Friday, 31 August 2012

California! Day 9 + 10!

I don't know if I should have started doing these daily entries in pairs! Already I start to forget what I did the day before, which really isn't a good sign.

First of all, my aunt is super nice and feeding up - like too good. Between these two days for breakfast I've had danish pastries and apple pie, and for dessert: cheesecake, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, snickerdoodles and icecream! It was impossible for me to say no, and as a result impossible for me to stay fit or to lose any weight before going off to university - sigh.

So the first day we went to a mall owned by Simon (which owns the premium outlets) and although it wasnt a P.O, it actually turned out to be an outlet mall as well! It wasn't the typical P.O. and seemed to actually have better stores.

There was Victoria Secret, Last Call Neiman Marcus, A Store selling MBMJ watches for 25% Off, and a Hollister Outlet! The V.S. honestly didn't seem to be an outlet, but seeing as the stores throughout the mall were all outlets I guess it was, since everything seemed to be just as expensive! I actually had to go to Last Call because of a stupid mistake I made, even though I went to a hell of a lot of trouble ( I might have even written about this earlier) to get the watch for only $60, when I picked it up and my relatives' house I found out it wasn't the way I had imagined. After reading the description I realize it was my fault, it had actually specified that the strap was silicon but I had assumed that it was ceramic based off of the picture. Lesson: make sure to actually read the description before you order something! After having lunch at Mayflower Dim Sum which had pretty good authentic Dim Sum food, with a lot of waiters all hovering over us, I ran out to Hollister to check it out briefly before my family wanted to leave. What happened is that for the past few years it that I really liked Hollister but every year it's a bit less. Originally I was somewhat of a Brandwhore who bought everything just because I liked the fact that it was Hollister! Only recently I've realized that it's really not that great, but I think it's a phase that most people realize as they grow older throughout highschool and graduate. Two years ago I actually stumbled into a few outlets, and tried to pick cuter things without the logo and branding everywhere, but I think I really bought everything just because it was so cheap! This time I wanted to make sure that I would avoid that, and came out with just two items:

  • Hollister Jeans Super Skinny $15 - Originally $60 US!
  • Lace Blue Shorts Navy $15 - Lace shorts have definitely been popular and I wanted to get my hands on a pair!
So I came out with two items, but really I think the Hollister Jeans were the really great find.

After that we drove to Stanford to look at it's campus, its was soo hot and sunny - I don't know how students do it! I guess they rely on the fact that most of the year is in the fall or winter? We actually were in a bit of a rush so we only walked around a little, and got to see the inside of the church which is supposedly for Alumni only - pretty cool and exclusive I guess. I kind of regret not studying for the SATs properly since I didn't really get the opportunity to apply to other schools - but at the same time it is a lot more work, and although it's not Ivy League and most Americans haven't heard of it I think the top Canadian universities are still pretty good.

Through the rush hour and 50 minutes of driving, we arrived at this really nice Singaporean restaurant where I got to see some more family. It's my cousin, her husband, and her two children - one who I've never seen before! It's pretty interesting cause in my family, me and my sister are the youngest ones so most of our cousins are nearly 20 years older than us. Last time I came to california the first girl was only 3, and my cousin was still pregnant with the other! I was actually so happy to see my cousins (second cousin in technical terms), they are the cutest happiest most precious girls ever! They also have a heck of a lot of energy, all they would do were run around non stop - dancing and picking each other up. There was a lot of singing and moving under and around the table, but I'm really glad that I also got a chance to take pictures of them - hopefully they'll remember us this time. I really love these girls even though I've really only met them once, and think that it would be awesome to send them christmas presents - wouldn't I be an awesome older cousin? 

The next morning I woke up to an awesome itinerary, my dad came in telling us that we would be going horseback riding! I've always wanted to go horseback riding! When we were younger some places told us that we had to be a certain age, after that we tried riding ponies, donkeys and even mules but they were never horses - finally, we would get to ride real live full horses. When we got there, I was pretty excited and after getting on top of my horse (Rambo) I realized how tall they were! There really isn't that much to hold onto on the saddle except for this little stub, and I started thinking about how dangerous it would be if I fell. Fortunately I didn't and I realized it took relatively little balance to stay onto, we paid $65/person and got to go on a nice trail that eventually lead to walking on the beach. It was really nice, and we had a small group (me, sister, dad and tour guide) and the tour guide did a great job of taking a lot of pictures of us as we rode the horses. I was sort of sad after finding out that walking would be the fastest that they would allow us to go, although I was scared at first I was excited to go faster, but every once in awhile they would trot for a few seconds/walk pretty quickly and it was definitely bumpy as I went up and down!

That wasn't the end of the exciting day though, we actually got to go paddle boarding. Pretty awesome. For only $20/hour we got wetsuits and a paddle board, and got to mess around in the harbour. We even got to see some sea otters, but only for a few seconds. It's not as hard as I thought, they give you paddle boards which are pretty wide and stabilizing so balancing really isn't too much of an issue. They tell people that falling in is pretty unlikely; however, my sister actually did haha. Good thing she was able to grab onto her board so she didn't actually fall in completely! 

After that was the final destination of our trip - Macy's. Honestly, I love this department store, it has so many high end designer names (okay well the ones I shop at like MBMJ and Michael Kors) and it still has really good deals and sales throughout the year. Okay well, to be honest, it really only has one thing over Nordstrom, it's visitor discount. Yeah, Macy's is so nice that they offer all Canadian residents or basically anyone visiting outside from the United States a 10% discount. And although it doesn't actually seem that small it still makes a pretty big difference. So basically, most of my friends got nice laptops and macbooks from their parents as a graduation gift. Problem is that I already had one since I actually went and bought one for myself using money I had earned throughout the years, and so instead I figured I would ask my parents for a purse instead. In my defense, I think that I'm still saving them a couple hundred of dollars since that's how much a laptop would cost or up to $1000 (macbook).

 I guess I'm slightly spoiled (but really not too much since I pay for most things, evidence above) and pretty lucky since I've been getting a new purse every year. Ever since I was a preteen, our family would always go outlet shopping and so I liked having bags from Coach. It's only these last few years I realized how common and simply 'blah' a lot of their bags are, and felt that I sort of grew out of it. Out goes Coach, in comes the MBMJ obsession. One year I split the cost ($200) of a MBMJ Bright Pink Purse (which always takes me forever to find the name of on google - MBMJ Deep Fuschia Softy Tobo) with my mom after finding it at a Saks Off 5th at Woodbury, and the next year a MBMJ Black Classic Q Percy from Holt Renfrew ($200 on Sale). Edit: I've actualy also received two Longchamp purses as gifts since family have gone to Europe and it's much cheaper there, nearly 40-50%, but don't really consider those ones as big as the MBMJ/MK.

Finally as a grad gift, I decided to get the bag that I have been eyeing for a while Michael Kors - Grayson Vanilla Sachel. 
I guess awhile ago I was eyeing the LV bag that looked really similar, but I guess it really is expensive and my parents really weren't that happy saying that it was still a pretty age to get one. It's alright, I think I might be able to swing it as a University Grad Gift ;)! Any how this one is still, really cute and I really don't like making them spend more than I have to. So I made sure to use the Visitors discount of 10%, and told my dad that if he signed up as a Macy's member during their promotion that he would save another extra 20% - in addition I also gave him a Macy's gift card that I got returning my boots which might have had more than I paid for. All in all, the original price was around $350 before tax but I think that he paid aproximately $250 for it which really isn't all too bad. Anyways, so this Michael Kors purse is the newest in my collection - I really have an addition but since it's on an annual basis I really don't think that it's that bad!

Also this might be like the longest post I've written yet, I feel like I've written for like two hours. Me and my personal thoughts! Plus I don't actually think anyone will ever really read through my blogs or posts since it's actually a bit too detailed. Anyways tomorrow is the last day, we get to visit Tinkering Monkey (my cousin's startup) and off we go back to Toronto!


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