Monday, December 26, 2016


one day late, but who cares. so this is really just a december / christmas festivities post. earlier this month, i spent a day in filmore, california. now you may ask, where is fillmore? it's a very small city in between santa clarita and santa barbara. the city is surrounded by agricultural land. in july, we drove past fillmore on our way to santa barbara. it looked so cute, i knew i wanted to come back.

the city prides itself for being a railroad town. the downtown was created when southern pacific created a station in 1887. today, the downtown is full of antique stores. really not much to do here, but there are historical buildings, cute shops, and a good walk.

the train station

this cute little thing was antique shop that sold train items and other random things. i got a cute little train depot ornament. i love train depots :)

inside the train antique store.

another cute antique store.

a random christmas tree.

a few times in december i went to disneyland. i love the christmas decorations they do every year, especially in california adventures. please excuse the pictures skipping day to night and back to day. these were taken over a few different days.

my favorite tree in the parks. it's more retro than old-fashioned.

underneath the tree.

i love little gingerbread houses.

hehe. he is licking the candy cane :3

a tree decorated with camping equipment.

i am so sad tower of terror is gone. stupid marvel is stupid.

a fancy yule log desert.

my favorite holiday attraction is the jingle cruise.

anyhoo, that was a little look at my december. i really do love christmastime. here are couples of random pictures.

my makeshift christmas tree. some tree stores will let you take the clippings for free!

this year i made scandinavian gingerbread birdhouses (and watched one of my favorite shows. the christmas special was soooo good).

now for a song. this song is sometimes celebrated as a holiday song, but most people won't recognize it. 'river' by joni mitchell is just so pretty (and a bit sad). i picked the glee cover. enjoy and happy holidays!

Thursday, December 15, 2016


the next day we headed to grass valley for the day, a good hour and a half drive northeast of sacramento. our destination was empire mine state historic park. the gold mine was open from 1850 to 1965. in total there are 367 miles of tunnels and if i am not mistaken, the tunnels are up to 11 miles deep. there are 2 main parts of the park: the cottage and the mineyard. the cottage (c.1890s) was the home of the owner and his family. this was not his main residence, but his home when visiting. the mineyard includes old machinery, administrative buildings, manufacturing buildings, and the mine itself.

there are tons of trees and pathways.

my sister smelling a tree. it must be a weird scientist thing.

pretty leaves!

the cottage.

we took a tour inside the cottage (it was the only way to look inside). it took up 45 minutes to finally get in the house. there were tons of people on the tour and i could not believe how people were treating the house. people were literally picking up the decor and sitting on the furniture. once i was able to look inside, me and my sister snuck out the back door to escape the tour.

the courtyard.

the greenhouse

then we walked towards the mineyard. i was not very excited for this part, but i actually enjoyed it much more than the house, there was a lot to see.

the administrative building.

isn't this very 'titanic'? you know what scene i'm talking about.

the mineyard

my absolute favorite part was seeing the mine tunnel. you can walk one story below and look down one of the tunnels. to make it even better, they had a little audio of mine work and donkeys! this may sound stupid, but i love the attention to detail. i did not know there had a mine tunnel open to the public. it was such a pleasant surprise.

down the mine tunnel

after, we got lost a few times and went to see the north star powerhouse. i thought there would be more to see, but it was still very nice. here there is also mining equipment and a river. it consists of a park and little museum (which was closed). the park was so cute and pretty. there was even a guy fishing. we took a little stroll, and headed back to davis (of course listening to 'hamilton').

for the first time i went to dutch bros. i love coffee so why not try a new chain? one thing kinda strange is the names. just look at their menu. i got the cocomo, a chocolate/coconut coffee. it was ok. i knew it was going to be more of a dessert drink. for what it is, it is good but i would never get it in the mornings.

that night we got dinner and stopped at a bookstore. i was so happy and pleasantly surprised to find a signed copy of my favorite book of all time, the outsiders! YAY. now i have 4 different editions: my ugly first copy, a better copy released a few years ago, the release of the first cover for the 40th anniversary, and now a signed 50th anniversary. i am really dreaming of the movie edition (i have the movie edition of rumble fish).

for the last day, we just hung out in davis and went shopping. look at this cool bench!

'westward ho christian soldier'

well it looks like i am going to have to change the music segment on this blog. youtube is doing something new and stupid. they don't allow many songs to be played outside of their site. instead, i guess i will just provide links?

anyhoo, i have been rewatching sense8. people either love or hate this show, but i really like it. it's different. my favorite characters are wolfgang, kala, and will. i also really love fernando. sense8  introduced me to macy gray's 'demons.' enjoy!

Monday, December 5, 2016


it is turning into an annual tradition to visit my sister in sacramento. last year, it was in october. i was hoping to feel the fall, but the leaves were still really green. this time, i went in november and i got to see many red leaves. yay :) 

my flight was early in the morning, and for the the first time ever i almost missed my flight. man was it stressful. i flew out a small airport near my house and did not consider the time the door actually closes (which is, duh, before leaving). the line was also super long! normally i have maybe 5 people ahead of me, but this time it was more like 80. i then waited in the wrong line (las vegas was the next gate over). i passed through and they stopped me and told me i was boarding the wrong plane. i got in the plane 7 minutes before the doors closed. never again will i leave that late. so stressful.

i then waited an hour for the bus for the 15 mile or so ride to old town sacramento. the bus driver was so nice (they are either the greatest or worst). old town is right between downtown and the american river. this is alway a must when i visit. there are old trains, old west/saloon buildings, and fun shops. what is there not to love, especially because the buildings were decorated for christmas. of course, my first stop was coffee.

i am trying to take more pictures of myself during these trips, but i'm awkward. it's a curse.

i really do love old town.

when i was walking in old town, i discovered (when i accidentally walked into the exhibit room with no admission) that the california state railroad museum has a new exhibit on passenger trains. there is a reproduced early 1900s passenger station, including a box office, waiting area, and display of trains. i decided to go to the museum again to see the new exhibit.

california state railroad museum

the california state railroad museum is one of my favorite museums of all time. now am i really into trains? no, but it is so wonderfully put together. i love when a museum makes you feel like you are traveling back in time. some of the trains on display you can go inside and thats really special. i would say this is my number one attraction to visit in sacramento. you also get a really good general history of california and transportation.

inside the passenger station exhibit. 

i think the southern pacific railroad trains are my favorite :)

next, it was time to eat. right along the railroad tracks are a few food places. one of them being railroad fish and chips. its such a cute little place sorrounded my the trains. i got me some fish tacos and chips.

after eating, i took the mile or so walk to the california museum. i had to take a bit of a detour because the veterans parade was going on.

the tower bridge.

along the way, i ran into the leland mansion. i always wanted to go in, but to my understanding it was only open with a reservation. the gate was open, so i thought i would just look inside. to my surprise it was open. to enter, you have to take a tour, which is offered hourly. since i had so much time, i thought i would take the tour. i try to avoid every tour i can, but i really enjoyed this one (other than the fact i could not take pictures). i forgot his name, but the guide was really great. i even got to play the little of 'when the saints go marching in' that i know on the piano in there (i suck, but know one knew how to play). i am also proud that when he asked whose portrait was on the wall, i guessed ulysses s. grant correctly. i love trivia :)

the crazy ass manion.

leland stanford is a huge figure in california history. he is considered one of the 'big four,' railroad tycoons who created the western portion of the transcontinental railroad. he was also governor of california (hence the home being in sacramento). he also founded stanford university in memory of his only child. the mansion was also used by succeeding governors. after the stanfords deaths, the mansion was donated to the catholic church to become an orphanage. one room in the house is dedicated to the interpretation of this history. today, the state governor uses the building to host guests from around the world. 

after, i decided to revisit the california museum. i really do love this museum. i wanted to go last year, but it closed early due to a private event. this year, it was open. interestingly, the museum is in the state archives building, a historians dream :) one of my favorite exhibits is the reproduced japanese internment camp. this reproduction is based on the the barracks from the poston camp in arizona. i visited the memorial earlier this year during my route 66 road trip.

the inside.

and the outside.

they had a cool temporary exhibit that included campaign merchandise & promoted voting (unfortunately by this time trump had won :( )

one of the courthouses.

of course i had to visit the state capitol again. they are actually open until 6. i took a little peek inside and walked around. i had some time to waste until my sister's roommate could pick me up.

i love poppies so much :)

the capitol, christmas tree, and tower bridge in the distance.

the goofy bear inside the capitol. look at that face!

on my way to meet my sister's roommate, i saw this cute little government building.

once in davis, we had all you can eat sushi and watched a bootleg of hamilton. i also tried nonalcoholic ginger beer for the first time. it's ick.

now for a song! "i'll come running back to you," by sam cooke. there is no need to explain sam cooke. it just makes me so happy. enjoy!