Mother's Day Brunch at Descanso Gardens

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Mother's Day is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate because I love spending time with my mom and treating her out for the day! In the years past, I have a tradition with my mom where I take her to have afternoon at a place we both never tried before. Last year, I invited my mom's close friend to Mother's Day tea because she doesn't have a daughter of her own but treats me like one. I wanted to show my appreciation for all the things she does for me year round and since we were visiting her in San Diego I thought why not include her to our tradition? So this year, I am doing my annual Mother's Day tea at the end of the month when she is in town. Since, I couldn't do my usual tradition on Mother's Day I decided to take a look into what type of brunch options there were and found that Descanso Gardens coordinates a really cool Mother's Day brunch!

My mother and I have never visited the gardens before so it was a real treat for us. We were so happy that the weather had cleared up and it was really a gorgeous day to walk around the grounds and take pictures wherever we went. Brunch was set up in a buffet style and they offered a couple of different food stations. I thought their salads was delicious as well as the eggs, danishes and sausage. There were three different table seating times and we decided to the middle option which started at 11:30 AM. I must say, I was surprised by the amount of people and if you're not into big crowds this may not be for you because there is a lot of hustle and bustle. I don't know if I would go again next year because I didn't really think the service was up to par and the food got cold fast because it was served buffet style. However, I did enjoy the overall experience and I am glad I gave it a try. Best of all, my mother had a wonderful day and she enjoyed every bit of it which is more than what I could ever hope for. 

This year I sort of went all out in terms of gift giving for Mother's Day! I started my job this past year and I finally felt like I could afford to give nicer gifts to the women in my life that mean the world to me. My mom, grandma and aunt seemed to love what I got them so that made me happy and made all the planning worthwhile. I am so happy that this year I got to spend the weekend with all the women in my life that mean a lot to me and as I get older I realize that I cherish these moments more and more. 

50 States | State #2: Portland, Oregon | Day #3

Friday, May 1, 2015

Back in February I went on a mini trip with friends to Seattle, Washington. While we were there we decided to do a bit of road trip to Portland, Oregon for one day. We started off the day early and left when it was still dark out. Originally, we wanted to go eat at a place called Mother's because we heard great things about it. Unfortunately, they were closed the day we were going to Portland so we opted to try a place called Waffle Window which literally was a window selling waffles! After breakfast we headed off to Multnomah Falls which is this huge waterfall located near the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It was absolutely breathtaking to see up close and since we got there quite early we decided to do the entire hike up to the very top of the waterfall. The hike is something I definitely would recommend but just make sure you get there early because it does get crowded.

After lunch we ate biscuits at a place called Pine State Biscuits. They had a bunch of different kind of savory biscuits on their menu. My favorite one was the Reggie (the one in the photograph) which had fried chicken, bacon, cheese and gravy! YUMMY! After lunch we hit the road again to the coast of Oregon to see the sunset at Haystack Rock. I've seen many beautiful photographs of Haystack Rock from other travel blogs and I've always wanted to visit it. I am so glad I finally got to visit it because the view was just remarkable and the sunset was probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen to date. I felt so sad having to leave once the sun had set because I felt so relaxed just being there. I hope I can visit this place again soon and next time I probably would stay at the coast for a couple of nights!

Have any of you guys visited the coast of Oregon? If you have any tips on where to stay on the coast I would love recommendations for the next time I visit there.

I have one more blog post to share with you all from my trip and I look forward to doing so soon!

Until next time!

50 States | State #1: Seattle, WA | Day #2

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today, I wanted to share what I did during my second day while in Seattle. If you missed what I did on day number one check that out here. On our second day we decided to have breakfast at Toulouse Petit because it had amazing reviews and we thought we should try it out. The restaurant had a very eclectic design to it with balloons all over the ceiling and it was exciting because it had a mardi gras fun feel to it.

We decided to do what we always do which is other what each of us wants to try and share. So we decided to order the following...

Toulouse Beignets
Duck Confit Hash
Bayou Fisherman's Breakfast
Toulouse Eggs Benedict with Dungeness Crab with Fine Herbe
What we ordered:
French Press Coffee
Toulouse Beignets-powdered sugar and chicory cafe anglaise (small order $5)
Duck Confit Hash-parsnip, arugula, yukon gold potato, apple with fine herbs $15
Bayou Fisherman's Breakfast-shrimp, pacific fish, crawfish, tasso ham, creole sauce $20
Toulouse Eggs Benedict with Dungeness Crab with Fine Herbes $19

I think my favorite out all the things we ordered was the beignets and the sauce it came with was something I never tried before. I wasn't so sure about the flavor at first because it was a bit bitter but it grows on you and it goes surprisingly well with the beignets. The French Press coffee is also something I would recommend if if you are coffee drinker! It was soooo good I drink that thing all day any day! The duck confit hash was not what I expected it to be at all but it was featured on the Food Network's Fall Season premier of The Best Thing I Ever Ate, so I had to give it a try. The potatoes in has were delicious and the apples were a nice touch. The Bayou Fisherman's breakfast was so rich in flavor that it was a bit overwhelming for me. My friend really enjoyed it though so I think if you like seafood with a bold flavor you will definitely love this item. The eggs benedict were good as well and I think we were all pleasantly surprised with the amount of crab. I would definitely suggest it if you like benedicts and crab because it's probably one of the best I've had in a while.

After breakfast we walked over to the Chihuly Garden and Glass which was probably one of the favorite things I did in Seattle.

The exhibit was breathtaking and it was glass sculptures created by Dale Chihuly and his team of artists were amazing.

After the exhibit we visited the Space Needle (make sure if you go to both the exhibit and the space needle you buy the tickets together because it is cheaper).

When you're up at the Space Needle observatory there is a panel where you can add where you are visiting from. Of course we added ourselves into the system and picked #emcmeetsworld as our name! It was cool to see it tell us that we travel 944 miles to visit the Space Needle!

After we were done with the Space Needle we were in the mood to get some good Seattle coffee so we stopped by this coffee house called Street Bean Expresso. It was such a nice place that we decided to sit down in one of their comfy chairs to relax while we sipped on our caramel lattes.

Then we walked over to the Olympic Structure Park that was nearby. It was really a nice sized park and I really like the modern design it had. They had places to sit so we sat on on the red chairs that faced the water so we sunbathed for a bit and just relaxed. 

After we were done with the park we walked over to The Lost Pelican for happy hour. I got my usual drink (which is the Shirley Temple) and we shared two small dishes that were on the happy hour menu. After much debate we ended up ordering the Oysters Rockefeller and the Crawfish Pasta which were both delicious!

Oysters Rockefeller & Crawfish Pasta
After happy hour at the Lost Pelican we walked over to Shiro's Sushi. We heard a lot about it wanted to see what the hype was all about. If you've seen the popular sushi documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi you might know about this restaurant that was opened by one of his apprentices. Shiro no longer works at this restaurant but his technique learned by the master sushi chef Jiro is still implemented.  We got there an hour before it opened (which I highly recommend you do if you want to sit at the counter). I did the omakase at the counter which is something I haven't done since my visit to Japan. Honestly, if you like sushi as much as I do and you are the type that is willing to just experience something even if it's a bit pricey I would recommend you give this a try.

sleeping while waiting in line

We ended the day by going to a couple of arcade bars to play pinball and we got some dessert at the Pie Bar. If you like pie and alcohol you will love this place! They have fun cocktails and delicious pies in a cozy atmosphere.

It's taken me a while to write these blog posts but it's great for me to write them cause it allows me to reflect about my trip and remember all the wonderful things I got to do. Hopefully, I can get through the rest of the trip soon because I would love to share the rest of my trip!

Until next time :)

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