Santa Monica, California: Candytopia

 

img_0559Pop-up museums are popping up all over the place (Get it? Yes I know I’m not that funny). I went to the Museum of Ice Cream last year and loved it so I was really excited when I learned about Candytopia.

This place was really fun but it’s about time for it to move on. I’m sure when it first opened and the features were shiny and new it was amazing. Now it is run down and you can tell a lot of people have come through.

It’s a super cute idea but there needs to be better maintenance throughout the whole operation. I really hope I can check it out in NYC when it first opens to get the best impression and the original intent of the pop-up.

The venue isn’t air conditioned so it wasn’t the most comfortable environment temperature wise but there were fans located throughout the rooms. So if you want a img_0584cute outfit for photos just keep that in mind. Also there is no restroom in the venue so be sure you go before entering. There is one near by, just go up the escalators and down the hall from the entrance of Candytopia.

img_0572I recommend getting the Sugar Rush code for photos. Their Sugar Rush feature are cameras set up in certain rooms that will take photos from high angles that you may not be able to get. Not all of your photos will come out great since a lot of people are inconsiderate of what others are doing but you will get a few gems.

Just like the Museum of Ice Cream, Candytopia has it’s own pool….. a marshmallow pool! It was a lot of fun to swim around in a bunch of marshmallow like things but be sure to leave all your valuables in the cubicles as it is very easy for things to get lost in the pool.

I’d definitely go again in New York if I get a chance!

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My 50 States Bucket List

Here’s my bucket list for the 50 states. There are so many things I want to do throughout the country but this is one activity I want to do in each state:

Alabama – Go to the Adult Space Academy
Alaska – See the Northern Lights
Arizona – Float the Grand Canyon
Arkansas – Dig for diamonds at the Crater of Diamonds State Park
California – Walk the Hollywood walk of fame
Colorado – Ski in Aspen
Connecticut – Tour Yale University
Delaware – Go to the Air Mobility Command Museum
Florida – Explore the Everglades on an air boat
Georgia – Go on a haunted pub crawl in Savannah
Hawaii – Go to a luau
Idaho – Soak in the hot springs
Illinois – Visit the Sky Deck in the Willis Tower
Indiana – See the Payton Manning statue
Iowa – See a movie at the Flix Brewhouse
Kansas – Check out the Evel Knievel Museum
Kentucky – Sample some bourbon at one of the famous distilleries
Louisiana – Party in the French Quarter
Maine – Enjoy some famous Maine lobster
Maryland – Go on the original Annapolis Seafood Crawl
Massachusetts – Watch the Red Sox at Fenway Park
Michigan – Go to the Michigan/Ohio State game at The Big House
Minnesota – Shop at the Mall of America
Mississippi – Take an airboat swap tour
Missouri – Visit the iconic Gateway Arch
Montana – Hike Glacier National Park
Nebraska – Attend a College World Series game
Nevada – Walk the Vegas strip
New Hampshire – Ride the Mt. Washington Cog Railway
New Jersey – Walk the boardwalk in Atlanta City
New Mexico – Attend the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
New York – Walk through Central Park
North Carolina – Tout the Biltmore Estate
North Dakota – Visit the International Peace Garden
Ohio – Watch LeBron James play at the Quicken Loans Arena
Oklahoma – Visit the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oregon – Sample some cheese at the Tillamook Cheese Factory
Pennsylvania – Run up the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Rhode Island – Visit the International Tennis Hall of Fame
South Carolina – Tour Historic Charleston
South Dakota – Visit Mount Rushmore
Tennessee – See the Grand Ole Opry
Texas – Tour AT&T Stadium and catch a Dallas Cowboys game
Utah – Drive through the Salt Flats
Vermont – Tour the Ben & Jerry’s Factory
Virginia – Visit Colonial Williamsburg
Washington – Catch a fish at Pike’s Place
West Virginia – Tour the Seneca Caverns
Wisconsin – Visit the Harley Davidson Museum
Wyoming – Go skiing in Jackson Hole

What’s on your 50 States Bucket List?

Malibu, California: Malibu Cafe

Took my mom here for lunch and had a nice little time. The food and drinks seem a little overpriced but were very delicious. I am a big fan of the frose (reminds me of NYC a little). I had the BBQ Chicken Sandwich with Fries and for dessert we split the S’mores Cake. The cake was delicious and I wish I could have had 3 pieces for my entire meal. The staff is nice and helpful.

The scenery is just adorable and I love the little games they have around like corn hole, giant jenga, and giant chess. They have a few different areas where you can hang out and relax with a cocktail. This would be a great location if you are looking for a venue for an upcoming event.

 

Glendale, California: The Nail’ery & Co

img_2743This place is awesome! I drive the 45 mins to get here because I love their service and the services offered.

The salon is clean and the staff is nice and open to answering any questions. The chairs are comfortable and I like the decor and music.

I have been here twice and both times were great! I like to get the unicorn polish which I can’t find at many salon at the same rate as The Nail’ery & Co. Their color options for gel is amazing and I often have difficulty picking a color. Both times Kelly has done my gel mani and it turned out perfect. No chipping in the 3 weeks between manis.

I like that they offer different drink choices including coffee, tea, water, juice, and MIMOSAs! It adds a little touch that you don’t find at other places.

I will definitely continue to come here!

Westminster, California: Eiswelt Gelato

img_2736Bunnies, Pigs, and Bears oh my! This place is so cute. My mom came across it on social media and insisted we go when she came to visit me.

The location is pretty easy to find and there is plenty of parking. The venue itself is fairly small but there is limited seating inside and outside.

We arrived at the right time as there was no line when we went which gave us plenty of time to decide what we wanted. Their characters are almost too cute to eat and their flavors are great too! There are almost too many characters toimg_2721 choose from. The characters you can choose from are bunnies, pigs, piglets, bears, and pikachu. Their decorations are made out of chocolate and marshmallows. I had a salted caramel bunny and my mom had a salted caramel pig with a pistachio piglet. Characters can come on a cone or in a bowl. Some of the flavors to choose from are salted caramel, pistachio, coconut, red velvet, jasmine milk tea, green tea, mango, strawberry, and chocolate.

I will definitely stop by again when I’m in the area.

Malibu, California: Malibu Wine Safari

img_2613Zebras, Giraffes, and Wine Oh My! I absolutely LOVE this place! My mom came to visit and wanted to take her some where fun that we haven’t been to yet. We did the Giraffe Tour so we could meet Stanley and were not disappointed. Our tour guide was Kristine and our driver was JC. On the tour you get to sample 6 wines (3 whites and 3 reds) and meet a bunch of different animals on the ranch. Everyone gets to sample each wine and if there is anything left over you can get another sample once everyone in the tour has tasted.

img_2556There are plenty of opportunities for photos in the scenery and with the animals. Kristine was very knowledgeable about the property and animals. I really enjoyed all of the animals’ names (like Llama Del Rey and Zebrina The Teenage Witch). I really want to know who gets to name the residents of the ranch because that might be the coolest job ever. I like that you can feed the animals but be sure to listen to your guide if there are any specific things to know about certain animals. The llamas love carrots and take great selfies and you definately don’t want to get your butt bit by a zebra.

At the start of our tour the weather wasn’t that great but it cleared up about half way through. I highly recommend researching the weather so you can dress accordingly. You really don’t have to bring much with you on the safari. I recommend a camera (or cell phones work too), wallet (for check in), sunglasses (if it’s going to be sunny), and jacket (for those colder days).

I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone visiting the Malibu area!

Hollywood, California: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

IMG_2794“You’re a WIZARD Harry!” Anyone who has read the Harry Potter series will love The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in the Universal Hollywood theme park. This has to be my favorite section of the park! I wish it was a little larger but it is still a lot of fun anyway. Be sure to try the Butterbeer while you’re here!

There are 2 rides in this area, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey and Flight of the Hippogriff. Ollivanders is considered a ride but it’s more of a show. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has to be my favorite ride in the entire park. I could spend all day riding it over and over. There is a locker room you must put your belonging in before going on the ride. Even the walk through the castle before you get to the actual ride is a fun experience.

If you purchase an interactive wand, throughout the wizarding world you can cast spells. Just look for the medallion on the ground and it will show you the wand motion as well as the spell.

There are also 2 shows that happen throughout the day. You have the Frog Choir and the Triwizard Spirit Rally. At the end of each show there is an opportunity to take photos with the performers.

The Three Broomsticks is where you would want to grab a bite if you’re hungry and looking for a place to eat. Hog’s Head Pub is your place to grab an adult beverage. The women’s bathroom also has a little surprise for those Harry Potter fans. A certain ghost may be hanging out in there.

There are many different shops to look through to find the Hogwarts gear you need for yourself or as gifts.

Six Foods To Try When In Hawaii

There are so many different cultures in Hawaii and that is reflected in the food. Some of these foods you can’t find anywhere else unless you make it yourself or find a specialty shop. If you make it out to the islands, these are the six things I recommend you try.

Kalua Pig – Some of you may know this as pulled pork but it’s cooked a little differently. The authentic way to cook Kailua Pig is by digging a pit, lining it with rocks and leaves, putting the pork in the center, burying it, and let the sun cook it in the ground. It goes great with rice and mac salad.

Meat Jun – You will find Meat Jun at Hawaii Korean BBQ sports. If you ask for it outside of Hawaii people will usually look at your like you’re crazy (I know because I’ve asked). It’s beef that’s had been coated in an egg batter and fried. It is one of my all time favorite lunch options.

Spam Musubi – This is Hawaii’s PB&J. Growing up you would bring a spam musubi for lunch on school trips along with a Hawaiian Sun juice and chips. It is a slice of spam (usually coated in teriyaki sauce), rice, and nori (seaweed). Best way to describe it would be spam sushi.

Poke – Yes I know there is a craze going on now and you can find poke shops across the country but most of these places don’t compare to the poke in Hawaii. The fresh fish and the seasoning is unlike anything you’ve had before. It makes for a perfect pupu (Hawaiian for appetizer) or a snack at the beach. Poke is raw fish that has been seasoned in a variety of different ways. It great on its own or you can pair it with rice.

Malasada – Heaven in pastry form. It is batter that has been fried and rolled in sugar. It makes for a great dessert or quick snack. Just be careful when you eat it as it can get messy with the sugar. The sugar will get all over the place if you’re not careful.

Shave Ice – Some people may call it a snow cone but I think it’s a little different. To me shave ice (Yes shave ice. Not Shaved Ice. No “d”) is finer which will hold the syrup better. You can put ice cream or azuki beans at the bottom and if you buy condensed milk on top it’s called a Snow Cap. There are a variety of different syrup flavors you can mixed together for endless combinations. Definately a great way to cool down on those hot Hawaiian days.

If you can’t try all six I recommend trying at least one thing on this list while your visiting the 50th state.

Museum Of Ice Cream

IMG_0310I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! This has to be one of my favorite “museums” ever! I absolutely love this exhibition! How could you not love a museum with an ice cream theme?! Each room has a different flavor or inspiration and you are given samples throughout the whole experience.

You do need to purchase a ticket online before going to the venue. Tickets cannot be purchased there so be sure to get yours as soon as possible for the day you want. They also want you to arrive around your specific ticket time. If you are early there is a waiting area with seating and some outdoor games to keep you occupied until they’re ready for you.

You don’t really have a time limit (except for the sprinkle pool) and you can’t go backwards. I recommend you take all your photos in your current area before moving on to the next. Be sure to check out everything the room offers before moving on. The sprinkle pool was my favorite part and I wish we got a little more time to spend there. If you’re with a larger group it is hard to get everyone’s pictures in during the short time they give you.

The Museum of Ice Cream started in New York City before migrating over to Los Angeles. After some time in Los Angeles it moved onto San Francisco where it is currently. I highly recommend going and I hope I can go again!

Kailua, Hawaii: Kono’s

My sister and I recently went to the Kono’s location in Kailua and it was awesome! The service was amazing and the food was so ono (Hawaiian for delicious). We just so happened to get their at a good time and didn’t have to wait. After we ordered more customers came in and a nice little line formed. The staff was awesome! Everyone was friendly and very helpful in answering questions about the menu. The cashier even offered samples of their kalua pig and guava bbq sauce to help us in making a decision on what to order.

Everything on the menu looks good and it was a difficult decision on what to get. I had to settle on one thing and promise myself to come back so I can try another option. This time around I got one of their bombers and a milkshake. I had the Chuns which had kalua pig, bacon, potatoes, and eggs. I also added avocados and sour cream to my bomber. The bomber doesn’t seem that big but for me it was the perfect meal size. As for my milkshake, I ordered the mudpid which had oreo, caramel, and coffee. The milkshake is nice and thick, just the way I like it.

There are other locations in Haleiwa and Honolulu. I will definitely need to try out the other locations to see if they offer other menu options and to see if the service and food is just as amazing as the Kailua location. I highly recommend going to Kono’s if you are in the Kailua area!!!