Los Angeles Trip

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

To celebrate Xau's 27th birthday, the chasing of his pursuit to be the next BBQ Pitmaster, get away from the cold Minnesota area, but really just for another vacation and to spend sometime with one another — we spent the last 6 days/5 nights in the beautiful sunny Los Angeles, California.

I was bummed I didn't carry my Canon with me on the trip, but with all that we had planned I didn't want to haul something heavy with/on me the entire time. Thank goodness for the quality pictures from the iPhone! :)

We were starving after having arrived late to L.A. on Wednesday night so after we picked up our car rental, we made our first stop at In-N-Out. It was Xau's first time and his exact words were: "simple and good". 

For our first two nights in L.A. we stayed at the parents of our pastor and his wife: Terri and Lynne. They were such great hosts and made us feel so welcomed. Their house was absolutely gorgeous with the most breathtaking view. We talked and had breakfast on their patio, which looked out into the Pacific Ocean!

Can't visit Los Angeles without going to Hollywood. It wasn't anything amazing and we didn't see any famous people walking on the street, but we still had to make the visit just to say we did so haha.

A couple months before leaving for L.A., Xau and I knew we wanted to go to a live recording. After going down the list and ruling out Jimmy Fallon because he's in NYC and Ellen DeGeneres because they were full, we decided to go to Jimmy Kimmel! We had priority tickets which meant we were guaranteed a seat, but we wanted to make sure that we were close so we got in line from 1:30 until they let us into the building at around 4:30. It was a long wait, but so worth the experience! We got to see Naomi Watts, Reggie Miller, and Carly Rae Jepsen. We only knew Naomi Watts was coming that day, but I knew right away when Carly Rae Jepsen was doing soundcheck that it was her...it was the annoying catchy voice of hers. I wasn't really excited to see any of the guests, but it was so crazy to see how well Jimmy Kimmel does his job - he is so funny!

Korean for dinner after at Chosun Galbee

This is Lynne and she is incredibly sweet. She was telling us a little bit about herself, her hobbies and passions now that she's retired and all I can say is WOW! She is doing such impactful work in L.A. and inspired Xau and I in such a short amount of time of getting to know her.

Disneyland really is "The Happiest Place On Earth" haha. We spent all Friday taking our time going through all the attractions, riding all the rides except for the rollercoasters (because of me lol), and people watching and seeing all the smiley kiddos having the time of their lives and dreams come true.

The main reason why we chose L.A. was because for Xau's Christmas and birthday gift he wanted to come out and learn from the person who inspired him to take BBQ seriously. He says that it was totally worth going and loved every minute of it. I am not lying when I say this, but every day (including today) since the class, he relates it back to something he learned from Harry Soo or a story that Harry shared during the class.

Isn't it crazy that around this time a year ago, Xau bought his smoker and made me his first rack of ribs?! He's gone so far and I can't wait to see where this takes him in the future. It's so exciting! He even brought me back some BBQ to eat back at the hotel hehe. So while he was in class from 7:30AM-3:30PM, I went to both a local boba and coffee shop to try out the drinks (all blah and nothing memorable) and then spent sometime at the mall.

Right after he got back from class we went straight to the Santa Monica Pier. It was crowded, but fun and got ourselves a delicious "Terimayo" from JAPADOG to share!

We weren't too hungry, but wanted to snack and craved some type of dessert. Blockheads Shavery was this cute place that served shaved ice. We got the original shaved ice (sweetened milk) with the following toppings: fruity pebbles, mochi, lychee, strawberry with condensed milk and coconut puree as toppings! It was so refreshing!!!

Rusty Pot Cafe was a perfect brunch choice for some soul food!

Drove up to Malibu and spent Sunday at El Matador State Beach to relax and enjoy the beautiful view and weather. We made the best out of the day even though we forgot to pack our swimsuits and towels haha. 


I don't even know where to start and how to describe our time at Boiling Point. It was my first-time doing anything hotpot and oh man, from my boba tea, to the macaron ice cream sandwiches to the hotpot itself - it was so tasty and unforgettable!

Ended our Los Angeles trip spending a couple hours at Manhattan Beach. It was a  gorgeous day with the right amount of breeze to watch some surfing action, an old lady attempting to fish, and reflecting with Xau about our wonderful trip out West. We had such a great time and already missing it out there, but I guess we brought back good weather with us to Minnesota. It's 64 degrees here today!!!


  1. I am so glad that you and Xau had a great time in LA. It looked like you both did a lot of things during the trip. I can't wait to try some of Xau ' s famous ribs. YUMS!

    1. Hehe, yes - he will have to make you some when you and Johnny come up ;)

  2. Your trip looked like it was filled with so much fun and good food! :) I'm glad you both had a great time. What was your favorite spot?

    1. Boiling Point was definitely my favorite restaurant, but besides food I absolutely loved our time at both of the beaches (El Matador and Manhattan Beach). They each had different crowds and looks. I honestly wish we spent more time at the beaches than the other places.