NorCal Night Market

This past weekend was the first ever NorCal Night Market. From the creators of 626 and OC Night Market (from LA), it was a 3 day event which lasted until 11PM each day! It was held at the Alameda Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. Parking is $10 per car, and entrance fee is $5 per person. Lots of local vendors, such as artists, food trucks, and clothing companies, had a space to showcase their craft.

Some examples of food vendors were:

•A takoyaki truck (very long line! my boyfriend’s boss said it is just like Japan)

•Many different kinds of pearl milk tea

•A Hong Kong food truck

•Ramen

•Egg waffle with ice cream

Some examples of other vendors were:

•LED lined clear balloons ($10+ a pop but very cute)

•Local artists selling prints, shirts, and pins

•Stussy & UNDFTD sale section (although it just seemed like overstock from their warehouses)

 

       

 

We got there at around 7PM on the final day (Sunday), and were surprised to see that the crowd was nowhere near as large as Facebook had warned. We spent about 30 minutes perusing and weighing our options before settling on taiyaki ice cream from Uji Time. I got the classic Matcha and my boyfriend got the Black Sesame.

Although the scale is nowhere near how enormous I imagine 626 Night Market to be, I thought that the turnout was pretty decent for the first time. Like many others, I felt that the ground was uneven and dusty, which could both be considered hazardous. I also felt like the vendors could be a little more varied, as more than half were dessert or milk tea.

Either way, the first NorCal Night Market was a good time and I’m excited to watch it become bigger and better. They’ve already made huge adjustments for the next iteration of the event a month (September 28-30) from now.

*Some tips for those planning to attend!*
p.s. This post is dedicated to Martin 😛

  • Eat a little before going, the lines can get pretty long and could take up to 2 hours.
  • Bring cash! While most of the vendors may accept card, both parking and entry are cash only. They do have an ATM, but who wants to pay that transaction fee?
  • Wear comfortable shoes, the fairgrounds are spread out and you’ll be doing a lot of walking and standing.
  • If you’re planning to attend towards the end of the night, bring a jacket! It gets pretty cold after sundown.
  • Bring an external battery pack if you plan on being there more than a few hours.
  • Although signs say dogs are NOT allowed, I saw a lot of people bringing their pups without any problems!
  • Most importantly, have fun! 🙂

 

Hope to see you there!


Thanks for reading!
Michelle & Brendan

 

 

 

 

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Hakone Gardens

After a week of dreary weather, it has been so warm and sunny! Spring is finally here in California, and the flowers are all blooming. This past weekend, I visited Hakone Gardens in Saratoga, CA to experience the beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom. It is such a beautiful garden and it makes you feel like you’re in Japan. I actually have never been to Japan before, and I am so excited that I’ll be visiting early May. Hopefully, there will still be cherry blossoms, but I’m excited to eat good food and experience the culture!Lo

Outfit Details:
Top – Forever 21
Pants – American Eagle
Shoes – Nordstrom Rack

 

 

 

 

 

Look how gorgeous the flowers are!

 

 

 

Can you tell that I’m super excited to take pictures with cherry blossoms? Definitely going to visit the garden again!

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Museum of Ice Cream

 After trying for months, I was finally able to snag some tickets to the Museum of Ice Cream! Your tickets arrive a few days before your visit, and although I was really worried about parking downtown, I noticed at the bottom of the email that they recommend to use a website called ParkWhiz. ParkWhiz is a website/app where you can put in your location and they will find parking in the area for you. Parking in any big metropolitan area is a nightmare, and San Francisco is no different. ParkWhiz was somehow able to give me a parking space in a hotel just blocks from the museum. I live about 1 hour away, so I made sure to give myself enough time just in case there was traffic on the way there. After arriving at the parking spot, we walked over to the museum.

When you first enter, you are put in a group of around 10. They inform you that this is the group you will be exploring the museum with. At first, I was confused, because I was under the impression that it was completely self guided, but it turned out that you were able to go at your own pace through the museum.

Each room has a different (but still ice cream) theme, with some offering tasty treats and others offering souvenirs. The entire museum is beautifully put together, with a vintage ice cream parlor, many art installations, and even a sprinkle pool. I can really see why this is the most popular of the interactive, walk-through art installations, because the vibe is so well curated. I’ve visited both Happy Place (LA) and Color Factory (SF), and I think in terms of content, MOIC is the most interactive. However, I think I had the most fun at Happy Place. I felt like in LA, people who attend this sort of thing are more open to taking your time and enjoying, or waiting patiently until you get the perfect shot.

One of my favorite parts was the unicorn (milk) ice cream. It was so creamy and smooth, really reminded me of my favorite place in LA. And isn’t that what ice cream’s all about? Nostalgia?

 

Other pictures from MOIC!

 

 

 

 

Loved this room! It is themed like a diner and it even has a vintage jukebox, filled with ice cream music puns. They were serving this cherry sorbet that was actually really good. I loved the vibe and the cute pink phone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying some freshly spun cherry cotton candy under some clouds and cherries! This room was really fun to take pictures in. They had a big cherry sculpture that everyone likes to take pictures with, and cherries and clouds hanging all over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This room really brought me back to elementary school. It’s a rock climbing room, in which each wall is filled with climbing rocks. You’re able to climb all over the room! Although it was just for taking pictures, I felt like I got a pretty good workout.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The sprinkle pool was super cute and fun to play in. One downside of this place is that they let about 10 people in the pool at once. It’s really not big enough to fit that many people. You’re struggling to find a way to take pictures and when you finally find enough space, you have to leave to make room for the next group. It’s shocking to me how many people are able to post pictures of themselves in here – We actually really struggled getting a shot with just me! I guess your mileage may vary.

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Momofuku Milk Bar

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of checking out the Milk Bar pop-up location on Melrose Ave. They set up a little stall in the corner of the boutique and sold a lot of yummy treats! It was inside a boutique called Reformation. They carry a lot of cute pieces that are high quality. Check out their website to see more!

 

Ordered the Crack Pie Latte, this is a new drink that isn’t on their menu yet, but it is surprisingly delicious! It is pretty sweet, so if you don’t really like sweet drinks, I recommend asking for less sugar. It is made with dark brown sugar, corn ganache, espresso, and steamed milk. Definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a new latte to try. Some of the yummy treats they sold were the Birthday Truffles, Chocolate Malt Cake Truffles, Compost Cookie, Confetti Cookie, Cornflake Chocolate-Chip Marshmallow Cookie, and the Crack Pie. I got one of each to try, and my favorite so far has been the Confetti Cookie or the Cornflake Chocolate-Chip Marshmallow Cookie! All the cookies are super soft and chewy. The Crack Pie was crumbly and buttery, and tasted like nothing I’ve ever had before. It is pretty sweet, but I highly recommend trying it!

 

I had such an amazing time visiting their pop-up location and getting to try all their delicious treats! I can’t believe that Momofuku  Milk Bar is finally opening their first CA location in LA on Melrose Ave. I’ve been dying to go to their NY locations, but I’m so excited that they’ll be opening this coming July! Can’t wait until I can finally try their Milk soft serve!

 

 

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Disneyland

It has been such an amazing experience having a Disneyland Annual Pass during the last two years of my college career. I live in the Bay Area, and attended UC Santa Cruz, so making trips down to SoCal had to be strategic. I was always able to make time to experience the magic, and many people assume I would get bored or even tired of Disneyland, but honestly it was a nice getaway. Being able to relax and take my time at Disneyland while exploring SoCal with my boyfriend was so memorable! Sadly we will not be renewing our passes for the upcoming year because we decided we wanted to save some money. Annual Passes are pretty expensive (for the pass we got, it was around $1000 each) so we thought we would hold off and if we ever decided to renew, we could. Disneyland will always have a special place in my heart, and just because we don’t have a pass doesn’t mean we won’t be able to visit! Thanks for the magical two years, and until next time! 🙂

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