone and that he still owed me for the time that he wasn't staying there. I wasn't going to let him in until he was paid up. He made payment ASAP via credit card and also paid for the following few nights. I was completely turned off this guy. I didn't appreciate his style at all.

After the few nights Brian had paid for, he booked again and made a payment. I accepted. The following day, I got a message that the payment didn't go through. Great! I took a screen shot of the email and texted it to him. He tried to explain his way out of it. I locked my apartment that night. He knocked and knocked and knocked, I didn't open. I thought that having been locked out for a week was going to teach him an invaluable lesson. Not this dude! 

He came home in the middle of the night, around 1am. His usual time. I heard knocks on the door and the window. I didn't open at all, in fact, I turned off my phone. He finally gave up and slept outside my front door. The following morning, I opened my door and this dude is lying out there like, what in the heck! I guess he was out there using my wifi until he fell asleep. The heck? He came in, paid me in cash and apologized again. I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I need to get rid of this guy but a few things need to fall into place first. 

When he paid that day, he also paid for the following few nights. He was good in worming his way back in by doing that. I took the money because money is money and that's why I was letting my couch out. That night, I went to sleep. In the middle of the night, I heard Brian come home. I was lucky, I went right back to sleep. Within an hour or so, there's a door on my door. The bedroom door this time. Brian never used to come into my room or even knock. He used to do his own thing, I used to do mine. I'm like, good God, what could it possibly be at this hour. I woke up and answered the door. Brian told me that he didn't want me to get mad in the morning, so he thought he'd wake me up and tell me that he blocked the toilet.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

River Deep, Mountain High

Being back in LA, didn't mean vacation was over! We still had more time to do stuff!

Calvin took me to this coffee place in San Gabriel where they have exotic coffees. I am not a coffee person, so I had this (durian) Indonesian fruit shake. I had never heard of the fruit, so of course, I had to have that! Why waste time on something you know when you have an opportunity to try something new? The owner of the place know Calvin and knows that his adventurous nature. The owner thought that Calvin was making me order the durian shake. I was like, no! No! No, Sir! I want to try this! He told me that if I didn't like it, I couldn't return it. I told him that I didn't think I could either! While discussing this issue, I noticed that there was something boiling on the other side of the counter. It looked like eggs boiling in mud. I asked what that was all about. He told me he was boiling eggs in tea. It's a Taiwanese thing. I was like, mhhh, can I try one? Calvin got us those as well. 
Durian Shake

The eggs were great, nicely spiced, but everyone wanted to see the expression on my face after I sipped on the durian shake. I took a sip and loved it! It tasted different but not bad. I enjoyed it, actually! It smells pungent but tastes ok. I had that on our way to the mountains. Calvin took us to Mt Wilson. It's one of if not the tallest mountain in the San Gabriel Valley. The idea was to watch the sun set from up there but we were a tad late for that. the sun set on our way there, which we still enjoyed, nonetheless. I drove, the drive up the mountain was absolutely insane! It was getting dark, the roads are narrow. We were driving up the mountain, literally, so that was another factor but I enjoyed it. How often do you get to drive in a scary road like that? 

Calvin was nervous for me, I could tell he wasn't breathing right. I was like, boo, don't worry, calm down! Enjoy the ride! There were rest stops along the way and spots that looked like bus stops where you pull over if someone driving faster came along. 

When we got to the top, we got off and enjoyed the view.

View of LA from Mt Wilson

It was all so surreal! We may have posed for a couple of pictures...
Mt Wilson

It was cold up there! I tell ya, I was under-dressed. Luckily, I still had my vacation suitcase in the car with me. I put on a sweat suit (track suit), and continued to stand there and chat with my boo in the still of the night. It was cold and dark and quite. It was a hell of an experience!

We later went for a walk on the mountain. It was scary, Calvin kept telling me that he thought he heard something. I'd be like, what could it be? 'A Mountain Lion!' I tell ya, I didn't even know what exactly that was then but I was kinda shaken. I didn't think it smart to be in the middle of nowhere, barehanded where there were things called mountain lions. Calvin told me to pick up a few rocks, he would clap his hands every now and again. Apparently, that would scare them away or something. Being on top of the mountain like that, I couldn't resist yelling to the top of my voice. Just for the echo fun of it. 
Tip of another mountain on my right

By the way, on our way back to the car, I urgently needed to pee. What? Are you kidding me? Great, the Pumas are going to get me! I also didn't want Calvin standing there watching me pee. Not cute! I survived!

That's how dark it was up the mountain!

On our way back home, we stopped by a mall and had Japanese for dinner. OMG, so good! I had a seafood soup with all kinds of seafood in it! It was so good. I am not a soup person but I love all the seafood soups I have had so far.
Japanese Seafood Soup

From the ocean to the Mountain, the best that Southern California has to offer! 



La Jolla

I had decided to have my phone off during our vacation. Like most people nowadays; I am on my phone A LOT! Especially social Media and chatting with family on Whatsapp.

After a nice rest in our tent, we got up, hunted around for showers. The showers were on the other side of the camping grounds. They used quarters for warm water.
Just after the shower! Nice and clean!

Our nice neighbor had told us that so we went prepared with some quarters. We took showers and headed back to the site for breakfast. Cal and his new friend talked about the previous night. Cal offered the guy breakfast, he was making Spam. The guy didn't want to impose but Cal coerced him into having some. He succumbed and liked the Jalapeno flavored spam. Turned out, he had never had that kind before.

Spam for breakfast
I enjoyed breakfast. I always enjoy Calvin's cooking! We tidied up our site and headed out. Calvin suggested we go to La Jolla, San Diego. I've lived in San Diego but had never been to LA Jolla; which is one of the most expensive neighborhoods if not the most expensive, in San Diego. I was looking forward to checking it out. This was going to be my first time back in San Diego since I left. I was looking forward to making some nice memories as those from the time I lived there were kinda meh.

My car and our lovely neighbor's tent.

I drove. It was a little more than an hour's drive. The weather was nice. We got lucky and found parking by the beach. Calvin went Skimboarding. I took the most amazing video of him skimboarding ever! I am so proud of how it came out. Even he was impressed seeing it! He looks like such a pro! I walked along the beach and in the water, just to feel it on my skin. It was cold and windy over there! 
La Jolla Beach, San Diego

How Blue is that water? Amazing! They had these cave like situations in the rocks along the beach front, we went in there and goofed around. It was a nice time! 

After our fun in the water, we had worked up an appetite, we went for lunch. Calvin told me that there's a Nepalese restaurant that he had eaten in before that he wanted to take me to. I was down. 

That's me in Calvin's fedora

We found the Indian/Nepal restaurant, well, not really but another one that served the same stuff as the one Calvin wanted to take me to. Service was crap, the servers looked like we were bothering them. The food was ok, some items were to die for but most were meh! The Mango Lassi was absolutely divine! Plus, it was my first time. I love mangoes! Calvin has a Filipino Mango tree, did I tell you?

After lunch, we went for a walk down the block just browsing. I didn't find anything I wanted. I'm also not the kind of person that needs to shop. If I find something I have been looking for, sure, other than that, vacation or not, I'm ok going back home with nothing but great memories. We came across this ice cream spot that apparently has the best ice cream. I ordered the smallest cup and just sampled because I was so full. Cal had the rest.

Back to the car, back to LA! 
I loved how we drove all the way to San Diego for lunch. 

There was a bit of traffic on our way back. Thank goodness for Carpool lane! I am usually alone in the car, so I never get to use it, so when I have someone in the car, I am the first one on the carpool lane. Let's go! 

We made it back to LA, showered, maybe watched a movie, maybe passed out while watching, who knows?

By the way, for those of you who may not know, La Jolla is pronounced La Hoya.

Did I tell you that because my Air BnB guest had kinda stopped paying for his stay, I locked hiss ass out on my way to vacation? He couldn't get hold of me because my phone was off. Sorry, vacation time! Oops! You should've paid your rent!